High-End Solutions on Way to Process Data Fast

By Lisa Vaas  |  Posted 2003-04-28

The arrival last week of Advanced Micro Devices Inc.s Opteron processor heralded the rollout of high-end database software from leading developers.

That will be a boon to enterprises that need to process huge volumes of data rapidly, as is the case with companies running business intelligence, customer relationship management and financial transaction operations, according to the database developers.

IBM partnered with AMD, of Sunnyvale, Calif., and SuSE Linux AG, of Nuremberg, Germany, to become the first large database vendor to deliver support for the Opteron, which supports 64-bit and 32-bit applications. IBM last week released a beta version of its DB2 database for Linux on the Opteron.

By summer, DB2 will support SuSE Linux and the Opteron in clustered environments of two- to 1,000-node Linux clusters at customer sites in the industries of finance, retail, oil and gas, and life sciences, according to IBM officials, in Armonk, N.Y.

Separately, Oracle Corp. announced general availability of its Oracle9i database on the Opteron running 32-bit Linux. Company officials said support for 32-bit Linux and Windows will be available in coming months on Oracle9i Application Server, Oracle Collaboration Suite and Oracle E-Business Suite.

Oracle officials said internal testing of the Oracle9i database on the Opteron chip running 32-bit Linux showed a performance gain of 10 to 15 percent compared with 32-bit support on two-processor systems running on chips similar to Intel Corp.s upcoming 3.06GHz Xeon chip.

Oracle, of Redwood Shores, Calif., also announced a developer release of Oracle9i for 64-bit Linux on Opteron processors.

For its part, Microsoft Corp., of Redmond, Wash., announced support for 64-bit processing in its SQL Server 2000 database.

Meanwhile, Computer Associates International Inc., of Islandia, N.Y., announced general availability of its Advantage Ingres II relational database management system for the 64-bit Opteron processor. Officials said the move will quench customers thirst for more memory. Whereas Ingres previously was limited to accessing 2GB of RAM, the database will now be able to chew on hundreds of gigabytes in cache.

Chip Nickolett, president of Comprehensive Consulting Solutions Inc., in Milwaukee, said the time for an evolutionary leap in memory is now. "Its been the case of software not keeping up," Nickolett said. "In the past, there hasnt been a great need. If somebody had a 20[GB] or 30GB database, that was big. Now thats common—were seeing 100GB-plus databases, and I expect that trend to continue."

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