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Sybase Juices Up Its Enterprise Database

Sybase is adding several new layers of functionality to its enterprise-level database, including self-management features, more support for XML and Web services and greater scalability.

The Dublin, Calif.-based concern's specialty is crafting database software for large businesses, particularly financial institutions, where high-volume transactions and swift changes are a constant demand.

The company's customer base includes several customers on Wall Street, as well as tactical operations for U.S. military branches where thousands of users make millions of requests for information and data retrieval each day.

Sybase is aiming to close the operational gap between the amount of data transactions and applications a company's clientele wishes to run and the ability of the infrastructure to run it.

"This is in keeping with the recent explosion of data, which is increasing on a geometric curve, said Tom Traubitz, senior group product marketing manager of Sybase's Infrastructure Platform Group. "This has been a thorny problem. Many companies can't scale staff, systems, or find time for getting an application deployed on time. We aim to reduce the need for human intervention while increasing system performance."

Database operational costs have soared to meet the demands of online data access and real-time applications. Sybase said its Adaptive Server Enterprise (ASE) 12.5.1 is geared to help manage those demands by streamlining the number of database operations customers have to carry out and offering improved systems performance for those who wish to run applications on Linux on Intel, Windows and UNIX operating systems.

Traubitz said the new self-managing capabilities are a key upgrade to the product, which he said undergoes regular refreshes so customers do not have to worry about reconfiguring their systems. Sybase ASE 12.5.1 also includes automatic resource management, and transportable databases to make it possible for companies to handle increased demands for data access without significantly increasing database administration costs.

Traubitz also said self-management features help obviate human error, which many past studies said accounts for 40 percent of failures in a database system.

Analysts said providing features that require less human intervention have become a requirement for companies looking to sell competitive database software in the enterprise.

While IBM has long touted autonomic computing features in several of its products, Oracle recently announced its allegiance to automated database software functionality with the release of its 10g database, a new architecture geared to harness grid computing to server applications faster and more efficiently.

New DBA tools in ASE 12.5.1, such as Job Scheduler, DBXray and Sybase Database Expert, allow DBAs to automate operations and diagnose problems. ASE 12.5.1 also features new operational scalability tools, including scalable logging, parallel recovery, index sampling, temporary databases per application or login and improved database reorganization.

These features serve increased workloads and data sets with the hardware, software and DBA resources a customer already owns and uses. The refreshed database also aims to offer efficient, less expensive application development with its enhanced support for Web services and native XML document management.

Sybase ASE 12.5.1 will be available with prices starting at $1,495.