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A key shortcoming of IBM's DB2 database is that it requires massive storage, but the company is promising to change that with its forthcoming release, due out this summer.
A new feature in that next version, code-named Viper, will apply compression to data at the row level, according to Jeff Jones, director of strategy for IBM's information-management software. Rows in database are the key data components in a horizontal field.
Although it's not the first time IBM has applied compression to DB2, Jones says the latest compression technology, called Venom, can cut in half the amount of storage needed for large data warehouses. In some instances, the compression ration was as high as 72 percent, he adds.
"The more data you have, the more physical disk you save," Jones says. "The savings are huge."
Not only does the technology reduce the amount of storage needed, but it saves time in terms of performing backups, says Doug Ward, director of e-business applications at Strada Software, a beta tester and an IBM ISV partner. Given the size of his company's data warehouse, which has data records going back to 1995, that's significant, Ward says.
By applying the compression, backups and recoveries can be performed much faster.
"We're still conducting a number of tests, but the early results are encouraging," Ward says.
Another key feature of Viper that IBM is talking up is its ability to manage both XML and relational data within the repository without requiring XML data to be reformatted. That, has implications both for storage as well as the ability to perform queries, Ward notes.
By not having to reformat the XML data to relational SQL, applications will require less use of storage capacity, Ward says. Also, developers who are more skilled in SQL programming can stick with that model in most cases, he adds.