The New Informix
In March, I found myself in "Dear ole Blighty" - yes - England. I was on a visit with Informix customers and partners in London/Leeds sharing the Informix roadmap. Stability, availability and OLTP performance stood out as "core" for operations. No surprise there. To give you an idea of the data rates/volumes that some of these customers need to deal with, how about 2500 transactions per minute online (a transaction could range from a few SQL statements to several hundred) or 12,000 transactions per minute from retail shops during peak season. Disaster recovery was key to some of these customers and they readily took advantage of the Remote Standalone Secondary (RSS) capability to provide geographically dispersed DR. Understanding and knowing that Informix will continue to invest in these strengths as part of the roadmap was very important to these customers. Further, as most of these customers are trying to design better analytics and insights and become more "customer-focused" as opposed to being purely "transaction-focused", they highly appreciated the Informix Warehouse Accelerator and the technology behind it.
Informix Product Manager
If you are looking to understand , read more about or trying to decide on choosing a warehouse technology that is right for you, this article on DBTA by Roger Gaskell should make an interesting read:
rnair 120000QPR1 Tags:  warehouse exadata in-memory data analytics mart informix sybase teradata 1,844 Visits
Today, we announced the Informix Growth Warehouse Edition along with some pricing updates on the Informix Ultimate Warehouse Edition. The announcements can be found here:
Built around the same Informix Warehouse Accelerator technology available with the The Informix Ultimate Warehouse Edition, the Informix Growth Warehouse offering brings the same performance and capabilities to the mid-market. The Growth Warehouse can be put on a machine that has upto 16 cores and 48 GB of RAM allowing customers the potential to accelerate data mart sizes up to 250 GB or sometimes a little more, depending on the compression obtained.
rnair 120000QPR1 Tags:  in-memory accelerator data informix mart columnar warehouse 2,044 Visits
A few weeks ago we delivered Informix 11.70xC3. Along with some other enhancements, there are three things I want to bring to your attention around the Informix Warehouse Accelerator component of the Informix Ultimate Warehouse Edition:
1) A Smart Mart Tool that can be used to generate data mart definitions from workload analysis
2) Multi-cultural support (IWA support for different locales)
3) the Informix Ultimate Warehouse Time-Limited Version for Evaluation (not really a 11.70xC3 enhancement )
The Smart Mart tool can significantly help reduce the efforts to designing a data mart for deployment with the Informix Warehouse Accelerator. This is really valuable when you are unfamiliar with the database schema or there are a large number of tables. The first step to generating a data mart definition is workload analysis. Workload analysis consists of "Query Probing" where information is gathered about the query workload. Based on the analysis of the probing data and database schema, the probing data can be converted into a data mart definition(probe2mart stored procedure). This definition is in the form of relation tables and can be used to generate the data mart definition as xml (genmartdef() ). This xml file can be imported using the ISAO studio administration interface.
The Informix Ultimate Warehouse Edition time-limited evaluation now allows you to conveniently try out and experience the extreme performance gains at your convenience. The download can be found here
rnair 120000QPR1 Tags:  in-memory warehouse mixed analytics edition in memory data informix ultimate workloads mart 1 Comment 2,380 Visits
Fred Ho and Lester Knutsen talked about the Informix Ultimate Warehouse Edition on a very well attended web cast organized by InformationWeek. There were a lot of questions that Fred has documented as Q&A at this blog which can be found here
rnair 120000QPR1 Tags:  in analytics time informix real warehouse questions data mart asked memory frequently 1 Comment 2,613 Visits
Ok well, I tried. Over the last week we seemed to have skipped Spring altogether in the "Heartland of America" and taken a short cut to summer PLUS, more to the point of the blog, I have been on some calls with our business partners and a couple of customers over our new offering - the Informix Ultimate Warehouse Edition. As a result, I have compiled a set of "generally asked" questions that I thought are worthwhile sharing with you. Here they are:
Q. How does this new Informix warehouse offering announcement impact existing entitlements and contracts?
The IBM Informix Ultimate Warehouse Edition is a new edition in the Informix family. It has no impact on existing entitlements and contracts. This edition is not a replacement offering for any existing offerings or editions.
Q. What does this new edition offer those who have the Informix Ultimate Edition?
The Informix Ultimate Warehouse Edition offers additional value over the Informix Ultimate Edition. This new offering is composed of 3 key software components: a) Accelerator-ready Informix Ultimate Edition, b) Informix Warehouse Accelerator and c) Informix Compression. This edition offers customers significant performance improvements and allows customers to optimize performance in a mixed workload environment. The Informix Ultimate Warehouse Edition is available as a trade-up to existing Ultimate Edition customers.
Q. I have a warehouse currently on Informix Ultimate. How do I obtain this new edition? Is this available on all platforms?
Customers on Ultimate Edition have a trade-up option to obtain Ultimate Warehouse Edition for their current PVU entitlements. This Edition is available on the following platforms: Sun Sol 64 bit, AIX 64 bit, Linux 64 bit, HP-UX 64 bit, however please note that the Informix Warehouse Accelerator needs to run on Intel Linux 64-bit.
Q. If I have Growth Edition, can I trade-up to Ultimate Warehouse Edition?
Customers on Growth Edition would need to trade-up to Ultimate Edition. If customers have extreme performance requirements for their warehouse that are not met by Informix Ultimate Edition, customers can trade-up to the Ultimate Warehouse Edition.
Q. Why is this a new edition and not a new feature option?
Based on our new strategy around pricing and packaging (announced May 2010), which was based on feedback from our user and partner community, we have moved away from adding new feature options to the Ultimate editions for the server. Further, the warehouse offering really is a combination of Accelerator-ready Informix Ultimate(which is required for the Informix Accelerator to work), the Informix Warehouse Accelerator itself and the set of tools to configure and deploy.
Q. What is the sweet spot for this offering?
This is targeted towards the Informix install base. Additionally, the following is defined as the sweet spot for Informix Ultimate Warehouse:
a) Up to 5 TB data mart requiring acceleration
b) Data warehouses with Star Schema design
c) Requirement to support mixed
OLTP/OLAP workloads and high concurrency on the same system
Q. I currently have Informix Ultimate Edition on one of the supported platforms other than Linux. What does a trade-up provide me with?
The trade-up gives customers additional value at a nominal price. For the price of the trade-up, customers get entitlements to an accelerator-ready version of Informix Ultimate and Informix storage optimization feature that they can immediately deploy to their existing environment plus entitlements to the Informix Warehouse Accelerator. The warehouse accelerator needs additional processing power as well as memory and customers would typically need to purchase additional cores to deploy the accelerator component.
Q. What BI tools does this offering support?
Popular vendor tools such as IBM Cognos, Microstrategy, Business Objects all work with Informix and have been deployed by several Informix customers.
Q. Will SAP/Peoplesoft work with this offering?
Customers have to ensure that the versions of SAP and Peoplesoft in question have been
certified with Informix 11.70xC2. Secondly, customers will need to be given access to the schema and data maintained by SAP/PeopleSoft in order to define the data mart for acceleration with the Informix Warehouse Accelerator component.
Q. Will these new editions be eligible for sub-capacity licensing?
Yes. All for-purchase
Informix software is eligible for sub-capacity licensing.
Q. What metric is the Informix Ultimate Warehouse Edition available on?
Processor Value Unit (PVU)
Q. How are my PVU entitlements counted for when I install the different components on different systems?
Customer has to acquire PVUs to cover processor cores for all systems on which the resources managed by the program reside. For instance, if the customer plans to deploy the Informix Ultimate Warehouse Edition on an HP itanium system, they may do so, and would deploy the Informix Warehouse Accelerator on a Linux-Intel system. The customer then configures the required data marts from the warehouse for deployment with Informix Warehouse Accelerator. Those data marts reside on IWA for processing. If the HP system is 4 cores and the Linux Intel system is 12 cores, the customer acquires PVU entitlements for 16 cores.
Q. What if I still have questions?
There is an e-mail alias where you may send questions and get answers from the most appropriate IBM resources: askIFMX@us.ibm.com#informix
rnair 120000QPR1 Tags:  in-memory ultimate warehouse intelligence columnar informix business analytics bi 3,108 Visits
This is the sign hanging on data warehouses today: "Wanted: Technology for Extreme Performance ".
Introducing the Informix Ultimate Warehouse Edition for our Informix customers - you can read the official announcements here:
So what's all the excitement about ? The IBM Informix Ultimate Warehouse offering is all about bringing extreme performance enhancements to Informix warehouse workloads using breakthrough warehouse acceleration technology. Yup I know that is a mouthful. But hold your questions right there!
First let me delve into the packaged contents of this offering before we get into the details. The offering is basically a brand new edition that consists of :
Here is how it all works in a nutshell :
Your warehouse continues to be managed by #Informix and your BI queries continue to run against Informix. When a query is run against a data mart that is configured for acceleration, the Informix optimizer ships off that query to the accelerator and returns the results from the accelerator back to the BI application. The following graphic attempts to illustrate this:
The Informix Ultimate Edition is supported on 64-bit versions of the following OSes: AIX, Sol, HP-UX and Linux:
The IWA component is supported on the following platforms:
To learn more about the Informix Ultimate Warehouse Edition visit the Informix Warehouse page or attend the various Discover Informix and IIUG events coming your way or look for other blogs from various Informix experts. Don't forget to register for and attend the IIUG Conference in May 2011.
To leave with a final thought, here's my favorite one for your warehousing environment : Take "NO" for an answer !!!!
Check out the press release and some great quotes from some of our customers and partners.
rnair 120000QPR1 Tags:  innovator-c free sql charge informix edition elt no community innovation best warehouse database 4 Comments 4,910 Visits
Yesterday I posted an entry summarizing the new packaging and editions of Informix. One thing I forgot to mention was the version - all these announced editions are Informix 11.5xc7.
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:
IBM Informix Product Manager
As an existing "fan" of Informix, all of us heard it at the International Informix User Group Conference, (IIUG) we asked about it, we speculated and finally it's here. Informix, yes - not "Informix Dynamic Server" - has a new name, new look, new pricing and packaging. Before I delve into the specifics here , a pointer to the announcement and the web pages:
IBM Informix Product Manager