Archive for July 2009
The Credit Union Times has a story about how 240 credit unions have moved to the Fiserv XP2 system. The story mentions that XP2 uses a .NET development framework and an IBM DB2 database. This is one of a number of recent successes for DB2 in .NET environments, and reflects the investment IBM has made in building DB2 support for .NET. Not only does DB2 offer drivers for .NET, it also provides tools that are fully integrated in to Visual Studio .NET. When you consider that IBM makes available a fully-functional version of DB2 called DB2 Express-C for no charge, it makes a very compelling proposition for .NET developers. They can take advantage of DB2′s industry-leading performance for the price of an open source database
On 19 August, IBM will host another Data in Action virtual conference. The conference will feature:
- Donald Feinberg, Distinguished Analyst at Gartner, who will answer your questions about the IT challenges, trends, and innovations that are shaping the data management world.
- A special panel of database users who will discuss their experiences with the latest release of DB2 and answer your questions.
- Interactive booths like DBA Efficiency, Developer Productivity, and Optimized Infrastructure that allow you to download literature, view demos, and chat with IBM experts.
- The Networking Lounge where you can chat with Michael McBride, President of IDUG, who will help you locate the best in DB2 training and information.
- And much, much more…
Make sure to register for this virtual conference today!
Last week, I blogged about More Oracle Price Hikes.
- In June 2008, Oracle raised the prices of its products by between 15 percent and 20 percent.
- In March 2009, Oracle changed their multiplier for systems using the POWER6 CPU, in effect raising their prices by 33 percent on POWER6.
- In July 2009, Oracle raised the price of their Management and Tuning packs for Oracle Database Enterprise Manager by more than 40 percent.
That’s a lot of price increases in little over a year! It can be difficult to picture what these price increases mean. To help, let’s consider a sample configuration: a server with 4 POWER6 CPUs running Oracle Database Enterprise Edition, Partitioning, Diagnostic Pack, and Tuning Pack. For this relatively simple configuration, Oracle has increased its list prices by 61 percent in the time period between May 2008 and July 2009.
This is quite a large price increase in such a short mount of time. Especially when you consider that, in this tough economic climate, everyone is operating under increasingly tight budgets. Depending on the status of contracts with Oracle, it could mean a 61 percent increase in annual maintenance and support costs for this sample configuration. Hopefully, Oracle customers have price increase protection in their current contracts, and are not being hit too hard by these increases. Of course, even if they were smart enough to put such protections in place, then they still need to worry about what happens when their current contracts expire and they need to renegotiate with Oracle. One can’t help wondering why companies should pay 61 percent more for the exact same levels of maintenance and support.
The Solitaire Report titled Whitepaper: DB2 Performance on IBM System p® and System x® contains lots of interesting information.
Solitaire analyzed different aspects of database operations on the IBM® System p® platform and the IBM® System x® platform. Their report is not based on benchmarking. It is based on “real world” data from more than 4,100 production systems. It is part of the ongoing Operational Characterization Master Study (OPMS) that has been conducted over the last 19 years.
The report has information about performance, reliability, staffing, and time-to-market effects. For instance, here is a chart that show the normalized amount of monthly outage time for IBM DB2 and Oracle Database on IBM System p. Note that this data was drawn from an analysis of 653 core systems.
Also, here is a chart that show the normalized staffing levels for IBM DB2 and Oracle Database on IBM System p. If you sum the data, IBM DB2 requires 43% less staff than Oracle Database on System p.
You can get all the details behind these charts and a lot more interesting information in the Solitaire Report.
As I’m sure you’ve heard by now, DB2 9.7 has several new features that make it easy for Oracle Database users to work with IBM DB2. They even make it easier to switch from Oracle Database to DB2:-) Today, IBM developerWorks published an article from Serge Reilau about the new Oracle Compatibility features in DB2. You can read the article at DB2 9.7: Run Oracle applications on DB2 9.7 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows. It includes information about the new concurrency features, data types, built-in functions, SQL support, PL/SQL support, script support, and more. Of course, Serge also talks about the restrictions and limitations.
IBM is actively working on making DB2 in the Cloud easy to deploy for its users. You may have read the recent announcements regarding DB2 in the cloud, including the partnerships with Amazon, Rightscale, and others. You may also have seen the news that you can transfer DB2 licenses for use in the cloud. Ready-to-deploy Amazon Machine Images, RightScripts, ServerTemplates, and more help you get up and running quickly.
