Mid-Atlantic #Db2z Users Group Virtual Meeting 2020-09-17 – Recap #IBMz

Posted by Frank Fillmore on September 21, 2020 under Baltimore Washington DB2 Users Group, DB2 for z/Linux, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Migrations, Federation, IBM DB2 Services, InfoSphere, International DB2 Users Group (IDUG), Replication, Webinar. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

I want to thank everyone who helped make the inaugural Mid-Atlantic Db2 for z/OS Users Group virtual meeting such a great success:

  • my colleague, Kim May, for pulling the meeting together and for filling a void of timely technical content for this topic and this region
  • our presenters for crafting and delivering a comprehensive new way of considering IBM System z
    • Andrew Austin, Red Hat
    • Clark Hale, Red Hat
    • Elton (the Wizard) de Sousa, IBM

The recording of the meeting is here: https://youtu.be/Am279HW1DDY

Individual presentations are as follows:

Db2 VUG – OpenShift Introduction – Austin + Hale

Db2 VUG – OpenShift on IBM z – de Sousa

Db2 VUG – Mainframe Modernization Field Notes – Fillmore

Please share this content with your colleagues.

“45 Minutes to Understand #IBM #Replication – Sources & Targets, Lower Latency, Costs” Recording and Materials

Posted by Frank Fillmore on May 3, 2020 under Attunity, DB2 for i, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for z/Linux, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Migrations, IBM DB2 Services, InfoSphere, PostgreSQL, Q-Replication, Replication, Webinar. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , .

Over 180 folks attended the “45 Minutes to Understand IBM Replication – Sources & Targets, Lower Latency, Costs” webinar on April 30, 2020 hosted by my colleague @KimMayTFG and me.  Thank you for joining us – along with the excellent questions and feedback.

These are the presentation materials IBM Data Replication Update 2020-04-30

You’ll find the recording of the webinar here.

#IBMz #IDAA v7.1 Webinar Recording and Material #Db2

Posted by Frank Fillmore on September 2, 2019 under BLU Acceleration, DB2 for z/OS, HTAP, IDAA, Sidecar, Webinar. Tags: , , , , , , .

Extending appreciation to all who participated in the IBM Db2 Analytics Accelerator (IDAA) v7.1 webinar on August 28, 2019.  If you weren’t able to join us, here is the webcast recording.  In a fast-paced 90 minutes we covered:

  1. A review of capabilities included in recent IDAA v7.1.x code drops
  2. The return of the High Performance Storage Saver (HPSS)
  3. Integrated Synchronization
  4. The closer-to-real Hybrid Transaction Analytic Processing (HTAP) capability
  5. Disaster Recovery and High Availability considerations

The Fillmore Group’s exclusive IDAA Buyer’s Guide compares these IDAA form factors and deployment options:

  • IBM Integrated Analytics Systems (IIAS)
  • Docker container running on System z
  • Docker container running on LinuxONE

And this is the handout: IDAA Webinar 2019-08

Please note: if you would like the exclusive IDAA Buyer’s Guide referenced in the webinar, contact my colleague, Kim May (kim.may@thefillmoregroup.com).

SQL to Aid #Db2 for z/OS EBCDIC to Db2 for LUW Unicode Conversion #IBMAnalytics #IBMz

Posted by Frank Fillmore on January 2, 2019 under DB2 for i, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for VSE&VM, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, IBM Champion. Tags: , , , .

Dr. Sheldon Cooper of “The Big Bang Theory” regularly records a YouTube video called “Fun with Flags” so I’m going to call this blog post “Fun with SQL”.  Sheldon may be a future Nobel Prize winner, but I’ve been named an IBM Champion for Analytics and System z for 2019. 🙂

