DATA CENTERS

  • 11/15/2010
    1:53 PM
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IBM Pushes The Migration Of Oracle To DB2

IBM's recently concluded Information on Demand 2010 event in Las Vegas covered a tremendous amount of ground on numerous topics. One of the most intriguing was the dedicated push that IBM is making to have Oracle database customers migrate to its own DB2 solutions. Given that migration from one database to another has been described by many analysts as "heart surgery," how can IBM possibly expect customers to willingly embrace so difficult and potentially risky a procedure? In the immortal words

The final part of the IBM business pitch is in how the company will care for the customer after the migration is over, in effect insuring that the new database will coexist in the user's enterprise architecture without strain. This is an area in which IBM has an unmatched reputation. In general, the old, old saw that "no one got fired for buying IBM" was true to a great extent due to how the company took care of its customers in times of trouble.

In the case of databases, IBM's high service/support reputation means that customers can not only count on the company to handle a changed, probably heterogeneous environment, but also expect that IBM will provide proven, well-tested ways of extending and evolving a solution with features such as master data management and composite-application development support.

In other words, IBM's business case involves not only TCO advantages but also ongoing new-application development improvements that will continue to improve ROI. And finally, IBM has increased its methodologies around (and reputation for) being open to other vendors' products, making customers very possibly less prone to vendor lock-in.

The first notable point about IBM's DB2 migration strategy is the way it relies on executive management to override DBAs and CTOs overly-attached to Oracle. While these individuals have a long history of thwarting migration plans by citing the dangers to run-the-business Oracle-dependent apps, in fact is that these dangers reduced markedly over time. Despite Oracle's success in using hard-charging sales tactics that reward customer loyalty, today's enterprise datacenters, even outside the mainframe realm, are only rarely pure Oracle environments.

Databases of all stripes are now scattered across lines of business and departments encroaching on the data center. Today's DBAs and CTOs therefore typically understand that dealing with multiple vendors is a fact of life in their organizations and that migration of an app to a new database is seldom, if ever, a threat. With such lessening resistance, it is no surprise that IBM can claim good success in its strategy and can name companies that have successfully made the migration.

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