IBM last week announced general availability of DB2 Universal Database 8, an enterprise data management platform with features that officials say should keep the cost of operations in check.
To keep a handle on the cost of running the upgraded database, the product includes features designed to avert the need for more database administrators or help current DBAs work more efficiently.
A centerpiece of DB2 8s Autonomic Computing Initiativewhat IBM formerly called SMART, or Self-Managing and Resource Tuningis Health Center. This component automatically updates DBAs via e-mail, pager or personal digital assistant on system performance, giving advice on problems occurring in the database or the applications it supports. Health Center also alerts DBAs that a fix has been generated, and adjustments can then be made through a Web browser.
Version 8 features Configuration Advisor, which automates time-consuming tasks associated with configuring databases and eliminates the need for frequent manual tuning of performance-related parameters such as allocating memory and configuring query capabilities.
One beta tester said Health Center is saving him from writing multiple database monitoring scripts. Tim Kuchlein, director of IS at Clarity Payment Solutions Inc., has DB2 set up to e-mail him if performance drops below designated thresholds.
"Its just point and click and walk away," said Kuchlein, in New York. "Before, youd have to write a monitoring script and then write [another] monitoring script to make sure the first script was working OK."
IBM combined the Enterprise and Extended Enterprise editions features into one product, DB2 Enterprise Server Edition, which in-cludes data warehousing, advanced clustering capabilities, 64-bit support and increased reliability. Workgroup Server Unlimited Edition, originally $14,250 per processor, is now $7,500.
That pricing caught the eye of Suppleyes Inc., also known as Suppleye.com, a 14-employee business-to-business company in Akron, Ohio, that is beta testing DB2 8. Chief Technology Officer Perry Cain said IBMs aggressive pricing moves have made it a "different world" for small shops such as his.
IBM Reins in IT Spending
Ways that DB2 Universal Database 8 keeps costs under control
Price of Workgroup Server Unlimited Edition reduced by 46 percent, to $7,500 per processor
Autonomic computing features reduce demands on expensive DBAs
Configuration Advisor automates time-consuming tasks that create need for more DBAs
Lisa Vaas is News Editor/Operations for eWEEK.com 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 eWEEK.com, 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.