The problem statement: a large US government agency is contemplating migrating a packaged application from System z to Linux.  The current and future database repositories are Db2 for z/OS and Db2 for LUW respectively.  As a System z Champion I’ve presented on the continued relevancy and efficacy of the IBM mainframe, but that’s not the focus of this post.  One of the challenges of porting data is the conversion of character encoding from EBCDIC (Extended Binary Coded Decimal Interchange Code) which is the legacy encoding protocol used on IBM mainframes and System i to Unicode.  Db2 for z/OS supports Unicode, but I’m not going to address anything other than EBCDIC encoding at the source and Unicode at the target (Sorry, ASCII).  In brief, EBCDIC represents an 8 bit binary encoding scheme that can represent 256 different characters.  For example: the letter “F” (one of my faves) is represented as 1100 0110 in binary and C6 in hexadecimal. For national language support amid the variety of Single Byte Character Sets (SBCS) used around the world – think the German umlaut (i.e. ä ö ü) – the 256 byte universe of EBCDIC wasn’t nearly enough.  The Unicode solution is to use more than 1 byte to represent some characters.  For example: the “¢” cent sign takes one byte to represent in EBCDIC, but 2 bytes in Unicode.

select length(ebcdic_str('¢')) as EBCDIC, length(unicode_str('¢')) as Unicode from sysibm.sysdummy1;

     1          2

This problem has manifested itself as an error when moving a CHAR(5) column of data from Db2 for z/OS to Db2 for LUW.  If, say, the pesky “¢” is present in the string and all 5 characters are significant (i.e. no trailing blanks), the string won’t fit in the same column width on the target platform.  Most customers find this out the hard way when the Db2 for LUW LOAD command or IMPORT utility posts errors.  There are two possible solutions:

  • data cleanup (Do we really need the pesky ‘¢’ in a Comments column?)
  • lengthen the target columns to accommodate Unicode expansion

Both can be time-consuming and expensive and will depend on a variety of factors beyond the scope of this blog post.  The purpose here today is to identify the extent of the problem before you actually try to port the data.  I’ve constructed this SQL statement to do just that. Read More…

Get #Db2 for FREE! New Db2 Developer Edition including #Docker and #DBaaS #IBMAnalytics

Posted by Frank Fillmore on October 3, 2018 under DB2 for Linux Unix Windows. Tags: .

A customer came to me recently looking for Db2 Express-C which he had previously used to distribute to developers in his organization.  I couldn’t find Db2 Express-C v11.  Was there no longer a current free version of Db2 for developers and academics?!?!?

Seems it has just been rebranded and expanded.  Now there’s the Db2 Developer Edition available for free that’s even better.

  1. There are three form factors:
    1. Code that you can install yourself on bare metal or in a virtualized environment.
    2. A Docker container.
    3. A fully-managed DBaaS cloud implementation.

These are fully-featured editions of Db2 for a proof-of-concept or even a small production implementation.


  • Free means support comes from your peers, not IBM.
  • You are limited in terms of data stored and memory exploited.

You can acquire support and eliminate the limits for a Db2 Developer Edition by purchasing and applying a license key.  No re-installation or data migration will be necessary.

Get started with Db2 today.

Db2 for LUW “Live from the Lab” October 1, 2018 #Db2 #IBMAnalytics

Posted by Frank Fillmore on September 27, 2018 under DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for z/Linux, DB2 Gold Consultants, PostgreSQL, pureScale. Tags: , .

On Monday, October 1, 2018 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. EDT IBM will stream Day 1 of the IBM Gold Consultants briefing “Live from the Lab” from the IBM Toronto software development lab.  This is free and open to everyone.

Topics include:

  1. Db2 for LUW v11.1.4.4
  2. Db2 Event Store
  3. IBM Integrated Analytics System (IIAS) – Db2 Warehouse appliance
  4. Db2 on Cloud
  5. Db2 Virtualization
  6. Db2 Tools
  7. Open source DB (MongoDB and PostgreSQL)

Here is the link to register

IBM Db2 Analytics Accelerator (IDAA) v7 Workshop a Success! #IBMz #IBMAnalytics

Posted by Frank Fillmore on July 29, 2018 under BLU Acceleration, Data Studio, DB2 Education, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Migrations, HTAP, IBM Smart Analytics System, IDAA, Mako, Netezza, PostgreSQL, Sidecar. Tags: , , .

