Database Technology Roadmap 2009 and Beyond

There are 2 major database vendors working on their next big version of their database engines. Microsoft and Oracle are getting ready to release their best database system yet. Well, in the near future at least. Nevertheless here are some preliminary info that leaked from the development teams.

Microsoft SQL Server 2010

Just last year in August we were introduced to SQL Server 2008, which finally brought us backup compression and data compression amongst many other new features. Many SQL Server customers are still recovering from the SQL Server 2005 migration and find it difficult to keep up with this breath taking speed of new releases.

So what’s new in SQL Server 2010?

It will build on the data warehouse improvement of SQL Server 2008 and adds even more support for multi terabyte databases.

The main focus of SQL Server 2010 will be on “managed self services”. Self tuning will be achieved by interpreting the Dynamic Management Views (DMV). Is this the death of the DBA? Not at all, it will redefine the skills and duties of a DBA in the day to day operations. But then again, let’s see if and how this works.

Emphasis on policies is another big change. Many policies are already available since SQL Server 2005, but in SQL Server 2010 they will be enforced by default.

The last improvement is focused on better email integration and integration into the Web 2.0 environment. Imagine; SQL Server goes Twitter.

After all, these are preliminary information available through some rumor mills and a little bit from the Microsoft website. One thing is for sure, with the release of SharePoint 2010 (beta available now), SQL Server 2010 will become even more important.

I’m pretty sure that there will be more information available soon.

Oracle 12g

Yes, you heard right. Oracle 12g is around the corner. There is not much information available on this new release. The only detail that leaked so far is that Oracle 12g won’t support raw filesystems anymore. This is bad news for RAC environments. The OCR and the voting disk relay on raw filesystems via CFS like OCFS.

The word is that ASM will step in and close the gap in 12g. Also, more emphasis on NFS will be placed as well.

Other than that, there’s not much information regarding functionality enhancements available. As soon as I get more details I will post it. 

Sybase is not in the radar to release yet another major release in the near future. The focus is on synchronizing the ASE 15.0.3 release with the Sybase ASE CE (Cluster Edition) version. There is also a new project that will replace Sybase Central with a web based management tool. The ASE (standard and cluster edition) is already available.

Sybase just released a couple of major new releases in their product line, Sybase IQ 15, Sybase Replication Server 15 and Sybase ASE Cluster Edition mid last year. There are new major releases in planning, but not released in the near future like Microsoft and Oracle. That’s at least to my knowledge. One thing is remarkable with Sybase; they had the best quarter in Q1 of 2009 and I can’t wait to get the results for Q2.

One thing is always interesting to observe. This constant competition and the need to outperform drive these vendors to constantly push the envelope and we as the consumer will get better, faster and cheaper products.

The downside is that we have to constantly upgrade our systems. Over time this creates enormous strains on IT staff and budgeting. It seems that the pace of new major database releases has picked up noticeable and it remains up to the IT managers to make the right call at the right time. The current cutting in staff and budgets is no help either.

Database vendors are packing more and more value added features into their systems to gain more customers and sell their product. Hopefully we will see a speedy recovery of the economy to enable these companies to bring back staff and put all these great features to work soon.


Peter Dobler

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