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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Posts
    2

    Unanswered: Microsoft SQL Server vs Sybase

    Hello,

    We have Trading Applications (Equities & Portfolio written on C++) on MS SQL Server 2000. Now the management is deciding to move it on Sybase 12.5. We currently don't have any issues on any matter, but because everyone is SYbase fan here, thinks applications are critical and we need to move to Sybase. Can anyone who has worked on both knows the major pros & cons of both the system. Actually I wanted these systems to be on MS SQL Server. I need solid reasons except being cheaper than Sybase to show why we should use MS SQL Server

    If anyone can share their experiences, it would be really great.

    Thanks
    Rea

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Lexington, KY
    Posts
    606
    I have used both Sybase ASE and MS SQL Server 2000 in mission-critical systems. Up front I will say that I personally prefer ASE.

    ASE and SQL Server have much the same base T-SQL syntax. However SQL Server has introduced a number of functions to do analytics that Sybase thought best to place into a separate product, Sybase IQ. So if you are using CUBE and other functions they will have to be re-written in T-SQL or application logic.

    Both ASE and SQL Server have triggers and stored procedures that use T-SQL.

    ASE and SQL Server both support user defined datatypes, have identical clustered index approaches, and offer much the same stored procedures to administer the DBMS.

    SQL Server has sort of implicit locking scheme in which SQL server will dynamically choose row or page locking (and of course table). ASE requires you to explicitly state whether the granularity of locks are row or page, and a row-lock table cannot lock a data page and vice versa.

    ASE has a wider array of tuning tools to change parameters and such. SQL Server has more built-in 'self tuning' tools and can auto-grow devices, auto-backup, etc. Having administered both I prefer ASE's if I have a mission-critical DB that I can devote time to (since our DBAs tend to know more than the server does) but if I want a 'set it and forget it' system I prefer the more autonomous SQL Server.

    ASE's next interim release is supposed to have a built-in scheduler feature much like SQL Server. It will have a number of prefab T-SQL templates built in to do things like backups, growing database devices, etc. which helps narrow the feature gap.

    ASE’s replication, via Sybase Replication Server, is much better than SQL Server’s built-in replication. However it is a stand-alone product which costs additional money. ASE does contain ‘ASE Replicator’ which is a small-scale replication system (I think it maxes out at something like 15 transactions per second) but can be useful if your replication needs are not as demanding for Rep Server.

    You can run ASE on Solaris, AIX, Windows, Linux, etc. – however SQL Server only runs on the Windows NT family. This can be a big plus if you have competent Unix admins because they can generally tune the system to outperform comparable Windows systems.
    Thanks,

    Matt

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    809
    MattR, I was with you up to your last sentance. I have seen Oracle, Sybase and SQL Server run head to head, 10 CPU boxes, 8 + gig of memory and large drive arrays each tunned for the OS/RDBMS. Of course each did some thinges better than the others but at the end of the day there was no "CLEAR" winner. Now that observation was based only on performance. Facter in cost of ownership, cost to impliment, available developers, code base etc... and it was a diffrent picture all together.

    Rea, Botton line here is each RDBMS has sommething to offer over the other, you have to look at your needs and decide whit fits your needs best. If the majority of your servers run Unix and the majority of your DB apps use Sybase one has to ask what the benafits of running a few systems under NT/SQL Server are for the company!
    Paul Young
    (Knowledge is power! Get some!)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Lexington, KY
    Posts
    606
    Paul,

    That's just my pro-unix bias coming in. Generally we've seen more stability from our unix boxen than our NT (NT meaning 2000 and now XP) ones -- I attribute that to better admins being able to poke more at the OS (Linux for example can be ripped apart and pieced back together). But of course we're talking minor differences -- something like a weekly (now more like monthly) reboot on NT on off-peak hours vs. a quarterly one 'for good measure' on the unix ones.

    But yes performance shouldn’t be the deciding factor – you have to take the big picture (TCO) into account.
    Thanks,

    Matt

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    809
    Matt, I would clearly take Unix of almost any flavor over a Windows OS. Our NT servers generally run 6 months before needing a reboot but some of our HP servers running HPUX have been up for almost two years!
    Paul Young
    (Knowledge is power! Get some!)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Timbaktu
    Posts
    185

    few more things to consider

    I have worked on both the system as a DBA and my personal feeling is that given a choice I would always recommend Sql Server over any database.Reason being Cheap,easily avaliable(resources),a very good tech support,easy to maintain and lot's and lot's of other benefits.
    With Sql Server you can reach to the bottom of the problem(Profiler is a great help).
    There are some plus points with Sybase which would have been nice with Sql server(like password expring,locking the account),but hey you don't get all the things in one DB.
    We were so happy the day we moved from Sybase to Sql Server.
    With Sql Server you can control the access of different users at different levels like 'db_dataread/write/denyread/denywrite'.
    I would suggest that 'do what everyone is doing and Sql Server is the best choice' specially when you compare Sql Server with ASE.

    Just take a small example : You post a Sql Server related problem at www.dbforums.com and within the first one hour you will get the reply,not so with ASE.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Posts
    2
    Thanks All of you for your input. Is there any performance gains? Mostly I've heard for very large databse SYbase can handle very well than MS SQL Server, Is it true?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    809
    No, I guarantee you if Sybase is installed on a server with to few resources it will suck wind big time as will SQL Server.

    The question should be, what is the hardware cost to properly configure a server to run Sybase Vs SQL Server for MY environment. 8 cpu Sun boxes are cheaper the 8 cpu Intel boxes.
    Paul Young
    (Knowledge is power! Get some!)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Timbaktu
    Posts
    185

    One more thing

    One more thing with Sybase you need a DBA for things like Backup and Restore,increasing the database size etc etc.
    Also the performance is good with Sql Server,it's way way ahead of Sybase.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    7

    pan

    Wow it's 2010 now so things have changed!. I very recently had the pleasure to make a comparison of Sybase 15 with SQL Server 2008. We basically have a Sybase system so I ported a performance database, some tables with few million rows to SQL Server to find out if worth migrating. It very easy to migrate tables, not too bad for stored procs with some free tools to help. SQL Server easily outperformed Sybase. All this may sound ludicrous but my 3.4G RAM, 2 core 2003 Server outperformed Sybase 15 with 16 Core, 32G RAM Solaris 10. From simple things like count(*) group by statements to updates, to very complex stored procs, complex ad-hoc queries were running from 2 to 5 times faster, some very complex stored procs were running 8 times faster. If I factor in the very low spec box for SQL Server the numbers get silly. Do your own tests though but I will be surprised if you don't get similar results. You can can contact me at Home for your results. i am just really curious to know if something is really scr*wed up on our unix boxes (we have been running the system for 15 years so not amateurs) or it's just Sybase.

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