Conor O'Mahony's Database Diary

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Archive for the ‘DB2 for z/OS’ Category

Election Parody Video Responding to Larry Ellison’s Claims about DB2

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Written by Conor O'Mahony

April 7, 2010 at 9:33 pm

DB2 for LUW and DB2 for z/OS are Converging

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As many of you know, the features and functions in the mainframe version of DB2 (DB2 for z/OS) and the distributed version (DB2 for Linux, Unix, and Windows) have been converging for a number of years.

These two flavors of DB2 now share much of the same SQL syntax. You can read the details in SQL Reference for Cross-Platform Development. There are some differences in syntax, because the platforms – hardware and software – have different strengths, and the SQL is tailored to take advantages of those strengths to deliver the best performance, scalability, availability, and security on each platform. However, the differences in syntax are being minimized, and are the exception rather than the rule.

The drivers, services, and tooling have also been converging. The Data Studio tooling provides common services for all platforms, allowing you to easily administer DB2 across all platforms.

Also, features like native XML data management (pureXML), clustering (pureScale), and compression (Deep Compression) use similar architectures and algorithms across both of these flavors of DB2. For instance, pureScale on Unix uses the same architecture and approach as the Data Sharing technology in Parallel Sysplex on the mainframe. And, of course, the Data Sharing technology is recognized as the most effective and efficient scale-out architecture in the industry. Similarly, IBM recently brought compression techniques from the mainframe to Linux, Unix, and Windows to even further stretch that flavor of DB2’s lead in storage optimization on distributed systems.

So, while these two flavors of DB2 are not identical, they are coming closer together from both a feature and a function point-of-view. Their interfaces are also converging, and currently share a high degree of commonality. This convergence is making it easier for many organizations who use both flavors of DB2 to re-use their DB2 skills on the other platform. I have had numerous conversations with DB2 for z/OS users who have easily picked up DB2 for LUW skills, and I am happy to let you know that this will become even easier as we move forward, and this convergence continues in future releases of DB2.

For another perspective on how the mainframe and distributed versions of DB2 are converging, and for my inspiration for this blog post, see the DB2 Technology Converging article in the IDUG Solutions Journal.

Written by Conor O'Mahony

January 31, 2010 at 7:46 pm

Are Larry Ellison and Oracle out of Touch with the Market?

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Larry Ellison was his usual entertaining self on yesterday’s Webcast announcing the Oracle/Sun strategy. However, some of his statements were so far from reality that it left me wondering if he knows what’s happening in the database market. For instance, he crowed “the Oracle Database scales out, IBM DB2 for Unix does not. Let me see, how many servers can IBM put together for an OLTP application? Let’s see, how many can they group together? Um, one. They can have up to one server attacking really big jobs. When they need more capacity, they make that server bigger. And then they take the old server out, put a bigger one in. And when you’ve got the biggest server, that’s it. That’s all the can do for OLTP“. Actually Larry, you couldn’t be more wrong. DB2 pureScale supports up to 128 nodes. And, not only that, but IBM has published scale-out numbers for DB2 pureScale, something that we would love to see Oracle provide for Real Application Clusters (RAC).

He also claimed that DB2 “can’t scale out, they can’t do cloud, they can’t do clusters, the can’t do any of this“. The fact is, DB2 offers both pureScale (using a shared-disk architecture) and DPF (using a shared-nothing architecture). This allows users to choose the approach that best suits their environment. Oracle, on the other hand, offers only a shared-disk RAC architecture. Some might argue that Exadata simulates a form of shared-nothing backend for Oracle. However, this is essentially a band-aid that attempts to address scalability issues by throwing more hardware at the problem.

As regards whether DB2 can do the cloud, many people would argue that a shared-nothing architecture like DB2 DPF is the best approach for private clouds. Also, don’t forget that DB2 already has multiple cloud offerings in the marketplace, including DB2 on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2).

Finally Larry claimed that “you would’ve thought, years ago, that IBM would have come out with a database machine. I mean its so obvious, they’ve got hardware, they’ve got DB2. Why in the world didn’t they come out with a database machine? It’s fascinating“. Actually, IBM has come out with such an offering. IBM has been doing this since we introduced the Balanced Warehouse to the market in 2007. The most recent examples of such systems that IBM has brought to market include DB2 pureScale and the IBM Smart Analytics System (which includes the entire stack needed for analytics, from hardware through ETL, warehousing, reporting, and analytics).

I really am astonished that Larry Ellison would make such fundamental factual errors on such a prominent Webcast.

Written by Conor O'Mahony

January 28, 2010 at 4:49 pm

Want to go to Rome?

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This year the European IBM Information on Demand (IOD) conference is in Rome, Italy. It runs from 19 May to 21 May 2010 in the Marriot Park Hotel. To learn more about the conference, see the IBM Information on Demand EMEA Conference Web site.

