Starting to Think About Think

Posted by Kim May on October 19, 2018 under DB2 Education, DB2 for z/Linux, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Migrations, International DB2 Users Group (IDUG), TFG Blog.

Last year Frank and I chose not to attend Think in Las Vegas.  While I missed the networking (socializing/fun) part of conference, it didn’t feel like a “must attend” event, as the Information on Demand and Insight Conferences had in the past.  And, since we didn’t go to Think, Frank and I instead attended IDUG Europe in Lisbon, which was awesome.  Lisbon was stunningly beautiful, the people at the conference were great fun and the technical discussions were focused on Db2’s future, which is of course important to The Fillmore Group.

So then why am I thinking about attending Think 2019?  I’m curious…

First, my grudging acceptance of the shrinking role data management is playing in IBM’s strategy has me curious about what the future holds.  As I write this Bain Capital has recently acquired Rocket Software, and the rumor mill is churning with theories on what will happen to Db2 for z/OS and the mainframe.  Do I expect a great announcement at Think, or insight into IBM’s strategy that will shape our business plans?  No.  But I think the conversation – with customers and colleagues – will help guide The Fillmore Group’s focus over the next few years.

Second, I find IBM listens to Business Partners less and less each year.  The Partnerworld program has always been a source of frustration to me, as the rules and guidelines seem thinly disguised to hide IBM’s intention to work with a handful of partners, and exclude the rest.  I recognize The Fillmore Group IS a small partner, but one with deep technical skills and a lot of history with some of IBM’s key customers, so I have often attended conferences almost solely for the opportunity to meet with IBM management about ways to improve Partnerworld.  The concepts I pitched – crazy concepts like accountability, transparency, and support for partners teaming – were often given 15 minutes and a, “gee it would be nice if we could”.  However, once in a while I felt my ideas were heard and given consideration.

Read More…

IDUG Call for Speakers Open Until October 19th

Posted by Kim May on September 24, 2018 under Baltimore Washington DB2 Users Group, DB2 Education, DB2 for i, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for z/Linux, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Migrations, International DB2 Users Group (IDUG), Oracle, pureScale, TFG Blog.

 

The Call for Speakers for the 2019 IDUG North America Conference, scheduled for Charlotte, NC, from June 2 – 6, 2019, is open.  For Db2 users this is an excellent opportunity to share your experience with your peers.  IDUG has a well documented presentation submission format and process, detailed on the IDUG North America webpage.

You may submit an unlimited number of abstracts.  However, it is important that you provide all of the information requested when submitting your presentation(s) for review. Failure to provide all requested information may impact whether or not the abstract is accepted.

One last note:  given the timing, don’t forget to reach out to your local Db2 RUG and offer to deliver your presentation at one of their meetings prior to the conference.  It’s a great opportunity to do a practice run, and also allow your local peers – some of whom may not be attending the conference – to appreciate your work.

From the IDUG webpage:

IDUG is soliciting presentation abstracts that explore into details of implementation, migrating to a new release, or maximizing performance from any member of the DB2 product family. In recognition of the complex requirements of today’s database implementations, presentation abstracts relating to migration from Oracle to DB2, upgrading within versions of DB2, and new hardware implementations are also being requested. Presentations may cover details of DB2 tools, Big Data and other ancillary DB2 products.

All presentations must be strongly technical in nature, cannot contain marketing themes, and must support and strengthen the information services community by providing the highest quality education and services designed to promote the effective utilization of the DB2 and its family of products.”

 

From Florence to IDUG – Thinking Good Thoughts for Charlotte

Posted by Kim May on September 18, 2018 under DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Stars, International DB2 Users Group (IDUG), TFG Blog.

With Hurricane Florence finally moving north and giving North Carolina a break from the wind and rain, our thoughts are with friends, family and colleagues who live and work in the area.  If you were impacted by the storm I hope the damage was minimal and limited to easily replaceable “stuff”.

