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SQL Server 2000 vs Sybase ASE 12.5

Alexander Chigrik
chigrik@mssqlcity.com


Introduction
Platform comparison
  • Hardware requirements
  • Software requirements
  • Performance comparison
  • TPC tests
  • Price comparison
    Features comparison
  • Microsoft T-SQL vs Sybase T-SQL
  • SQL Server 2000 and Sybase ASE 12.5 limits
  • Conclusion
    Literature


    Introduction

    Often people in newsgroups ask about some comparison of Microsoft SQL Server and Sybase Adaptive Server. In this article, I compare SQL Server 2000 with Sybase Adaptive Server Enterprise 12.5 (Sybase ASE 12.5) regarding price, performance, platforms supported, SQL dialects and products limits.

    Platform comparison

    SQL Server 2000 only works on Windows-based platforms, including Windows 9x, Windows NT, Windows 2000 and Windows CE.
    In comparison with SQL Server 2000, Sybase ASE 12.5 supports all known platforms, including Windows-based platforms, AIX-based systems, HP-UX systems, Linux Intel, Sun Solaris and so on.

    Hardware requirements

    To install SQL Server 2000, you should have the Intel or compatible platforms and the following hardware:

    Hardware Requirements
    Processor Pentium 166 MHz or higher
    Memory 32 MB RAM (minimum for Desktop Engine),
    64 MB RAM (minimum for all other editions),
    128 MB RAM or more recommended
    Hard disk space 270 MB (full installation),
    250 MB (typical),
    95 MB (minimum),
    Desktop Engine: 44 MB
    Analysis Services: 50 MB minimum and 130 MB typical
    English Query: 80 MB

    Sybase ASE 12.5 supports Windows-based platforms, AIX-based systems, HP-UX systems, Linux Intel, Silicon Graphics, Sun Solaris and so on.
    To install Sybase ASE 12.5 under the Windows-based platforms, you should have the following hardware:

    Hardware Requirements
    Processor Pentium or Pentium compatible CPU
    Memory 48 MB minimum for the Sybase ASE 12.5,
    plus memory for the operation system and other programs.
    Hard disk space
    Adaptive Server 12.5 110MB
    jConnect 4.5 4.5MB
    jConnect 5.5 4.5MB
    jutilities (Cascade Gateway, jisql, Ribo) 6MB
    jConnect documentation 0.5MB
    Open Client/C 133MB
    Monitor Client Library 4MB
    Monitor Server 12.5 3.5MB
    Historical Server 6MB
    Adaptive Server plug-in for Sybase Central 13MB
    Enhanced Full-Text Search 70MB
    EJB Server 420MB

    To install Sybase ASE 12.5 under the AIX-based systems, you should have the following hardware:

    Hardware Requirements
    Processor IBM RISC System 6000 32-bit,
    IBM RISC System 6000, Model S70, 64-bit
    Memory 64 MB for the Sybase ASE 12.5 (for IBM RS/6000 32-bit),
    92 MB for the Sybase ASE 12.5 (for IBM RS/6000 64-bit),
    plus memory for the operation system and other programs.
    Hard disk space
    Adaptive Server 12.5 235MB
    jConnect 4.5 5.5MB
    jConnect 5.5 5.5MB
    jutilities (Cascade Gateway, jisql, Ribo) 6MB
    jConnect documentation 8MB
    Open Client/C 12.5 115MB
    Language Modules (Server 12.5) 2-7MB per language
    Language Modules (Open Client 12.5) 3-6MB per language
    Monitor Client Library 12.5 7.9MB
    Monitor Server 12.5 4MB
    Monitor Historical Server 12.5 6MB
    Enhanced Full-Text Search 75MB

    To install Sybase ASE 12.5 under the HP-UX systems, you should have the following hardware:

    Hardware Requirements
    Processor HP 9000/800 32-bit, HP 9000/800 64-bit
    Memory 64 MB minimum for the Sybase ASE 12.5 (for HP 9000/800 32-bit),
    90 MB minimum for the Sybase ASE 12.5 (for HP 9000/800 64-bit),
    plus memory for the operation system and other programs.
    Hard disk space
    Adaptive Server 12.5 191MB
    jConnect 4.5 4.5MB
    jConnect 5.5 4.5MB
    jutilities (Cascade Gateway, jisql, Ribo) 6MB
    jConnect documentation 6MB
    Open Client/C 12.5 244MB
    Language Modules (Server 12.5) 2-7MB per language
    Language Modules (Open Client 12.5) 3-6MB per language
    Monitor Client Library 12.5 4MB
    Monitor Server 12.5 3MB
    Monitor Historical Server 12.5 6MB
    Enhanced Full-Text Search 70MB
    EJB Server 32-bit platforms only 420MB

