IBM Replication: Competitive Webinar April 30th – Register Now!

Posted by Kim May on March 4, 2020 under DB2 Education, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, DB2 Migrations, Frank Fillmore, IBM Champion, IBM DB2 Services, pureScale, Q-Replication, Replication, TFG Blog.

Please join us for a webinar Thursday, April 30th, on IBM replication:

45 Minutes to Understand IBM Replication – Sources & Targets, Lower Latency, Costs  

The webinar is intended for technical teams currently not using IBM replication solutions, although the webinar content will provide an excellent overview of IBM’s current offerings – an excellent refresher and update for IBM replication customers.  Hey, it’s a webinar – anyone can attend!!

Abstract:  Technical organizations rely on replication to deliver accurate data when its needed. IBM replication supports an extensive list of sources and targets – including legacy mainframe data repositories – as well as best of breed deployment models and specialty replication solutions.

If your organization is considering a new replication deployment or looking to replace your existing replication to extend functionality – or reduce cost – please join IBM Gold Consultant Frank C. Fillmore, Jr., for a webinar overview of IBM’s replication offerings.

The webinar will cover:

1. The sources and targets supported by IBM replication.
2. Each solution available today, and their costs.
3. Latency, deployment and administrative considerations.

Date:          Thursday, 4/30/2020

Time:          11:00am – 12:00pm EDT

Register HERE 

Presenter:  Frank Fillmore

Frank C. Fillmore, Jr. is the Founder and President of The Fillmore Group, Inc., an IBM Business Partner specializing in replication solutions in the IBM Data and Analytics portfolio. Frank has been a Db2 Gold Consultant since 1998 and is currently an IBM Champion for both Analytics and System z. Frank frequently presents on cutting-edge topics at regional and international user group meetings and is an IBM authorized instructor for delivery of replication courses including Q Replication, ICDC and pureScale.  Frank leads a team of expert consultants delivering presales, implementation and enablement support to IBM replication customers.

Want to learn more about the Gold Consultants?  Visit the IBM Gold webpage HERE.

 

Congratulations to Arvind Krishna!!

Posted by Kim May on January 31, 2020 under DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for z/Linux, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, DB2 Stars, Replication.

Yesterday was one of those, “Where were you when you heard the news?” days – I was at the gym (yes, I do go once in a very long while), watching the financial news and saw the headline announcing Arvind Krishna as IBM’s New CEO, effective April 6th.  I was so excited I ran out to my car, grabbed my phone and started calling Db2 people.

Arvind has been a great supporter of the Db2 community, is the executive sponsor of the Gold program, and the rare sort of leader who can hand you a challenge and make you feel honored to be asked.  I am so excited for IBM, their customers, and Business Partners to have Arvind in charge.

The photo below is from an IBM dinner I was invited to attend a few years back with two of the best IBM’ers I know – Arvind and Db2 and replication superstar Christian Zentgraf.  I am looking forward to an exciting 2020 for the Db2 community!!

 

Db2 12 Certification Input and Master Class – Help the Db2 Community – and you!

Posted by Kim May on January 29, 2020 under DB2 Education, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, DB2 Stars, IBM Champion, International DB2 Users Group (IDUG), TFG Blog.

With 2020 off to a positive start for Db2 12 there are two current events I hope are on your radar.

First, IDUG is supporting an effort to create a new Db2 12 certification, led by IBM Gold Consultant and Champion Dan Luksetich, who also manages the Db2-L listserv.  A survey was created to gather responses to the specific technical issues the community considers important.  If you have time to complete the survey and contribute, it is much appreciated by the IBM community.  Take the survey here.  And of course, if you aren’t already monitoring (or better yet, contributing to!) Db2-L, sign-up.  It’s easy and free – Db2-L.

