The Choice of a New Generation

In DB2 database, DBA, Oracle database on March 31, 2012 at 10:44

Recently, Coca-Cola Bottling migrated the SAP databases from Oracle to IBM DB2. The Coca Cola case study claims that they gained better performance for the SAP applications, reduced the storage needs and removed workload from the database administrators.

What else can one wish for? Granted that they had zero DB2 experience in-house but the lead DBA knew how to spell DB2! See for yourself:

And they have now higher productivity as the DBAs spend less time with DBA work and can concentrate more on SAP application tuning. If that’s not a perfect example of fast ROI and low TCO!

In another story entitled When will the database world wake up?, the author says that “IBM DB2 is more cost efficient than competing products especially Oracle Database… Better price-performance, better database compression, HADR: are these the only value proportion to buy or move to IBM DB2? No, IBM DB2 offers more values to the customers.”

I am again in a perplexing situation. I go on reading. “Strong partnership exists between IBM and SAP, joint SAP and IBM teams work on all levels of the product development. DB2 is certified by SAP within 4-8 weeks of its general availability (GA) date while Oracle does not have its new database releases certified by SAP until 1.5 to 2+ years after their GA date. All new DB2 features are designed to be 100% compatible and exploited by SAP directly.”

Now, I need a second opinion. Let us see what database guru Jonathan Lewis has to say:

That is, Jonathan says “SAP runs badly on everything, so you might as well choose the cheapest thing to run it badly on, rather than buying a sophisticated database system and then finding that you’re not allowed to use any of the expensive features that you’ve paid for.” Crystal clear!

If you would like to see what Oracle have to say, check this study: Oracle Database 11g vs. IBM DB2 UDB V9.7 Manageability Overview.

What’s next? Let us peek into some of Oracle’s most interesting features and try to find their equivalent in DB2? All comments and moreover answers to DB2 equivalents of the 6 Oracle’s features below are welcome.

1. Real Application Testing Database Reply
2. Automatic SQL Tuning
3. Edition-Based Redefinition
4. Enterprise Manager Cloud Control
5. SQL Performance Analyzer, AWR and ADDM
6. SQL Plan Management

What equivalents?

Another interesting comparison of Oracle and DB2, 51 pages in total, is called Database Manageability and Productivity Cost Comparison Study. The study concluded:

· Oracle Database 11g Release 2 Enterprise Edition resulted in an overall 43 percent time savings when compared to IBM DB2 Enterprise 9.7.
· Oracle Database 11g Release 2 Enterprise Edition resulted in an overall 45 percent step/complexity savings when compared to IBM DB2 Enterprise 9.7.
· Based on a productivity savings of 43 percent, the time savings amounted to USD $51,600.00 per year per DBA for an Oracle Database 11g Release 2 DBA versus an IBM DB2 Enterprise 9.7 DBA.

More interesting, in my opinion, is Conor O’Mahony’s analysis of that study entitled Oracle’s Shameful Study: Oracle Database 11gR2 vs. IBM DB2 9.7. Scott Hayes replies:

I am ready to take part in the study suggested by Scott Hayes, if ever organized. “Each installs their respective database, completes a design implementation, loads data, and performs maintenance tasks.” I am even ready to do it without any links to the documentation and any internet access.

What do you conclude from the above? That setting memory_target is a hard thing to so? Details here.

The Oracle System Monitoring Plug-In for IBM DB2 Database gives DBAs the opportunity to manage also IBM DB2 UDB (LUW) database instances. In fact, OEM Cloud Control 12c supports besides IBM DB2 also TimesTen, Sybase, Microsoft SQL Server and MySQL. Check the heterogeneous (Non-Oracle) management.

P.S. Last Sunday (25th March 2012), Dennis Howlett wrote an article entitled Oracle DB under threat? In summary, he said that Oracle’s database is under the spotlight in SAP shops. In summary, I would say: “Remember what Jonathan Lewis says“.

A couple of days after my post, Julie Bort wrote an interesting note entitled IBM Is Picking A New Fight With Oracle. Let me quote her: “IBM also wants customers to know that it hasn’t turned SAP into an enemy like Oracle has. It promises its new database makes SAP business software work faster than Oracle. Coca-Cola switched to DB2 10 and SAP worked up to 60% faster, it says.” Working up to 60% faster means that it can also work 5% faster or than even it can be slower, right?

  1. I’m sure this has NOTHING to do with Oracle/Peoplesoft. How many shops have I seen in similar circumstances: Microsoft OS desktops, office suites, Exchange servers — administrators don’t take the time to find out what extra Oracle DB has to offer, and end up with a faltering SQL Server installation because it was “cheaper” and never computed the real TCO.

    I always did like Pepsi over Coke.

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