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Oracle is the most popular database in the world. It can be run on all the platforms say from a mainframe to a Macintosh. Oracle is more robust and complicated since it has great load balancing Architecture and allows you to control virtual memory and disk storage. Oracle is a better transaction system and everything is a transaction and not permanent until you COMMIT.
In Oracle RDBMS, DMCL (Device Media Control Language) layer provides mapping between physical data files and the logical storage areas. Oracle maps its physical data blocks to logical storage, which is called as "tablespace". Since Oracle runs on UNIX, blocksizes (pages) can range from 2K to 32K. To setup an Oracle server, one database with many "users/schemas" and tablespaces are needed which are shared by all the users.
Oracle is expensive than SQL server, as it is compatible and runs on every platform whereas SQL Server runs on Windows only. In Oracle RDMS, more memory tables like for e.g., 100 GB can be easily partitioned into range partitions at database level. Such partitioned tables and indexes give more benefits in case of performance and maintenance.
Oracle provides industry-leading security features within the database product, rendering it difficult to subvert security. Oracle database security stands on its own without requiring customers to license separate security products for essential, evaluated security features. Independent security evaluations validate proper implementation of security in the Oracle RDBMS. Customers are not obliged to purchase add-on products for key security features, nor pay for upgrades and support for such products. The Oracle database is one product family built on one code base. Oracle Corporation's database group is Oracle's security group. Customers enjoy the benefits of secure Oracle products from day one of General Availability. Oracle has more recovery options for corrupted database, redo log or datafile than MSSQL.
Microsoft SQL server
SQL Server is lean and easy to use with lots of one-size-fits-all applications. SQL Server has only a few dozen tuning knobs while Oracle has hundreds of parameters. This makes SQL Server less robust, but far easier to use. In MS-SQL, there is no transaction control and it has separate databases that do not share disk files.
In SQL server also, the Device Media Control Language (DMCL) layer provides mapping between physical data files and the logical storage areas. SQL Server named this logical storage as "page" and the unit of storage is called "file group". SQL Server uses "logins" to give you access to the SQL Server instance and each database has "users" that map to a login to get individual access to the tables and views etc.
SQL Server is compatible only with Windows, so it must use 8K blocksizes (8k "pages"). This means there is no way to specify larger extents to ensure contiguous space for large objects if required.
In MS-SQL, range partitioning of large tables and indexes is not possible and also the DBA has no "real" control over sorting and cache memory allocation. The memory allocation is decided only globally in the server properties memory folder, and that applies for all the memory.
In the past MS-SQL was cheaper but today it is also an expensive product. SQL Server offers integration with Microsoft Office and better security, developer productivity and business intelligence tools than Oracle Database at a lower TCO (total cost of ownership). SQL Server has lower total cost of administration than Oracle.
DB2 database can be run on multiple UNIX and Linux platforms and requires more Memory. It is robust and handles high volume workloads and uses a cluster-based, shared-disk architecture to offer easy scalability and high availability. DB2 has Self-Tuning Memory Manager, that free up IT staff from many administration tasks. As a result, IT staff can spend less time administering the system and more time focusing on other activities that benefit the business.
DB2 is actually three distinct products with three separate code bases: OS/390, AS/400 and Unix/NT/Linux. DB2 supports Oracle leads DB2 in transaction Benchmark testing. DB2 is a less secure database, more vulnerable to users or hackers subverting the security due to the security model that adds security after the fact. It is difficult to add layers of security after a product has been designed, coded and shipped. Higher up-front costs because of the additional products necessary to secure DB2. Customers must purchase a database that includes little out-of-the box security, then augment the purchase with other products. High long-term cost of ownership because customers must pay for the database product, security products and required services- plus upgrades and support services for all those products. Increased total cost of ownership.
This scenario also illustrates the divergent production goals of the two organizations, Tivoli and the DB2 groups. The DB2 groups build databases and Tivoli builds security. Without Tivoli, there is little DB2 security.
IBM forces customers to purchase the DB2 database, and then add on the appropriate Tivoli SecureWay products for the customer's requirements. Additionally, customers oftentimes pay for IBM Global Services to integrate security in DB2 for one operating system that supplies a particular security mechanism, DB2 for another that doesn't natively support that mechanism, and any SecureWay pieces they choose. The choices are so complex that IBM actually has services called "IBM's Secure Product Selection."