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IBM next week will give customers a chance to kick the tires of code-name “Stinger,” the anticipated next-generation version of its DB2 Universal Database. The company will offer a sneak peek of the product’s new Linux support and features during live demos at the LinuxWorld Conference and Expo in New York.

Zeroing in on Stinger’s ability to help create and scale-out more-powerful Linux cluster environments, IBM will use the LinuxWorld stage to introduce DB2 Partition Advisor. The autonomic technology allows customers to easily partition and fine-tune the performance of databases over one or many more servers in minutes as opposed to weeks, said Paul Rivot, director of database servers business intelligence for Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM.

IBM also plans to preview Stinger support of the new Version 2.6 of the Linux kernel to take advantage of 64-bit-ready databases, including DB2. Support of the new kernel will allow Linux databases to take better advantage of servers that use multiple processors. Those processors in turn can be clustered to build stronger Linux clusters, such as with DB2 ICE (Integrated Cluster Environment), noted Rivot.

Sometime before the end of the first quarter, IBM business partners and customers will be able to download and preview code which helps DB2 utilize Linux support for IBM’s 64-bit POWER platform processors, found on IBM pSeries and iSeries servers. IBM officials said its boosted performance will be crucial for increasingly demanding workloads such as Linux clusters.

Developers and customers interested in previewing the DB2 support for POWER will be able to request participation at, once the Web site goes live on Jan. 21.

Rivot said that customers can expect IBM to release its Stinger DB2 enhancements before the end of 2004.