Oracle will include patent-pending technology in the next release of its 8i database software which it claims will improve its scalability for IBM OS/390 users.
The database giant said the additional technology, which will ship in release three of *i which ships at the end of next month, allows customers to achieve greater than 31bit addressing, through what Oracle calls "clever" use of multiple address spaces.
Frank Fillmore, president of database market watcher The Fillmore Group, said: "Any time a programmer says he's done something 'clever' it scares me. Any back-door method of 'fooling' the operating system, if that's what this is, runs the risk of data corruption."
Fillmore added that it is not clear whether making the database buffers transparently available to multiple address spaces, which is what Oracle claims, would make memory a scalability inhibitor. IBM, on the other hand, uses a "shared disk" model, which means that multiple processor engines can simultaneously access the same data.
Paul Rivot, director of database servers, said customers are trying to scale their systems by clustering multiple 390 machines to make it look like a large database for performance and reliability.
He said some of the largest databases in the world, such as Schwab, UPS and Telstra, are among IBM's close to 10,000 customers using the system.
Rivot also said in the database mainframe market IBM has reported marketshare of more than 75 per cent, while closest competitor Oracle has at most about five per cent. "Oracle is trying to expand and play catch-up in this marketplace," he said.
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