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Score 8.3 out of 101
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Score 9.6 out of 101

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Likelihood to Recommend

Amazon Aurora

Many places where Aurora is well suited:
  • If you are trying to build a serverless backend.
  • Amazon hosted relational database service (RDS). So we do not have to manage the database maintenance.
  • Backup and archival can be done to AWS S3, which is very convenient.
  • It provides high performance and scalability.
  • It's very secure. You could use AWS Key management service (KMS) to encrypt and store data on AWS Aurora.
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IBM Informix

  • Like most RDBMS servers, Informix is strong in OLTP so it is a good choice for any high volume transaction systems including retail, banking, online gambling, etc.
  • Because its memory and storage footprints are relatively small and its installation footprint can be adjusted by deselecting unneeded features during installation, and also in large part to the autonomic tuning features of Informix, it is ideal for embedded systems and is used as the embedded database engine for several mainstream products in telecommunications, environmental management, and similar systems.
  • Its ability to integrate timeseries data with relational data make it ideal for monitoring and for the analytical processing of time oriented data such as utility supply, weather tracking, logistics and warehouse management, etc.
  • Informix's support for JSON/BSON data types and for the MongoDB API and wire listener protocol, in addition to the extensions Informix adds to the MongoDB API to support relational data, generic SQL statements, and multi-step transactions make it an ideal drop in replacement for MongoDB and other document oriented databases when application requirements exceed the capabilities and performance characteristics of these NoSQL database systems.
  • The Informix Warehouse Accelerator (IWA) feature of the Informix Advanced Enterprise Edition can accelerate data warehouse queries several hundred times over the speed of the base Informix and other RDBMS servers. In addition, IWA provides this acceleration with no modifications to applications and analytical tools and without the need to create additional indexes, cubes, or pre-calculated summary tables. Further, queries accelerated with IWA do not affect the performance of simpler queries running in the base Informix engine allowing IWA to provide an analytical query engine on top of a operational data store without complex ETL/ELT data migrations/conversions.
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Pros

  • Automated maintenance for upgrades is by far the most superior feature of Amazon Aurora. Never be behind on upgrades again!
  • Performance improvements for poorly structured schema due to enhancements added by Amazon.
  • Replication works flawlessly due to added security measures added into Amazon Aurora which prevents admin users from "accidentally" breaking the slave instance.
  • Amazon Aurora is hosted on Amazon's RDBMS which also includes quick and easy setup of new database instances.
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  • Informix since its conception has a distinct multi-threading architecture no other engine has, it is unique of its kind. This is precisely how the engine is able to scale up like no other, with the lowest footprint, without killing the host and profiting each bit of the hardware. The threads are sub-proceses like any other one, but the difference is that they are are not controlled by the OS process dispatcher. This is why you will never be able to see these threads running at OS level. Informix is an OS itself, on top of the OS.
  • Informix has the best replication techniques. Not many ppl know that MongoDB (the NoSQL engine) scales out because of its data sharding replication technology, and Informix is able to store Mongo BSON documents using the same data partitioning as MongoDB does. This way Informix extends the SQL or structured data with the unstructured data natively, together within the same data repository. This means that it is not only able to store JSON/BSON documents, but the engine is able to behave as it would be the MongoDB engine itself. Any application using MongoDB can be redirected to the Informix Mongo wire listener transparently. What´s more, it also improves the NoSQL (BASE) characteristic, making it ACID by allowing transactions to the CRUD operations. This last is something MongoDB is working on, promised to be delivered next year.
  • As described previously, MongoDB's sharding concept relies on data partitioning, this is how it scales out, and as I also described previously Informix scales up given the described multithreading unique architecture! It implements the data sharding with one of its best replication technologies called Enterprise Replication. This is an Active-Active replication technology that allows replicating even between different platforms. This is actually how I managed to migrate the whole Informix platform from Solaris to Linux, with just a DNS change. There was almost ZERO downtime nor application change - this was really amazing!.
Andrés Repossi profile photo

