Technical Comparison of DB2 and MySQL
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The database server is a standard part of almost every business these days. Common commercial
databases, such as DB2, Oracle, and Microsoft SQL Server include many features that people
have come to rely on to make their database servers "enterprise worthy". These features include
advanced database utilities, management tools, replication, disaster recovery, and performance
During the past ten years, the open-source community has improved the quality of its software,
making it ready for the enterprise. This popularity in open-source software has also initiated a new
trend: databases are quickly becoming an integral part of the open-source middleware stack such
as LAMP. The functionality of MySQL now makes it a competitor to commercial products such as
DB2 for some applications.
Being an open source database MySQL install could be binary-based or source-based. However,
DB2 is a binary-based only install. Binary-based installation methods supported by both MySQL
and DB2 are similar and both products support features such as silent installs/de-installs, etc. The
install times for both products can vary based on the edition, and the server your are installing on.
Both MySQL and DB2 offer versions that can be embedded in other applications. These versions
have features such as a small disk and memory footprint with lightweight database functionality.
DB2 Cloudscape also includes some advanced offerings for easy embeddability including near
zero management requirements and easy upgrades. We will discuss more about these features in
the following sections.
In commercial applications that require full transactional support including logging or read-intensive
applications, MySQL Pro would be the edition of choice. Open-source projects can choose from
the MySQL standard or MySQL Max flavors for development. In the rare situations where a
commercial application can function with just an in-memory storage engine (data consistency is not
important) MySQL Classic may be used. Clusters support may be included in the MySQL Pro
edition starting v5.0 (ETA mid 2005) however; this has not been announced yet.
Platform Support Comparison
The figure below lists the supported platforms by both MySQL and DB2. Both databases have
similar support models for the distributed platforms. However, DB2 offers a more complete list of
widely used platforms from mobile computing to mainframes.