IBM is currently accepting proposals for speaking sessions at the conference. IBM is particularly interested in securing DB2 users to speak. If you are a DB2 user and have something interesting to share, please submit a proposal. Interesting topics include sharing your experiences with a particular DB2 feature, best practices you observed when working with DB2, or literally anything else that you think other potential DB2 users can benefit from hearing. To submit a proposal, go to the Call for Speakers Web page.

Written by Conor O'Mahony

January 18, 2010 at 2:45 pm

News about IDUG Conferences

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If you are a DB2 user, make sure to join the recently created LinkedIn groups for the IDUG conferences. You will get all the latest news about locations, speakers, special offers, and more. Here are the links:

Written by Conor O'Mahony

January 18, 2010 at 2:16 pm

The DB2Night Show

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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/.

Written by Conor O'Mahony

November 2, 2009 at 10:30 am

DB2 at the Information On Demand Conference

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The IBM Information on Demand conference is fast approaching. It is being held on 25-29 October in Las Vegas. I’m especially excited this year because Malcolm Gladwell is a keynote speaker. For people with an interest in DB2, there is an exciting line-up of activities and sessions. Of course, there is the usual strong line up of hands-on labs, as well as the ability to get certified on DB2 and related products. As regards the sessions, here are some personal recommendations:

  • Session 2309     IBM DB2 Trends and Directions Keynote
    Sal Vella—Vice President of Development for IBM DB2 and Warehousing on Linux, UNIX and Windows—talks about the direction of DB2 for LUW.
  • Session 1428     Smackdown: IBM DB2 versus Oracle Database
    This session presents a business case examination of the total cost of ownership for IBM DB2 and Oracle Database.
  • Session 2248     Enabling Oracle Applications on DB2: Client Success Stories
    DB2 now allows you to run applications developed for Oracle Database on IBM DB2 virtually unchanged. In this session, three users will recount their experiences with these features.
  • Session 2549     Databases and Cloud Computing Panel
    Clients, partners, and IBM employees talk about experiences and best practices with IBM databases and cloud computing.
  • Session 2818     Cost/Benefit Case for SAP Enterprise Migration to IBM DB2
    Find out how DB2 not only reduces the cost of software, but also delivers cost savings in storage and server infrastructure and reduced administration costs.

Here are some useful DB2-related links for the conference:

Written by Conor O'Mahony

October 19, 2009 at 11:13 am

The DB2Night Show

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Database-Brothers Inc. (DBI) are organizing a regular Webcast called The DB2Night Show. It promises to be an informative and fun show, and has lined up interesting guests. It also has fun segments like the following:

We are going to go to a shopping mall and ask random people what they think and know about DB2, if they have heard of IBM, and how they are contributing to a Smarter Planet.

You can sign up for the shows at The DB2Night Show.

Written by Conor O'Mahony

August 31, 2009 at 7:12 pm

Top 7 Reasons to Use DB2 for SAP Applications

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  1. IBM and SAP work together to optimize DB2 for SAP
    SAP and IBM work together to optimize DB2 for SAP. The joint SAP and IBM teams co-located in Toronto, Canada and Walldorf, Germany make sure that DB2 is optimized and certified for each new release of SAP in a timely manner. DB2 is the only database software with such a close working arrangement. Other database vendors typically take several months to become officially supported by SAP.
  2. SAP Integrates DB2 into SAP Applications
    By integrating DB2 into SAP applications, SAP offers you a single point-of-contact for support. IBM and SAP cooperate in every phase of the software lifecycle to provide you with the best possible integrated product offering.
  3. DB2 has more efficient storage
    SAP environments often have large amounts of data. Some estimates claim that data storage costs represent almost half of enterprise IT infrastructure costs. DB2 typically outperforms other database software when it comes to minimizing data storage.
  4. DB2 is easier to administer
    DB2 automates many DBA activities for SAP environments, including database reorganizations, memory tuning, collection of database statistics, database backups, log file management, and storage allocation.
  5. DB2 Makes SAP Faster
    DB2 has consistent leadership of SAP SD 2-tier and 3-tier performance benchmarks. See for yourself at SAP Standard Application Benchmarks.
  6. DB2 offers High Availability and Disaster Recovery as standard
    DB2 for SAP includes High Availability and Disaster Recovery capabilities for no extra charge. DB2 provides ultra-fast switchovers from the primary to standby systems; for example, in a SAP test environment with 600 users, services were resumed within 11 seconds.
  7. SAP uses DB2
    There can be no greater endorsement than SAP choosing to use DB2 for all of its own SAP applications.

Written by Conor O'Mahony

August 31, 2009 at 6:49 pm

Switch SAP Applications to use DB2 for a Quick Return on Investment

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There is an article at SearchSAP.com describing how SAP infrastructure changes to databases, servers yield quick returns. The article quotes Derek Prior of AMR Research who says that “some are finding it cheaper to swap Oracle databases in a more Unix-oriented environment to DB2” and that companies are “realizing payback within nine to 10 months“.