    To install Sybase ASE 12.5 under the Linux Intel platform, you should have the following hardware:

    Hardware Requirements
    Processor Pentium II, 230 MHz or higher
    Memory 50 MB minimum for the Sybase ASE 12.5,
    plus memory for the operation system and other programs.
    Hard disk space
    Adaptive Server 12.5 115MB
    Sybase Common package 100MB
    Open Client/C 12.5 120MB
    Language Modules (Server 12.5) 2-7MB per language
    Language Modules (Open Client 12.5) 3-6MB per language
    Enhanced Full-Text Search 65MB
    Sybase-esql 4MB
    Sybase Openserver 45MB

    To install Sybase ASE 12.5 under the Silicon Graphics platform, you should have the following hardware:

    Hardware Requirements
    Processor MIPS IV or higher
    Memory 32 MB minimum for the Sybase ASE 12.5 (for SGI IRIX 32-bit),
    64 MB minimum for the Sybase ASE 12.5 (for SGI IRIX 64-bit),
    plus memory for the operation system and other programs.
    Hard disk space
    Adaptive Server 12.5 245-270MB
    jConnect 4.2 5MB
    jConnect 5.2 5MB
    jutilities (Cascade Gateway, jisql, Ribo) 6MB
    jConnect documentation 8MB
    Open Client/C 12.5 117-130MB
    Language Modules (Server 12.5) 2-7MB per language
    Language Modules (Open Client 12.5) 3-6MB per language
    Monitor Server 12.5 3.9MB
    Monitor Historical Server 12.5 6.8MB
    Sybase Central 13MB

    To install Sybase ASE 12.5 under the Sun Solaris, you should have the following hardware:

    Hardware Requirements
    Processor Sun Solaris 32-bit, Sun Solaris 64-bit
    Memory 66 MB minimum for the Sybase ASE 12.5 (for Sun Solaris 32-bit),
    92 MB minimum for the Sybase ASE 12.5 (for Sun Solaris 64-bit),
    plus memory for the operation system and other programs.
    Hard disk space
    Adaptive Server 12.5 155MB
    jConnect 4.5 4.5MB
    jConnect 5.5 4.5MB
    jutilities (Cascade Gateway, jisql, Ribo) 6MB
    jConnect documentation 0.5MB
    Open Client/C 12.5 SDK 183MB
    Language Modules (Server 12.5) 2-7MB per language
    Language Modules (Open Client 12.5) 3-6MB per language
    Adaptive Server Monitor Server 12.5 3.5MB
    Monitor Historical Server 12.5 6MB
    Monitor Client Library 12.5 4MB
    Enhanced Full-Text Search 70MB
    EJB Server 32-bit platforms only 420MB

    Software requirements

    SQL Server 2000 comes in six editions: Enterprise, Standard, Personal, Developer, Desktop Engine, and SQL Server CE (a compatible version for Windows CE) and requires the following software:

    Operating System Enterprise Edition Standard Edition Personal Edition Developer Edition Desktop Engine SQL Server CE
    Windows CE No No No No No Yes
    Windows 9x No No Yes No Yes No
    Windows NT 4.0 Workstation with Service Pack 5 No No Yes Yes Yes No
    Windows NT 4.0 Server with Service Pack 5 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
    Windows NT 4.0 Server Enterprise Edition with Service Pack 5 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
    Windows 2000 Professional No No Yes Yes Yes No
    Windows 2000 Server Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
    Windows 2000 Advanced Server Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
    Windows 2000 DataCenter Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
    Windows XP Professional No No Yes Yes Yes No

    Sybase ASE 12.5 requires the following software:

    Platform Operating System Version Required Patches
    Windows-based Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack 6 or higher
    AIX-Based AIX 4.3.3 (32-bit) Maintenance Level 7 or later
    AIX-Based AIX 5.1 Not Necessary
    HP-UX HP-UX 11.0 64-bitDevLibs, HPUXEng64RT, Integ-Logon,
    KernDev, MiscDiag, OnlineDiag,
    UXCoreMedia, Y2K-1100, PHCO_13808,
    PHCO_13809, PHCO_14733, PHCO_14786,
    PHCO_14810, PHCO_15219, PHCO_15220,
    PHCO_15221, PHCO_15235, PHCO_16021,
    PHCO_16253, PHCO_16305, PHCO_16341,
    PHCO_19047, PHCO_19391, PHNE_14479,
    PHNE_16636, PHSS_18066, PHSS_18072,
    PHSS_21950, PHSS_22217, PHSS_22272
    Linux kernel-2.2.14-5.0 Not Necessary
    Silicon Graphics SGI IRIX 6.5 (32-bit and 64-bit) Not Necessary
    Sun Solaris Solaris 8 (32-bit and 64-bit) patches 108434-04, 108435-04, 108528-12,
    108827-12, 108991-18, 109210-12, 109384-02,
    111177-06, 110648-13, 112138-01