There are already videos on the Web that show you how to deploy DB2 in the cloud. Next week, IBM is taking you on the next step on this journey by hosting a Webcast titled Scalability in the Cloud—Fact or Fiction?. In this Webcast, IBM and xkoto will show you step-by-step, how to scale transaction-intensive workloads in the cloud. They will also discuss the pitfalls that are commonly encountered when doing this.
The International DB2 Users Group (IDUG) is currently accepting proposals for sessions at the IDUG North America Conference, which will be held in Tampa, Florida on 10-14 May, 2010. You can submit proposals at www.idug.org/call-for-presentations-idug-2010-north-america.html.
IBM recently updated its eBook titled Proven Strategies for Uncovering Cost Savings with IBM DB2. This eBook is a quick read. It focuses on why DB2 is the best database for lowering IT costs. There is information about how DB2 helps you lower the 3 S’s: Server costs, Storage costs, and Staff costs.
Chris Kanaracus has written an interesting article titled Experts: Oracle Database Option Price Hikes No Accident. In this article, he talks about Oracle’s recent decision to raise the price of some Oracle Database add-ons by as much as 40 percent. Of course, these price increases are in addition to the Oracle price hikes from just last year: Oracle increases prices 15 to 20 percent: The joys of pricing power.
Kanaracus speculates that this is a calculated move by Oracle, intended to extract as much money as possible from its installed base. One might interpret this as Oracle showing disregard for its customers, and taking advantage of the fact that they are “locked in” to using Oracle Database. As you might imagine, an Oracle spokeswoman declined to address the company’s rationale for the price hikes.
Oracle executives have openly said that revenues from its Database business help drive its profitability and fund its acquisition activity. Are Oracle biting the hand that feeds them?
ComputerWorld Canada have a print and video interview with Tim Vincent, IBM Fellow and DB2 LUW Chief Architect. He talks about the evolution of DB2, the impact of emerging technologies, the supposed death of databases, and the future of databases.
IDUG is the Independent DB2 Users Group. They are an independent, not-for-profit user group—run by DB2 users for DB2 users. They are primarily known for the outstanding technical conferences that they have offered the DB2 community for the past 20 years. However, something interesting is happening at IDUG.
If you visit the new IDUG Web site, you will see a nice new look-and-feel. However, you will also notice that there is a lot of new technical content available. In particular, they have:
- Hundreds of DB2 Videos, including presentations for some of the leading DB2 technical sessions you will find anywhere. This resource alone is worth continued return visits to the Web site.
- The Conference Proceedings from prior year’s IDUG conferences.
- A new Events Calendar that includes regional, local, and Web-based events for DB2 users.
Rob Williams is one of the heroic IDUG volunteers who made this new Web site a reality. I think Rob sums it up best when he says the following on his blog (on the IDUG Web site):
What excites me the most though is not the new website, but the culture shift this website represents for IDUG. It’s the refocusing of IDUG to help educate as many people as possible and to ensure that cost is not a barrier. This will allow students, small organizations, or anyone who wants to learn DB2 access to some of the best DB2 content on the web.
I couldn’t agree more. This is indeed a major development both for the IDUG organization and for DB2 users everywhere.
If you are a recent graduate who works with DB2, you have an opportunity to get featured in the IBM Young Professional Profiles. Just imagine how this would help your resume or CV stand out from the crowd.
IBM is currently working on Young Professional Profiles, which features young professionals. You are eligible if you have graduated from college in the past 5 years and are working with DB2. Selected participants will be interviewed by IBM for 30 to 60 minutes. Please nominate yourself or eligible members of your organization before July 25. For more information, see http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/data/events/youngprofessional.html.
On Wednesday, IBM will host another Chat with the Labs Webcast. These free events are run by the IBM engineering team, and are intended to be more technical in nature. This Wednesday’s topic is Enabling applications from Oracle to DB2…the easy way! The Webcast will have some great guest speakers who will talk about their organization’s experiences with using DB2′s new features to enable applications that had been using Oracle Database to use DB2. The guest speakers include:
- Bernie O’Connor from Anixter
- Brett Annadale from AnnanTech
- Gene Ostrovsky from ExactCost
Make sure to attend the Webcast to learn about these exciting new features, and to get the opportunity to ask your own questions to the speakers.
IBM recently created some nice new horizontal and vertical Web banners for DB2. You can see the new banners on the sidebar and footer of the Information Agenda Website. If you refresh that Web page, you will likely see additional new banners. Here is my favorite of those banners:
Here is a keynote presentation that I recently put together for the Break Free roadshow events. This presentation describes the staff, server, and storage costs for DB2 when compared with its major competitors. There is also a section that talks about moving from Oracle Database to DB2.