Startup Savantis to Announce Database Server Consolidator

By Lisa Vaas  |  Posted 2003-03-24 Print this article Print

Startup Savantis Systems Inc. this week will introduce a switching technology that company officials said will reduce the number of servers enterprises need to run their databases.

Startup Savantis Systems Inc. this week will introduce a switching technology that company officials said will reduce the number of servers enterprises need to run their databases.

According to company officials in Lexington, Mass., the new dbSwitch pools server capacity thats assigned to Oracle Corp. databases, maximizing the use of the CPUs and RAM of each database server.

The technology also brings somewhat higher availability to the data with the aid of agents that detect a server failure and, in such an event, unload the failed or failing database and reinstall it on an available server. As a result, downtime is kept to a few seconds, Savantis officials said.

DbSwitch is aimed at corporations with hundreds of database servers, many of which give each server one narrow purpose, such as payroll or enterprise resource planning, for example. For each database server, an enterprise likely has at least one redundant standby, one similar machine for quality assurance and another for testing. According to analysts, enterprises wind up with three to five times the total cost of ownership of the server itself.

Meanwhile, these clumps of servers run at a fraction of their capacity: around 15 percent for the production machine, 0 percent for the hot backup, and 5 percent, on average, for the test and quality assurance machines, according to Mark Her, an analyst at Enterprise Management Associates Inc., in Boulder, Colo.

While like systems are available today from such vendors as Oracle and Veritas Software Corp., one early dbSwitch beta user says those solutions are more expensive, harder to manage and/or not designed specifically for moving databases around to servers that have the necessary amount of RAM or CPU capacity.

"By implementing the switch, we can get high availability for these clients with reduced management and cost," said Bob Doyle, vice president and chief database architect for Epsilon, in Burlington, Mass. "I think the cost of the switch would be quite less than the cost of the other options."

The basic dbSwitch package comprises a fully redundant dbSwitch appliance. Each appliance has two Cisco Systems Inc. routers, two Linux servers and five database server agents that gather statistics on each of five (customer-supplied) database servers. DbSwitch is available now starting at $150,000. It supports databases running on Solaris, HP-UX and Windows NT.

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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