I’ve prepared and watched some of these horrible weather events (yes, I foolishly drove TO the beach for Superstorm Sandy) and have seen their damage, but also the amazing post-storm rebound, as communities come together to repair, and in many cases, rebuild newer, stronger buildings and infrastructure.

I am looking forward to seeing post-Florence Charlotte this Spring during the IDUG North America Tech Conference, from June 2 – 6, 2019.  This year’s conference offers new educational opportunities and more training than ever before! Attendees will experience:

•Five days of education sessions

•Half and full-day workshops

•More than 100 one-hour technical sessions

•Two expert panels on z/OS and LUW

Registration is open and the early bird discount is available.  Please keep the folks in Charlotte (and the surrounding area) impacted by the storm in your thoughts.

Frank Fillmore to Present on IDAA V7 (“Sailfish”) at the Baltimore/Washington Db2 Users Group

Posted by Kim May on August 23, 2018 under Baltimore Washington DB2 Users Group, DB2 Education, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, Frank Fillmore, IBM Champion, IDAA, TFG Blog.

Following his successful hands-on IDAA class in Columbus, Frank Fillmore will be presenting on the IDAA at the September Baltimore/Washington Db2 Users Group, scheduled for Wednesday, September 12th.   Frank’s presentation and bio are below – last, per his request – keep reading – !

If you are in the area September 12th please join us.  If you have any questions on the upcoming meeting or are interested in presenting please contact me.

Date:                Wednesday, September 12th, 2018
Time:                9:00 AM – 3:30 PM (registration at 8:30)
Location:          Hilton Baltimore BWI Airport, 1739 W Nursery Road, 21090
Fees:                Pre-registered members: $30,  Pre-registered non-members: $40
At-the-door:    Members: $40, non-members: $50

Schedule:
Registration
8:30 – 9:00

9:00 – 10:15:  Copy Smarter – Unload/Load, DSN1COPY and Beyond

Kai Stroh, UBS Hainer

When you get tasked with setting up a refresh process for thousands of Db2 z/OS tables you probably have a few thoughts running through your head: How long does it take to create all the required jobs? How long for all the control cards? Do all the target tables exist, or are there any new tables in production? Have tables been changed? Better double check if the tables have grown or if Db2 has added more VSAMs so that you don’t run out of space halfway through like last time. Don’t forget catalog statistics and RTS. And those identity columns and sequences – they’re always trouble. What seems like little bits and pieces at first can really stretch your staff thin, which is why automation is key if you want to save time and energy. This presentation discusses advantages and disadvantages of different utilities that copy Db2 data, but the main focus is automating all the side tasks that DBAs usually need to do in addition to copying the data itself.

10:15 – 10:30:  Break

10:30 – 11:45:  Log Enhanced Copies for 24×7 DB2 Refresh/Migration

Kai Stroh,  UBS Hainer

LOB compression is one of the more interesting features of Db2 12. It promises performance gains for your application that use LOB’s, coupled with disk savings! This presentation provides an overview of the feature, and discusses some of the performance characteristics. Then we move on to pros and cons, and a process for taking advantage of the feature.

11:45 – 12:45:  Lunch

12:45 – 2:00:  Machine Learning

Jonathan Sloan, IBM

Gain an overall understanding of Machine Learning for z/OS and its role in enabling advanced analytics on IBM Z. You will learn how this machine learning technology integrates with Db2 Analytics Accelerator and Db2 for z/OS to drive real-time insight on an enterprise scale.

2:00 – 2:15:  Break

2:15 – 3:30: IBM Db2 Analytics Accelerator (IDAA) V7 had a Brain and Heart Transplant

Frank Fillmore, The Fillmore Group

IBM Db2 Analytics Accelerator (IDAA) v7 has been completely re-engineered. Previous IDAA versions were based on legacy Netezza technology including PostgreSQL (the “brain”) and Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGA – the “heart”). IDAA v7 – aka “Sailfish” – uses Db2 with BLU Acceleration and POWER processors. The benefits are greater compatibility between Db2 for z/OS and the IDAA, fewer hardware problems, improved Incremental Update latency, and lots more.  If you are an existing IDAA shop considering migrating to v7 or have not previously considered IDAA, this presentation will cover what you need to know.

