A New Appreciation for Database Performance

Michael Vizard

With enterprises grappling with the rapid growth in data, they're gaining a new appreciation for database performance.

While certain vertical industries such as the financial sector have always had a great appreciation for database performance, other sectors have not. But as more data needs to be collected and processed in real time, the performance of the underlying database is becoming more important to more people.

This is one of the reasons we suddenly see IBM promoting its Informix database. For the past 10 years, the Informix database has been the red-headed stepchild of DB2. But there are certain performance attributes of Informix that make it more suitable for processing significant amounts of data in real time.


For example, Bernie Spang, IBM director of information management strategy, notes that Informix databases can be deployed in a Flexible Grid architecture as part of a release 11.7. It not only supports elastic data models typically required by cloud computing applications, but also can be deployed on a mix of server architectures. That means that the distributed database grid can be extended across a global enterprise without requiring every server in the grid be identical. The result, says Spang, is a more flexible, high- performance architecture compared to, say, an Oracle database grid computing architecture that still provides a zero-downtime capability.

Of course, there are any number of new massively parallel database options that can be used to drive performance, including the Netezza appliances that IBM most recently acquired. As Spang notes, IBM doesn't like to differentiate between its children, but none of those approaches supports the level of distributed flexibility provided by Informix.

As more IT organizations come to appreciate the performance issues associated with processing large amounts of data, there is no doubt that an elastic approach to data that needs to be processed in real time is becoming significantly more important.

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