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Conor O'Mahony's Database Diary

Your source of IBM database software news (DB2, Informix, Hadoop, & more)

Archive for May 2011

A Tale of Two Companies–IBM and Oracle Make Migration Offers

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Last week, IBM and Oracle made “special offers” to organizations willing to consider switching database software. I found the nature of the offers to be very interesting. I believe they say a lot about how IBM and Oracle operate.

The IBM offer involves:

  • A no-charge, detailed financial analysis that shows cost savings for switching from Oracle Database and Oracle WebLogic to IBM DB2 and WebSphere software.
  • A no-charge, customized technical evaluation and conversion plan.
  • A no-charge proof-of-concept where IBM works with clients to perform a side-by-side cost/performance comparison between Oracle and IBM software at an IBM Software Lab or client site.
  • More than 100 online and in-person skills training and certification courses to certify Oracle professionals in the corresponding IBM technology.
  • Zero percent financing for credit qualified clients.

When you combine these offers with the software discounting that is typically found in competitive take-out situations, it makes for an interesting proposition. Of course, you should not forget that IBM DB2 makes it easy to switch from Oracle Database with PL/SQL Support in DB2, which has contributed to more than 1,000 Oracle Database clients instead choosing DB2 in 2010. Organizations have benefitted from a solid business case that puts money back in their IT budget, great performance and reliability, an easy and successful migration, and the ability to leverage their existing PL/SQL skills after the migration.

Okay, that's the IBM proposition. But Oracle have made a proposition of their own. Oracle are offering the ability to get a credit with Oracle for 50% of the net Oracle Database costs, up to $1M. So, if you spend $2M on Oracle Database software license costs for replacing competing software, then Oracle will give you a credit for $1M. At first glance, this is eye-catching. But when you dig a little deeper, you realize that it is impossible to assess the impact of this offer up front. After all, the credit you will get from Oracle depends on the net price you end up paying, and that net price depends on the software discounting levels you manage to negotiate with Oracle.

And don’t forget that Oracle have not invested in “compatibility features” to make migrations easy like IBM has. See what others are saying about these features:

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Written by Conor O'Mahony

May 16, 2011 at 11:59 am

IBM Watson is at the IIUG Conference This Week

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IBM WatsonIBM Watson will be making an appearance at the International Informix Users Group (IIUG) conference in Kansas this week. Fresh from his appearance on Jeopardy, Dr. David Ferrucci will keynote the conference, and talk about his experiences with developing IBM Watson, participating in the Jeopardy gameshow, and other interesting developments in the world of information management. While the keynote is grabbing the headlines, the rest of the conference will be even more interesting for Informix users. As usual, it is full of great sessions. All the recent product enhancements and additions, ensure that there will be some fascinating break-out sessions, including sessions on the Warehouse Accelerator, Genero, Flexible Grid, and more. (If you want to catch up on the most recent Informix release, see my blog post titled Informix Genero Accelerates Development of Mobile and Cloud Applications.) Hopefully you are at the conference. There is a lot happening in the Informix community these days, and this conference is the place to be to get all the latest information. If you could not make it this year, make sure to follow messages from the conference on the Informix Facebook page and from the Informix Twitter account, and of course make your plans for next year’s conference now ­čÖé

Written by Conor O'Mahony

May 16, 2011 at 11:36 am

Posted in IBM Watson, IIUG, Informix

Checkmate! New IBM DB2 Advertisement that Compares with Oracle Database

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The second of the series of DB2 ads that compares IBM DB2 with Oracle Database has been released. Here it is…

DB2 on POWER: 3x faster. Check.  As low as 1/3 the price. Mate.

You can find out more about these ads, and the details behind the claims at ibm.com/facts.

Written by Conor O'Mahony

May 12, 2011 at 4:24 pm

Comparing the Performance and Cost of IBM DB2 and Oracle Database

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This is the conclusion of my series of blog posts about the Solitaire Interglobal research, which measures various aspects of database environments. In this post, I’m going to focus on performance and cost in IBM Power Systems environments.

Solitaire examined database performance in 1,430 production environments that use IBM Power Systems. You can see the specific breakdown on the counts of the different types of systems in the full report. Their research includes production systems for credit card processing systems, CRM systems, transaction processing systems, and DSS systems.

Here are the summary performance findings for the credit card, CRM, and transaction-processing systems. They indicate the average number of Transactions Per Second (TPS) for these systems. As you can see, DB2 appears to offer a clear performance advantage over Oracle Database. The full report includes details of the number of TPS for each production system in the analysis.

Database Software Performance on IBM Power Systems - IBM DB2 and Oracle Database - OLTP

And here are the summary performance findings for the Decision Support System (DSS) environments, which use an Average Queries per Minute metric.

Database Software Performance on IBM Power Systems - IBM DB2 and Oracle Database - DSS

Solitaire also determined the operational costs for these environments. These are the costs for infrastructure and staffing. It does not include overhead costs like facilities, acquisition, and initial deployment. As you can see, the operational costs for IBM DB2 compare very favorably with Oracle Database, especially when you consider the superior performance of the DB2-based systems.

Operational Cost for Database Software on IBM Power Systems - IBM DB2 and Oracle Database

And when you include overhead costs to determine the overall costs, as you might imagine, DB2 offers even better value.

Overall Cost for Database Software on IBM Power Systems - IBM DB2 and Oracle Database

You can read and download the full Solitaire report at Comparing Real World Database Performance: IBM® DB2® versus Oracle® Database and Microsoft SQL Server®.

