IBM, Sybase Eye Linux for Data Management

IBM and Sybase are backing Linux in the enterprise.

Responding to increasing demand from customers eager to drive Linux capabilities deeper into the enterprise, database vendors IBM and Sybase Inc. are forging ahead with enhanced Linux support for their respective products.

IBM this week will provide users with a glimpse of new Linux support and features in the next upgrade of its DB2 Universal Database, code-named Stinger, at LinuxWorld in New York.

One new product, DB2 Partition Advisor, is an autonomic computing technology that lets customers easily partition and fine-tune the performance of DB2 databases over one or more servers. This will help users build more powerful Linux clusters, said officials at IBM, based in Armonk, N.Y.

Also at the show, IBM plans to preview Stinger support for Version 2.6 of the Linux kernel, which recognizes 64-bit-ready databases, such as DB2. This will let Linux databases take advantage of multi-processor servers.

Before the end of this quarter, IBM business partners and customers will be able to download and preview code that will enable Stinger to run Linux on IBMs pSeries and iSeries servers equipped with 64-bit Power processors. Increased performance provided by Power will be crucial for the demanding workloads of Linux clusters, IBM said.

Stinger is targeted for availability before years end.

By putting increased cluster performance into the hands of "relatively ordinary" users at the low price point that Linux provides, IBM is helping to break down open-source stigmas, said DB2 users such as Steve Shapero, director of online technology for Satellite Records, in New York. Satellite Records runs DB2 Version 8 and its Web server on Linux.

"Its clear to me that IBM is 100 percent behind supporting the Linux platform, and because of that, I dont feel like a second-class citizen," said Shapero. "You just can do stuff with Linux that you cant do affordably another way. Im barely tapping its capabilities."

Separately at LinuxWorld, Sybase will announce the availability of Version 12.5 of its Sybase business intelligence software on Linux. The enhanced support for Red Hat Inc.s Red Hat Linux allows Linux users to more efficiently build and manage their data warehouses through enhanced data compression and hardware unit reduction, said Sybase officials in Dublin, Calif.

Sybase IQ 12.5 beta tester Frank Lundy, director of database architecture for S&H Greenpoints, in Salem, Mass., said he has been requesting Linux support from Sybase for a year. Lundy said commercial vendors must define one or two product distributions ticketed to run on Linux. "Linux will be a driving factor for many smaller shops to take advantage of inherent cost savings," Lundy said.