Conor O'Mahony's Database Diary

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

Archive for August 2011

IBM Smart Analytics System vs. Oracle Exadata for Data Warehouse Environments

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Here is a video where Philip Howard, Research Director at Bloor Research, evaluates performance, scalability, administration, and cost considerations for IBM Smart Analytics System and Oracle Exadata [for data warehouse environments]. This video is packed with great practical advice for evaluating these products.


Written by Conor O'Mahony

August 30, 2011 at 8:30 am

Oracle Exadata vs. IBM pureScale Application System for OLTP Environments

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Philip Howard, Research Director at Bloor Research, recently evaluated the performance, scalability, administration, and cost considerations for the leading integrated systems from IBM and Oracle for OnLine Transaction Processing (OLTP) environments. Here is a summary of his conclusions:

Bloor Research compare Oracle Exadata and IBM Smart Analytics System for OLTP

And here is a video with his evaluation. It is packed with practical advice regarding storage capacity, processing capacity, and more.

Written by Conor O'Mahony

August 29, 2011 at 8:30 am

Are IBM DB2 and Oracle Database NoSQL Databases?

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The NoSQL movement has garnered a lot of attention recently. It has been built around a number of emerging highly-scalable non-relational data stores. The movement is also providing a real lease of life for smaller non-relational database vendors who have been around for a while.

Last week, I noticed an entire track for XML and XQuery sessions at the recent NoSQLNow Conference in San Jose. If XML databases and XQuery are key constituents of the NoSQL world, does that mean that IBM DB2 and Oracle Database should be included in the NoSQL movement? After all, both IBM DB2 and Oracle Database store XML data and provide XQuery interfaces. Of course, I’m not being serious here. I don’t believe that the bastions of the relational world should be included in the NoSQL community. Are native XML databases, which have been around for a while, really in the spirit of the NoSQL movement? What’s your opinion?

I believe that the boundaries of the NoSQL community are perhaps a bit looser than they should be. Essentially, absolutely everything except relational databases are being grouped under the NoSQL banner. I can understand how this has happened, but do the NoSQL community really want to dilute their message by including all of these technologies, most of which have been around for quite some time and had relatively limited traction. In the spirit of what I believe is at the genesis of the current NoSQL movement, I reckon that a NoSQL solution should have the following characteristics:
– Not be based on the relational model
– Have little or no acquisition cost
– Be designed to run on commodity hardware
– Use a distributed architecture
– Support extreme or Web-scale databases

Notice that I don’t include a characteristic based on lack of consistency. I reckon that, over time, consistency will become a characteristic of some NoSQL environments.

By the way, earlier in this blog post I referred to the XML and XQuery capabilities in IBM DB2 and Oracle Database. In case you are curious, there is a significant difference in how DB2 and Oracle Database have incorporated XML capabilities in their respective products, with Oracle essentially leveraging their existing relational infrastructure to provide several ways to store XML data, while IBM built true native XML storage capabilities into its product. In other words, DB2 is indeed a true “native XML store”. In the past, I used to blog about native XML storage over at, before handing the reigns over to Matthias Nicola. If you want a little more insight on XML support in Oracle Database, check out XML in Oracle 11g and Why Won’t Oracle Publish XML Benchmark Results for TPoX?

Written by Conor O'Mahony

August 28, 2011 at 2:51 pm

Forrester’s Noel Yuhanna on “New Approaches for Database Cost Savings”

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Noel Yuhanna is one of the more prominent names in the database software industry. He is the principal analyst covering database software at Forrester. Here’s a 12-minute video where Noel describes his view on the most commonly used strategies for lowering your database-related costs. Topics include virtualized infrastructure, database compatibility layers, database-as-a-service, database compression, database sub-setting, and administration automation. This video is packed with interesting information. I hope you enjoy!

Written by Conor O'Mahony

August 26, 2011 at 3:39 pm

Posted in Cost, DBA, Video

Introduction to Big Data Solutions

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Here’s a short video that was recorded at the IDUG conference, where I talk about the characteristics of Big Data solutions, discuss some of the technologies involved, and describe some real world Big Data solutions that IBM has implemented. Its a high-level introduction, but if you’re not sure what this “Big Data” term refers to, you may find it useful.

In the video, I try to quantify what “big” means today, as well as describing some lessons we have learned while implementing Big Data solutions. Technologies introduced include Map/Reduce systems, systems for analyzing streaming data, Massive Parallel Processing data warehouse systems, and in-memory database systems.

Those of you that know me in person, will see that I was a little under-the-weather when the video was recorded. You can hear it in my voice, see it in my demeanor, and notice it in my cadence. I hope you can get past this, and find this video useful.

Written by Conor O'Mahony

August 23, 2011 at 10:39 pm

IBM DB2 Improves Performance Lead for x86-64 Systems with a new Record-Breaking Result

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Last year, I blogged about how IBM DB2 has the Leading x86-based TPC-C Result. Well, IBM has further cemented DB2’s position as the leading database for x86-64 systems with a new record-breaking TPC-C benchmark result. The new benchmark result achieved more than 3 million transactions per minute on an IBM System x 3850 X5. The entire system for this result is housed in a single, space-saving 42U rack. The system runs DB2 9.7 on SUSE Linux. It has four Intel Xeon E7-8870 processors running at 2.40GHz (4 processors/40 cores/80 threads). It should also be noted that the system uses Solid State Drive (SSD) storage for faster database access.

For me, the most interesting aspect of this result is not just the performance; it is the price for that performance. And, of course, price/performance is a key consideration for all systems, but especially for cost-conscious x86-64 purchasing decisions. The new system costs US$0.59 per tpmC. As of today, this is the lowest cost of any system in the Top 10 TPC-C performance results (by the way, the next lowest cost also features DB2). See for yourself at TPC-C – Top Ten Performance Results.

If you look at the TPC-C – Top Ten Price/Performance Results, you will see some results from Oracle that offer better price/performance. However, these Oracle results are for very small benchmark systems; approximately one-tenth the size of the IBM DB2 systems. And they include only Oracle Database 11g Standard Edition One; whereas the IBM results include the full enterprise edition of DB2. Not only do the IBM benchmark system give you more product capability for your money, but you can clearly see that the performance of the IBM systems and the cost per transaction for the IBM systems both scale up very nicely.

IBM System x®3850 X5 (Intel Xeon E7-8870 processors 2.40GHz, 4 processors/40 cores/80 threads) TPC-C result of 3,014,684 tpmC, $.59 USD/tpmC, available 9/22/11, DB2 9.7, SUSE Linux® Enterprise Server 11 (SP1)

Written by Conor O'Mahony

August 15, 2011 at 10:25 am

DB2 for z/OS Workshop: Planning your DB2 10 Migration

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The International DB2 User Group (IDUG) and IBM are offering a complimentary workshop for DB2 for z/OS clients who are planning to migrate to DB2 10. This workshop will help attendees maximize the business benefits and cost savings associated with moving to DB2 10; it will also ensure that they are adopting IBM best practices when doing so. The workshop is being offered immediately prior to the IDUG DB2 Tech Conference EMEA in Prague. Seats are limited, so make sure to sign up soon! The details are:

Date: 13th November 2011
Time: 9:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Location: IDUG DB2 Tech Conference EMEA in Prague
Cost: Complimentary
Link: DB2 10 Migration Planning Workshop

DB2 for z/OS Workshop: Planning your DB2 10 Migration

Written by Conor O'Mahony

August 11, 2011 at 9:40 am

Posted in DB2 for z/OS, DBA

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