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.