Study: Oracle9i Tops IBMs DB2 in Manageability

By Lisa Vaas  |  Posted 2003-04-28

Study: Oracle9i Tops IBMs DB2 in Manageability

IOUG Live! conference attendees on Monday were greeted with two pieces of good news: that Hewlett-Packard Co. is chopping an incremental 20 percent off of hardware when customers purchase Oracle Corp. software with HP hardware, and that Oracles Oracle9i database is easier to use than IBMs DB2.

The news was announced at keynotes that kicked off the International Oracle Users Group conference, an event that was expected to draw more than 2,000 DBAs (database administrators).

In a morning keynote, E.J. Bodnar, director of marketing for HP Americas Business Critical Systems, announced a pricing deal that would take an incremental 20 percent off of combined HP/Oracle hardware and software purchases.

Speaking with eWEEK before his keynote, Bodnar said that the price cut for joint customers was HPs way of helping customers who are looking to consolidate. "Customers are looking to do more for less," he said. "Were very focused and have had success in helping those customers consolidate on databases, servers and storage."

In separate news, according to a new study, Oracle9i beat out IBMs DB2 when it comes to manageability, Oracle Senior Vice President Andrew Mendelsohn was expected to announce in his afternoon keynote. The study was conducted by independent research firm Rauch Associates Inc. It found that Oracle DBAs (database administrators) required 54 percent less time than their DB2 counterparts to perform equivalent jobs. Also, the study found that Oracle9i is easier to manage, requiring 41 percent less administrative steps than DB2.

In a statement released before the keynote, Rauch Associates CEO Ken Rauch said that such efficiency could result in cost savings of up to $37,054 per DBA in the first year of ownership. "Manageability cost differences of this magnitude continue to be a major database purchasing requirement for customers," said Rauch in the statement. "Choosing the right database that will make daily database administration tasks simpler, faster and less error-prone for DBAs directly impacts a companys ability to save costs in IT staffing and management."

According to the study, titled "Comparison of Management Cost of Ownership: Oracle9i Database Release 2 and IBM DB2 v8.1," Oracle9i beat out DB2 in the areas of self-tuning, simplification of complex management functions, increased automation of routine tasks, and sophisticated management tools. The study measured management costs for time and effort required to complete 12 basic database management tasks having to do with database setup and configuration, ongoing database administration, performance tuning, and backup and recovery.

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"We are thrilled with the results of this study because it shows that our efforts over the years to make the database easier and less costly to manage are paying off," Mendelsohn said in a statement. "Moving forward, we plan to make aggressive strides to further widen our lead."

In an interview preceding his keynote, Mendelsohn told eWEEK that he planned to give a sneak peek at manageability enhancements in the companys upcoming Oracle9i update. The preview was expected to include demonstrations of the planned extended reach of Enterprise Manager, the interface management tool that enables DBAs to manage large collections of databases and servers.

"Weve been listening to DBAs, finding out where they are spending their time managing the product and knocking the issues off one by one," Mendelsohn said. "Well point out specific things weve done with 9i to make it more productive. Next generation, were continuing in that direction, but were getting more aggressive in automating the management of the product. Anything thats tedious or repetitive, were going to try to automate so a human doesnt have to do it."

IBM has long been touting its version of this vision, dubbed Autonomic Computing. The difference between the two, Mendelsohn said, is that IBMs enhancements are largely in the research stage. "Were not doing a research project," he said. "It will be tangible, major benefits, just like there were with 9i."

Although eWEEK has learned that the beta code for the next generation of Oracle9i is already in the hands of beta testers, Mendelsohn declined to give details on specific features. He did say, however, that attendees at Septembers Oracle World will hear the full story.

In other news, IOUG has released to eWEEK a survey that showed that 90 percent of its members are running Oracle8i databases. Many enterprises run more than one version of the database, so it isnt incongruous that the survey found that 64 percent of its membership run Oracle9i. Older databases are still in robust health, as well: Oracle8 is used by 30 percent of IOUG members; Oracle7x is used by 28 percent; and 1 percent still use Oracle6.

Oracle is also working on plans to make databases easier to manage vis-à-vis licensing compliancy. According to Jacqueline Woods, vice president of Global Pricing and Licensing Strategy, the company is developing a tool to help customers self-manage licensing compliancy.

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