Today I want to talk about one of the new editions : Innovator-C. Innovator-C is a no-charge edition that you can use to develop, test and deploy production applications! If you wish to distribute Innovator-C with your applications, you will need to acquire a distribution license by contacting IBM sales. You can obtain optional Support for your Innovator-C by purchasing IBM Elite level Selected Support.
There are a couple of things I want to talk about. First, I want to throw some light on the details of the Innovator-C edition especially its resource allocations and usage as I have received a number of inquiries on this already. Innovator-C is available in 32-bit and 64-bit versions across all 11.50xc7 platforms . This download location will list your platform of choice. This edition supports 1 socket or 4 cores and 2 GB of memory per install. This means that you may install this on any size machine - the Informix engine is going to utilize at the most 4 cores and 2 GB memory. The CPU usage is capped by the engine via its CPU Virtual Processors (VPs). Let me expand on that a little using some an example. Let's say you install Innovator-C on your favorite platform and configure the engine to use 2 CPU VPs. The Informix engine is going to use 2 CPU VPs. If you configure anything more than 4 CPU VPs, the engine is going to put a message in its log and automatically scale back the CPU VPs to 4.
The second thing that I want to talk about and what is often a common inquiry is how this compares to no-charge offerings from other vendors especially Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server.
When you look at the resource allocations and functionality, you will see that Informix clearly differentiates itself from both Oracle and SQL Server no-charge editions. Oracle offers Oracle Express Edition and Microsoft offers SQL Server Express. Both SQL Server and Oracle Express editions put a size limit on your database - no more than 4 GB. Both Oracle and SQL Server Express also limit memory to 1 GB.
In terms of supported platforms Informix Innovator-C offers the widest range - supporting 32 and 4-bit versions across Unix, Linux, Microsoft Windows and Mac OS. SQL Server Express of course is Windows only and Oracle Express runs on 32-bit Linux and Windows only. Hey you never know which platform the next innovation is going to come from!
In terms of functionality, the Informix Innovator-C again differentiates itself from Oracle and SQL Server Express editions in the areas of high availability and replication.
Oracle Express does not come with high availability. SQL Server Express can only be used as a "witness" in a database mirroring setup. The witness establishes a quorum between two SQL Server editions known as a primary and a secondary. The primary and secondary in a failover setup CANNOT be a SQL Server Express edition. This means that you cannot setup a failover node for SQL Server Express.
With Informix Innovator-C you can set up high availability with Informix High Availability Data Replication (HDR) with a primary and a secondary. Additionally, the secondary is also read/write enabled which means the secondary can be used to balance read or write workloads.
In terms of data replication, SQL Server Express can only be used as a subscriber in their Publisher-Subscriber replication model. SQL Server Express cannot be a distributor or publisher. Multi-master or peer to peer replication is not supported. Oracle Express supports basic replication using materialized views (what used to called snapshots earlier). Materialized views are used to replicate data from a master to a non-master site. Basic replication allows you to either create a read-only snapshot that can receive changes from a master or create an updateable materialized view that can be used to update only those tables that were part of the snapshot from the master.
Informix Innovator-C allows update anywhere (peer to peer ) replication with another Innovator-C node with no restrictions enabling you to scale your application workloads.
To top it off, you can also obtain technical support for a very competitive subscription pricing. IBM Informix is the database software voted number #1 in customer satisfaction - that speaks volumes to the quality of the Informix support organization. Now I already knew that :-), but it's great to hear it from our customers!!
So, are you:
- A small business owner or a startup looking for an entry level database edition that can put in production? Do you additionally want to have the piece of mind of being able to protect your database with failover ?
- An existing Informix customer looking for basic database functionality to deploy light to medium traffic web applications or websites ?
- A university or educational institution looking for a reliable, easy to manage database for supporting departmental applications or for supporting your next innovation project ?
- A solution provider who needs to embed database functionality with minimal administration requirements ?
IBM Informix Product Manager