View Poll Results: Do you prefer Oracle over DB2?

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  • Yes

    3 37.50%
  • No

    5 62.50%
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Thread: Oracle vs. DB2

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Posts
    5

    Question Unanswered: Oracle vs. DB2

    Hello!

    I am currently in the process of writing up a feasibility document for IBM DB2 UDB. We are currently and Oracle shop and are migrating to 9i. Obviously, the main reason that we are looking towards IBM is cost. However, I want to get some peoples opinions as to why IBM is better than Oracle. Or vice versa, why Oracle is better than IBM.

    I've searched the web and found a few white papers on this subject but it seems they are all commisioned by either IBM or Oracle. Seems a little biased to me.

    What I'm interested in specifically is not so much the hard costs but rather the soft costs.

    - Ease of installation?
    - Comparison of Administration duties?
    - Availability and robustness of administration tools?
    - Any gotchas?
    - Migration issues?

    If you migrated from DB2 to Oracle, can you please reply to this and let me know why (aside from $$$)?

    I appreciate any information any fellow DBAs have to offer. I'm not looking for solicitations from salespeople at this point though.

    Thank you!
    -Jon Owen

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    204
    We currently have Oracle, DB2 and SQL Server (along with a few smaller ones). I prefer Oracle because it is what I know. I beleive it is more customizable and tuneable than it's competitors. The downside, it's also more complex to customize and tune.

    We are also considering migrating from Oracle. This is based solely on cost. Most of our databases do not take advantage of some special features of Oracle, (replication, standby, table/index partitioning, etc). Therefore, any reliable, well performing RDBMS will work. DB2 and SQL Server both fit the bill, and cost less.

    So, if we're not taking advantage of the specific features that any one of the RDBMS's offer, cost is a valid reason for migration. I say this with the understanding that we have in house expertise in all three RDBMS.

    I will also note that we a few systems that are currently using Advanced Replication, Datagaurd and/or partitioning. These systems are not scheduled to be included in any migrations we may do.

    HTH,
    Patrick

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Desk, slightly south of keyboard
    Posts
    697
    I would say that there is absolutely no firm answer to this question - only your site in your context can answer it. Viz: Why not consider MySQL? (I've never used it myself, but I'm sure there are places where it's a better option than Oracle/Db2 etc).

    I think Patricks's post also (sort of) points that way, I don't think you'll find any simple answer. Sorry!

    Cheers
    Bill

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Montreal, Canada
    Posts
    224
    Provided Answers: 1

    Arrow Re: Oracle vs. DB2

    Originally posted by jowen
    Hello!

    I am currently in the process of writing up a feasibility document for IBM DB2 UDB. We are currently and Oracle shop and are migrating to 9i. Obviously, the main reason that we are looking towards IBM is cost. However, I want to get some peoples opinions as to why IBM is better than Oracle. Or vice versa, why Oracle is better than IBM.

    I've searched the web and found a few white papers on this subject but it seems they are all commisioned by either IBM or Oracle. Seems a little biased to me.

    What I'm interested in specifically is not so much the hard costs but rather the soft costs.

    - Ease of installation?
    - Comparison of Administration duties?
    - Availability and robustness of administration tools?
    - Any gotchas?
    - Migration issues?

    If you migrated from DB2 to Oracle, can you please reply to this and let me know why (aside from $$$)?

    I appreciate any information any fellow DBAs have to offer. I'm not looking for solicitations from salespeople at this point though.

    Thank you!
    -Jon Owen
    I have used a variety of databases in my career and I am currently working on a persistence framework that is going to support Oracle 8i, Oracle 9i, DB2 7.x, MySQL 3.23.x, MySQL 4.x and SQL Server 2000 for the first version of the package. Ports to Postgres, DB2 5.x and 6.x and Sybase are probably going to happen in the next version.

    I can tell you, from experience, that DB2 is *by far* much easier to use and can easily provide as much performance as Oracle. Installation on Oracle is buggy at best (tried on a variety of platforms and vesions and so far, no "perfect installation" in 6 attempts!) and that can be confirmed by any Oracle DBA that has survived an installation in his career, especially on Windows!

    Administration on DB2 is also much easier than on Oracle. This is especially true on the OS part of administration as DB2 consumes a lot less ressources than Oracle. This is especially true for RAM. And DB2 is not as CPU intensive as Oracle but the difference ain't as pronounced as memory consumption.

    Availability and robustness of administration tools is about equal on both environments, the major difference being that you'll likely find more Oracle DBAs than DB2 DBAs but this trend is changing now so...

    Major difference is the mindset, especially concerning locking and rollback segments. This stuff (Rollback segments) is pretty ackward for a DB2 guy and not having this "feature" would seem very strange for an Oracle guy.

    That being said, I am not a die-hard fan of either products but if I'd have to choose, I'd pick DB2 for a variety of reasons.

    There's a good technical paper written mainly by IBM people comparing Oracle 9i and DB2 7.x. It is a little bit biased towards DB2 but seems pretty fair overall. Take a look at:

    http://www-3.ibm.com/software/data/p...c91vsdb272.pdf

    BTW, SQL Server and MySQL can also be good options to consider depending on your needs and budget. If Yahoo! Finance, Google and NASA can use MySQL, you surely can!

