Archive for November 2009
IBM today announced the acquisition of Guardium, who are based in Waltham, Mass. This is a very exciting acquisition for IBM Information Management. The combination of IBM and Guardium technology is already helping many organizations safeguard data, monitor database activity and reduce operational costs by automating regulatory compliance tasks. The monitoring capabilities of Guardium’s technology also detect fraud and unauthorized access via enterprise applications such as an organization’s ERP, CRM or Data Warehousing solutions. You can get more details from the IBM press release at IBM Acquires Guardium.
The IBM Information On Demand EMEA 2010 conference will be held in Rome next year between Tue 18 May and Fri 21 May. The Call for Speakers is now open. Make sure to submit your proposals to speak at the IOD EMEA conference at http://www-01.ibm.com/software/uk/data/conf/programme/call-for-speakers.html. The deadline for proposals is 29 Jan 2010.
DB2 pureScale created quite a stir at the IBM Information on Demand conference. A number of people wanted to know more about how to use the “on-demand capacity” aspect of DB2 pureScale. I thought you would be interested to hear how some clients plan to use DB2 pureScale. I have anonymized the company names and removed any specific details about environments due to the early nature of the engagements/discussions:
- Recently, the “business” people at a US airline wanted to implement a big promotion. They built the promotion, only for the IT department to inform them that the systems would not handle the increased transactional workload, and so they cancelled the big promotion. The problem wasn’t that they could not add capacity to their systems. They could. They were using a non-IBM database system by the way. The problem was that adding database nodes to their non-IBM database cluster is a non-trivial project. And then, when you consider all the factors, it was questionable whether it made sense to remove those database nodes after the promotion. Well, this airline are now quite excited about DB2 pureScale’s ability to easily add and remove capacity. This is made possible because DB2 pureScale does not require that your applications are cluster-aware and does not impose best practices of partitioning your data across the nodes in the cluster. DB2 pureScale is truely transparent to applications. When this airline needs additional capacity, they simply add one or more logical partitions (LPARs) of DB2 pureScale to handle the additional capacity, and then remove them when they are no longer needed. They pay for the additional DB2 capacity only for the duration of the promotion.
- We are currently engaged with several large retailers. These retailers typically engage in capacity planning projects every six months or so. As part of this exercise, they forecast their needs for the subsequent two or three years. These retailers determine their peak workloads, add a cushion, and then provision the necessary hardware, software, and storage. The thing is, given the nature of the retail business, much of the capacity they provision is unused for most of the year. These retailers buy a lot of hardware, and license a lot of software for that hardware, just to handle peak workloads during “busy periods”. They have to pay for all of this capacity even when they do not use it during the “normal periods”. Because DB2 pureScale has daily-based pricing and because it is so easy to add and remove capacity, many retailers can now provision the software on-demand and only pay software license fees for the capacity they actually use. (Note that this lowers software costs, not hardware costs.) These companies are forecasting that using DB2 pureScale to add and remove capacity on-demand will free up significant amounts of IT budget.
- A large insurance company is talking to IBM about being able to handle large volumes of transactions at short notice. For instance, the insurance company needs to be able to process a high number of transactions after a particularly damaging hurricane or tornado. However, they cannot accurately predict the severity or timing of these natural events. As such, their approach has been to provision for the worst case scenario. But doing this has resulted in a large amount of their IT budget being tied up in servers and software that is not being used most of the time. Now DB2 pureScale allows them to recapture a significant amount of the IT budget that is spent on database licensing and maintenance and invest it in supporting the business in new and innovative ways that help them get ahead of the competition.
- It seems obvious now, but I didn’t realize that telecommunications companies encounter large spikes in transactional workload during holidays. All those calls to family and friends generate a lot of transactions on the back end. It should not surprise you that DB2 pureScale’s ability to add or remove capacity on-demand is generating a lot of interest from telecoms providers. Of course, the continuous availability enhancements in DB2 pureScale are also very important for telecoms providers. Again, the primary benefit for these companies is the cost savings involved in not paying for extra capacity when you are not actively using that capacity.
There’s another great article from Paul Zikopoulos that you should know about… it explains in plain English all aspects of licensing DB2 for Linux, Unix, and Windows in high availability configurations. This is the perfect article if you are implementing a high availability configuration and don’t have time to read through the announcement letters, licensing sheets, PLETs, and so on. You can read the article at Licensing distributed DB2 9.7 servers in a high availability (HA) environment
There is a lot of interest in the compatibility features that make it easy to move from Oracle Database to DB2. These features include native support for the PL/SQL procedural language, new data types, scalar functions, improved concurrency, built-in packages, OCI, SQL*Plus, and more. IBM has just published a Redbook that describes these features, provides best practices for moving to DB2, and describes how to handle common scenarios. You can download the Redbook from Oracle to DB2 Conversion Guide: Compatibility Made Easy
PS. Did you know that more than 500,000 IBM Redbooks are downloaded every month!
Are you confused by what’s in the various editions of DB2 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows? If you are, Paul Zikopoulos has updated his popular developerWorks articles with the latest product updates. Paul describes the features in each edition, and even includes a nice table that compares the editions side-by-side. You can read the articles at Which distributed edition of DB2 9.7 is right for you? (With a dash of DB2 9.8 pureScale) and Compare the distributed DB2 9.7 database servers.
I delivered a session titled “Smackdown: IBM DB2 vs. Oracle Database” at the IBM Information on Demand Conference in Las Vegas a little more than a week ago. It is a business case analysis of IBM DB2 and Oracle Database on distributed systems. Since the session, I have had a large number of requests for the charts from attendees, so I thought I would also post the presentation here…
Scott Hayes and Database-Brothers Inc. (DBI) have put together an informative and fun show for DB2 users. Rebecca Bond’s top 10 security tips, taped on location at different New Orleans landmarks, is just one example of why this show is so compelling. And the good news is that Scott is currently working on a number of upcoming episodes. Upcoming show topics include application development tools, comparisons with Microsoft SQL Server, the DB2 workload manager, snapshot reviews, and much more. Make sure to check out the shows at http://www.dbisoftware.com/db2nightshow/.