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IBM Unveils First Major DB2 Upgrade In Two Years

IBM on Thursday unveiled the first major upgrade of its DB2 database in nearly two years, saying the overhauled product offers features that automate maintenance and administration, provide advanced clustering and make web services deployment easier.

Code-named Stinger, version 8.2's self-managing features, such as table maintenance and data backups, reduce the time for administration by as much as 65 percent, officials with the Armonk, N.Y., company said.

While lauding DB2's new automation features, Charles Garry, analyst for market researcher the Meta Group, said they wouldn't change IBM's distant third position in the database market behind No. 1 Oracle Corp., followed by Microsoft Corp.

DB2 holds a strong market position among products used to run data warehouses, but is under pressure, in general, in the low-end of the market from open-source alternatives. The low-end is defined as databases running on four processors or less.

"The third option in the market could stay with IBM, but I believe it's more likely that an open-source database option is going to be the chose for the very low-end stuff," Garry said. "Unless IBM gets really aggressive in pushing DB2 on Linux, which it hasn't done yet, then it will continue in the data warehouse market."

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