Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Comparison of MS Sql Server vs. Sybase

Comparison Of Sybase and MS Sql Server

Just some thoughts here:

1. There are many large players in the financial industry who have significant investments in Sybase. This means there's a ready supply of DBA's who know both the industry and the technology.

2. Sybase has a data warehousing solution called Sybase IQ, which does lots of optimization specific to data warehouses automatically. It is a 'sparse database' model, storing all unique values and then references to those values, much like is done with varchar2 storage. This saves lots of space, and allows for faster queries if the queries are large. Caution, IQ is built for a few large queries; if you throw lots of small ones at it, it will choke / run very slow, so don't do that.

3. Sybase has available drivers in Perl, Python, etc., and runs on many different OS's (Linux especially). Not true for SQL server, which is a Microsoft-OS-ONLY DBMS.

4. Sybase has a reputation for handling very, very large datasets easily. Terabyte-sized tables are normal. MS SQL Server has a reputation for being optimized for small tables, and choking on large ones.

5. MS SQL Server has a very strange idea of backup / admin tools. These did not handle continuous backup (keeping the DB online thru a backup is a normal thing). Note, this might be fixed now. Sybase has always had this feature.