SQL vs. DB2


Hi list,

We are running OneWorld XE on an AS400 and are currently having performance issues and plan to move to NT/SQL. Has anybody else had done this conversion? If so, what was your justification to move from your AS400 to NT.


David K. Smith


Well Known Member
We were on AS400/DB2 with JDE world software but we migrated to OW on NT/SQL. The justification would have been high maintenance cost of hardware and software on AS400/DB2 and performance.



Were you co-existence before or just World. Are you happy with the performance with NT/SQL vs. AS400/DB2.




How many concurrent clients are you supporting. We are running DB2/400 and for cost benefits are considering alternative platforms for the Enterprise Server. We are currently coexistence but plan to be OW exclusively by 2003.


Well Known Member
I would not want to restart an old argument about which platform is better. But there are some things to consider in this discussion. The great thing about OneWorld databases is that they were designed for ANSI-SQL databases (standards based computing). In theory, this reduces the proprietary advantages/disadvantages of any given brand of database. It is my opinion that, all other things being equal (hardware, database size, user load database tuning, OS tuning), the performance difference in database architectures is not significant.

In other words, put the same size AS/400/DB2 OW install onto an NT/SQL OW install (same amount of memory, same variety of processor(s), similar tuning, same number of users), and you would get similar performance characteristics.

This is probably an easy comparison between Oracle and SQLServer (and Intel DB2/2 for that matter). Comparing SQLServer and DB2/400 is not that simple because you would need a 64-bit processor (Alpha or Itanium).

The point of this message is that it is the hardware that really makes a difference if you really want to compare apples to apples. Of course there are also questions of scalability and price/performance...

JD Nowell
OW: B7332
ES: AS400 V4R4 CO: DB2/400 SP: 11.2
Users: 250 TSE Users: 100


I know you cannot do an apples to apples comparison on WinTel versus AS/400 BUT I am curious to know what other people have experienced. Next year we will be deploying a separate small deployment (~20 users) of OW Xe and I am debating on spending $146k for a single processor AS/400 or get two Win2k boxes with 6 processors/8 gig RAM each for $90k. One of the W2k boxes is for application the other for SQL. I'm an AS/400 bigot without a doubt but there has to be a level comparison somewhere.

Danny Mc?

OneWorld Xe SP16
AS/400 v4r5 Enterprise
Win2k Deployment
Citrix XP Clients

Danny Mc?
ES = AS/400 v4r5
DS = Win2000 / SQL v7.0
CO = WinNT / Win2k
CT = Fat & Citrix
FP = FormScape


Well Known Member
No, we were not on co-existence. we were just running World on AS400/DB2. We are quite happy with the performance with NT/SQL.



Basically everything comes down to maintenance issues. NT is easier to maintain and cheaper than the AS/400 box. Athough AS/400 is more stable, NT is better for Client/Server apps.


Active Member

We were co-existence on AS/400-DB2 and now OneWorld B7332 on NT/SQL Server.
We are small with a maximum of 30 concurrent users.
I have provided systems support for IBM systems for more that 12 years and have always found them excellent.

However SQL Server gets our vote for this application.

I have written in more detail about this previously on this forum.

Tony St. Pierre


Active Member
I've never worked with an AS/400, but I think Danny nailed our thinking. Maybe a given AS/400 box is faster, more reliable, etc... but given $50k or $100k to spend, you sure seem to get more bang for the buck from nt/2000.

And here's the kicker for us - the guy who runs the data center at Chicago told us in the Spring that they were actually seeing the Win2k platform outperforming the AS/400.

If you look at benchmark data, when you start talking about a 4-way xeon Sql Server with 8GB of ram, you're talking about thousands of concurrent users with sub-second response times.

I've this mentioned before, but be aware that Microsoft's license scheme currently demands per-processor licensing for Sql Server if the data is to be accessed via the web, not matter how indirectly (i.e. - even if through an application or JAS server). At $17-20k a pop, that can add up quickly.

OneWorld Xe SP15
Clustered Windows 2000 + SQL 2000


Well Known Member
This is why I hate this debate so much...

Your first and last paragraphs appear to contradict themselves:
1. NT = More Bang for $100K Buck
2. 4 * $20K (SQL license per processor) = $80K. (This leaves $20K for CALs).

