CA to revive dormant database

Computer Associates International Inc. is looking to breathe new life into a long-quiet database and, in so doing, is gunning to make it outperform Microsoft SQL Server and Oracle Database 10g.

CA plans to open-source the Ingres database this week at the LinuxWorld Conference & Expo under its own CA-TOSL (Trusted Open Source License).

“We think this will change the market dramatically,” said Tony Gaughan, senior vice-president at CA. “We’re competitive with Oracle (Corp.)”

Gaughan said that Ingres R3 will outperform Microsoft Corp.’s SQL Server database and is attractive pricewise because it is open source. He could not site specific technical benchmarks, but Gaughan said that when both databases are running on the same hardware, “Ingres blows SQL Server away.”

Microsoft has not run tests against Ingres, but Tom Rizzo, director of product management for SQL Server at Microsoft, questioned CA’s testing because it was not done within the industry benchmark Transaction Processing Performance Council.

“Ingres is not one of our mainstream competitors,” Rizzo said, adding that Microsoft sees Ingres competing with MSDE (Microsoft SQL Server Desktop Engine), which will become the forthcoming SQL Server Express and is due in conjunction with SQL Server 2005 in the first half of next year.

In fact, Microsoft sent SQL Server 2005 into Beta 2 last week, adding support for AMD’s Opteron and SQL Server Management Studio, a new management tool.

CA’s Gaughan said Ingres is three to five development years ahead of the open source MySQL database. But CA has chosen Oracle, rather than IBM’s DB2, as the database to best.

“If you compare Ingres R3 with Oracle9i, we’re very comparable; but Oracle 10g goes ahead of us. We think we can catch up to 10g. Our goal is to exceed Oracle,” Gaughan said.

To that end, CA added a clustering option to Ingres that uses Oracle’s technology. CA partnered with JBoss for Hibernate persistence and query service to expose data objects.

One analyst was skeptical about Ingres’ chances.

“I don’t think anyone is going to be interested in another open source DBMS,” said Bill Claybrook, president of New River Marketing Research. “It is very difficult to make an impact on the database market.”

Even if Ingres surpasses Oracle 10g in terms of performance, the cost of migrating away from SQL Server or Oracle will prohibit switching.

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