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Published: October 28, 2016
Five database systems which have been around for the long haul since the 1980s, late 1970s for Oracle enter 2016 very different from their beginnings. Cloud technology, in-memory operation, virtualization and multi-tenancy, and features such as JSON support and temporal validity checking are keeping these RDBMS systems relevant in the second decade of the 21st century. While these enterprise powerhouses support in-house application development, eCommerce, and general transactional use, Internet app support and other real-time challenges push the performance demands and scalability in ways never anticipated decades ago. These leading database systems in 2016 vary in operating system support, features, and even hardware platform advantages.
Still the leader, Oracle was the first to market in 1979 and has set the bar high for performance and reliability. It also has a thriving ecosystem of developers and support providers who make it easy to work with Oracle products. Oracle 12c takes on the evolving cloud technology challenge and adds more support for Internet technologies such as JSON. Oracle's industry-leading processors power servers engineered for fast Oracle database performance using flash memory data paths, virtualization, encryption hardware support, and best of class performance in a compact form factor with the T5 CPU. The Oracle T4-1 and T5-2 Servers are high-performance legacy servers. And the new Oracle T7 servers add the first-ever hardware-based security features, in-memory performance acceleration, and real-time analytics support with world-record Oracle database and Java performance in a cloud infrastructure-ready server line.
Microsoft SQL Server has dominance on its own operating systems and has been the foundation for their development suite and other software packages. Microsoft has an active partner and developer community who address applications from small business to enterprise solutions. Many partners specialize in integrating the broad range of Microsoft products, so the database system can be the heart of SMB solutions on owned hardware or scalable using cloud services. The company emphasizes their performance and in-memory security as key to building mission-critical applications including transaction processing, BI and analytics systems, and eCommerce.
DB2 runs on Linux and UNIX, Windows and more, providing a range of hardware options which include HPC systems and IBM's Power line of servers using the new Power8 processor. Scalable to large data center operations for traditional transactional use, a version of DB2 is customized for use with Hadoop for Big Data.
SAP's Adaptive Server Enterprise has been increasing in popularity after a backslide. An emphasis on mobile application support has been hitting home with the Internet evolution towards smartphones, tablets, in-car systems and, increasingly, IoT devices. SAP partners with developers to create solutions for these markets, which has put ASE squarely in the next-generation transaction space. The latest version adds partition locking, CIS support for HANA, Dynamic Thread Assignment, and other advances.
An open-source offering increasingly touted as a solid alternative to commercial (O)RDBMS systems, PostgreSQL is at work and well tested in the datacenters of major Internet players. It also faces the stress testing of popular interactive gaming servers and has helped solve diverse application challenges as an available in-house option that doesn't involve license planning and other commercial factors, while feature-comparable with Oracle and DB2.
There you have it, our picks for the top 5 databases of 2016. If you are looking for a new or refurbished server to run your databases, speak to the experts at SourceTech Systems.