Second, IBM is offering a week-long Db2 Master Class for advanced Db2 for z/OS system and database administrators clients, led by Distinguished Engineer, John Campbell.  John will be joined by Adrian Burke and Michael Dewert. The US-based session will be held at IBM Silicon Valley Laboratory (SVL), Monday, September 28 (8 am) to Friday, October 2, 2020 (2:30 pm), in San Jose, California.  The complete outline is attached.

Participants will meet the Db2 for z/OS development team – visit the incredible people whose work is known worldwide!

If you are interested in attending this class, fill in and submit the application form.  Class is a client-only course, participation is BY INVITATION only, and seating is very limited.  Applications will be reviewed and acceptance notices will be emailed.  Apply HERE.

A registration link with payment instructions will be included in the invitation. If you have any questions, please contact Dorothy Lin (dclin@us.ibm.com)

There are pre-requisites, and attendees must have at least 1 of the following certifications (or the equivalent experience level):
– IBM Certified System Administrator – Db2 for z/OS
– IBM Certified Database Administrator – Db2 for z/OS

Cost
$2,500 USD per client participant
Client participants are responsible for their own travel, lodging, and meal expenses
A registration link with payment instructions will be included in the invitation.

Db2 for z 2020 Master Class Summary and Outline

Collaboration at Work: Gold Consultants and IBM Data and AI Expert Labs

Posted by Kim May on November 11, 2019 under Data and AI Expert Labs and Learning, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, Frank Fillmore, IBM DB2 Services.

Congratulations and many thanks to the IBM Data and AI Expert Labs team for their willingness to collaborate with the IBM Gold Consultants.

Frank Fillmore and I met in February with Ritika Gunnar, who had just been appointed the new VP leading the IBM Data and AI Expert Labs team.  Frank explained that he is an IBM Gold Consultant and we discussed our frustrations with the IBM’s low utilization of skilled contract talent like the Golds, and Ritika said she would do some research and try to help.

Frank was selected as a Gold Consultant in 1998 and considers it one of (if not THE) highest achievement of his career.  There are approximately 40 Gold Consultants worldwide, all of whom are independent consultants.   Each was selected by IBM and their Gold Consultant peers to participate in the program.  Information on the Golds and their skills is on the IBM website Gold Consultant page.

After our meeting with Ritika we soon met Business Partner Liaison Karla Rooney, who initiated a series of calls to discuss pipeline, pending needs and utilization.  Karla introduced services sellers, Resource Deployment Managers and other colleagues in the Data and AI Expert Labs organization.  Through these discussions we were able to introduce the unique experiences of the Gold Consultants and identify a few pending engagements where the Golds skills were needed – and the momentum began to build.

In August a group of Gold Consultants delivered a webinar to hundreds of Db2 for z/OS customers planning migrations to V12.  Or, to be more exact, Db2 customers NOT at V12.  The migration to V12 has been hyped as the last major migration planned for Db2 for z/OS, not because the database is going away, but due to the continuous delivery model.  However, customers need to get to V12 to take advantage of continuous delivery, and unfortunately many have not begun the work.  The IBM teams overseeing System z are concerned there will be a last minute rush to migrate to V12 and not enough consultants available to help.

Enter the Golds, who delivered an excellent webinar on the V12, and who have been asked to support migration efforts contracted with IBM’s Data and AI Expert Labs.  The webinar was recorded and is available here.

The net of all this is:  thanks to Karla and Ritika and their teams, customers are now able to access the best independent Db2 talent on the planet through Data and AI Expert Labs.  I hope your organization – and everyone in the Db2 community – has the opportunity to benefit from the value of this collaboration.

Thanks Karla and Ritika!!

Join Gold Consultants for a V12 Upgrade Webinar Wednesday, October 9th

Posted by Kim May on September 10, 2019 under DB2 Education, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, DB2 Migrations, DB2 Stars, IBM DB2 Services, International DB2 Users Group (IDUG), TFG Blog, Webinar.

The Time is NOW!
Upgrade to Db2 12 for z/OS!

