Database Servers Making Evolutionary Progress

There's been incremental change in the products but no big shifts in any server's design or market presence.

Since we performed our comparative database server performance tests, theres been incremental change in the products but no big shifts in any servers design or market presence.

IBMs DB2 8.1 has superseded Version 7.2, and the 8.1 release supports many more online configuration changes to reduce downtime. It also improves DB2s tool set with updated monitoring tools and adds data compression to save disk space.

SQL Server 2000 is still the current version of Microsoft Corp.s database server. With it, Microsoft achieved earlier this year a goal it has spent years working toward: top spot in the nonclustered Transaction Processing Performance Councils TPC-C benchmark (using the 64-bit version of SQL Server 2000 running on a Hewlett-Packard Co. Superdome server with 64 Intel Corp. Itanium 2 CPUs). This is quite an achievement, and it shows that Wintel boxes can now compete with top-end Unix hardware.

Microsoft announced at last months Tech Ed conference that the successor to SQL Server 2000, code-named Yukon, should be out in beta form this summer and will ship in the second half of next year. Major internal changes will be support for .Net Framework, new data types (including new XML data types) and the addition of a report server.

MySQL AB has a history of very long testing cycles: MySQL 4.0, which we tested in its development stage in January 2002, was declared production-ready March 25 with Version 4.0.12. MySQL 4.0.13 is the current production release; Version 4.1 is in public testing and adds subselect and subquery support, a big improvement in SQL support.

Oracle9i Release 2 is the current version of Oracle Corp.s database server and added major new XML storage and query features. This made Oracle the leader in XML support among the big relational databases. Release 2 also added data compression and the ability to query the database as it was at a particular time in the past, offering an easy way to undo mistakes.

Sybase Inc.s Sybase Adaptive Server Enterprise 12.5 is still the most recent release of the product, and little has changed with it since our database server performance tests. Sybase announced support for Sun Microsystems Inc.s Sun Cluster 3.0 clustering option in April 2002 and shipped a Mac OS X version of the database (including Apple Computer Inc.s Rendezvous auto-configuration) in September 2002.