Cons

  • I'd like to see Amazon Aurora get ahead of the curve on MySQL and introduce their own improvements to MySQL to make it a superior database so that I don't need to use SQL Server or Oracle to get performance improvements. For example, improve performance of views.
  • Amazon Aurora needs to improve the ability to restore backups as needed. Currently, the user can only restore an entire instance to a new or existing RDBMS instance. If you need to retrieve data from a single table, this can be tedious after waiting hours for an entire restore to complete. Instead, allow the user to select a database to restore. Better yet, allow the user to restore a database backup to ANOTHER database - which would allow you to restore a database on the same instance.
  • Again beat MySQL to the punch and introduce REAL server to server communication since they have disabled the "Federated Engine" which was the only way previously to do this. I'd like to be able to setup MySQL instances to talk to other MySQL instances.
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  • It is very difficult to find a missing functionality in Informix, technically is great. I will again criticize the business side and how it has been managed over the past, I hope this could be improved with HCL's help. I know they are working hard, but we need to start letting the world know and revert their concept about its existence and that it is one of the best competitors within the data treatment, in the market. We need to start telling the world about success cases and stories showing this and backing up its strong technology.
Andrés Repossi profile photo

Likelihood to Renew

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IBM Informix10.0
Based on 1 answer
Informix is the best RDBMS on the market. Period.
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Usability

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IBM Informix10.0
Based on 1 answer
Server management is easy enough to be able to embed the engine in a device and let it run for years without maintenance.
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Support

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IBM Informix10.0
Based on 1 answer
The Informix product support team has won awards and is appreciated by the entire Informix user community.
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Alternatives Considered

In the end, we went with Amazon Aurora due to the decent performance and cost. Cost was determined in two ways for us: 1) no additional license is required (such as using SQL Server or Oracle) and 2) the ability to cut down on needed resources to maintain the system from the maintenance perspective due to the built-in maintenance capabilities. Amazon Aurora is also based on MySQL (soon to include PostgreSQL ) which allowed my team to quickly and easily move our existing MySQL servers to a faster system.
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  • Informix vs. Oracle: although both products are real enterprise-class DBMS, satisfying robustness and scalability criteria, Informix is much more easy and simple to admin. It requires much fewer resources in terms of DBA staffing for an equivalent infrastructure on Oracle. Also, we have noticed that Informix consumes noticeably less hardware resource than Oracle for an identical level of performance. This is probably due to the Informix real-multithread architecture.
  • Informix vs. MS SQL Server: we do not consider Microsoft as a reliable platform for a database server, at least for critical service
  • Informix vs. PostgreSQL: PostgreSQL is a great product: it seems to scale nicely, very rich in terms of SQL language, has a nice implementation of NoSQL too. Nonetheless, we have doubts about the ease of version upgrading, an operation that generally takes less than 2 minutes with Informix, even on production systems. Also, it seems that the replication architecture is not as clear nor complete as Informix' replication, probably due to the fact of not having a unique software architect. We like to have a unique contact for the product maintenance and not a community.
Those criteria [helped] us to keep Informix as the preferred DBMS, despite many people around totally ignore it. What a waste!
Eric Vercelletto profile photo

Return on Investment

  • Aurora Serverless has allowed us to inexpensively implement best-practices for our microservices architecture.
  • Aurora is mostly managed; our engineers can focus on features instead of database administration.
  • Aurora is capable of high throughput. Speed is not our first priority, but we still benefit from it.
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  • Although I do not own nor have visibility on my company's figures:
  • Informix generates consistent savings on DBA staffing, no need for many DBAs as other DBMS require.
  • The replication architecture allowed consistent savings in the infrastructure as well as developments and maintenance, the job is already done, no need to develop complex and costly solutions, it's just a matter of configuring it.
  • The advantages of hybrid development (i.e mixing SQL and NoSQL in the same database) is not just a marketing hype: it allowed us to solve with a brilliant solution, in one afternoon of coding, a functional problem we have been having for more than 10 years!
  • The biggest drawback is that IBM pricing may be constraining, it has too important gaps between the mid range and highrange in terms of pricing
Eric Vercelletto profile photo

Pricing Details

Amazon Aurora

General
Free Trial
Free/Freemium Version
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
Entry-level set up fee?
No
Additional Pricing Details

IBM Informix

General
Free Trial
Free/Freemium Version
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
Entry-level set up fee?
No
Additional Pricing Details