The Cost Benefit Case for Database Migration to Intel Servers

Value Proposition For Migration:
Cost/Benefit Case For IBM DB2 9.7 And Intel Xeon Processor 5500 And 7400 Series-Based Servers

Consolidation Opportunities

At yearend 2004, the typical U.S. Fortune 500 corporation contained fewer than 300 server database instances. By the end of 2009, the number will have increased to more than 2,000. Similar trends have occurred in midsize business, in the public sector and in other types of organization worldwide. The fastest rates of growth have been among databases deployed on small x86 servers.

Multiplication of server databases has contributed to “server sprawl,” resulting in low levels of utilization, unnecessary duplication of resources, and inflation of system administration and facilities costs.

Although server consolidation has become pervasive, to date it has been more commonly applied to application and infrastructure servers, rather than database servers. Database consolidation has often raised complex performance issues, making it more difficult to plan for and prepare for initiatives.

One implication is that, in many organizations, the potential for database server consolidation has been little exploited. At a time of economic pressures, it is an obvious area of potential cost savings. Key technology shifts have made consolidation increasingly viable. More powerful multicore processors, along with the growing sophistication of server and database platforms are creating new opportunities.

This report examines the cost savings that may be realized by upgrading and consolidating IBM DB2 databases. Three-year costs are compared for the following:

  • 2005 technologies: DB2 Version 8.2 is deployed on xSeries 335 two-socket servers with singlecore Intel Xeon processors and the Windows Server 2003 operating system.
  • Current technologies: DB2 Version 9.7 is deployed on (1) IBM System x3550 M2 two-socket servers with quad-core Intel Xeon 5500 processors, and (2) IBM System x3850 M2 four-socket servers with six-core Intel Xeon 7400 processors. The Windows 2008 operating system is employed on both System x platforms.

Savings are realized in a number of areas, including hardware maintenance, support for DB2 databases and Windows operating systems, and system administration and energy costs.

Calculations for DB2 9.7 deployed on System x3550 M2 and x3850 M2 servers allow for transition costs. These include acquisition and installation of new servers, along with database consolidation, staff retraining and related costs.

Cost Comparisons

Comparisons are based on six installations with between 25 and 231 DB2 instances employed for a variety of applications in manufacturing, aerospace, government, IT services, insurance and financial services organizations.

Numbers of instances, servers and full time equivalent (FTE) system administration (sysadmin) personnel for use of 2005 technologies are based on user-supplied data. Although organizations employed a variety of two-socket x86 servers, installed bases were normalized to use of DB2 8.2 and IBM xSeries 335 server
models for calculation purposes.

Scenarios were then developed for migration of DB2 instances to the latest DB2 Version 9.7 and consolidation of these to System x3550 M2 and x3850 M2 servers. Scenarios draw upon the experiences of more than 30 organizations that have conducted DB2 consolidation initiatives. They are consistent with “best practice” norms for the numbers of instances and workloads that may run on these platforms.

DB2 instances include mixes of DB2 Enterprise Edition and Workgroup Edition, while servers are configured with Enterprise and Standard Editions of Windows Server 2003 and (for Current Technologies scenarios) Windows Server 2008.

Software support costs include IBM Software Maintenance (SWMA) and Microsoft Software Assurance for DB2 and Windows Server licenses respectively. Hardware, maintenance and software support costs are calculated based on “street” prices; i.e., discounted prices paid by the organizations upon which
installations are based.

Current Technologies scenarios do not include use of virtualization tools such as VMware and Microsoft Hyper-V. Although these may be employed to support multiple database instances, organizations that contributed to this report were able to achieve high levels of database consolidation without them.

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