Speaker:

Kai Stroh earned a Computer Science degree from the University of Darmstadt and is a mainframe software developer specializing in Db2 utilities for z/OS. He designs and builds innovative Db2 applications and utilities often working onsite or remotely with UBS’ international clients. He easily navigates his way around Db2 dumps and knows how to move data and definitions across Db2 versions, and this includes the unique in-house Db2 subsystems which each have their own little technical adaptations.

Jonathan Sloan is a Senior Certified Executive Software IT Specialist, with more than two decades experience successfully leading, selling and implementing business analytic and data warehouse applications as a vendor as well as an implementer. He joined IBM in 2000 and specializes in helping customers understand the application of IBM Information management technology to business problems.

Frank C. Fillmore, Jr. is the Founder and President of The Fillmore Group, Inc., a Premier IBM Business Partner specializing in Hybrid Cloud and Analytics. Frank has been a Db2 Gold Consultant since 1998 and currently is an IBM Champion for both Analytics and System z. Frank has frequently presented on cutting-edge topics at regional and international Db2 Users Group meetings and the IBM Insight conference.

New Mid-Atlantic Db2 for LUW Users Group Announced

Posted by Kim May on July 27, 2018 under Baltimore Washington DB2 Users Group, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 Gold Consultants, IBM Champion, TFG Blog.

After a few months of discussion and support from the IBM community-focused Db2 technical team and local Db2 users, a new RUG, the Mid-Atlantic Db2 for LUW Users Group, is here!  The group will kick off with their first meeting on Wednesday, August 15th at the McLean TEC.

The team is working on the exact schedule for the day and planning a late morning start, most likely 10am, to allow for traffic (a challenge to us all!)   IBM is sponsoring the meeting and bringing STSM Date McInnis in from the Toronto Lab to present.  There will be no charge to attend the meeting, however registration is required.

I will update this post with the registration link as soon as it is set up.  In the meantime please mark you calendar and plan to join us if you are a Db2 user.

And if you run into IBM’s Kay Groski, Lynn Chou and/or Warren Heising, or Db2 Gold Consultants and IBM Champions Ken Shaffer and Steve Mazer, please give them a shout out for their efforts to make this new group a reality.

…and here’s the update – just in!

Register on Eventbrite HERE.

The agenda:
10:00 – 11:00 Db2 Topic: Db2 Backup and Restore best practice with Dale McInnis
11:00 – 11:15 break
11:15 -12:15 Db2 Topic: Building a resilient DB with Db2 with Dale McInnis
12:15 – 1:00  lunch
1:00 – 1:45  Emerging Technologies Topic: ICPD overview with Kay Groski
1:45 – 2:00 break
2:00 – 3:00 Emerging Technologies Topic: Topic DSX Local with demo with Steve Geringer

*** Please note:  There is a fee for parking ***

IBM Think Conference Call for Speakers is **OPEN**

Posted by Kim May on June 28, 2018 under Baltimore Washington DB2 Users Group, DB2 Education, DB2 for z/OS, IBM Think Conference, TFG Blog.

The IBM Think 2019 Conference will be held in San Francisco, on February 12 – 15.  For those like me, who felt the Las Vegas conferences were becoming one exhausted blur, San Francisco is a welcome change.

I hope this year’s Think Conference will offer excellent networking (why I go!), along with the opportunity to learn about new and “coming soon” solutions.  For technical folks there should be plenty of opportunities to learn and improve your skills.

As with past IBM conferences, presenters get a free pass. The conference fee is set at $2,295 – and we all know getting a free pass makes asking your boss to fund a week in San Francisco much easier.  And the Call for Speakers is now open.

