ANTs Ups Performance Ante

Data server 2.0 targets apps that need intense updating.

ANTs Software Inc. last week jumped into the ring of high-performance, high-workload database applications with the launch of ANTs Data Server.

ANTs Data Server 2.0 is a SQL DBMS thats designed to deliver dramatic performance improvements over standard relational databases, according to company officials, in Burlingame, Calif.

It targets applications that require intense updating, such as stock trading, reservation systems, package tracking and messaging services. Data Server 2.0 is in the same niche as TimesTen Inc. with its Real-Time Event Processing System, an in-memory database that was recently upgraded to use locks to prevent multiple users from changing data at the same time.

The performance gains are meant to fend off the need to throw expensive hardware at a database. One customer, Steve Wood, president and CEO of Wireless Services Corp.—a maker of software for wireless carriers—said tests of prerelease versions of ANTs Data Server show it runs at least 10 times faster than an equivalent relational database setup. Capacity gain is in the same ballpark.

Wireless Services, of Bellevue, Wash., is specifying and creating the first server installation of ANTs Data Server. Wood estimates that by implementing ANTs instead of traditional relational databases, the company will need to purchase from four to six fewer blade servers or other high-end multiprocessor servers.

There are other ways the company could have answered the need to efficiently and simultaneously access certain database tables, Wood said, but "it just costs you hardware."

"You can solve this problem by throwing [in] additional database servers or by segmenting the database and then keeping up with the high-capacity server hardware via blades or other things like that," Wood said. "Its just much more efficient and much easier operationally if you have something like the ANTs [Data] Server in there so you dont have to do that."

ANTs Data Server 2.0 will ship May 31. Licenses begin at $25,000 per processor. The software runs on Windows 2000 and Solaris 8.