Don Haderle, the man known as the "father of DB2," has signed on to be the first member of a technical advisory board being set up by ANTs Software.
ANTs markets a super-fast SQL database management system, the ANTs Data Server.
Developed through supercomputing techniques where locking is avoided, it allows tremendous concurrency and the ability to process transactions in parallel in situations that have lots of users trying to get at the database, creating lots of contention.
Cesar Rojas, a spokesperson for ANTs, said that the technical advisory board will ultimately consist of a total of five members.
Its first member, Haderle, joined IBM in 1968 as a software developer and rose to lead the technical team that created IBM's DB2 database.
He secured more than 50 patents and disclosures relating to database management and was appointed an IBM Fellow in 1989 and an ACM Fellow in 2000 in recognition of his impact on database technology.
Haderle was also chief technology officer and vice president of IBM's $3 billion to $4 billion Information Management division for 14 years before he retired in 2005.
Haderle said that prior to leaving IBM, he had been keeping an eye on ANTs just like he kept an eye on all other emerging technology in the database space.
What interested him about ANTs' technology was that it took advantage of modern-day memory sizes and high-speed processors by having a lock-free database.
"It's really a wait-free or nonblocking database," he said. "You wait for nothing."
That gives users better transaction waits or throughputs, Haderle said, which is a marketable idea in a certain market segment that values extremely fast database turnaround.
If such a company had a "couple billion dollars" put into it, it could even be good enough to rival the holy database triumvirate: Microsoft, Oracle and IBM, Haderle said.
But even with a new take on database technology, newcomers have an "incredible hurdle" to overcome when it comes to getting ISVs to accept a new database, Haderle said.
"You can have the spiffiest database out there, but trying to get not just Oracle and SAP and Siebel to accept your database, but the millions of applications out there and ISVs out there to accept your database, and do certification on it and guarantee it will run on the thing, is a huge, huge blocker to getting new database technology into the market," he said.
ANTs has developed a chameleon-like ability to mimic the subtleties of other databases, including Oracle and DB2, which should help it in that regard, he said.