On July 23 and 24, 2018 The Fillmore Group delivered a hands-on IBM Db2 Analytics Accelerator (IDAA) v7 Workshop to 12 students across 5 different enterprises at the IBM Dublin, Ohio (USA) Technical Education Center.  This was the first IDAA v7 hands-on Workshop delivered to customers anywhere.  Many thanks to Atlee, Bill, Bob, Dom, Emmi, Larry, Marshall, Mohammed, Naga, Ruth, Shawn, and Toby for all of the great questions.  Kudos to the IBM Poughkeepsie Benchmark Center for standing up the IDAA v7 environment in record time with just-released functionality like Incremental Update.  And thanks to IBMers Rich Gast, Mike Hood, Sandro Ramirez (aka “Nicky’s Dad”), Julie Efthymiou, and Rudy Benvenuto for all of their support.

Finally – and most importantly – the Workshop’s flawless execution from scheduling, invitations and outreach to customers, to welcome packets for travelers, to food service, and overall logistics was the direct result of many months of hard work on the part of my colleague, Kim May.  I really appreciate it!

The presentation materials are here:IDAA Workshop 2018-07

Since IDAA v7 is so radically different from it’s predecessors, the Workshop generated lots of questions which will be incorporated into future sessions.  Watch this space.

IBM Db2 Analytics Accelerator (IDAA) v7 Announced #IBMz #zAnalytics

Posted by Frank Fillmore on October 17, 2017 under BLU Acceleration, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, HTAP, IBM Pure Systems, IDAA, Mako, Netezza. Tags: , , , .

On July 23, 2010 I attended the announcement of the IBM Smart Analytics Optimizer (ISAO).  This was IBM’s first iteration of heterogeneous scale-out to enable mixed OLTP and OLAP workloads to run on the same platform.  Subsequently IBM acquired Netezza and the Netezza appliance became the foundation for the IBM Db2 Analytics Accelerator (IDAA).  In IDAA workshops I would refer to the ISAO as IDAA v0.5.

Fast forward to today when IBM announced IDAA v7.1.  “What is old is new again.”  Think of this delivery of IDAA as “ISAO v4.0” (there was some good-natured debate about the numbering).  Why do I frame it those terms?

  1. IDAA has received a “brain transplant”.  Instead of Postgres, the database engine for IDAA will be Db2 Warehouse.  This will give IDAA greater compatibility with Db2 for z/OS, including broader SQL and datatype support, TIMESTAMP consistency, and more.  By exploiting Db2 with BLU Acceleration features such as in-memory columnar (rather than row-organized) data, Single Instruction, Multiple Data (SIMD) chips, actionable compression, and “data skipping” (avoiding extents that don’t contain data of interest) IDAA v7.1 provides a robust platform for better performance with a roadmap for continuous improvement and enhancement.  IBM has also consolidated its data repository development efforts by focusing on fewer, higher-value initiatives.
  2. IDAA has received a “heart transplant”.  The IBM Integrated Analytics System (IIAS) appliance on which IDAA v7.1 is based, no longer depends on Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGA) that were the “secret sauce” of the Netezza (aka PureData System for Analytics – PDA).  FPGAs might be reintroduced at a later time.

So, a few questions – and a fewer answers.

  • How long will the legacy Netezza/PDA “Mako” N3001 be supported?  Until 2023.  So the installed base of existing IDAAs will be protected for five years.
  • Will the Database Partitioning Feature (DPF) – IBM’s MPP shared-nothing data warehouse scaling technology – be exploited by IDAA v7.1?  Dunno.
  • Wither the IDAA cloud deployment introduced in v6?  Nary a mention today.

Topics for a future blog post:

  • “True HTAP” – Hybrid Transaction / Analytic Processing
  • IDAA deployment on IBM z – using Docker images sitting on Integrated Facility for Linux (IFL) specialty processors.

Oracle Renewal Looming? Consider DB2! @IBMAnalytics

Posted by Frank Fillmore on May 16, 2017 under BLU Acceleration, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for z/Linux, IBM DB2 Services, Oracle, pureScale. Tags: , , .

Thanks to my colleague, Kim May, for another wonderful job leading customers and IBMers through the rewards and challenges of converting Oracle databases to DB2. The recording of the latest webinar is found here.  The presentation materials: Oracle Customers Consider DB2 5.16.17

Finally, The Fillmore Group’s White Paper on Oracle to DB2 migrations: SmarterQuestions White Paper – Oracle to DB2 Migration Lessons Learned – Final

Please reach out to Kim or me if you have any questions.