What you are saying is that for $100K, you get some database software. Ignoring hardware, ignoring operating system, how can you say that that is more bang for the buck? It does not add up! I can get a dual processor AS/400 (competitive with XEON 4 processor) with the database and OS for about $100K. How is SQL server giving me more bang for the buck than DB2?

JD Nowell
OW: B7332
ES: AS400 V4R4 CO: DB2/400 SP: 11.2
Users: 250 TSE Users: 100


Well Known Member
What kind of performance issues? Check your jde.ini file on the AS400 in
the Lock Manager section. Change Requested Service = NONE . This improved
our performance greatly.

Libbi Fletcher
HoMedics, Inc.
M.I.S. Department
248-863-3001 ext. 1281
[email protected]


Active Member
Two of our clients, converted from 400 to NT SQL, primarily that to
upgrade/buy a 400 cost more that twice the Intel hardware bill, the
migration was driven purely by really bad 400 performance



Reputable Poster
Danny :

I wouldn't buy such an AS/400 for a 20 users shop.
What do these 20 users plan to run on Xe? Is it very complex? Realtime?
Only 1 of your NT 6 Way, 8 Gig RAM should be more than enough for them!
You may run applications and DBMS there and the performance will fly!
If you still want to buy two machines, install them as a W2K cluster
and you may run UBEs on one node and SQL on the other; and they may
replace each other in case of an accident.
It's a very nice solution, I've done it and works very well and reliably.
I'm running 200 users installations on Xe, NT4, SQL7 cluster that
has that architecture : 2 nodes with 2xXeon 700 Mhz, 2 Gb RAM, 180 Gb shared
fiber storage Disk.



Active Member
If you are comparing costs, there is a new TCO study out from IDC, at:


It definitely shows strong bias towards the iSeries, but gives an idea of
the issues and costs.

As has been pointed out by others, it is difficult to get an apples to
apples comparison. If you say you want to compare an iSeries $ 70k box to
an Intel based $70k box...what do you include in the costs? At a minimum
O/S and DB licensing should be included, and any other extra software you
need to actually run things, but there are a lot of other costs that it
could make sense to add in. Likewise, if you say you want to test a 1-way
against a 1-way, that isn't really apples to apples either, since the
architectures are different, RISC vs CISC. And because of that, you can't
really compare processor speeds.

We do a lot of testing with various configurations and platforms and to be
perfectly honest, I don't see a lot of difference in real performance.
Response time is usually about the same. It can vary dramatically,
depending on what version, SP, fix pack, PTF level, etc, but in general it
is pretty close between iSeries, xSeries and pSeries. The thing that
differs is the number of users. sometimes we have a big pSeries in house
and it scales higher than any of the others, sometimes we are working with
a large iSeries box and it runs more users.

I've posted before that I work in a lab environment and not in a real
production setting, so my observations don't apply to all pieces of the
software in a real world environment. (plus I work for IBM, and have an
iSeries background, so I'm a tad biased). But I don't think performance is
really a critical factor in platform decision. You can probably get the
same performance out of any of the platforms if you tune it, put the right
service packs on, etc. (You might even be able to get pretty good
performance out of some of the non-IBM hardware if you work at it enough!
:) The platform choice should be based on your companies expertise,
strategic directions, other applications, % of downtime tolerable, need for
HA, effort of maintenance, relationship with vendor, stability of vendor,
total costs and all of the usual business cases.

Anyway, thought the IDC study might be worthwhile for those comparing.

Best regards,

Rob Jump
Sizing Specialist
IBM/J.D. Edwards International Competency Center
[email protected]


Well Known Member
Do you really need all that power for 20 users? We are running OneWorld, 60
users (with a potential increase to 175), with a single NT4 Box, 4
Processors/2Gb of RAM, and we have no performance problems. You could save a
lot of money with a smaller box, we have two similar boxes, but one is only
for development and a backup application server (not yet used), and I think
the total cost was a lot less than $180k.

OW733.3 Xe SP 14.2
Enterprise Server - Intel NT + Oracle 8.0.6
Client - Citrix TSE + 4 NT PC's for development