Databases

Making the Move to IBM DB2 on Intel Xeon Processors

Cutting costs and complexity while boosting performance for mission-critical workloads

Migrating to a new database platform or hardware architecture can seem daunting. Yet organizations might be driven to make a change to address key business goals. For example, a move from Oracle Database to IBM® DB2® can help reduce costs and complexity. Migrating databases from a Sun SPARC infrastructure to IBM System x® servers based on Intel® Xeon® processors can increase database performance, consolidation, scalability, and availability.

Whatever the initial goals, moving to DB2 and IBM servers based on Intel Xeon processors can deliver significant benefits. Capabilities built into DB2 make the move from Oracle Database as smooth and straightforward as possible.

 

Reducing costs and complexity with IBM DB2

IBM DB2 offers numerous features and capabilities that can help reduce costs compared with running Oracle Database. For example, IBM DB2 Deep Compression can help organizations significantly decrease storage costs by compressing tables, indexes, temp space, and XML data. With Deep Compression, organizations can reduce disk space up to 70 percent while simultaneously boosting performance. In addition, IBM offers highly accommodating virtualization licensing options that can help organizations reduce the costs of virtualization by moving to DB2.

By automating routine administrative tasks, IBM DB2 also can help reduce the complexity and costs of database management compared with managing an Oracle environment. Organizations can reduce staffing requirements and free up DBAs for higher-value projects.

IBM DB2 also offers more scalability options than Oracle Database, accommodating a wider variety of distinct business and IT needs. For example, the IBM Database Partitioning Feature (DPF), available with the DB2-based IBM InfoSphere® Warehouse, enables organizations to incrementally scale data warehouse systems using a shared-nothing approach to improve performance.

For online transaction processing (OLTP) workloads, IBM DB2 pureScale® technology lets organizations add nodes to a cluster, using a highly efficient shared-disk approach, in a way that is transparent to running applications. Using IBM DB2 pureScale with IBM servers equipped with Intel Xeon processors delivers high levels of availability, scalability, and flexible system maintenance options, without massive expenditures or complex application tuning for mission-critical OLTP or analytics applications.

 

Simplifying migration to DB2

Compatibility features in DB2 help simplify migration from Oracle Database, minimizing migration costs and accelerating time to value. Organizations now can migrate in less time, often with little or no application rewriting (see IBM Data Management article Migrate from Oracle or Sybase to DB2 in Weeks for more details). Post-migration, developers can leverage existing Oracle Database skills with DB2—avoiding the time and costs of learning a new platform (see Figure 1).

 

Figure 1. With support for Oracle SQL dialect, SQL*Plus scripts, PL/SQL code, and many built-in Oracle Database packages, IBM DB2 helps greatly simplify migration from Oracle Database.

 

Enhancing performance with IBM System x servers and the Intel Xeon processor E7 family

Compared with current Sun SPARC–based systems, IBM eX5 enterprise systems with the Intel® Xeon® processor E7 family—the most powerful of the IBM System x servers—can deliver 63 percent better performance.1 Organizations migrating from an older Sun SPARC environment could achieve even greater performance gains, enabling them to significantly consolidate the database environment or increase the performance of each server by more than seven times without expanding the server footprint.2

IBM eX5 systems based on the Intel Xeon processor E7 family can provide a robust foundation for DB2 workloads. IBM DB2 running on IBM eX5 systems equipped with the Intel Xeon processor E7 family has achieved approximately four times better performance per core and up to 42 percent lower (better) price/performance per core than the best published TPC-C results for an Oracle Database/Sun SPARC–based system.3 Organizations can deliver results faster and process larger data volumes without increasing the server footprint.

The Intel® Xeon® processor E7-4800 family helps provide IBM servers with all of the required security and availability features to support the most mission-critical workloads. For example, Machine Check Architecture Recovery (MCA Recovery) technology facilitates automatic recovery from errors that might have caused server crashes previously. Intel® Advanced Encryption Standards–New Instructions (Intel® AES-NI) enhances security while reducing the typical performance penalties for encryption.

IBM eX5 systems equipped with the Intel Xeon processor E7 family also provide scalability for DB2, offering up to 50 percent more memory than systems using other processors. The additional memory capacity can support configurations with up to 6 TB of memory and eight multicore processor sockets. The large-scale memory capacity can help accommodate workload peaks and leave headroom for database growth while controlling the server footprint.

 

Making the move

Migrating to a new database or hardware platform might seem challenging, but the potential benefits of running IBM DB2 on IBM eX5 systems equipped with the Intel Xeon processor E7 family are impressive. Organizations can enhance performance, reliability, and scalability while reducing costs and complexity.

Ready to make a move? To learn more about migrating to DB2 and IBM eX5 systems, contact your IBM sales representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit:

 

1 The SPECint_rate_base2006 result for an IBM System x3850 X5 server with the Intel Xeon processor E7-4870 is 1,000 (see
http://www.spec.org/cpu2006/results/res2011q2/cpu2006-20110405-15486.html
); the result for a Sun SPARC T3-4 system is 64 (see http://www.spec.org/cpu2006/results/res2011q1/cpu2006-20110112-14089.html) as of 20 March 2012.

2 The SPECint_rate_base2006 result for a Sun SPARC Enterprise T5240 system is 142 (see http://www.spec.org/cpu2006/results/res2008q2/cpu2006-20080407-04060.html); the result for the IBM System x3850 X5 server with the Intel Xeon processor E7-4870 is 1,000 (see
http://www.spec.org/cpu2006/results/res2011q2/cpu2006-20110405-15486.html) as of 20 March 2012.

3 For the results of the IBM System x3850 server, see http://www.tpc.org/tpcc/results/tpcc_result_detail.asp?id=111071101; for the SPARC T3-4 server, see http://www.tpc.org/tpcc/results/tpcc_result_detail.asp?id=110120201.

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Greg Thomas

Greg Thomas is a technology and business writer in the San Francisco Bay Area. Over the past 18 years, he has contributed to numerous publications for leading high-tech companies.