News In Brief

MS SQL beats Oracle in benchmarks, COBOL for Linux on zSeries, server and storage provisioning solutions grow, and Orbix Mainframe update

Microsoft, NEC, Intel Return Massive Benchmark Result

(Story courtesy of ENT Online)

Microsoft is finally beating Oracle and competing with Unix in the scale-up benchmarking game.

NEC, Intel and Microsoft published a new benchmark on the bellwether TPC-C test for database transaction processing scalability late last week.

The number two result overall on the TPC-C puts Microsoft's SQL Server and Windows Server 2003 above all Oracle database results. It is the first time that Microsoft has produced a non-clustered database system on the TPC-C that came anywhere near the top results of current Unix systems.

This test should put to rest any lingering questions about the scalability of Windows Datacenter Server.

Read more about it here: http://www.entmag.com/news/article.asp?EditorialsID=5707


Micro Focus Delivers COBOL for Linux-on-zSeries

COBOL tools vendor Micro Focus Ltd. this week announced the general availability of Server Express for zSeries, a COBOL development environment that facilitates the migration of applications from distributed environments to IBM zSeries mainframes running Linux.

Server Express for zSeries allows developers to build, test, or deploy COBOL applications that they want to move from distributed platforms onto Linux images running on zSeries.

Micro Focus said that a German company, ABK Systeme, has used Server Express for zSeries to assist with the migration of its legacy COBOL applications to a zSeries mainframe running only Linux. ABK worked with IBM and Micro Focus to design a Linux-on-zSeries-based payment system that can process 50 million domestic German payment transactions or more than 500,000 Society of Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications messages within six hours.


Server, Storage Provisioning Tools Streamline Data Center Operations

A new report from consultancy Yankee Group projects that server and storage provisioning solutions will continue to grow in importance in 2003, as new data center complexities force enterprises to seek to automate labor-intensive tasks.

The report, titled “Server and Storage Automated Management Will Help Provision the Data Center in 2003,” says that the server and storage management provisioning tools today automate the configuration and management of systems will emerge—by 2004—as the first components of broader utility computing and storage management architectures.

Although most enterprises will embrace provisioning to automate tasks and free up labor resources for more important projects, there’s a danger that they’ll automate too quickly without fully understanding the ramifications of the process, suggests Yankee Group analyst Jamie Gruener. "The shift to automation in the data center means customers must consider staged plans for offering infrastructure as a service.”

Gruener stresses that today’s server and storage provisioning tools are merely the first pieces in the utility computing architectures that will emerge in the coming years: “Understanding the pros and cons, as well as putting processes in place early, will assist IT in planning its migration to the utility model."


Iona Revamps Mainframe Integration Solution

Iona Technologies on Tuesday announced an upgrade to its mainframe integration software.

The new version 5.1 release of Orbix Mainframe is said to enable mainframe systems programmers to use their existing skill sets to expose mainframe applications and services as CORBA objects or Web services that are interoperable with both mainframe and distributed applications.

Orbix Mainframe v5.1 supports COBOL, PL/I and C++. Developers can use it to expose mainframe applications and data—including CICS and IMS transactions—as software services with CORBA or Web services interfaces. According to Iona, Orbix Mainframe v5.1 preserves the transactional semantics and enterprise-level characteristics of mainframe applications.

About the Author

Stephen Swoyer is a Nashville, TN-based freelance journalist who writes about technology.