Date:           Wednesday, October 9, 2019
Time:          11:00am EDT
Register:     HERE

You are invited to join a live webcast hosted by IBM Gold Consultants to learn why this is the right time to upgrade to Db2 12.

Gold Consultants are an independent voice, delivering Db2 consulting and support to  customers worldwide. Learn more about the Golds and how they can help your organization by visiting the IBM Gold Consultant webpage.

During this webcast expert Golds will discuss:

• The benefits of upgrading to Db2 12
• Continuous availability and potential cost savings
• In-memory Features
• Pre-planning tasks and their importance
• Costs and risks associated with failing to migrate by September 30, 2020

The session will close with a live Q&A session with several of the Golds who contributed recommendations and content to the presentation.

The session was developed and will be delivered by the following IBM Gold Consultants.  Bio’s for each presenter are below.

Julian Stuhler
Triton Consulting

Julian has over 30 years of Db2 experience in application programming, database administration, technical architecture, performance tuning and systems programming, working within the insurance, telecommunications, banking, financial services and manufacturing sectors. He is an IBM Redbook and White Paper author and IDUG Best Speaker, and has lectured widely on DB2 subjects in the UK, Europe and US. In 1999 Julian was invited to join the IBM Gold Consultants program, and in May 2008, Julian was recognized as one of IBM’s inaugural Data Champions. Julian served on the IDUG Board of directors from 2003 to 2010, and is an IDUG Past President.

Frank Fillmore, Jr.
The Fillmore Group, Inc.

Frank is the Founder and President of The Fillmore Group, Inc., a Premier IBM Business Partner.  Frank is an IBM Gold Consultant and IBM Champion for both Analytics and System z.  The Fillmore Group’s areas of expertise include data interoperability, replication and high availability, InfoSphere, Db2 Server for VSE&VM, competitive migrations and technical Project Management. Frank oversees a staff of talented employees and contractors, and manages projects ranging from new database implementations to health checks.  In addition to consulting Frank and his team deliver IBM Authorized Training and are IBM software resellers.

Isaac Yassin
DBX-Consulting

Isaac is an IBM Gold Consultant and Champion with over 40 years of experience consulting on IT and security at cross-industry customers covering areas of global system tuning including Sysplex and Parallel Sysplex, Security (RACF, Top-Secret, Guardium) and large-scale projects involving Data Warehouse / Big Data and Machine Learning as well as data analysis in heterogeneous environments.

Isaac has vast knowledge in DB2 (both Z & LUW), IMS and other major DBMSs and has installed and migrated every release of Db2 starting with V1.2 and up to V12, including “skip & jump” migrations and worked on a variety of migrations to and from other vendor databases.  Isaac’s Db2 technical work includes wide-scale problem analysis, performance, troubleshooting, education/training, security problems and audits and BCP/DRP scenarios.  Isaac is an active IDUG contributor and frequent presenter.

Gerald Hodge
HLS Technologies

Gerry began working with Db2 V2 in 1985 while a First Vice President at Security Pacific National Bank. While there he headed the Capacity Planning and Performance Planning for 11 of the bank’s data centers. In 1990 he moved to BMC Software’s International Sales as their SME for their Db2 products, and was the primary on sight support for sales and Db2 Products in both Europe and Asia.

In 1995 Mr. Hodge started HLS Technologies, Inc. His company developed the following DB2 products: Avoid Bind, DBRM Check, Path Check, and Express Hints. He was invited to join IBM’s Gold Consultants the year the program was formed. He has been an active member every year since.  HLS Technologies has provided detailed planning and support for Db2 migrations since V5 and is currently supporting a large V12 migration project.

Dan Luksetich
DanL Database Consulting

Dan is a Db2 DBA consultant, an IBM Gold Consultant and IBM Analytics Champion. He works as a DBA, application architect, presenter, author, and teacher. Dan has been in IT for over 34 years, and has worked with Db2 for over 29 years. He has been an application programmer, Db2 system programmer, Db2 DBA, and DB2 application architect. His experience includes major implementations on z/OS, AIX, i Series, Windows, and Linux environments. His industry experience includes retail, banking, fraud detection, analytics, government, and utility. He specializes in highly available, high-volume transaction processing against very large database systems.

