IBMs Stinger Pokes Holes in Oracles Open-Source and Grid Ambitions

Opinion: IBM's Stinger version of its DB2 database is a valiant effort to gain hearts and minds of both the open-source community and clustering aficionados.

IBM on Monday released the beta of "Stinger," the next version of its DB2 database. With the move, IBM lobbed yet another volley in the battle over which major enterprise vendor will provide the database of choice for the open-source Linux operating system.

In addition, the release also represents strong pushback from Big Blue on the question of just which enterprise software giant should be found next to the word "cluster" in the computing dictionary.

In Stinger well see support for the new Version 2.6 of the Linux kernel, a move thats geared to helping database clusters scale higher and perform faster as well as to better exploit the speed of 64-bit databases and servers that rely on multiple processors.

IBMs promise is that such multiprocessor servers can be joined in Linux clusters, as with DB2 ICE (Integrated Cluster Environment), an integrated package that combines DB2 and eServer Linux Cluster 1350 (xSeries, 325, BladeCenter) to provide a solution that, according to IBM, can cluster from two to 1,000 servers and pick up nodes at the rate of four per hour.

/zimages/6/28571.gifClick here to read commentary on how hot automation is in Oracle Database 10g.

Oracle and IBM are obviously neck-and-neck in the race to both capture open-source hearts and to become synonymous with clustering—an ill-defined term that was once solidly associated with IBM, what with the long list of scientific and academic cluster projects to Big Blues credit.

However, Oracle, with the recent introduction of Oracle Database 10g, grabbed the cluster spotlight away from IBM and focused it squarely on itself. Oracles recently announced leadership of the new Enterprise Grid Alliance was yet another move to mold itself as the leader in the enterprise grid market, which it claims is something unique enough to warrant an alliance separate from the extant Global Grid Forum.

/zimages/6/28571.gifClick here to read how Oracle caught the grid community off-guard when it announced plans to start up its own grid alliance.

Next page: Stinger as a move on clustering.