Sybase Takes on Database TCO

By Lisa Vaas  |  Posted 2003-10-06 Print this article Print

Ase 12.5.1 to provide beefed-up automation.

Sybase inc. is tackling TCO with the latest version of its enterprise DBMS: Adaptive Server Enterprise 12.5.1.

The update, due this week, has new features aimed at improving the total cost of ownership of ASE through better manageability and 24-by-7 uptime, according to Sybase officials, in Dublin, Calif.

One such feature is dynamic sizing of caches, a capability that will spare database administrators from having to shut down and restart databases as tables grow and caches need to be resized. Memory-segment reshuffling can also be done without unplugging the database.

Another feature that lets users avoid unplugging is transportable databases, which will mean that users can add data without service interruption, taking segments and plugging them into another server in live mode. All this is designed for what Sybase officials call higher operational scalability—in other words, more hands-off operation.

Other new features that get humans out of the database include automated space management, automated resource management for adjustments of memory and disk needs, and automated job scheduling.

ASE 12.5.1 offers native support for XML and Web services; an LDAP directory that enables single sign-on; and the capability to create derived tables for SQL queries, which will let users create views on the fly, thus easing application development.

Dealing with the Database
Feature Benefit
Dynamic Reduces service interruptions sizing of caches
Derived tables Provides the ability to create
Database-native Removes need for outside job scheduler scheduling software
Beta tester Jerry Schuman, president and chief technology officer of Versifi Technologies Inc., said new manageability features and native XML support are the most relevant aspects of ASE 12.5.1 for his company, which makes Web and wireless application and portal software that incorporates ASE.

Without native XML support, Versifi, based in Newport Beach, Calif., would need to have separate applications for handling XML: a relational database engine, an XML parsing engine and other tools, Schuman said. The feature cuts down not only on tools but also on staff training, he said.

The single sign-on of LDAP will help hack away at TCO as it shaves systems administrators security management tasks, Schuman said.

Mike Harrold, membership director of the International Sybase User Group, said ASE 12.5.1s enhanced XML and Web services handling capabilities are going over big with members.

"Any time youre building a technology that allows a system to govern itself and minimize the need for human beings to make a decision on the fly, youre increasing availability of the system," said Harrold, in Columbus, Ohio.

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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