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  1. Technology
July 22, 1991


By CBR Staff Writer

Emeryville, California-based Sybase Inc, in the headlines recently for the wholesale restructuring of its European operations, has announced availability of Sybase SQL Server, Release 4.8, with support for symmetric multiprocessor systems. SQL Server is a client-server relational database management system for on-line applications, and in Release 4.8, the database server architecture has been extended to the Sybase Virtual Server Architecture. The company says that 4.8’s operational control features enable database administrators to predetermine processor utilisation. Currently, it is in production release on Digital Equipment Corp VAX/VMS, Pyramid Technology Corp and Sequent Computer Systems Inc machines. SQL Server for uniprocessor systems is based on an multi-threaded, single-process, database server architecture. This provides a multi-tasking kernel that performs many of the tasks normally handled by an operating system, such as accepting user requests and managing database tasks and resources. It relies on the operating system for network communication and disk input-output, and Sybase says that this results in lower operating system overhead and more efficient memory usage. The server architecture has been extended to the Virtual Server Architecture designed for multiprocessor systems. The Virtual Server Architecture creates a multi-threaded database process per central processing unit, but the processes appear as a single process, or virtual server, to client applications. The architecture accepts user requests then manages database tasks and resources that involve multiple processors, without interference from the operating system. Sybase claims that more effective memory use enables SQL Server to run applications with large numbers of users without a degradation in performance. Precise Operational Control enables administrators to specify a maximum number of processors to be used by the database server, and this enables applications or programs to run on other processors without interference by the database. Release 4.8 costs from $24,000 to $192,000, depending on the hardware and number of CPUs. Customers currently on Sybase’s maintenance program will receive Release 4.8 at no additional cost. Sybase says that SQL Server on a VAX 9000 has been benchmarked at 261 transactions per second in an audited TPC Benchmark B test, claimed to be highest number of TPC-B transactions ever achieved by a single VAX computer. The test was conducted on the VAX 9000 model 420, a two processor computer, running SYBASE SQL Server, Release 4.8, and Sybase says that the benchmark set two new performance records for the VAX computer. The first is the best price-performance of any VAX in a TPC-B benchmark (CI No 1,711). The benchmark was audited by Codd & Date Inc. In a separate test, Sybase says that it supported 1,000 concurrent users while maintaining and subsecond response rates, and this second benchmark was also audited by Tom Sawyer of Codd & Date.

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