Written by Conor O'Mahony

May 12, 2011 at 11:00 am

Staffing and Time-to-Market for IBM DB2 and Oracle Database Environments

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Solitaire Interglobal surveyed IT departments about the amount of staffing needed for various database-related activities. When it comes to staffing, Solitaire notes that:

These staffing figures were collected from the actual operation groups measured in the other metric collection efforts, and cover organizations in North and South America, Asia, Europe, Antarctica and Australia. These organizations have reported staffing for 24×7 coverage, rather than single shift.

Antartica… really! Anyway, here’s the staffing information, first for IBM Power Systems environments and then for IBM System x environments:

Database Software Staff for IBM DB2 and Oracle Database in IBM Power Systems Environments
Database Software Staff for IBM DB2 and Oracle Database in IBM System x Environments

Solitare notes that a significant contributor to IBM DB2 requiring less staff are the requirements around the service desk or help desk. They attribute the difference to the number of calls, and the amount of time required to handle those calls. If you read the full report, you will see lots of great information about specific percentage differences for number and duration of calls on each platform.

Another interesting metric for comparing database software is time-to-market. This is the amount of time it takes an IT department to get a system up-and-running, from project inception to having live production systems. Time-to-market is a very important consideration for organizations who want to have agile and responsive IT departments. In this case, Solitaire note that:

The systems tracked for this portion of the study were paired based on either simultaneous comparative development, or function point equivalents and application type. The comparison is intended to be evocative and not quantitative, since other critical success factors can enter into this picture.

Here is the time-to-market comparison, first for IBM Power Systems environments and then for IBM System x environments:

Time-to-Market for Database Software Projects involving IBM DB2 and Oracle Database in IBM Power Systems Environments

Time-to-Market for Database Software Projects involving IBM DB2 and Oracle Database in IBM System x Environments

You can read and download the full Solitaire report at Comparing Real World Database Performance: IBM® DB2® versus Oracle® Database and Microsoft SQL Server®.

Written by Conor O'Mahony

May 11, 2011 at 11:00 am

IBM DB2 Users Report that they are More Satisfied than Oracle Database Users

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Yesterday, I blogged about relative outages for IBM DB2 and Oracle Database, as reported by Solitaire Interglobal. Well, Solitaire also surveyed people in data centers regarding their satisfaction levels with database software. Here is how Solitaire introduce their findings:

The ultimate metric for the success of any product is customer satisfaction. The satisfaction rating is an aggregate result of how well the customer feels that the DBMS provides benefit for the expense, reliability and thought leadership. As such, this rating can be seen as the final accolade of how well a product is doing.

Solitaire report the satisfaction for two groups: the Executives that manage the overall organization, and the Operational Staff that work with the systems on a day-to-day basis. Here are the findings. As you can see, both the Executives and the Operational Staff who work with DB2 report a higher satisfaction than those who work with Oracle Database.

First, here are the satisfaction ratings for environments running IBM Power Systems servers.
Database Software Customer Satisfaction in IBM Power Systems Environments

And here are the satisfaction ratings for environments running IBM System x servers.
Database Software Customer Satisfaction in IBM System x Environments

Not only do customers–both Executive and Operational–have a higher satisfaction rating for DB2, but interestingly the people who are hands-on day-in and day-out have the best satisfaction numbers.

You can read and download the full Solitaire report at Comparing Real World Database Performance: IBM® DB2® versus Oracle® Database and Microsoft SQL Server®.

Written by Conor O'Mahony

May 10, 2011 at 11:00 am

Comparing Outages for IBM DB2 and Oracle Database

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Solitaire Interglobal monitor client data centers around the world. Recently, they analyzed certain performance chartacteristics for database software within those data centers. One of those performance chartacteristics is reliability.

They measured database software reliability from 1,430 Power Systems/AIX production environments. Here is their explanation of the following charts:

…both the planned and unplanned outages affect the overall usability of the total system. The charts below show the number of outages that were recorded during the testing period, as well as, the total number of minutes that those outages consumed. The number of outages has been normalized for a 100-platform operation, with both planned and unplanned outages included.

As you can see, Oracle Database has more outages, and longer outages. Solitaire indicate that most of these are planned outages, with DB2 users reporting easier movement and allocation of resources. The next most significant factor was that Oracle Database requires a greater number of patches and upgrades.

Normalized Outage Count - Planned and Unplanned on IBM Power Systems - IBM DB2 and Oracle Database - Source: Solitaire Interglobal

Normalized Outage Count - Planned and Unplanned on IBM Power Systems - IBM DB2 and Oracle Database - Source: Solitaire Interglobal

Here is the same analysis for database software in IBM System x environments. In this case, the analysis is for 13,927 production environments and the number of outages has been normalized for a 75-platform operation.

Planned and Unplanned Outage Count on IBM System x - IBM DB2, Oracle Database, and Microsoft SQL Server - Source: Solitaire Interglobal

Planned and Unplanned Outage Time on IBM System x - IBM DB2, Oracle Database, and Microsoft SQL Server - Source: Solitaire Interglobal

Over the next few days, I will share more findings from the Solitaire report. You can read and download the full report at Comparing Real World Database Performance: IBM® DB2® versus Oracle® Database and Microsoft SQL Server®.

Written by Conor O'Mahony

May 9, 2011 at 11:59 am

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