IBM Uncages Cheetah 2 Data Server

IBM will ship Informix Dynamic Server 11.5 with enhanced failover recovery features.

Less than a year after unleashing its "Cheetah" data server, IBM is set to release a new version of its software with enhanced availability.

IDS (Informix Dynamic Sever) 11.5, code-named "Cheetah 2," builds on the failover-recovery capabilities of its predecessor by now supporting full read/write transactions across all nodes. The last version of IDS only supported reads on secondary nodes, the company said.


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The latest version of IDS will be available worldwide beginning on May 6.

"When the Informix team started on the continuous availability feature they already had a lot of experience with high availability and replication techniques," said Bernie Spang, director of data severs for IBM. "Likewise, the DB2/Z team had a long history of developing shared disk solutions. These two teams came together to think about how to get the best of both worlds. The result is the continuous availability feature ... is now fully available in release 11.50."

Informix uses software algorithms to ensure data is kept in synch on each of the nodes in the cluster, regardless of whether the nodes are sharing a disk, Spang said.

From a management standpoint, IBM has added a new connection manager to handle node failures and detect when new nodes have been added. Though performance was not the focus of IDS 11.5, IBM added new scale-out functionality and support for BIGINT and BIGSERIAL data types.

"Another new performance-related feature is the addition of the VERCOL shadow columns," Spang said. "This optional column can be used to keep track of row versions-making it much easier and quicker for applications to determine whether a column value has changed since they last looked at it."

IBM's database business has been going strong of late. According to figures from analyst firm IDC, the company's database revenues grew 13.3 percent in 2007, giving the company a 21.3 percent share of the worldwide RDBMS market. Oracle remains in the top spot with 44.1 percent of the market, according to IDC. The report credited Informix Dynamic Server as playing an increasingly significant role in the growth of IBM's database portfolio.