CopperEye releases datablade for Informix

Go faster stripe

CopperEye and IBM have announced a new Datablade for Informix users. The CopperEye Datablade is immediately available in Europe and will be available in the US later in the year. It runs on Informix v9.3 and up, and supports AIX, HP-UX, and Solaris and other platforms. Pricing varies by customer environment, but typically ranges from £30K - £360K ($54.6K -$655.1K), CopperEye says.

This is the first major new technology that IBM has announced for Informix users since it acquired the company in 2001. To some it may seem to be none too soon. However, these things take time - IBM and CopperEye have been working on this Datablade for at least nine months. The announcement shows that IBM means what it says when it states that it will continue to develop Informix. This should be reassuring for users.

The impact for CopperEye should be significant. The Bath, UK company provides what it calls adaptive indexing. Basically, this means faster performance for large, disk-based, general-purpose indexing. In the laboratory, testing showed performance improvements of as much as ten times while the beta site found four times real-life improvements (which is an interesting comment on the distinction between benchmarks and the real world). That is a significant improvement, which ever way you slice it.

Mix and match

However, adaptive indexing isn't just about go-faster indexing: it isn't called adaptive for nothing. In practice, you can decide what you want to optimise the indexing for, whether for retrieval or update or a mix of the two.

CopperEye started life by offering an Oracle-based implementation as its main product. However, the Oracle integration didn't go as smoothly as the company would have liked and it moved to focusing on the API version of the product. This was all well and good but it meant that the company had no serious big name partner. Even so, it managed to acquire some big name customers and expand into the United States. However, with this partnership with IBM the company is well-positioned to expand further. IBM will not resell the product (though that could always change) but will provide access particularly to its Informix ISVs, which seems like a golden opportunity for CopperEye.

Finally, there is the impact on IBM itself. One of the notable features of the forthcoming Stinger release of DB2 is the amount of detail that has been ported from the Informix platform to the DB2 environment, most notably with the introduction of the High Availability Disaster Recovery (HADR) wizard-driven environment, and the release of the Geodetic Extender which is directly equivalent to the Geodetic Datablade that is available within Informix environments.

Now, if IBM can port the Geodetic Extender (which treats the earth as a sphere, whereas the existing Spatial Extender treats it as flat) then this raises the obvious possibility that it could similarly migrate the CopperEye Datablade. No doubt IBM will wait to see how successful it is on the Informix platform but if it succeeds as it should, then my guess is that we will see it used in conjunction with DB2 in the not too distant future.


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