Dan’s experience includes, but is not limited to:

· Application design and architecture
· Business analytics
· SQL consulting and education
· SQL coding and application programming
· Database administration
· Complex SQL
· SQL tuning
· DB2 performance audits
· Replication
· Disaster recovery
· Stored procedures, user-defined functions, and triggers

Join Frank for a Free Webinar: IDAA Afternoon Show

Posted by Kim May on August 12, 2019 under DB2 Education, DB2 for z/Linux, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, DB2 Migrations, Frank Fillmore, IBM Champion, IDAA, Netezza, TFG Blog.

Several people who registered for The Fillmore Group’s Columbus IDAA class in July were unable to attend, so we’ve decided to borrow the “Db2 Night Show” format, with Frank hosting the “IDAA Afternoon Show” Wednesday, August 28th from 4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. EDT.

Frank will deliver a fast-paced, content-rich 90-minute webinar covering:

  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

And as an added bonus we will step all registered attendees through The Fillmore Group’s exclusive IDAA form-factor Buying Guide to compare:

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

We’ll do this via webinar, so come-one-come-all.  We’ll upload the materials we used in the Columbus class so anyone who did not register for class but attends the webinar can access them.

I hope you will join us if your schedule allows, and invite any colleagues who may be interested in the material.

Registration is required.  Please register HERE.

Free Hands-on IDAA Class Announced – July 18 & 19, Columbus, Ohio

Posted by Kim May on April 9, 2019 under DB2 Education, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, Frank Fillmore, HTAP, IBM DB2 Services, IDAA, Netezza, TFG Blog.

Join us for this new and improved for 2019 class to be delivered by IBM Gold Consultant Frank Fillmore. Contents include IDAA v7 early experiences, best practices, and v5 to v7 migration tips. Attendees will learn how an IDAA v7 (aka “Sailfish”) can extend System z’s processing capabilities to enable Hybrid Transaction/Analytic Processing (HTAP).  For IBM System z customers considering an IDAA purchase, this class provides an overview of the architecture, use cases delivering value, and insight into the administration of the accelerator.

Class is free to IBM System z customers considering an IDAA purchase.  The Fillmore Group will provide breakfast and lunch each day; attendees are responsible for their own travel and lodging expenses.

Registration is required – Register HERE

Dates (2 days):            Thursday and Friday, July 18 and 19, 2019

Location:                      IBM, 6060 Britton Parkway, Building 1, Dublin, Ohio, 43016

Time:                           9:00am – 4:00pm EDT

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

Instructor:                    Frank Fillmore

Topics:

  • An introduction to the V7.1 architecture and Integrated Analytics System (IAS).
  • The heterogeneous accelerator environment: what works well today.
  • Assessment tools to support acquisition: Workload Assessment, Client Value Engagement, 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 2019 Replication Updates – 4 in 45 Minutes – Featuring Kafka!

Posted by Kim May on January 8, 2019 under Attunity, DB2 Education, DB2 for i, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for z/Linux, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, DB2 Migrations, DB2 Stars, Frank Fillmore, IBM Champion, IBM DB2 Services, IBM Information Management Software Sales, pureScale, Q-Replication, Replication, TFG Blog, Webinar. Tags: .

Join replication experts Frank Fillmore and Ed Lynch for this information-packed webinar with news and announcements about IBM’s replication solutions. Whether you are a current IBM replication user, investigating replication for a new deployment, or working with a competitor’s solution, this webinar will help you understand what IBM offers today, and the enhancements that will help you succeed with replication in 2019.

At a sprint!

