Microsoft wont go there

By Lisa Vaas  |  Posted 2004-05-04 Print this article Print

Just why is open source so important to both IBM and Oracle? Because its one place where Microsoft cant compete. As pointed out to me recently by Mike Schiff, an analyst at Sterling, Va.-based Current Analysis, besides having such glowing testimonials coming from the open-source community, IBM also has a release that runs on all platforms that support Linux, including the AS/400.
Now, I havent seen recent IDC numbers on who rules the database world, but Schiffs guess is that Oracles still king of the market when it comes to the pure relational database numbers. What happens when you throw the mainframe into the mix? Its IBM all the way, Schiff opined.
Of course, besides open-source and clustering, Stinger is all about automation and manageability, as all major databases releases are nowadays, including Oracle Database 10g and the upcoming SQL Server 2005 release. According to Carl Olofson, Research Director with IDC, of Framingham, Mass., theres a good reason to this industry-wide phenomenon of simplifying the care and feeding of databases. He told me recently that its just that database administrators are getting harder to find and more expensive. The costs of deploying and maintaining databases—as customers want to do—are becoming prohibitive because of the number of staff it all requires. That work reality is bad for software vendors, of course, since it inhibits the number and size of databases customers can buy. Nowadays, we need systems that run themselves. Its a direction all the database vendors must go in if they want to be successful. Its no longer just small to midsize businesses that lack IT staff who can twist database knobs—its also large enterprises that are being squeezed. The DBAs are being squeezed too, Olofson pointed out. "Ive talked to many who are frustrated by having too much of their time taken up re-indexing tables, and doing unloads and reloads, and managing database space allocation, which is really boring," he said. IBM wants Stinger to be the open-source database of choice. Oracle wants 10g running all the Linux. And both want to be cluster kings. What do DBAs want? They want to be designing new databases. They want to work with the development team to do next-generation applications. They want to be freed from drudgery. The battle over grid and open-source hearts and minds will likely be a long one with no clear outcome, but at least we can anticipate that DBAs will benefit from Stinger, and thats what really matters at the end of the day. Please register for TalkBack below and tell me and other readers what you think, or write to me at Database Center Editor Lisa Vaas has written about enterprise applications since 1997. Check out eWEEK.coms Database Center at for the latest database news, views and analysis. Be sure to add our database news feed to your RSS newsreader or My Yahoo page:  

Lisa Vaas is News Editor/Operations for and also serves as editor of the Database topic center. Since 1995, she has also been a Webcast news show anchorperson and a reporter covering the IT industry. She has focused on customer relationship management technology, IT salaries and careers, effects of the H1-B visa on the technology workforce, wireless technology, security, and, most recently, databases and the technologies that touch upon them. Her articles have appeared in eWEEK's print edition, on, and in the startup IT magazine PC Connection. Prior to becoming a journalist, Vaas experienced an array of eye-opening careers, including driving a cab in Boston, photographing cranky babies in shopping malls, selling cameras, typography and computer training. She stopped a hair short of finishing an M.A. in English at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. She earned a B.S. in Communications from Emerson College. She runs two open-mic reading series in Boston and currently keeps bees in her home in Mashpee, Mass.

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