Less is definitely more in databases

In most organisations these days, the key question is ‘How do I reduce my cost per transaction?” not just the overall cost of IT generally.

Those transactions have great value since they generate the corporate revenue, populate the corporate data warehouse and much, much more. We know that we can significantly decrease capital costs by using Linux, for example, but that doesn’t resolve the real question of the cost of the people that are required to manage the database. The only way that we can really reduce that part of the cost per transaction is by having easily managed databases that do more than just store those transactions.

The same database technology today can act as a data warehouse acclerator, delivering better information more quickly than with traditional RDBMS or specialist hardware solutions. It can also act as storage manager and reduce the costs of storage by as much as 75 per cent over traditional methods while delivering transactions to the Web many times faster and eliminating the needs for traditional backup media such as tapes and CD-ROM.

What this means is that one set of technology management skills can deliver lower, significant cost-of-ownership skills since the specialist skills required to support the different tasks simply are not required.

Fewer specialist skills equates to reduced cost of the transaction — of any type that the organisation needs.

The combination of these things leads in the future to “managerless” technologies that support the organisation in much the same way as they do in the embedded database technology environments like mobile phones, PDAs, routers, and soon, your microwave. They even manage the consistent delivery of the chips at McDonald’s — the same worldwide? At least that’s the message, and I reckon they are, being somewhat of a connoisseur! “Would you like fries with your database?” Who knows? They keep telling me we’re in the commodity business but I don’t think that’s true yet, may be soon...

Peter Fletcher is managing director, Sybase Australia & New Zealand

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