The Itanium Processor and DB2: A secret that shouldn’t be so secret

first_imgThe dust continues to get stirred up following Oracle’s announcement regarding plans for the Itanium processor and HP-UX.  Plenty of authors have been commenting on the subject of late, often concluding that the announcement has negative consequences for HP customers who’ve been relying on Itanium and HP-UX to run their Oracle-based mission-critical database workloads.Far from being on the verge of falling, however, the sky is actually very bright for those customers.That’s because, for pretty much the first time in the history of the enterprise relational database market, those customers have a perfectly viable alternative readily available.That option is IBM DB2.”Why is DB2 a more viable option for an existing Oracle customer today than in the past?” You might well ask – To answer that question, a bit of history is in order.E.F. Codd published his seminal paper – “A Relational Model of Data for Large-Scale Data Banks”, in 1970.  I was only 9 at the time, so it wasn’t on my reading list.  Which proved to be OK, since it took until I had graduated college, some twelve years later, for computers to become powerful enough to handle the compute requirements of processing SQL. Codd worked for IBM at the time his paper was published.  Oracle beat IBM to market with the first SQL database by a small interval, but Oracle and DB2 have been competing with one another basically since DB2’s introduction in 1983.I first installed DB2, on an IBM MVS mainframe, in 1985.  My first Oracle experience was a few years later – ironically enough using OS/2 running on one of the first Compaq SystemPro servers to come off the line.  So I’ve been watching this competition play out for some time.SQL wasn’t standardized at the beginning, so different implementations had different ‘dialects’.  The first ANSI SQL specification came out in 1986.  It has served as the standard definition of what constitutes the SQL language itself ever since, with multiple revisions published over the years. The idea behind a standard definition of the language was to allow for easy portability of applications and database definitions between DBMS’s that implemented the standard.  As long as the applications and database definitions adhered to the standard, went the theory, portability would be preserved.From the very beginning, however, commercial SQL DBMS vendors have provided proprietary ‘extensions’ to their implementations that tempted programmers and DBA’s to sacrifice portability in favor of optimized performance and functionality.The inevitable result was effective lock-in to a particular DBMS. Once programmers and DBAs started down the slippery slope of using proprietary in-database stored procedure languages and SQL semantic extensions, migration between DBMS’s required source-level changes that could be time-consuming, risky, and costly. That was the case until May 19, 2009, when IBM delivered its Oracle compatibilty extensions with DB2 9.7.DB2 9.7, for the first time in the history of Database Management System’s , fully supported almost the entire collection of proprietary extensions to the SQL standard that Oracle’s DBMS provides.  So instead of requiring a complete re-coding and re-testing of applications in order to migrate from Oracle to DB2, customers who wish to migrate from any Oracle database to DB2 merely have to unload their database contents and re-load them into DB2 9.7 – no source code changes or DDL changes required.  It isn’t entirely seamless, since an unload/reload is still required, but the process is vastly less daunting than it ever was before, and much less intrusive than an entire platform change.So if, like tens of thousands of your peers, you’re running the core of your enterprise on HP-UX and Itanium and you’d like to keep doing just that for the foreseeable future, rest assured that you have a viable alternative available – one that’s fully the equal of Oracle’s in terms of suitability for mission-critical workloads.The analyst community has been taking note of the arrival of this new capability.  George Weiss of Gartner Group, commenting on the subject of Oracle’s announcement and its impact on end users, said:”For Oracle applications written internally, you can move to IBM’s DB2 9.7 (and future releases), which contains the Oracle database compatibility feature. This enables Oracle code to run on DB2 unchanged (with about a 97% compatibility as reported by references and Gartner clients).”  (Source: Q&A: The User Impact of Oracle Ceasing Itanium Development; April 5, 2011; George J. Weiss, Andrew Butler, Donald Feinberg)They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.  If so, Oracle should be feeling very flattered at the moment.  And customers who are currently running Oracle databases on the Itanium processor and HP-UX should feel reassured.The next time your Oracle sales rep shows up to talk about plans for migrating your Oracle databases to a SPARC platform, be sure to have a DB2 9.7 coffee cup prominently positioned on your desk.  Have a chat about your success in moving your Oracle databases and applications to DB2 without any need to change platforms.  Be sure to mention that your modern Itanium-based platforms already significantly outperform anything available using SPARC, and you’re looking forward to the next decade’s worth of continuing improvements from HP and Intel.Should make for an interesting conversation!last_img read more

