On budget with Websphere SQL Server Type 5 JDBC connectivity in virtualized environments

As a certified IBM Consultant working exclusively on data connectivity for Progress DataDirect, I have learned a couple tricks of the trade.  The most compelling of which is the cost savings story on virtualization that fellow consultants and prospects have shared with me.  They found running Progress DataDirect Type 5 JDBC drivers in virtual environments greatly reduces the amount of resources required to run application servers.  With heavy production loads, up to 90% of processing power can be spent in drivers alone.  If a project has budget of x dollars and the estimated costs are now running over, you need to get creative to deliver the goods.

So what is this creative approach to keep projects on budget?

Benchmark your load testing with type 5 drivers from Progress DataDirect and see how many virtual processors and servers you can reduce to meet your budget requirements.  And IBM continues to recommend our JDBC connectivity in their data source configurations.

The same story applies to DataDirect Connect for ODBC drivers with other applications.

What kind of cost savings can we expect with Websphere Application Server using Type 5 DataDirect Connect for JDBC SQL Server drivers?

I am seeing a wave of Websphere Application Server upgrades.  The pattern for successful cost savings has been in intensive data driven enterprise applications; and these are realized in two specific areas: hardware and licensing.

1. Hardware (Virtual)

We ran some independent tests to help confirm this story.  Here is what we found when testing logical resource requirements on Amazon EC2 virtual machines.    We found our drivers had lower memory utilization and better CPU utilization compared to an alternate driver allowing us to achieve 2.6x* increase in throughput on the same machine hosted on EC2.  Based on increased throughput, fewer virtual resources are required to do the same work.  Let’s say this efficiency required four fewer production application servers.

*Average throughput calculated from series of DataDirect Performance Lab tests.

Below are Amazon EC2 pricing used to calculate virtual hardware costs:

Linux/UNIX Usage Windows Usage
Standard On-Demand Instances
Small (Default) $0.085 per hour $0.12 per hour
Large $0.34 per hour $0.48 per hour
Extra Large $0.68 per hour $0.96 per hour

Servers * Hourly Cost * Hours / Year * 1 Years

4 * $0.96 * 8760 * 1

Total Annual Savings $33,638.40

2. Licensing

If the virtual machine or logical partition running your application servers require x number of virtual processors * Processor Value Units (PVUs), and running type 5 drivers allow your infrastructure to run with y fewer virtual processors; you can expect a cost savings of ( (x-y) * price per virtual processor ) * number of servers.  For this case, we will look at AIX and assume similar throughput was achieved from EC2 testing.  Disclaimer: The following figures ONLY serve as an indication; and list prices are taken from IBM’s catalog.

120 PVU (IBM Power System) * $50.75 – IBM WebSphere Application Server Processor Value Unit (PVU) License + SW Subscription & Support 12 Months

Cost per virtual processor: $6,090.00

Refer to IBM’s site for additional details on sub capacity (virtualization) licensing.

Let’s say you have 4 production servers saving 2 virtual processors each – (x-y is 2) * $6090 * 4

Total Annual Savings $48,720.00

Are you suggesting that I will save $247,074.00 over 3 years?

The calculations are from different environments, and the figures only serve as an indication of hidden costs in database middleware not optimized for virtualization.  These are based on our internal weekly performance tests to measure throughput and resource utilization in response to what we have learned from consultants and customers.  There is no substitute for testing in your own environment against a production load, and I encourage you to download a free 15 day trial to find out how much you can save.

Get started today with a 15 day trial:

1 . Install Progress DataDirect Connect for JDBC using the instructions in the Progress DataDirect Connect for JDBC Installation Guide.  You can download a free, 15-day trial of the Progress DataDirect SQL Server JDBC driver (including DB2, Oracle, Sybase, MySQL and Salesforce).

2. Follow our Type 5 JDBC Websphere Application Server tutorial.

3. Or call 1-800-876-3101 to speak with a live Solutions Consultant to learn more about the EC2 virtualization testing and the DataDirect performance lab.

Sumit Sarkar

Sumit Sarkar

Senior Principal Systems Engineer, Progress DataDirect at Progress
Data Access Evangelist, Speaker and World's leading consultant on open data standards for cloud data. Sumit Sarkar has been working in the data connectivity field for 10 years. His interests include performance tuning of the data access layer for which he has developed a patent pending technology for its analysis; business intelligence and data warehousing for SaaS platforms; and data connectivity for aPaaS environments - with a focus on standards such as ODBC, JDBC, ADO.NET, and ODATA. He is an IBM Certified Consultant for IBM Cognos Business Intelligence and TDWI member. He has presented sessions on data connectivity at various conferences including IUC34, IUC35, Progress Revolution, Oracle User's Group, Collaborate 12, Dreamforce 2012, Cloud Computing Expo 2012, PRGS13 Exchange, Dreamforce 2013, Oracle OpenWorld 14, PRGS14, DF14 Presented related webinars in collaboration with IOUG, DZone, Progress DataDirect and Progress Communities.
Sumit Sarkar


Data Access Evangelist, Speaker and World's leading consultant on open data standards for Cloud Data. TDWI, Pescatarian, Simcity Celeb - I tweet my own tweets.
RT @SAPCommNet: [Free Trial] How to connect SAP Lumira to DataDirect Cloud. Try it today! http://t.co/83p6M6L4HO http://t.co/3Klktdiz1O - 12 hours ago
Sumit Sarkar


  1. Do you have any throughput numbers for Oracle JDBC Thin driver versus Type 5 driver on AIX?

  2. In the context of this article, our Oracle JDBC driver is also optimized for use in virtual environments. And we do have throughput and resource usage numbers from our weekly tests in the performance lab.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *