By: Tim DelChiaro
Abstract: Article on InterBase from the TechXtend October 2012 Newsletter
There are many factors that contribute to the total cost of ownership (TCO) of a database. When evaluating the TCO, important questions to ask include:
While large enterprises often require complex database systems that support thousands of concurrent users, terabytes of data, and a highly trained support staff, the needs of most businesses and applications are more modest. InterBase is a proven, highly reliable, low- cost database that can easily support hundreds of concurrent users and gigabytes of data with no support during normal operation.
The most important characteristics of a database for the smaller enterprise are high reliability and low maintenance for a low total cost of ownership (TCO). This article examines the features that determine reliability and total cost of ownership and explains why InterBase has been the best choice for thousands of businesses and applications for over twenty years.
1. DATABASE MAINTENANCE
If the database requires maintenance that cannot be automated, you will need staff to perform the maintenance tasks and total deployment costs will increase over time.
InterBase databases require no maintenance. InterBase has features that are designed specifically for use at sites where no DBA or other support is available. Because InterBase is self-tuning and self-maintaining there is nothing for a DBA to do during normal operation.
2. SYSTEM RESOURCE REQUIREMENTS
The more hardware your database requires the higher the cost. A full installation of InterBase requires less than 35 MB on disk. If you do not install the documentation and examples InterBase requires less than 19 MB of disk space. Furthermore, InterBase requires just 32 megabytes of memory on all platforms.
3. MULTI-PLATFORM SUPPORT
To minimize hardware costs your database needs to run on a platform that is already available at your site or it must give you the option to deploy a low-cost platform such as Linux. InterBase runs on Windows®, Mac OS®/X, Linux and Solaris™ to give you platform flexibility now and in the future.
4. TRAINING TIME
The time required to train your development team is a significant component of both the total cost of ownership and the time it takes to deliver your project.
InterBase is so easy to learn and administer that the most comprehensive training course for it, designed to train complete database novices to the point that they can confidently administer InterBase databases, lasts just five days. The jump-start course for experienced SQL database developers lasts just two days and many experienced developers find that they require no training at all.
5. MONITORING PERFORMANCE
Whenever you deploy a multi-user database system, there is always a chance that users will experience poor performance. Users may get access to the database with a third-party query and reporting tool and concoct queries that place a huge load on the database.
The important question is, when the unexpected happens, how many staff-hours will it take to diagnose and correct the problem? InterBase includes a sophisticated performance monitor that offers both graphical and SQL interfaces. Not only can you see exactly what is happening in the InterBase server at any time, you can also log selected parameters over time for later review.
6. VENDOR SUPPORT
Many of today's database applications are mission critical. In these environments, support from your database vendor should be available whenever you need it. InterBase is backed by Embarcadero with a full suite of support options from 'per incident' support to 'around the world around the clock' support contracts. In many cases, there are support personnel near you or your deployed systems to help resolve issues.
7. LICENSING COSTS
InterBase licensing costs are among the lowest of all commercial databases. This is especially true for systems that use multi-core CPUs this allows you to scale up performance with multi-core systems without scaling up costs. When combined with very low to zero maintenance costs, high-reliability, and other features described in this paper, InterBase provides the lowest TCO for most business applications.
8. HIGH CONCURRENCY
InterBase provides high concurrency in a mixed read/write environment because readers get a stable snapshot of the database without blocking writers. Inserts, updates and deletes never have to wait on read transactions regardless of their isolation level. In fact, snapshot transaction isolation is the default in InterBase. No matter how many SELECT statements you execute during the life of a snapshot transaction you will always get a stable consistent snapshot of the entire database as it was at the instant the transaction started.
9. TRANSACTION SUPPORT
InterBase provides full ACID transaction support with both snapshot and read committed isolation levels. InterBase also supports two phase commit allowing a single transaction to include changes to two or more databases.
InterBase provides both server-wide and embedded database security models. With server- wide security, any user with a valid user name and password can log onto the InterBase server then connect to any database. If you use embedded user authentication, user names and passwords are stored in the database making it impossible for someone to kidnap your database and open it on another server. InterBase provides role based access control to database objects using the standard SQL GRANT and REVOKE commands.
IF YOU'RE LOOKING FOR GOOD VALUE IN A DATABASE — INTERBASE DELIVERS
InterBase is a proven, low-cost database system with many unique benefits for small to medium enterprise (SME) applications. This article has covered many of the benefits of InterBase for SME applications and explained why it is a superior choice relative to other databases designed for large enterprise deployments. InterBase gives you easy installation, high reliability, built-in disaster recovery, zero database maintenance, and a host of features that make application development and database deployment easier, faster, and lower cost.
A free developer edition of the InterBase database is available from TechXtend in Embarcadero developer tools including RAD Studio, Delphi and C++Builder or from the Embarcadero web site. TechXtend also offers InterBase software and licenses for all editions including Server, Desktop and ToGo — for both server-based and embedded database usage.
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