I suggest anyone interested in presenting, particularly if it’s your first time submitting a presentation, share your presentation idea with your local users group and ask for their feedback. Users groups – like the Baltimore/Washington Db2 Users Group – review presentations throughout the year as part of the process of selecting meeting sessions.  Our board members can provide feedback to make your session abstract stand out (in a good way!)  Many of our board members have also delivered presentations, and welcome the opportunity to share their experiences with “newbie” presenters.

From IBM’s Call for Speakers announcement – “If you or your client have faced a challenge that led to a breakthrough in your industry, reinvented your processes, or resulted in success worth sharing, submit your proposal to become a speaker at Think 2019. All formats are welcome: lectures, labs, panels, breakout sessions, etc.”

The submission link is hereDon’t lollygag – submissions must be submitted by July 16, 2018.

Other dates to note: speakers selected will be notified in September; final presentations are due to IBM in December.

I hope to see you at Think!

*FREE* Hands-on IDAA Training – Columbus Class Announced for July

Posted by Kim May on June 14, 2018 under DB2 Education, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, Frank Fillmore, IBM Champion, IDAA, Mako, Netezza, TFG Blog.

Gold Consultant and Z Systems Champion Frank Fillmore will deliver a free, hands-on IBM Db2 Analytics Accelerator/IDAA class on Monday and Tuesday, July 23rd and 24th, at the IBM Dublin Campus near Columbus, Ohio.

Class has been updated to showcase the new IDAA V7.1 (“Sailfish”) and covers the new architecture, sizing considerations for the new generation of IDAA appliances, and recommendations for organizations upgrading from the Mako (V5) to Sailfish.

The fine print:  attendees must be IBM customers considering an IDAA purchase in 2018.  While class is free (and we will treat attendees to breakfast and lunch both days), attendees are responsible for their own travel and lodging expenses.

We have 20 available class seats, available on a first-come-first-served basis.  The registration link is here and the course outline is below. I will send travel information and recommendations to everyone registering (I’m working on them now!)

Finally, if there is any additional information needed please feel free to email me at kim.may@thefillmoregroup.com.

IBM Db2 Analytics Accelerator Training

Dates (2 days):  Monday and Tuesday, July 23rd and 24th, 2018

Class Times:  9:00am – 4:00pm

Cost:  Class is *free* to pre-registered attendees

Instructor:  Frank Fillmore

Join us for this refreshed class that includes material specific to the latest IDAA “Sailfish” releases, including V7.1, and the M4002, aka “Maverick”. Attendees will learn how and why an IDAA can extend your System z’s processing capabilities to enable Hybrid Transaction/Analytic Processing (HTAP).

Topics:

  • An introduction to the new V7.1 architecture and IBM Integrated Analytics System (IIAS).
  • The heterogeneous accelerator environment:  what works well today.
  • Assessment tools to support acquisition:  Workload Assessment, CVE, PoC.
  • Positioning IDAA within your organization with the most valuable use case.
  • Migrating from the Netezza-based IDAA to V7.1.

Lab 1: Basic IDAA Activities
– Data Studio / IBM Db2 Analytics Accelerator Studio GUI
– Table acceleration
– Query processing and analysis

Enhancing Value to the IDAA with the IBM Tools Ecosystem
– Assessment: What is the workload that would benefit from being accelerated?
– Optimization: How do I monitor and optimize a workload to take advantage of the Accelerator?
– Administration: Can I manage the Accelerator more effectively?

Lab 2: Advanced IDAA Exploitation
– Incremental Update: keeping accelerated data in sync with DB2 for z/OS OLTP
– Accelerator-only Tables (AoTs): intermediate tables and ETL processing

 

IBM Extends Support Options to Include PostgreSQL

Posted by Kim May on May 16, 2018 under DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Migrations, IBM DB2 Services, PostgreSQL, TFG Blog.

IBM’s strategy is difficult to understand at first, but often makes eventual sense.  There’s been a great deal of discussion recently about the future of Db2.  Db2 on the mainframe has an established customer base consisting of some of the planet’s largest and busiest organizations.  While many of these organizations are continuously searching for better, faster and/or cheaper technologies, the mainframe continues to deliver and justifies continued Db2 for z/OS investment.