    Performance comparison

    It is very difficult to make the performance comparison between SQL Server 2000 and Sybase ASE 12.5. The performance of your databases depends rather from the experience of the database developers and database administrator than from the database's provider. You can use both of these RDBMS to build stable and efficient system. However, it is possible to define the typical transactions, which used in inventory control systems, airline reservation systems and banking systems. After defining these typical transactions, it is possible to run them under the different database management systems working on the different hardware and software platforms.

    TPC tests

    The Transaction Processing Performance Council (TPC.Org) is independent organization that specifies the typical transactions (transactions used in inventory control systems, airline reservation systems and banking systems) and some general rules these transactions should satisfy.

    The TPC produces benchmarks that measure transaction processing and database performance in terms of how many transactions a given system and database can perform per unit of time, e.g., transactions per second or transactions per minute.

    The TPC organization made the specification for many tests. There are TPC-C, TPC-H, TPC-R, TPC-W and some old tests, such as TPC-A, TPC-B and TPC-D. The most popular test is the TPC-C test (OLTP test).

    At the moment the article was wrote, SQL Server 2000 held the top TPC-C by performance results with Distributed Partitioned Views-based cluster systems.
    See Top Ten TPC-C by Performance Version 5 Results

    At the moment the article was wrote, SQL Server 2000 held the top TPC-C by price/performance results. See Top Ten TPC-C by Price/Performance Version 5 Results

    Note. Because most organizations really do not run very large databases, so the key points on which SQL Server 2000 won the TPC-C benchmarks do not really matter to the vast majority of companies.

    Price comparison

    One of the main Microsoft SQL Server 2000 advantage in comparison with Sybase ASE 12.5 is that SQL Server is cheaper.
    SQL Server 2000 is currently available under two licensing options:

  • Processor license.
  • Server/per-seat client access license (CAL).


  • The processor license requires a single license for each CPU in the computer running SQL Server 2000 and includes unlimited client access. You can buy this license when you do not know the number of the clients (for example, if your users will connect to SQL Server 2000 through the internet). This license usually is cheaper than Server/Per-Seat CAL when there are many users connected to SQL Server databases.

    The Server/per-seat client access license (CAL) requires a license for the server and the licenses for each client device. You can use this licensing option when the customers do not need access beyond the firewall and the number of clients is low (for example, 10-20 users for SQL Server 2000 Standard Edition or 30-40 users for SQL Server 2000 Enterprise Edition).

    Licensing Options SQL Server 2000 Standard Edition SQL Server 2000 Enterprise Edition
    Processor $4,999 per processor $19,999 per processor
    Server/Per-Seat CAL with 5 CALs - $1,489
    with 10 CALs - $2,249
    with 25 CALs - $11,099

    Sybase ASE 12.5 is currently available as two main products:

  • ASE Workplace
  • ASE Enterprise


  • ASE Workplace includes machines running Windows NT, Netware, or SCO Unix with 4 or fewer CPUs. ASE Enterprise includes machines running Windows NT, Netware, or SCO Unix with more than 4 CPUs.
    For other platforms, the classification into ASE Workplace or ASE Enterprise is dependent on Total Processing Factor (TPF), which is based on the maximum number of CPUs that a box can support multiplied by the processing power (in megahertz) of each CPU. Machines that have a TPF of 2000 or less are considered ASE Workplace while those above 2000 are considered ASE Enterprise.

    Sybase ASE 12.5 is currently available under two main licensing options:

  • Processor license.
  • Server/Networked Seat.


  • The processor license is available under the ASE Enterprise 12.5 for LINUX only. For other platforms, the Server/Networked Seat licenses are only available.

    Licensing Options Sybase ASE Workplace 12.5 Sybase ASE Enterprise 12.5 Sybase ASE Enterprise 12.5 for LINUX
    Processor Not available Not available $24,995 per processor
    Server $995 $3,995 $2,995
    Networked Seat $195 $795 $595

    Note. This is not a full price comparison between SQL Server 2000 and Sybase ASE 12.5. It is only a brief comparison. You can have any discounts and the prices can be increased or decreased in the future. See Microsoft and Sybase to get more information about the price of their products.

