Switch lightens database server load

Start-up Savantis Systems is introducing a switch that lets users pool databases to better utilize capacity and potentially reduce the number of database servers they maintain.

The company says individual database servers typically are only 7 per cent to 15 per cent utilized. By combining the activities of each database server into a pool, Savantis can redistribute that utilization so database servers are used more equally.

Savantis expects its dbSwitch to be available in March 2003. dbSwitch connects application servers to database servers, which, in turn, attach to shared storage located on a Fibre Channel storage-area network. The switch’s software combines the database environment into one virtual pool of information – a database-area network, the company calls it – that can be managed from a single point and be utilized more efficiently. Using algorithms, the dbSwitch software moves applications from database server to server based on the load and quality of service needed.

For instance, a PeopleSoft Inc. application residing on a server makes a request of the database servers. Because dbSwitch knows the resource utilization patterns and health of all the servers in the data-area network based on historical monitoring, it already has utilized its resource optimization algorithm to determine which physical database server will process the request.

“The whole concept of consolidation has always been around creating a pool of resources and using economies of scale to reduce the number of resources you need to service your organization,” says Gil Hecht, president and founder of Savantis.

DbSwitch uses an embedded Linux operating system and is built on Intel Corp. processor hardware. Web-based management software lets IT managers monitor systems remotely.

Hecht, formerly vice president of business development for Aladdin Systems Holdings Inc., founded Savantis in October 2000. The company, which has 25 employees, is funded by Star Ventures and Highland Capital Partners for US$5 million.

DbSwitch will sell for approximately US$150,000.

Savantis: www.savantis.com