The war of words and technology between IBM and Oracle will get a little warmer today as Big Blue launches its DB2 PureScale clustering technology for its DB2 database and Power Systems Unix servers. As El Reg reported earlier this week, IBM's database and server techies have been cooking up a clustered DB2 database …
The smell of lawsuit early in the morning...
There is at least one company out there which is trying to do this for generic tasks and I bet that they have patented at least some of the underlying mechanics. So this is being done and it is quite hard by the way.
IBM has clearly gone for the low hanging fruit on this one, because they can make the database aware of the underlying system so that there is little or no migration and much less remote data access compared to a generic system.
It will be interesting who got more relevant IP. Lawyers at dawn?
In these days of SaaS and SOA are these big monolithic databases of this kind of scale really of that much relevance these days. 5-10 years ago this would have been great and usefull technology as individual servers did not have the compute power we have today.
As core counts go up (e.g. upto 48 cores on next years AMD 4 socket plattform), the need for such technology reduces yet again.
DB2 for Z has done this on the Sysplex a long time ago
IBM owns all the IP to the DB2 for Z series Sysplex solution. You cannot magically cluster boxes without either data partitioning or messaging.
This solution does not require data partitioning and the inter-node messaging is highly efficient unlike RAC because i) there is a fixed overhead of communicating with the PowerHA pureScale server - unlike RAC where every node needs to talk to every other node and ii) deep exploitation of interrupt free RDMA through uDAPL/InfiniBand - much in the same way as it is done on Z.
Oracle RAC and Exadata will soon be a toy.
Not aimed at Exadata but at RAC !!!
Now that this is officially announced, you'll see that this has nothing to do with Exadata but at those who want to move from RAC to something more scaleable.
And I can assure you that this wasn't "cooked up in the last few weeks" since I was at a briefing on this in June during IOD Europe, and at that point they''d been working on this for a couple of years.
The obvious comparison is with DB2 for z/OS Data Sharing. The underlying architecture and even the terminology being used is the same, and no doubt there is a lot of common code too.
The big benefit of Data Sharing on System Z has always been the Coupling Facility which prevents having to broadcast changes to all the members all of the time. That's where the scaleability comes from. Getting this on AIX is awesome.
pureScale has been worked on for over 4 years now
Exadata V1 was likely not quite dreamed up yet when the work on pureScale was started - 4+ years ago - just as scotdb said.
It takes years to build this kind of technology into a product - even when you are borrowing the architecture from another platform.
Oracle RAC is yesterdays technology that was designed on a message passing architecture through sockets - using vast quantities of CPU horsepower to service the context switches and interrupts that such communication entails.
Oracle has gone out of their way to try to get vendors to get emerging technologies like InfiniBand fit into their crappy design by insisting on RDS - so that it looks and feels like sockets - so that they don't have to make the deep investment to exploit RDMA and IB in its native form through uDAPL or MPI - from usespace to userspace - no interrupts - no wasted memcpy into the kernel and system calls etc.
RDMA is here to stay and will be mainstream on 10G ethernet as well shortly. Oracle is behind the curve on this on.
Who do you think invented Parallel Sysplex in 1993? The same company that is introducing it in their Power systems.