Biddu to produce a commercial Hindi feature titled Star

first_imgShabana, Naseeruddin and Shekhar: Doing everything togetherOver four weeks of shooting in New Delhi didn’t seem to tire leading members of the dramatis personae. While stars Shabana Azmi and Naseeruddin Shah happily opted to open the Priya Health Club at the new ITC Hotel Siddharth, Azmi’s former flame Shekhar Kapoor,,Shabana, Naseeruddin and Shekhar: Doing everything togetherOver four weeks of shooting in New Delhi didn’t seem to tire leading members of the dramatis personae. While stars Shabana Azmi and Naseeruddin Shah happily opted to open the Priya Health Club at the new ITC Hotel Siddharth, Azmi’s former flame Shekhar Kapoor, model, actor and trained chartered accountant, was keeping his attention fixed on his new girl and new movie. Slated to marry a local ingenue called Medha Gujral soon, Kapoor is working at breakneck pace to finish his first directorial venture Masoom at the same time. Naturally, it stars Azmi and Shah, playing a happily married couple with children who suddenly discover that the husband has been left with a child before getting married. Abetted by Saeed Jaffrey and Tanuja, there were no romantic tensions evident on the sets as everyone settled to play the domestic melodrama. Azmi was offering full “moral support” to her director-friend and Kapoor seemed thrilled with his latest chance to succeed on the screen – from another angle. Biddu: Triumphant returnComing full circle from his earlier bohemian days when he bartered his songs for meals at Bombay’s hotels, the long haired super songster-turned-composer, Biddu Appaiah is returning to the glamour-struck city next month, with plans to produce his first film, a commercial Hindi feature titled Star. Close on the heels of the Nazia Hasan superhit records which he produced, Biddu’s newest venture is already attracting distributors and financiers like flies. Hasan’s Aap Jaisa Koi was the biggest musical hit last year, and more recently her album Disco Deewane, again produced by Biddu, has blown a number of myths about the unsaleability of non-filmi music. Predictably, Biddu is writing and producing all the music for Star. Kumar Gaurav (of Love Story fame) and Rati Agnihotri (of Ek Duuje Ke Liye fame) will be playing the lead roles with lesser-known actor Raj Kiran in the supporting role. Taking no chances with his first venture, Biddu has signed up Mike Collins, who directed stunts and effects for the film Superman, to handle Star’s special effects.advertisementMuktananda: Om sweet omAfter spending the last three years enlightening audiences in the US, Swami Muktananda has returned to his homeland. The diminutive guru – readily recognised by the rakish ochre cap he normally sports – had gone abroad to popularise the Siddha meditation technique. The swami presides over a far-flung multinational organisation, the Siddha Yoga Dham Foundation, comprising 26 ashrams and 350 meditation centres in 52 countries. Now anticipating a larger following in this country, the swami has enlarged the meditation hall of his Gurudev Siddhapeeth at Ganeshpuri, so his devotees will have a place to call om.last_img read more

Former Canadian Prime Minister Mulroney to receive Baker Prize April 17

first_imgShareMEDIA ADVISORYJeff Falkjfalk@rice.edu713-348-6775Former Canadian Prime Minister Mulroney to receive Baker Prize April 17HOUSTON – (April 10, 2019) – Statesman Brian Mulroney, the former Canadian prime minister, will be awarded the James A. Baker III Prize for Excellence in Leadership April 17 to honor his decadeslong career as a global leader and visionary. The event marks just the seventh time the award has been conferred in the 25-year history of Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy.Mulroney’s distinguished career in public service created a legacy of achievements that will shape Canada’s future for generations, according to the Baker Institute. During his tenure as the country’s 18th prime minister from 1984 to 1993, Mulroney’s government advanced policies that continue to foster economic growth and environmental sustainability, and pursued bold new initiatives such as the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Canada-U.S. Air Quality Agreement.Mulroney has also been lauded for his commitment to social justice and equality, receiving high honors from multiple governments for his efforts to combat apartheid in South Africa and to promote rights for Canadians with disabilities.The cost of attendance is $15 for the public. Registration is at Former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and former U.S. Secretary of State James A. Baker III, the honorary chair of the Baker Institute.What: Presentation of the James A. Baker III Prize for Excellence in Leadership.When: Wednesday, April 17, 6:30-8 p.m. A reception will be held at 6.Where: Rice University, James A. Baker III Hall, Doré Commons, 6100 Main St.A live webcast will be available at the event page, James A. Baker III Prize for Excellence in Leadership recognizes nationally and internationally renowned individuals for outstanding achievements in government, business, science, education or philanthropy. It is awarded to those who exemplify the vision of building “a bridge between the world of ideas and the world of action,” conceived by Baker when he established the Baker Institute. Recipients embody the institute’s mission to nurture the ties between academia, government and the private sector.Past recipients include Marguerite Barankitse (2017), L.E. and Virginia Simmons (2015), Hushang Ansary (2013), Robert McNair (2009), retired Gen. Colin Powell (2007) and Charles Duncan (2006).Members of the news media who want to attend should RSVP to Jeff Falk, associate director of national media relations at Rice, at or 713-348-6775.For a map of Rice University’s campus with parking information, go to Media should park in the Central Campus Garage (underground).-30-Follow the Baker Institute via Twitter @BakerInstitute.Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.Founded in 1993, Rice University’s Baker Institute ranks among the top three university-affiliated think tanks in the world. As a premier nonpartisan think tank, the institute conducts research on domestic and foreign policy issues with the goal of bridging the gap between the theory and practice of public policy. The institute’s strong track record of achievement reflects the work of its endowed fellows, Rice University faculty scholars and staff, coupled with its outreach to the Rice student body through fellow-taught classes — including a public policy course — and student leadership and internship programs. Learn more about the institute at or on the institute’s blog, FacebookTwitterPrintEmailAddThislast_img read more