Icarus Studios, an MMO middleware developer specializing in zoneless next-gen MMO platform technology has made the shift to migrate their underlying tech away from widely used open-source SQL database, mySQL, and instead has migrated to IBM's Informix Dynamic Server.
Icarus was able to switch from mySQL to Informix rapidly and apparently fairly painlessly, with Fallen Earth - a post-apocalyptic MMORPG built in Icarus' middleware - running on the new high-performance database systems.
mySQL is a popular choice among MMO and Virtual Worlds developers, being both high-quality and free, so it is interesting to see a switch over to Informix. It is even more interesting to see that the transition was apparently not very arduous - transitions of database systems are usually about the last thing you'd ever want to do.
"We were impressed by how fast we were able to install and have IDS running in our data intensive environment," said Jim Hettinger, CEO of Icarus Studios.
It's generally considered that once you've settled on a database system for a data-intensive application, that that is more or less that. Proposals to switch underlying database systems are often prohibitively expensive in cost, time and service disruptions. There's also not usually any clear benefit. Virtually every database manufacturer says they're the best, and they've got numbers to prove it. The mySQL to IDS change was obviously one with a clear benefit for Icarus Studios, and cost-effective besides. Now that's very interesting.
Considering the spate of database failures that Linden Lab has been experiencing so far this year (with some significant ones just yesterday), perhaps they may consider taking a look at their own Second Life systems, which are presently based on mySQL. It is unlikely however that they would make the switch if it would hamper their plans to continue to release source-code for their virtual world platform over time.
[via Virtual Worlds News]