Embarcadero, Ixiasoft focus on data management

Embarcadero Technologies is shipping Embarcadero Performance Center 1.9, a version of its multiplatform database monitoring product that adds a Web client and management functions for Linux and Unix databases.

The Web client allows a DBA to monitor database performance without requiring the company's standard client software to be installed on the system, said Robin Shumacher, vice president of product management at Embarcadero, "All they have to do is put in a URL in a Web browser that hits our Performance Center server," Shumacher said.

Embarcadero's Web client is read-only, however, providing data on the status of systems but incapable of, for example, allowing DBAs to set up notifications that would be triggered based on conditions in the database, Shumacher said.

Release 1.9 expands OS monitoring to Linux and Unix, including Red Hat and Suse's Linux variants and Unix platforms from Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and Sun Microsystems. Previously capable of monitoring Windows, Performance Center measures OS statistics pertinent to database operations such as whether a CPU is under duress and memory paging, Shumacher said. The OS monitoring does not require that software agents be installed on the systems being monitored.

Performance Center provides hundreds of statistics on database health and provides a "health index," which groups together a collection of these figures to provide an overall determination on the overall health of a database system, Shumacher said. Factors such as I/O are measured in the index.

The product can monitor databases from Microsoft, Oracle, and Sybase. Shumacher argued that whereas Oracle has its own performance tools for its database, other databases such as Microsoft SQL Server and Sybase lack certain tools. "What our customers want is a single tool that can go cross-platform and show them the performance and health of their systems," Shumacher said.

Version 1.9 appears to correct uptime problems that one user had with previous releases.

"The 1.9 beta ran for approximately seven weeks without a single issue," Lee Harville, database analyst at the University Health Care System, wrote in an e-mail response to questions. "I installed the (general availability) version the day it was available and have not had any issue as far as its threshold/notification management."

Harville also wrote that he was pleased with the new release, saying it has been dependable and easier to install. He also praised its look and feel and it capability of drilling down into specific areas of a database. He did, however, frown on the reports function and expressed hope it would be improved in a later version.

"The delivered reports are excellent in what you can drill down into, but the look and readability are not good at all," Harville wrote.

Performance Center 1.9 is priced at approximately US$1,000 per monitored database. Whereas Performance Center provides for monitoring, Embarcadero's DBArtisan product serves as the company's offering to provide database management functionality.

Ixiasoft Inc., meanwhile, is adding fault tolerance to its Textml XML database. Textml 3.1 features the Textml Fault Tolerance Server, which ensures that two or more servers and Textml Document Bases installed in parallel are synchronized, enabling immediate access to backup servers in the event of hardware failure, according the company.

"It's really designed for apps that require zero downtime," such as a large Web portal, said Marc Cyrenne, director of business development at Ixiasoft.

Textml enables XML data to be stored in its original format rather than decomposing it for storage in the rows and tables structure of a relational database, Cyrenne said. "A lot of people are going through the trouble of creating XML, and then they destroy it by putting it in a (relational) database," he said.

Available now, Textml 3.1 with the Fault Tolerance Server costs US$55,000.

Unfortunately when this article was posted on Monday, we wrongly attributed it to Embarcadero Systems and not Embarcadero Technologies – two separate companies. The correct Embarcadero, Embarcadero Technologies is now mentioned in the article. Sorry for any confusion caused – Ed.

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