Database Trends 2011

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Keeping up with the news from so many different sources is getting harder and harder these days. That’s why I try to offer a one-stop-shop for your major database vendor news. You get the scoop and if you want to dig deeper, the links are right there. Let’s get started.


I am not anticipating any new Sybase ASE version before this summer. None are announced. This is due to the massive efforts of certifying SAP R/3 on Sybase ASE, which is expected by the end of Q2. There were many joined events between SAP and Sybase since Sybase’s acquisition by SAP. The most notable is SAP TechED. The latest was in Berlin and drew a lot of interest, especially into Sybase mobility as well as Sybase IQ and ASE.

This year Sybase TechWave 2011 will be hosted within the SAP TechED USA in Las Vegas. This is the much needed boost for Sybase to a larger audience.

Sybase IQ 15.3 is expected to be released soon. The beta tests are going for quite a while. The highlight for Sybase IQ 15.3 is the PlexQ Distributed Query Platform, a Massively Parallel Processing (MPP) architecture that accelerates highly complex queries by distributing work to many computers in a grid configuration.

Sybase IQ 15.3 PlexQ Distributed Query Platform solution offers the following benefits:

  • Extreme performance: enables users to harness the power of multiple compute resources in a Sybase IQ PlexQ environment to simultaneously execute queries across the grid. This is the next step after Sybase IQ 15 introduced multiple writers in the multiplex grid.
  • Increased scalability: empowers system managers to easily and cost effectively scale out Sybase IQ PlexQ nodes with commodity hardware and managing SLAs in a high demand environment.
  • Architectural flexibility: allows system managers to quickly and easily group subsets of compute resources as logical entities. This allows DBA to effectively utilize workload balancing and resource sharing.

2011 will be a very interesting year for Sybase and as I stated many times before, SAP made all the difference. Sybase is on its way back to gaining market shares as well as market interest.

Click here to read more about Sybase IQ.


No, Oracle 12g is not here, yet. There is little or no information available on this topic. The only leaked information so far is that raw devices will no longer be supported. Well, you saw this coming, right? With the maturity of ASM you will probably skip raw devices even sooner.

Let’s focus on the latest release 11g R2. Many of the new features are focused on the cluster.

Single-Instance RAC: This will replace the custom DBSTART scripting DBAs had to do to automatically start all the Oracle instances upon system start. This will implement the restart features every node in a cluster is accustom to.

Cluster Time Synchronization Service: Synchronizing system times across all RAC nodes can be a chore. If you’ve ever experienced a node eviction within a Real Application Cluster database’s cluster configuration, you know how difficult it can be to tie together the train of events that caused the eviction.

ASM: Many new features that offers better support for clusterware.

ACFS: The ASM Clustered File System is the successor of the OCFS and the OCFS2. This allows for better management of the voting disk in a RAC configuration.

Improvements to software installation and patching: The previously standalone Cluster Verification Utility (CVU) is now integrated into the Oracle Universal Installer. Plus there is a new zero-downtime patching for clusterware.

There are several performance improvement features in 11g R2, especially for data warehouse environments.

These include:

  • Instance “Caging”
  • Automatic Degree of Parallelism
  • Parallel Data Cache: In-Memory Execution.
  • Faster Refreshes of Materialized Views

Data Guard: New disaster recovery options and better standby database management.

All these improvements and new features are part of the paradigm shift of Oracle that moves the database management closer toward a self-tuning, self-managed and self-healing database system.

Click here to read more about Oracle 11g R2

SQL Server

After 2 releases of SQL Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 R2, Microsoft is releasing the new SQL Server 2011, code name Denali. At a first glance this is a developer’s release. Many new features are geared to better support SQL developers and a better integration into Visual Studio is also a key improvement.

Here are some of the new features:

Multi-Subnet Failover Clustering: This feature allows to geographically separate cluster nodes to provide disaster recovery and high availability. This feature depends on Windows Server failover cluster.

Sequences: Oracle style sequences for unique key value generation. Finally!

Query Paging: This is a feature that MySQL offers for years and now SQL Server is offering as well. Paging through result sets has some distinct performance advantages and simplifies coding efforts for developers.

The most significant change is the drop of DTS package support. This is not actually an announced feature, but an observation within SQL Server Management Studio. The Data Transformation Services menu option under the Legacy section has been removed. I think it is time for the hold outs to convert their old DTS packages to SSIS.

A little side note, SQL Server Management Studio now offers support for multi-screen environments.

Click here to download a trial of SQL Server 2011


Here you have it, a potpourri of new database technologies across vendors and systems. I hope you found something of interest to you and as always, please leave feedback.

Until next time,

Peter Dobler