IBM has recently introduced a new major release of DB2 - version 8. There are a host of new features in the product and we can only cover the headline items here, but it is quite clear that this release has Oracle in its sights.
You can take two distinct views of this release. On the one hand you can say that Version 8 majors on manageability and performance - which for most traditional applications, is what database is all about. IBM is using the term SMART management to describe many of the new management features. Some of these are autonomic, with the database managing itself without the need for intervention by the DBA.
There are features here that automate index reorganizations, parallelism and various aspects of query optimisation all of which naturally has a knock-on affect on performance. There are also new tools for tuning. The most impressive of which is a configuration advisor, which is rules based and appears to be very effective. In terms of straight performance features, version 8 delivers a wholly new feature - multidimensional clustering - which is aimed primarily at business intelligence applications, as well as improved compression and a number of scalability features for client sessions.
News source: The Register - IBM challenges Oracle with DB2 v8