InfoQ Homepage News IBM Cuts DB 2 Prices While Oracle Raises the Cost of MySQL

IBM Cuts DB 2 Prices While Oracle Raises the Cost of MySQL


According to a letter republished in The Register, Oracle is dropping their Basic and Silver level support for MySQL. Not much is really lost; at the basic level you don’t get much more than a couple of support incidents per year, while silver adds some basic monitoring tools. The stuff people normally associate with production-grade databases such as performance monitoring isn’t available until you hit the gold level at $2,999 per server per year. For the full set of tools you can expect to pay $4,999 per server per year.

Keep in mind that these are prices inherited from Sun. There is speculation that prices will be increased so that they are comparable to Oracle’s Berkeley Database line. The transactional version of Berkeley DB is currently going for $5,800 per processor, while the “High Availability” version will set you back $9,800 per processor. With some exceptions, Oracle considers a “processor” to be a single or dual-core chip. On the other hand, one could always stick to the free version of MySQL and find tools from one of the many third-party vendors.

Meanwhile IBM has recently cut the price of its entry level database by half. Like all major vendors, DB2 comes in a free “express” edition. Their version, DB2 Express-C, supports 2 GB of RAM and 2 cores. For an extra $1,500 per year you can upgrade to the “DB2 Express Fixed Term License” version. This doubles the cores/RAM allowed and adds features expected in production environments such as active-passive clusters, replication, and backup compression. Also included in the paid version are the Optim Development Studio and Optim Database Administrator products.

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Community comments

  • I could be mistaken

    by peter lin,

    Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

    I thought DB2 express C was only meant for development purposes and isn't really meant for production. I'm sure there are people who deploy DB2 express c in production, but it's not officially recommended. IBM would prefer you buy a full DB2 license for production.

  • Re: I could be mistaken

    by Diego Visentin,

    Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

    You can use DB2 Express-C in production environment:
    "Q:Are there any limitations such as number of instances installed per server or database size prohibiting full use of DB2 Express-C in production environment?
    A:Unlike other free databases, DB2 Express-C does not impose any artificial limitation. There is no database size limit, no limit on the number of instances or databases per server and no restriction on the number of users."

    For more info:

    PS: DB2 Express-C already runs on Amazon Cloud and it's in beta for MacOSX

  • Re: I could be mistaken

    by hong l,

    Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

    When talking about the Mac meta, I am really feel pity the Mac version is tricky to install and hard to use - especially the command line tools. For contrary, MySQL for mac is very easy to install and use.

  • Re: I could be mistaken

    by Leon Katsnelson,

    Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

    DB2 Express-C can be used for anything you want to do with it without any restrictions. You can use it in development, production and even redistribute it as part of your application without pesky GPL viral issues and without paying any royalties to IBM. And there are no restrictions on the size of the databases, number of users, number of databases etc. Read more at

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