Its a smart move also thanks to IBMs hot little Power5 chip, which is coming in priced lower than comparable Intel chips. Charlie Garry, with Meta Group, thinks its weird that we havent heard much about the OpenPower servers, given how impressive the chips are. "Its interesting, because the Power5 chip is a pretty hot chip," he told me. "Theyre pricing them comparable to or lower than Intels pricing Xeon-based servers. Im surprised we havent heard more about it." The likely cause for the silence could be a lack of ISV support for the platform, Garry suggests. Meanwhile, the spin about IBM digging at Sun through its long-term partner Sybase seems to be right-on. Gary Schneider, director of Linux and DB2 information management, was practically cackling over it. "It seems that Sybase has decided to ride a different [hardware] horse into the future," he told me. "Probably not a bad decision.""If you question the viability of Sun as a hardware platform, I suspect some will question the choice of Sybase as a long-term choice, as well," he said. Ouch. I hope Sybase knows what its getting into, when it and its precious financial services customers are getting into IBM servers. But what choice does it have? RDBMS vendors are tripping over themselves to get their databases to you on Linux, for good cause. According to Forrester, the Linux database software market is on track to hit $400 million this year, $500 million next year and $1 billion by 2007. Customers who are spending that kind of money may be looking to shave costs out of their IT budgets by hacking away at proprietary operating systems, but theyre certainly not willing to do anything risky vis-à-vis long-haired hippy type open-source people, which is where proven vendors come in. The new offerings are all in line with the kind of philosophy that gave us the Oracle-Red Hat-Dell combination, in that enterprises are looking for known vendors wholl run databases on Linux. Sybase is stepping up to the plate, Oracle is all over the plate, IBM owns the plate. Microsoft? It wishes everybody would go on a diet. Write to me at email@example.com. eWEEK.com Associate Editor Lisa Vaas has written about enterprise applications since 1997. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest database news, reviews and analysis.
Meanwhile, IBM is, of course, a competitor to Sybase in the database wars. Schneider is looking forward to some lively database battles in the course of the partnership and is hoping that, just as some are questioning their choice of strategic hardware vendor, customers will soon question their choice of a database software vendor as well.