When customers are evaluating open source vs. DB2 customers need to look beyond initial cost for the technology, and look for what will give them the most scalable, flexible, and cost-effective data access over the long-term. They also need to consider support for open standards, the ability to grow

without training and migration costs and 3rd party applications and tools. Support is a crucial, and often-overlooked, component of a database’s total cost of ownership.

IBM offers everything from online tips and forums to downloadable files and support contracts for assistance at all levels. IBM also offers training and certification programs for DB2 ranging from basic skills through ‘IBM

Certified Advanced Technical Expert’. DB2 can service customers of all sizes and computing requirements. Its upgrade policies mean customers can plan for growth without costly surprises, such as the need to re-license or purchase new licenses when upgrading a CPU or disk array on a server. Because different versions of DB2 share the same code base, there is no need to retrain staff or replace skills as the customer grows. Vendors and third party providers have written thousands of applications and tools to run on DB2, a level of support not available with any open-source database.

A number of open source programming languages like Perl, Python and PHP also support DB2. DB2’s ability to integrate information clearly differentiates it from open-source databases. Unlike those databases, there is no need to worry about issues of compatibility, inter-application portability of data, extraction of data, and/or running queries over multiple data sources. DB2 spans the spectrum of hardware platforms, running on not only IBM hardware and operating systems but on non-IBM hardware as well. And finally, DB2 is easy to use with its SMART technologies enabling autonomic computing -which reduces the skill level needed and in turn total cost of ownership.

DB2 on Linux gives customers the flexibility of open source standards, with the industry-proven scalability, reliability and support from the world leader in database technology.

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Conclusion

When buying a Relational Database Management System (RDBMS), a customer isn’t really buying a database – they are buying the ability to protect their most critical asset – their data – both now and in the future. While open-source databases may look attractive because of the low initial price, OSDBs can cost more than commercial databases in the long run if they cannot scale to meet the needs of a growing business, are difficult to manage, cannot accommodate the various data types the business needs to access and aren’t backed by a reliable, stable vendor. IBM’s DB2 UDB for Linux provides the performance, scalability, manageability, and quality of support that provides the maximum business benefit at the lowest long-term total cost of ownership.

IBM offers proven solutions (not just products) with a unique combination of software, services and hardware. In essence, IBM is one-stop shopping. IBM has a proven track record for the design, testing, running and support of mission critical systems. IBM has long term viability as a company and still supports 30 year old mission critical customer applications. IBM is a heavy investor in research and development and leads in number of filed technically advanced patents and IBM is a leader and largest investor and supporter for open standards.

Vicki Martin is a senior marketing manager for the IBM Software Group.

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