When we wrote the tag line for DB2 Express-C“Free to build, deploy, distribute … no limits” we meant every word of it. But, it seems there are quite a few skeptics out there and questions like “how big can a server be” and “can it be a virtual server” keep coming up.

DB2 Express-C can be deployed on a server of any size. This applies to amount of memory, number of processor cores and amount of storage. If you have your hands on a server with half a terabyte of memory and 64 processor cores with a petabyte storage subsystem you can deploy DB2 Express-C on it and not be concerned that you are doing something that is wrong. Your memory and CPU power will not be used by DB2 but there is absolutely no issue with deploying DB2 Express-C on a server like this. Let me repeat it again; you can deploy DB2 Express-C on a server of any size. So, if you have a one of those tiny $350 Eee PCs tiny $350 Eee PC, or a blade server, or a really big IBM System i or System p, or a SUN X4600 you are fine. They are

While DB2 Express-C can run on any size server, it will not always use all of the resources available on the server. The free version of DB2 Express-C will use up to 2GB of memory and up to 2 processor cores. If you were to purchase and activate 12 month License and Subscription your DB2 Express-C will use double of these resources if your server has them In other words, if your server has 4GB or more of main memory DB2 Express-C will use up to 4GB of memory. And DB2 Express-C will use 4 processor cores if you have them.

Another question that keeps coming up is “can DB2 Express-C run in a virtual machine?”. Yes, it can and it is fully licensed to do so. How big can the virtual machine be? Any size is fine.

And just to make sure that disk storage is not left out of the answer. Unlike Oracle XE and Microsoft SQL Server Express, both of which limit amount of data you can store to 4GB, there is no such limit in DB2 Express-C. You can store as much data as you want and have disk space for. Again, no limit on storage in DB2 Express-C (free or with subscription) what so ever.

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