IBM releases 20 database tools

Pledging to make life easier for database administrators, IBM Corp. Monday released 20 new database tools including a pair of autonomic -- or self-healing and managing -- tools. Taken together, the tools aim to boost management, administration, recovery, performance and query features for IBM's DB2 and Informix products.

The autonomic tools, which make use of IBM's SMART (Self-Managing and Resource Tuning) technology, are designed to allow administrators to more easily handle the company's databases running on Windows, Unix and Linux, according to Jeff Jones, director of strategy for IBM's data management group. Because the tools take advantage of autonomic technology, database administrators (DBAs) will have to spend less time and energy dealing with the databases, leaving the functions to the tools, he said.

"(The tools) allow DBAs to do more with less," he said.

The first autonomic tool, DB2 Recovery Expert, will provide administrators with automated and simplified recovery and diagnostic functions aimed at reducing database downtime, Jones said. The second, DB2 Performance Expert, consolidates, reports on, analyzes and recommends performance-related changes to DB2 systems, he said. Administrators can decide whether to implement the tool's recommendations, he added.

Both tools run on the Windows and Unix versions of the company's products and will be available on Sept. 27, he said. They are each priced at US$8,000 per processor, IBM said.

In a more traditional tools vein, the Armonk, New York, company also announced a handful of tools for its databases running on the Windows, Unix and Linux platforms. These are due July 26 and will run on both DB2 and database products that IBM acquired from Informix. They include DB2 High Performance Unload, which extracts DB2 data for movement across back-end systems, and DB2 Table Editor, which accesses, updates and deletes information across both DB2 and Informix Dynamic Server. Both of those tools are priced at $3,500 per processor.

The zSeries, meanwhile, had 15 tools added to its roster, including the DB2 Administration Tool, which helps customers manage the tasks that improve DB2 performance, and DB2 SQL (Structured Query Language) Performance Analyzer, a tool that lets users create, analyze and tune SQL queries without actually executing them, which is supposed to help customers save time and money, IBM said. Big Blue will also offer a version of DB2 High Performance Unload for its zSeries.

DB2 Administration Tool is priced at $2,620 per "value unit," plus support and subscription fees. DB2 SQL Performance Analyzer is priced at $1,310 per value unit, plus support and subscription fees. Some of the zSeries tools have been released already; all should be available by July 26, IBM said.

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