Db2 for LUW, on the other hand, has always been a technical leader, but expensive, and a support challenge.  Never a market leader, Db2 for LUW has suffered in the marketplace from a lack of skilled DBA’s and Developers, and IBM’s inability to deliver affordable and consumable Db2 for LUW training has hampered DIY customer efforts to “build” DB2 support teams.  For many years the snob appeal of great technology that only a few understand seemed the most promising approach.  This, however, does not seem to have driven many customers to Db2 for LUW.

So the IBM teams are taking some interesting new approaches to Db2 for LUW and their distributed data management tools.  The “Flex Pricing” announced earlier this year enables customers to purchase solutions within 3 broad product groups (core databases, data governance and management tools and analytic solutions) and re-purpose the license entitlements within the product groups as their business needs change.  This won’t excite anyone making an initial purchase but may translate into “found money” sometime down the road.  It’s a great idea.

IBM has also been working on new strategies for distributed database support and recently announced a support offering for – drum roll – open source databases.  The one that interested me initially was PostgreSQL, as many Db2 customers use Postgres within their organizations, and it has many similarities with Db2.  IBM sellers are now actively promoting IBM’s Postgres support offering, along with services to support Postgres.  One IBM seller reached out to me recently about a customer considering purchasing Postgres support along with Postgres support services, and through my search for a Postgres Architect, I met a terrific consultant named Joel whose background includes database design, application architecture, hiring a Postgres development team, managing DBA’s, etc., etc., etc.  As a Db2 snob, I was super impressed!  And by the way, he’s available if you are considering your first Postgres application…

The IBM support deal is through the Subscription and Support program.  The annual cost to purchase support for one Virtual Core License (explained in the attached Announcement Letter) is $1000 per year.  What do you get?  According to the announcement,

While your Software Subscription and Support is in effect, IBM provides you assistance for your routine, short duration installation and usage (how-to) questions, and code-related questions. IBM provides assistance by telephone and, if available, electronic access, only to your information systems (IS) technical support personnel during the normal business hours (published prime shift hours) of your IBM support center. (This assistance is not available to your users.) IBM provides Severity 1 assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For additional details, see the IBM Software Support Handbook. Software Subscription and Support does not include assistance for the design and development of applications, your use of programs in other than their specified operating environment, or failures caused by products for which IBM is not responsible under the applicable agreements. “

If your organization is giving Postgres a look please let me know – I would love to introduce Joel and connect the dots to enable your organization to access IBM Support for Postgres.

PostgreSQL Database Support IBM Announcement Letter

IDUG 2018 Thoughts and Notes

Posted by Kim May on May 7, 2018 under Baltimore Washington DB2 Users Group, DB2 Education, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for z/OS, IDAA, International DB2 Users Group (IDUG), TFG Blog.

Last week’s annual International Db2 Users Group (IDUG) Conference in Philadelphia was interesting and – as always – a great time to reconnect with friends and colleagues.  With IBM in what feels like perpetual transformation mode, I was curious to compare this conference with others I’ve attended in the past, to get a sense of how Db2 customers are perceiving the state of Db2 in these uncertain times.  My impressions:

  1. Db2 for z/OS customers, while not excited about growing workloads on System z, appear to be more confident their organizations will maintain what’s in place and invest in mainframe infrastructure when and where it makes sense.  I expected to hear the “we’re getting off the mainframe in 3 years” comment and did not; instead I was encouraged to see existing IDAA customers expressing interest in the new “Sailfish” model (V7.1).  Shameless plug:  if you were one of these people, please join us for our free IDAA class in June.
  2. For Db2 for LUW, the times are changing, and hopefully for the better.  Jon Lind’s Technical Advisory Board meeting offered participants a chance to express their concerns with the ecosystem, marketing, competitiveness, enablement, and I could go on, list of challenges around keeping Db2 for LUW relevant in the RDBMS market.  Jon Lind’s team has a refreshing willingness to listen, and the opportunity to revive Db2 for LUW.  Keep an eye on this team:  they have a long list of requests, and spent much of the conference talking with end users and partners about what they can do to help.  I wish them great success!!
  3. Kudos to the IDUG team for a fabulous location and super well organized event.  I wish we could have had some competitors join us for the community dinner to check out the enthusiasm (and noise level!) in the dining room.  There was ENERGY to spare!  And special thanks to IBM’s Surekha Parekh and Jim Reed for hosting such a great event at the conference and for all their support.
  4. One-name Rocket woman Saghi also deserves a shout out for gathering the local user group leaders for lunch and extending IDUG’s support to our Db2 communities.  The Db2 for z/OS RUGs are incredibly strong and doing their best to ensure LUW users have access to similar community resources.

So, I will end this post on my experience at IDUG with one final thank you, to Steve Cricchi, from T. Rowe Price, whose presentation on loading data into the IDAA was very well done and will be shared with the Baltimore/Washington Db2 Users Group at an upcoming meeting.  Well done!  Frank’s waiting for his beer…  🙂

Free Hands-On IDAA V7.1 Training June 19th and 20th

Posted by Kim May on April 23, 2018 under Authorized Training Partner, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, DB2 Migrations, Frank Fillmore, HTAP, IBM Champion, IDAA, International DB2 Users Group (IDUG), TFG Blog.

I am pre-announcing (if that’s a word) our upcoming free, hands-on IDAA training class scheduled for June 19th and 20th at the Radisson Cross Keys in Baltimore.  This class is being updated to support the IDAA V7.1 (“Sailfish”) and will contain content covering the new architecture, sizing considerations for the new generation of IDAA appliances, and recommendations for organization upgrading from the Mako model IDAA’s to Sailfish.

The fine print:  attendees must be IBM customers considering an IDAA purchase in 2018.  While class is free (and we will treat attendees to breakfast and lunch both days), attendees are responsible for their own travel and lodging expenses.

We have 20 available class seats, available on a first-come-first-served basis.  Frank and I will be at IDUG next week promoting the class – if you have any questions and would like to discuss the class content, your IDAA challenges, or anything else IDAA-ish – let us know if you will be there and we will try to meet.

The registration link is here.  My email is kim.may@thefillmoregroup.com – email me with any questions.

IBM Db2 Analytics Accelerator Training

Dates (2 days):  Tuesday and Wednesday, June 19 and 20, 2018

Class Times:  9:00am – 4:00pm

Cost:  Class is *free* to pre-registered attendees

Instructor:  Frank Fillmore

 

Join us for this refreshed class that includes material specific to the latest IDAA “Sailfish” releases, including V7.1, and the M4002, aka “Maverick”. Attendees will learn how and why an IDAA can extend your System z’s processing capabilities to enable Hybrid Transaction/Analytic Processing (HTAP).

Topics:

  • An introduction to the new V7.1 architecture and IBM Integrated Analytics System (IIAS).
  • The heterogeneous accelerator environment:  what works well today.
  • Assessment tools to support acquisition:  Workload Assessment, CVE, PoC.
  • Positioning IDAA within your organization with the most valuable use case.
  • Migrating from the Netezza-based IDAA to V7.1.

Lab 1: Basic IDAA Activities
– Data Studio / IBM Db2 Analytics Accelerator Studio GUI
– Table acceleration
– Query processing and analysis

Enhancing Value to the IDAA with the IBM Tools Ecosystem
– Assessment: What is the workload that would benefit from being accelerated?
– Optimization: How do I monitor and optimize a workload to take advantage of the Accelerator?
– Administration: Can I manage the Accelerator more effectively?

Lab 2: Advanced IDAA Exploitation
– Incremental Update: keeping accelerated data in sync with DB2 for z/OS OLTP
– Accelerator-only Tables (AoTs): intermediate tables and ETL processing