IBM DB2 vs Oracle

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For this week’s paper I have chosen to do a comparison between IBM’s DB2 database management system (DBMS) product and Oracle. Realistically, making such a comparison is akin to discussing religion with friends. Each person will have their own biases based on their own experiences. Looking for an unbiased opinion is much like looking for the Holy Grail, every bit as speculative and subjective with the results jaundiced by the outlook of the reporter (Lim, 2002).
A decision between DB2 and Oracle should be based on what resources are available for use at the site. Is there specific hardware or software already onsite that can or will be used in the installation, if so this will have a major impact on the decision making process. Does the staff have an existing knowledge base that favors one or the other DBMS and is there a team that has unallocated time to dedicate to this project or will another project be put on hold to allow them to make this project their focus until completion. Finally, have the costs of ongoing maintenance for fixed and soft assets been considered? All of the above will impact the decision making processes prior to purchasing one of the DBMS’s. These factors aside, either DBMS will run as fast as the other provided that the environment has been optimized for it (Lim, 2002).
A side by side analysis of the hardware and software requirements for both DBMS’s shows some remarkable similarities as well as some differences. Similarities in baseline processors across the various hardware platforms but different amounts of disk space and both applications desiring as much memory as possible to improve performance (Chigrik, 2003).
For DB2 v8.1 when installed into a windows environment you will need a minimum of a Pentium or Pentium compatible processor, at least 256mb of ram, and between 100 and 350mb of hard disk space depending on whether the installation is compact, custom, or typical. Depending of the file format of the disk drives additional space may be needed by DB2 because of cluster sizes (Chigrik, 2003).
Oracle 9i on the other hand requires a minimum of 128b of ram in a windows environment, although 256mb is recommended. Oracle also requires a minimum of 200mb of virtual memory for file swap space. In terms of processors, Oracle specifies a minimum of a Pentium 166 or higher. Oracle also needs 140mb of disk space on the system drive an...

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... block indexes. IBM DB2 has higher limits in most of the common database features except most columns in an index key, longest index key, max char() size, max table row length, longest SQL statement, and recursive sub queries (Chigrik, 2003).
In the end there is no clear cut winner, as stated previously, a lot of the outcome is determined by the experience of the developer of the database and the administrator of the database. Both DBMSs can be used to build stable and efficient transaction processing systems, with the level of experience of the personnel working with the system having a greater impact on performance, than the vendor supplying the DBMS (Chigrik, 2003).

Chigrik, A. (2003). Oracle 9i Database vs DB2 v8.1. Retrieved May 11, 2005, from MSSQL City Web site:
Lim, C. (2002). Oracle vs DB2 vs Teradata. Retrieved May. 11, 2005, from Web site:
Transaction Processing Performance Council, (2005). Retrieved May. 11, 2005, from Top Ten TPC-C by Performance Version 5 Results Web site: