Don't cross Sybase on Linux off your evaluation list just because it's not the world's number two database anymore, says Dr. Mich Talebzadeh, principal consultant for London-based Peridale Ltd., which creates heterogeneous database architectures for large global trading systems.
Thanks to last fall's sterling upgrade, Sybase Adaptive Server Enterprise (ASE) 15, and its Linux-friendliness, the database is winning new and retaining long-term customers, says Talebzadeh. In this opinion piece, Talebzadeh poses 10 reasons why Sybase running on Linux is an excellent option and, in his opinion, a better choice than Oracle-on-Linux for today's enterprises. – Jan Stafford, editor
Sybase products are generally perceived within the database administrator (DBA) community as very reliable and easy to maintain, particularly compared to Oracle. Any move from Sybase to other DBMS (database management system) have got to be justified in terms of the current level of dissatisfaction with Sybase and the level of desire to use other. I cannot recall anywhere where this is valid.
- The latest Sybase flagship product, ASE 15, has filled much of the perceived functionality gap between ASE and other databases.
- Linux is an ideal and cost-effective platform for development teams and many companies. With the availability of heterogeneous dump and load of Sybase databases across different operating systems, Sybase -- by virtue of its modularity and ease of use --
- is an ideal DBMS for Linux. This needs to be contrasted with Oracle which is, pound for pound, a far heavier beast and resource-hungry.
- Sybase has a well-established and skilled workforce, offering infrastructure and development teams who are fully familiar with database architectures and Sybase products.
- Applications developed using Sybase have been running for a while and providing adequate service. There is absolutely no guarantee that migrating these applications to another DBMS will result in the same level of service. I know of no case where a migration from Sybase to Oracle or otherwise has resulted in a noticeable performance gain.
- The exit barriers from Sybase and the entry barriers to others are high. For a medium-to-large application, it will take an average of 10 years for investment for ROI. A simple cost/benefit analysis will verify this statement.
- Check our Sybase ASE 15's total cost of ownership (TCO) compared to Oracle. Based on my clients' experience, one requires 2.5 Oracle DBAs to provide the same level of service as a single Sybase DBA.
- Sybase is fairly modular and has a simple syntax. Contrast this with Oracle where, in most cases, you require a third-party product to allow the DBA to reduce his/her workload. Perhaps that may be a reason why TOAD, a non-Oracle product, is the most popular GUI interface for Oracle!
- Since Sybase is a very secure database. In fact, it is a favourite with the U.S. Department of Defense and Central Intelligence Agency. Sybase is quickly bringing the security features -- such as extensive Kerberos support, programmable authentication and data encryption -- to the market.
- SAP's release of its lightway product for Sybase on Linux and IBM's steps towards selling their line of P5 Linux servers with ASE, while they have DB2 and Informix themselves, are pretty strong statements about the future of Sybase.
- The future of Sybase is secure, largely because it is well entrenched in its core marketplace, the financial services market. More than half of Wall Street runs on Sybase. The majority of complex trading systems and banks use sophisticated replication technology to provide publisher-subscriber or peer-to-peer replication. At this juncture, none of the competitors can provide the same degree of functionality that Sybase Replication Server provides.
This was first published in August 2006