In forty-five minutes Ed and Frank will deliver an overview of IBM’s current offerings, the four most important 2019 enhancement announcements, and 3 special pricing offers that can help your organization realize significant savings. We know you want your data to be available when you need it and where you need it, and fast. We can help.

Registration is required. Please register HERE.

Date: Thursday, 2/7/19

Time: 1:00pm – 2:00pm EST

Presenters:

Frank Fillmore is the Founder and President of The Fillmore Group, Inc., an IBM Business Partner specializing in replication solutions in the IBM Analytics portfolio. Frank has been a Db2 Gold Consultant since 1998 and is currently an IBM Champion for both Analytics and System z. Frank frequently presents on cutting-edge topics at regional and international Db2 Users Group meetings and is an IBM authorized instructor for delivery of replication courses including Q Replication, ICDC and pureScale. Frank leads a team of expert consultants delivering presales, implementation and enablement support to IBM customers. Frank is currently supporting a pureScale implementation for a US Federal agency.

Ed Lynch was with IBM for over 25 years as a leader and innovator in Data Analytics and Information Integration.  Leveraging his balanced and diversified knowledge of data and Information Technology with business needs and capabilities, Ed consistently recommends and delivers best of breed technical solutions. A trusted advisor to his customers and colleagues, Ed’s cross-industry knowledge enables him to be an effective go-to resource, particularly for difficult and complex challenges, and his success in many diverse roles at IBM, including development, technical team management, marketing and sales, showcase his flexibility. Ed is currently supporting a complex replication implementation for a large, US-based financial institution.

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;
EBCDIC    UNICODE

     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…

Time to be Thankful

Posted by Kim May on November 20, 2018 under DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, IBM DB2 Services, Q-Replication, TFG Blog.

It’s the time of year to reflect on what we are thankful for and in this spirit Frank and I had a discussion recently about the many terrific colleagues and customers we’ve had the opportunity to work with over the past year, and how much we appreciate their impact on the success of The Fillmore Group and our lives.  Many thanks!  Too often we become frustrated with the day-to-day “churn” of doing business as an IBM Business Partner, but our shared efforts have resulted in many positive outcomes for us as individuals, and for our organizations’ ability to leverage IBM solutions.

Two individuals deserve special recognition for their efforts:  Susan Lawson and Ed Lynch.  Both have demonstrated how deep technical skills and a positive outlook contribute to the Db2 community.

Susan, as a Gold Consultant, introduced her network of Golds to an IBM team responding to an enterprise customer’s “SOS!” after a significant performance issue.  The customer recognized their need for expert assistance and IBM reached out to Susan.  Susan in turn recommended the Gold Consultants as a resource ready and willing to assist.  As Frank Fillmore has been part of an effort by the Golds’ leadership team to better integrate their skills with IBM’s consulting practices, her willingness to promote their skills and abilities reinforced to the IBM team, and to the Golds, the availability of this skilled community of consultants looking for ways to connect and support IBM customers.  Rather than just keeping her head down and focusing on the specific tasks assigned to her, she raised her hand and introduced a whole team of colleagues ready to help.  Thank you Susan!

Ed, as an IBM technical expert and evangelist, found himself “retired” earlier this year and reached out to group of colleagues indicating his interest in returning to  work.  Coincidentally, IBM Lab Services transitioned their services model from utilizing inhouse/staff consultants to using Business Partner resources to support certain technologies in their portfolio.   While Lab Services has long maintained subcontract relationships with IBM Business Partners to extend their “bench” resources, partners have been used infrequently and often as a last resort.  This new initiative was unfamiliar territory and “mismatched expectations” is perhaps the most positive spin I can put on it.  Ed cheerfully and professionally responded to cycles of administrative drama, unclear customer requests, overseas travel and constant uncertainty as to what was coming next.  Thanks to his efforts several IBM replication customers were able to obtain the support they needed to be successful.  Thank you Ed!

To Susan and Ed – with special thanks – Happy Thanksgiving!!