Conor O'Mahony's Database Diary

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Archive for October 2009

New Redbook: MySQL to DB2 Conversion Guide

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IBM RedbooksIBM Redbooks are retail-quality books that are available for free on the Web. If you haven’t come across IBM Redbooks, you should visit the IBM Redbooks Web site. There are a multitude of topics covering the entire IBM portfolio and beyond. Angela Carlson and Whei-Jen Chen have just published a new book titled the MySQL to DB2 Conversion Guide. This book shows that, with the proper planning and guidance, converting from MySQL™ to IBM® DB2® is relatively straight forward. It describes all the steps involved, including how to enable applications to use DB2 instead of MySQL. This book also includes the best practices in conversion strategy, conversion tools, porting steps, and practical conversion examples.


Written by Conor O'Mahony

October 22, 2009 at 9:48 am

Posted in DB2 for LUW, MySQL

DB2 at the Information On Demand Conference

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The IBM Information on Demand conference is fast approaching. It is being held on 25-29 October in Las Vegas. I’m especially excited this year because Malcolm Gladwell is a keynote speaker. For people with an interest in DB2, there is an exciting line-up of activities and sessions. Of course, there is the usual strong line up of hands-on labs, as well as the ability to get certified on DB2 and related products. As regards the sessions, here are some personal recommendations:

  • Session 2309     IBM DB2 Trends and Directions Keynote
    Sal Vella—Vice President of Development for IBM DB2 and Warehousing on Linux, UNIX and Windows—talks about the direction of DB2 for LUW.
  • Session 1428     Smackdown: IBM DB2 versus Oracle Database
    This session presents a business case examination of the total cost of ownership for IBM DB2 and Oracle Database.
  • Session 2248     Enabling Oracle Applications on DB2: Client Success Stories
    DB2 now allows you to run applications developed for Oracle Database on IBM DB2 virtually unchanged. In this session, three users will recount their experiences with these features.
  • Session 2549     Databases and Cloud Computing Panel
    Clients, partners, and IBM employees talk about experiences and best practices with IBM databases and cloud computing.
  • Session 2818     Cost/Benefit Case for SAP Enterprise Migration to IBM DB2
    Find out how DB2 not only reduces the cost of software, but also delivers cost savings in storage and server infrastructure and reduced administration costs.

Here are some useful DB2-related links for the conference:

Written by Conor O'Mahony

October 19, 2009 at 11:13 am

Sun and Oracle TPC Price/Performance Tactics Revealed

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Sun and Oracle have a TPC-C benchmark result that delivers 7,646,486 tpmC with a price performance of $2.36 USD/tpmC*. Here are a couple of things about that result (and other recent results from Oracle) that you may not be aware of:

  1. The Oracle benchmark result does not use perpetual software licenses
  2. The Oracle benchmark result uses a Web-based incident support contract

Oracle are comparing their result to the IBM TPC-C result with $2.81 USD/tpmC**. However, this may not be an apples-to-apples comparison because the IBM result includes pricing for 24×7 support, upgrade protection, and perpetual licenses; the Oracle result does not include any of these features. If you include 24×7 support, upgrade protection, and perpetual licensing, you’ll find that the prices most customers will pay are significantly different than what Oracle includes in the benchmark. Let’s see why this is so…

When Oracle prepares TPC-C benchmark results, they typically use a special license called the Oracle Term License (denoted by the ‘Unlimited Users for 3 Years’ text below):

Oracle TPC-C benchmark result uses term licenses

The Oracle Term License is not a perpetual license, like the software license that organizations typically purchase. Instead, it is like a lease. This term license for three years costs 45% less than a perpetual license. After the three year period, you no longer own the right to use the software. At that stage, to keep using the software, you either have to purchase the software license for an additional term or purchase a perpetual license. To truely compare this result with TPC-C results that use perpetual licenses, like the IBM results, you need to do some math with the Oracle Database license costs.

When it comes to support, things get a little more interesting. First of all, you should note that the cost of support for a term license is the same as the cost of support for a perpetual license. If you have a look at the Oracle Web site and do some math, the costs for support work out to be more than 40% of the term license cost. But, support costs for this benchmark are not more than 40% of the software license costs. They are actually a little more than 1% of the software license costs.

You see, for this benchmark and many others, Oracle uses something called the Oracle Incident Server Support Package (OISP). The OISP is a support package that has no telephone support. Instead, it allows you up to 10 Web-based incident requests per server (that expire within one year). What’s more, OISP has no upgrade protection and does not entitle you to future upgrades of the Oracle Database software. The cost of the OISP is $2,300 per server, which is why you see the cost of Oracle support for this benchmark at $82,800 (12 nodes in the cluster for 3 years of support). This represents a little more than 1% of the costs of the term license costs.

As you can see, Oracle manage to significantly improve their price performance result by using term licenses and by using a limited support offering. In the event that you do not use term licenses or this limited support offering, you will need to do additional work to see what the systems would cost for you, or to compare the Oracle results with other TPC-C results.

All TPC results available on the Transaction Processing Performance Council Web site at
* 12-Node Sun SPARC Enteprise T5440 server cluster; 7,646,486 tmpC; $2.36/tpmC; available 03/19/10.
** IBM Power 595 Server Model 9119-FHA; 6,085,166 tpmC; $2.81/tpmC; available 12/10/08.

Written by Conor O'Mahony

October 18, 2009 at 6:13 pm

DB2 pureScale: Unlimited Capacity, Transparent to Applications

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Today, IBM announced DB2 pureScale. I thought I’d take a few moments to tell you about DB2 pureScale. The first thing you should be aware of is that DB2 pureScale is the culmination of a multiple-year collaboration between the IBM DB2 and IBM Power Systems teams. Some people may initially think that this announcement is a reaction to recent publicity stunts from Oracle Corporation. But when you dig beneath the surface, you will discover that this is a tremendous piece of technology.

As you know, DB2 on System z is the industry gold standard for scalability, availability, and reliability. Nothing comes close to DB2 for z/OS. However, there are organizations who are not taking advantage of the unique capabilities of IBM System z. Often, such organizations have turned to database clusters on distributed systems, like Oracle RAC, to achieve their scalability and availability goals. If your organization attempted to use Oracle RAC, you are only too aware of the issues involved in deploying and updating RAC systems.

DB2 pureScale directly addresses these issues. For some time now, clients have been telling IBM that they need an easier solution for adding capacity to transactional systems. They want to get away from having to specially tune their database systems for use in clusters and from having to make their applications cluster-aware. DB2 pureScale directly addresses these issues by providing application transparency. With DB2 pureScale, you can easily add or remove nodes. You don’t need to re-tune the database systems or update your application code.

Not only is DB2 pureScale much easier to work with, but it also offers higher levels of availability and it offers greater levels of efficiency when adding capacity to your system. Higher levels of availability are made possible by adopting a design with 15 years of proven leadership on System z. These innovations basically ensure that more data is available to your applications for greater amounts of time, when compared with solutions from other vendors. The key to the increased levels of efficiency are the unique architecture and the use of Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) calls, which are much more efficient that IP-based calls.

Here is a link to a short video interview where I talk about DB2 pureScale:

DB2 pureScale Overview

If you want to get more information about DB2 pureScale, make sure to watch the upcoming DB2 Chat with the Labs Webcast on the 21st of October. This Webcast will feature experts from the IBM labs who will dive into the technical details of DB2 pureScale. They will explain the architecture and how the RDMA calls are so much more efficient.

Written by Conor O'Mahony

October 9, 2009 at 12:28 pm

Posted in DB2 for LUW, pureScale

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