    Features comparison

    Both SQL Server 2000 and Sybase ASE 12.5 support the ANSI SQL-92 entry level and do not support the ANSI SQL-92 intermediate level. In the Features comparison section of this article I want to make the brief comparison of the SQL Server T-SQL with Sybase T-SQL dialect and show some SQL Server 2000 and Sybase ASE 12.5 limits.

    Microsoft T-SQL vs Sybase T-SQL

    Microsoft SQL Server and Sybase ASE have a common heritage because, until version 4.2, Microsoft simply licensed Sybase's database server software. So these products had one kernel. After version 4.2, these products have diverged. Microsoft has produced versions 6.0, 6.5, 7.0, and 2000 of Microsoft SQL Server, while Sybase has produced versions 4.8, 4.9, System 10 and System 11 of Sybase SQL Server and versions 11.5, 11.9, 12, and 12.5 of Sybase Adaptive Server Enterprise.

    Because Microsoft SQL Server and Sybase ASE had one kernel, they have some similar features now. For example, the dialect of SQL supported by both Microsoft and Sybase is called Transact-SQL (T-SQL). To distinguish these dialect, we will call them Microsoft T-SQL and Sybase T-SQL accordingly. Both these dialect are very similar, so the migration to SQL Server 2000 from the Sybase ASE 12.5 (or vice versa) can be made much easier than the migration to SQL Server 2000 from Oracle 9i or IBM DB2 v8.1.

    This is the brief comparison of Microsoft T-SQL and Sybase T-SQL:

    Feature Sybase T-SQL Microsoft T-SQL
    Indexes B-Tree indexes B-Tree indexes
    Tables Relational tables,
    Temporary tables
    Relational tables,
    Temporary tables
    Triggers login triggers,
    AFTER triggers
    AFTER triggers,
    INSTEAD OF triggers
    Procedures Sybase T-SQL statements,
    SQLJ stored procedure (SQL
    wrapper to a Java static method)
    Microsoft T-SQL statements
    User-defined functions SQLJ functions (SQL wrapper
    to a Java static method)
    Scalar functions,
    Inline table-valued functions,
    Multistatement table-valued functions
    Indexed Views Not Supported Supported
    Multiple Triggers Not Supported Supported
    Arrays Not Supported Not Supported

    SQL Server 2000 and Sybase ASE 12.5 limits

    Here you can find some SQL Server 2000 and Sybase ASE 12.5 limits:

    Feature SQL Server 2000 Sybase ASE 12.5
    database name length 128 30
    table name length 128 30
    view name length 128 30
    column name length 128 30
    index name length 128 30
    triggers name length 128 30
    procedures name length 128 30
    defaults name length 128 30
    rules name length 128 30
    cursor name length 128 30
    nested triggers levels 32 16
    columns referenced by a view 4096 1024
    columns per SELECT statement 4096 1024
    max indexes per table 250 250
    bytes per index 900 600 for 2K page,
    1250 for 4K page,
    2600 for 8K page,
    5300 for 16K page
    columns per index 16 31
    parameters per stored procedure 1024 255
    text of a stored procedure 250MB 16MB
    nested stored procedure levels 32 16
    nested subqueries 32 16
    tables per SELECT statement 256 50
    columns in GROUP BY, ORDER BY Limited only by number
    of bytes (8060)
    31

    Conclusion

    It is not true that SQL Server 2000 is better than Sybase ASE 12.5 or vice versa. Both products can be used to build stable and efficient system and the stability and effectiveness of your applications and databases depend rather from the experience of the database developers and database administrator than from the database's provider. But SQL Server 2000 has some advantages in comparison with Sybase ASE 12.5 and vice versa.

    The SQL Server 2000 advantages:

    • SQL Server 2000 is cheaper to buy than Sybase ASE 12.5.
    • SQL Server 2000 holds the top TPC-C performance and price/performance results.
    • SQL Server 2000 is generally accepted as easier to install, use and manage.
    The Sybase ASE 12.5 advantages:

    • Sybase ASE 12.5 supports all known platforms, not only the Windows-based platforms.
    • More fine-tuning to the configuration can be done via start-up parameters.

    Literature

    1. SQL Server 2000 Books Online

    2. How to Buy

    3. Adaptive Server Enterprise

    4. Installation Guide Adaptive Server Enterprise for Windows NT

    5. Installation Guide Adaptive Server Enterprise for IBM RISC System/6000 AIX

    6. Installation Guide Adaptive Server Enterprise for HP-UX

    7. Installation Guide Adaptive Server Enterprise for Linux/Intel

    8. Installation Guide Adaptive Server Enterprise for Silicon Graphics IRIX

    9. Installation Guide Adaptive Server Enterprise for Sun Solaris


     

     
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