    Hope this help.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    204

    Re: Oracle vs. DB2

    Originally posted by bstjean

    <SNIP>

    I can tell you, from experience, that DB2 is *by far* much easier to use and can easily provide as much performance as Oracle. Installation on Oracle is buggy at best (tried on a variety of platforms and vesions and so far, no "perfect installation" in 6 attempts!) and that can be confirmed by any Oracle DBA that has survived an installation in his career, especially on Windows!

    <SNIP>

    Hope this help.
    As I said, I am an Oracle DBA and tend to be biased. I mean no disrepect. But, I have 'Survived' a few dozen Oracle installations on Windows NT 4.0, 2000, Solaris, AIX and HP-UX. I have had problems only twice. Once, I used the 64-bit Oracle CD's on a 32-bit OS. The other time was when a UNIX admin did not do a full install of AIX and some needed libraries were missing.

    I will say that I am pretty anal and read and re-read the installation instructions each time I do an install. I make sure all kernal settings are correct and, usually, make sure the OS is up to snuff.

    So, my point is that Oracle installs are not inherantly "buggy". When attention is paid to detail and all prerequisites are met, the installs run just fine.

    Ok, I'll climb down from my soap box now.

    Patrick

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Montreal, Canada
    Posts
    224
    Provided Answers: 1

    Post Re: Oracle vs. DB2

    Originally posted by buckeye234
    As I said, I am an Oracle DBA and tend to be biased. I mean no disrepect. But, I have 'Survived' a few dozen Oracle installations on Windows NT 4.0, 2000, Solaris, AIX and HP-UX. I have had problems only twice. Once, I used the 64-bit Oracle CD's on a 32-bit OS. The other time was when a UNIX admin did not do a full install of AIX and some needed libraries were missing.

    I will say that I am pretty anal and read and re-read the installation instructions each time I do an install. I make sure all kernal settings are correct and, usually, make sure the OS is up to snuff.

    So, my point is that Oracle installs are not inherantly "buggy". When attention is paid to detail and all prerequisites are met, the installs run just fine.

    Ok, I'll climb down from my soap box now.

    Patrick
    Well, I have three friends who are Oracle DBAs (two on AIX, the other one on Windows) and they also had numerous installation problems/nightmares. Adding myself, it adds up to four! So we're talking asbout 20 installations here! But I was told the installation on 9i was *way* better than 8i. Still, Oracle is far behind DB2 and SQL Server installation-wise. My opinion !

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Posts
    5

    Oracle Installation

    I've installed Oracle 816 and 9i on several machines (solaris 5.7/5.8 and Linux RHAS 2.1) without issue. We have the 9i install down to a few mouse clicks.

    On another note, some of our applications are not really written 'well'. During peak hours we will see 60k discrete connections to a database (not concurrent). How will DB2 handle this?

    We also see some very heinous sql being sent to the database. How will DB2 react to this?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Montreal, Canada
    Posts
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    Provided Answers: 1

    Re: Oracle Installation

    Originally posted by jowen
    I've installed Oracle 816 and 9i on several machines (solaris 5.7/5.8 and Linux RHAS 2.1) without issue. We have the 9i install down to a few mouse clicks.

    On another note, some of our applications are not really written 'well'. During peak hours we will see 60k discrete connections to a database (not concurrent). How will DB2 handle this?

    We also see some very heinous sql being sent to the database. How will DB2 react to this?
    Well, it depends on hardware and resources mainly. But I have seen pretty heavy loads on a multi-terabytes database handled nicely. But for such a heavy load (in your case, an awful lot of connections, don't know about the amount of data returned), I would definitely consider DB2 UDB EEE. I know of a DB2 setup (one of my prior projects) than handles 800+ simultaneous connections on a VPN with fail-over and DB2 EEE on 8 Windows 2000 nodes . During month end (lots of reporting and data entry), DB2 rarely goes beyond 25% of CPU on that setup. It actually does a very good job of parallelizing... I can also tell that Oracle eats up LOTS of RAM compared to DB2.

    Going back to Oracle and installation, I am still waiting to see a clean installation on Windows 2000 Advanced Server and Windows XP. So far, no success! My next step is probably trying to install Oracle on Red Hat... I was told Oracle works great on *nix

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    ITALY
    Posts
    53

    Re: Oracle vs. DB2

    Hi.
    I've been a DBA on oracle, db2 and informix products.
    All of them production: no games.

    Apart money, all of them are good products.
    If you do not feel any difference in using them, it's likely that you do not need the "extra" functions included in the products.

    In this high end tecnologies, oracle is the leader, in my opinion:
    clustering, partitioning.

    The resource demand is usually a function of applications requirements,
    with the compilation tecnique (static bind of plans) of DB2 being a plus on some applications (OLTP) and a minus in others (DWH).

    I think not be concerned too much with this choice: all of them are good for the job, usually the choice is based on other criteria:
    skill availability,
    history of the curstomers,
    target platforms.

    Best Regards.
    Franco Ceotto
    SIPTI srl
    OnSite Services
    9i OCP DBA, Performance Engineer

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