Next week will see the launch of the latest version of IBM Corp.’s DB2 database, codenamed Stinger, and focusing on autonomic computing and challenging rivals on price.
Four versions of DB2 version 8.2 will be released by IBM on September 17 – covering Express, Workgroup, Workgroup Unlimited and Enterprise Edition – with pricing remaining the same as the current, 8.1, version of the database. DB2 8.2 starts at $500 per server for Express and runs to $25,000 per CPU for Enterprise Edition.
IBM believes the combination of more than 200 new features, particularly those which automate tasks and improve performance, will increase pressure on Oracle Corp and Microsoft Corp, especially in the Small and Medium Business (SMB) market.
Microsoft has traditionally held the SMB database market with SQL Server. However this came under pressure from IBM with the first launch of DB2 Express – a version of the database featuring simplified installation and administration.
Oracle last year followed up, launching Database Standard Edition One, a version of its own product priced $5,995 on single processor systems, or $195 per named user with a minimum of five users. This February, Oracle cut CPU pricing to $4,995 while named-user price was reduced by $46 to $149 with a minimum of five users.
Jeff Jones, IBM director of DB2 information management software, said: There’s a war going on in the low end and DB2 is holding up well. [We] will bring pressure to bear in this piece of the market because of price and the technology that is rolling out in 8.2.
With DB2 8.2, IBM is attempting to cut the administrator’s workload by automating manual activities. New features include the automated statistics collection process, taken from IBM’s Learning Optimizer (LEO) project, to automate, simplify and accelerate queries without the need for human intervention.
The DB2 Design Advisor, meanwhile, recommends the correct indexes, structured query tables, multi-dimensional clusters and partitions that should be built, by analyzing both the data and the workload that needs to be run in SQL. DB2 Design Advisor is intended to automatically maintain, configure and deploy and optimize DB2.
A series of wizards, acquired with the Informix database, simplify fail over, by enabling the creation of log mirrors whilst also providing copy back-up and re-routing.
Small customers don’t want to think about hiring DBAs, said Jones. We believe the value statement is awfully strong for Stinger.