DB2: Half the running costs of Oracle

IBM's DB2 has a straightforward per-processor pricing structurewhile Oracle charges licence fees for unlimited users. However, all this could change when Oracle DB-on-Tap is launched in Asia.

DB2's pricing structure offers a straightforward per-processor pricing model, while Oracle charges licence fees for unlimited users, does not distinguish between full time and occasional users and enforces a minimum per user policy. However, all this could change when Oracle DB-on-Tap is launched in Asia.

Singapore - Two separate reports by independent research firms D.H. Brown Associates and Yevich Lawson & Associates found that companies running IBM's DB2 database have a lower total cost of ownership (TCO) - as much as 52 percent - than companies that run on competing technology from archrival Oracle.

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Having evaluated IBM's DB2 and Oracle8i databases in various factors that impact TCO, including database administrator (DBA) efficiencies, manageability, performance and pricing, both firms found that over a five year period, customer costs were drastically lower for IBM in each category.

Their reports lend weight to IBM South Asia’s challenge to Oracle 8i pricing late last year when IBM launched an e-prisoner campaign to educate large customers about Oracle’s charges.

One of the greatest price advantages for IBM was Web-based data management, where Oracle's mandatory unlimited user license policy cost companies three to five times that of IBM's processor based pricing model.

According to customer Kurt Wood, Programmer Analyst Supervisor, State of Minnesota, Department of Agriculture, “IBM had the most straightforward pricing model and was less than one-third the price of Oracle.”

The D.H. Brown report, “DB2 vs. Oracle8i: Total Cost of Ownership,” December 2000, presented hypothetical scenarios for Web based data management, data warehousing and online transaction processing (OLTP). In each scenario, IBM's five-year TCO advantage ranged from 52 percent to 81 percent as compared to Oracle.

The report stated that since Oracle recently unbundled its webDB product (now called Oracle8i Portal) from Oracle8i, DB Administrators no longer have the fundamental capabilities for Web deployment.

As a result, the cost of Oracle9i Application Server is added to the base price of Oracle8i. By comparison, DB2 bundles WebSphere Application Server at no additional charge.

Different pricing scheme
Also, DB2's pricing structure offers a straightforward per-processor pricing model, while Oracle charges licence fees for unlimited users, does not distinguish between full time and occasional users and enforces a minimum per user policy. Customers must pay full price for users who just log on once or twice a week.

A similar report by Yevich, Lawson & Associates, “DB2 Universal Database and Total Cost of Ownership,” October 2000, showed that “DB2 sweetens the pot by integrating products for business intelligence, mainframe connectivity and Internet support into the base price and is still three to fives times less expensive than Oracle8i.''

They measured factors that impact TCO including database tuning requirements, scalability capabilities and overall costs.

According to Gartner Dataquest, IBM and Oracle are going head-to-head for database leadership. In 1999, the database market reached $8 billion, up 18 percent from 1998, and is expected to reach $12.7 billion by 2004. IBM and Oracle each hold about 30 percent of the database market.

All the signs are pointing to a full-blown price-performance war when Oracle DB-on-Tap is launched. It was created to further extend the software's robustness, allowing users the flexibility of a new pay-as-you-use scheme.

What exactly are the cost benefits of DB-on-Tap and what distinct advantages can organizations leverage from this new offering? Watch this space.