By William Fellows
Sun Microsystems Inc is currently waiting on Oracle, Informix and Sybase to fit their relational databases with technology enabling users to migrate an instance of a database to another domain on a host system without having to take the database or applications down, move them and restart them. It’ll be an important leap forward in Unix server high-availability. However, making these kinds of changes is non-trivial for Oracle and the other vendors, Sun notes. This dynamic reconfiguration functionality already features in IBM’s DB2 which, since the end of last year, has been up on Solaris. Theoretically, a Sun user should be able to migrate DB2 between domains on a Sun server, though Sun’s not sure that anyone is. The ability is one which IBM Corp continues to tout as a key advantage of S/390 over Unix servers (the functionality does not have anything to do with Parallel Sysplex). As far as the battle for five nines supremacy with Hewlett-Packard Co goes, Sun admits that if a user replicates systems enough times they are going to be able to achieve more or less any level of availability they wish. Telecoms companies do this. Although this particular point of comparison – who has more uptime – is not a particularly useful one for users, as there are so many different ways of measuring it, Sun admits HP’s five nines campaign was unusually inspired. It doesn’t believe for one minute that HP can actually achieve the kinds of uptime it promises, though. Furthermore, Sun says it is mostly people and processes rather than technology per se that will deliver new levels of uptime.