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Sybase and OS X in the Enterprise

By Blane Warrene MacNewsWorld ECT News Network
Sep 16, 2004 1:10 PM PT

In the opening salvo of a competitive marketing campaign, Sybase announced last Wednesday the release of an Express Edition of its flagship enterprise database product for the Linux community.

Sybase and OS X in the Enterprise

This has implications for those running the Macintosh platform due to the intersection of Linux and the PowerPC architecture courtesy of Terra Soft Solutions, makers of Yellow Dog Linux (YDL). Terra Soft recently released YDL 4.0, supporting the latest G5 systems from Apple.

Although Sybase guidelines suggest the Adaptive Server Enterprise (ASE) Express Edition install is certified for Intel-based Linux distributions, both OS X and Yellow Dog Linux on Apple hardware have the capability of meeting minimum requirements. Sybase's commercial versions of ASE natively support OS X.

An Open Mac Market

While enterprise database software supporting the Macintosh platform does exist -- including offerings from Oracle and MySQL AB -- Sybase is the first to release a mature product in that class with a free license for production use.

David Jacobson, senior director of database and tools marketing at Sybase, told MacNewsWorld that the goal is to entice people to try ASE.

"We see this as a way to help customers get a single CPU production server running as a pilot," Jacobson said.

Apple platform users may find the Sybase solution workable with the G5 Xserve, which comes optimized for data-driven solutions, especially those built for the Web architecture.

The Xserve comes ready-made with LDAP, the Apache Web server and a JBoss/Tomcat combo of Java application servers, all engines that can interact with ASE.

Growth Potential

Gartner DataQuest statistics show that Sybase reaped $90 million in license revenues in each of the Windows and Unix marketplaces in 2003. However, in the Linux sector, the company was dwarfed by IBM and Oracle, who together accounted for more than 95 percent of Linux database license revenues in 2003.

According to Amit Satoor, senior group marketing manager at Sybase, his company is setting itself apart from other free offerings by offering ANSI compliance and a roadmap to high availability capabilities.

Jacobson said Sybase will go head to head against its core competitors, IBM and Oracle, with aggressive pricing.

Roadmap to Real Time Data Services

The Express Edition does not include support. Customers can purchase a service package with the download for just over $2,000. Additionally, the company hopes it will draw in users who might grow and migrate to multiple CPU and cluster deployments.

This would expand capabilities to include mirror activator for redundancy and dynamic archiving to ease data access and storage management.

Pricing for additional licensing beyond the Express Edition, which has 2 GB of memory and a 5 GB storage limit, starts at $4,995 per CPU for small business and $24,995 for enterprise licenses.

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