This is consistent with what we are seeing at IBM. Here are a selection of quotes from organizations who recently swapped the database software for their SAP applications to DB2:

The migration to DB2 was completed in three months. We estimate that database operational costs have been cut by 68 per cent… The migration was smooth and completed absolutely without a hitch.“—Ralf Rohrer, Head of Server and Storage Operations at Industrielle Werke Basel (IWB)

Thanks to DB2, we are saving around 25 per cent on software licensing and maintenance fees – which means we have more money in the IT budget to spend on solutions that deliver additional competitive advantage for our business.“—Ozcan Soke, IT Manager, Borçelik

Our database is now 43 per cent smaller than before, and some of the largest tables have been reduced by up to 70 per cent. Despite the compression, there has been no impact on batch performance, and our most important online transactions are actually 20 per cent faster with the new version of DB2.“—Roland Heim, SAP Basis Administrator, INTER Versicherungen

Choosing DB2 has delivered significant benefits for our organization: database size has been reduced by 40 per cent and performance is 15 per cent above our targets.“—Brian Visser, IT Operations Director, Central Services at KONE

We expected an improvement of around 20 per cent in terms of system response time, but we found that the new system was actually 40 per cent faster. The DB2 database is even more efficient than we had anticipated. This means that the investments in new server and storage hardware will actually last longer than planned, contributing to a better-than-forecast return on investment, which is very pleasing.“—Peter Boegler, Solution Architect at SAP IT

There are many more such quotes in the DB2 for SAP case studies.

Written by Conor O'Mahony

August 26, 2009 at 10:06 am

Calling all DB2 Users in India

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The third annual IDUG India Conference will take place at the Chancery Pavillion Hotel in Bangalore on 24-26 September. The International DB2 Users Group (IDUG) have not officially announced the line up of speakers and topics yet. However, I have been talking with the conference planning committee and understand that they are lining up some very exciting speakers and topics for this year’s event. If you are a DB2 user in India, this is one event you will not want to miss. Not only are the conference organizers offering sessions that prepare you for DB2 certification and FREE DB2 certification tests, but they are also lining up some of the world’s leading DB2 experts to talk about the most exciting new features in DB2. You can learn more about the conference at IDUG 2009 – India. You can also see a short preview video at IDUG India Movie.

IDUG India Conference

Written by Conor O'Mahony

August 11, 2009 at 6:41 am

Upcoming DB2 Regional Events

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The Independent DB2 User Group (IDUG) is hosting a number of regional events in November. These two-day events bring the latest DB2 sessions and the leading DB2 speakers to the following areas:

  • Camp Hill, PA on 3-4 Nov
  • Dallas, TX on 9-10 Nov
  • Austin, TX on 12-13 Nov
  • Minneapolis, MN on 16-17 Nov
  • Kansas City, MO on 18-19 Nov

I expect details for the events to be posted soon on the IDUG events calendar.

IDUG Regional Events 2009

Written by Conor O'Mahony

August 10, 2009 at 10:26 am

IDUG North America 2010 – Call for Presentations

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Independent DB2 Users Group (IDUG)The International DB2 Users Group (IDUG) is currently accepting proposals for sessions at the IDUG North America Conference, which will be held in Tampa, Florida on 10-14 May, 2010. You can submit proposals at www.idug.org/call-for-presentations-idug-2010-north-america.html.

Written by Conor O'Mahony

July 21, 2009 at 5:03 pm

Interesting Developments at IDUG

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Independent DB2 Users Group (IDUG)IDUG is the Independent DB2 Users Group. They are an independent, not-for-profit user group—run by DB2 users for DB2 users. They are primarily known for the outstanding technical conferences that they have offered the DB2 community for the past 20 years. However, something interesting is happening at IDUG.

If you visit the new IDUG Web site, you will see a nice new look-and-feel. However, you will also notice that there is a lot of new technical content available. In particular, they have:

  • Hundreds of DB2 Videos, including presentations for some of the leading DB2 technical sessions you will find anywhere. This resource alone is worth continued return visits to the Web site.
  • The Conference Proceedings from prior year’s IDUG conferences.
  • A new Events Calendar that includes regional, local, and Web-based events for DB2 users.

Rob Williams is one of the heroic IDUG volunteers who made this new Web site a reality. I think Rob sums it up best when he says the following on his blog (on the IDUG Web site):

What excites me the most though is not the new website, but the culture shift this website represents for IDUG. It’s the refocusing of IDUG to help educate as many people as possible and to ensure that cost is not a barrier. This will allow students, small organizations, or anyone who wants to learn DB2 access to some of the best DB2 content on the web.

I couldn’t agree more. This is indeed a major development both for the IDUG organization and for DB2 users everywhere.

Written by Conor O'Mahony

July 16, 2009 at 1:58 pm

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