IBM is adding Venom to its Viper DB2 database server. The company said that by incorporating its new storage-compression technology into the forthcoming range of servers, users will be able to cut storage needs by more than half.

The company's new compression technology, code-named "Venom," allows database administrators to compress rows in database tables by scanning tables for repetitive, duplicate data in rows and building dictionaries that assign short, numeric keys to those repetitive entries. According to IBM, this compression can provide disk, I/O and memory savings, and beta testers of the technology have been able to reduce storage needs by more than 50 percent.

With Viper, set to ship this summer, administrators will have the option to use the compression technology on a table-by-table basis, as not all applications benefit equally from the technology, IBM said. The company will provide tools to allow administrators to estimate potential savings before building dictionaries.

"Transactional applications don't see as much benefit, but query applications - where you spend more time looking at information and asking questions - tend to find more benefit," said Jeff Jones, director of strategy for information management software at IBM.

IBM developed Venom from hardware-assisted compression technologies the company had built for DB2 running on the mainframe, he said.

"From that we gained a lot of experience with compression algorithms and the science of compression," Jones said.

IBM also is building other storage-management capabilities into Viper that will allow database tables to draw automatically from a pool of storage, so that administrators don't have to manage storage at the table level.