2018 Events – So Much To Do!

Posted by Kim May on January 22, 2018 under Baltimore Washington DB2 Users Group, BLU Acceleration, DB2 Education, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for z/Linux, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Stars, Frank Fillmore, IBM Champion, IBM Mid Market Customers, IBM Think Conference, IDAA, TFG Blog.

With IBM’s consolidation of conferences resulting in the cancellation of last Fall’s World of Watson/Insight/IOD Conference, and the merge into March’s upcoming Think conference, Db2 users have several educational event options to consider.  With training and education budgets continuing to shrink, and the use of contractors (who need to be billable, and know everything already, right?) growing, getting funding and approval to attend events is more challenging than ever.

However, with so many choices, I hope you will find something that’s a good fit, and have the opportunity to network with the Db2 community.   Here’s a short list of the events I am hoping to attend – and why:

Hands-on IDAA/IIAS Training, Date TBD (February or March), Baltimore, Maryland

Frank Fillmore is developing a new 2-day hands-on training class to introduce the IBM Db2 Analytics Accelerator (IDAA) and it’s new version, the IBM Integrated Analytics System (IIAS), featuring BLU Acceleration and available as an appliance or a z/Linux software solution.  Class will focus on use case development, determining the right fit deployment option for your organization, implementation and administration.  Frank has been delivering similar classes since the release of the IDAA and has helped many System z customers understand the accelerator value.

Why attend?  The IDAA/IIAS solution is an incredible addition to the System z environment, Frank is an excellent presenter, and class is *FREE*

To register:  keep an eye on our blog or email me if you would like me to notify you when class is scheduled.

 

Baltimore/Washington Db2 Users Group Education Session with Themis, Wednesday, March 14th, BWI Hilton, Linthicum Heights, MD

Every March the Baltimore/Washington Db2 Users Group offers a full-day education session.  These sessions are evaluated by our board and intended to provide the best local full-day of training available in the area each year.  The March session will be delivered by IBM Champion and author Tony Andrews from Themis, and will focus on SQL programming, performance, and tuning, as well as the SQL-PL native Stored Procedures language.

Why attend?  The annual education day presenters reads like “Who’s Who in Db2” and the sessions are consistently terrific.  Tony is an excellent presenter, the event is local for Baltimore/Washington area Db2 users, and it’s our group’s first meeting at our new BWI Hilton location.

To register:  visit the Baltimore/Washington Db2 Users Group webpage.

Cost:  $250 in advance and $300 at the door.  The fee includes materials and a sit-down lunch.

 

Think 2018, March 19 – March 22, Las Vegas, NV

IBM has consolidated several technical conferences into Think, with the conference topics covering AI, Cloud, Data, Security, and Systems.  As last year’s World of Watson/Insight/IOD annual data-centric conference was cancelled, Db2 users are interested in better understanding IBM’s direction and how the continued IBM transformation will impact their organizations.

Why attend?  This is usually the largest annual gathering of Db2 users.  Great networking, excellent presenters, superb people watching.  Maybe some answers to those nagging “what’s next?” questions??

To register:  visit the Think registration page.

Cost:  $2,295 for the week; $895 for a single day pass.  *Before registering ask your IBM rep for help with the cost of the pass.*  😉

 

IDUG Philadelphia, April 29 – May 3, Philadelphia, PA

The annual North America Db2 conference will be held in downtown Philadelphia this year, an easy and inexpensive commute for Mid-Atlantic organizations like The Fillmore Group.  The IDUG conference is where the Db2 community and IBM are focusing on the delivery of hard-core technical content.  With 5 days of education sessions, workshops, over 100 technical briefings and an experts’ panel, this year’s IDUG conference, while smaller than Think, will likely offer the best technical education value for Db2 users.

Why attend?  IDUG will deliver top-notch Db2 technical presenters and presentations.  Great networking and friendly – very community focused.

To register:  visit the IDUG North America 2018 conference webpage. 

Cost:  $1,865 through March 16 (early bird).  Need help funding a conference pass?  There are many discounts and community offers – contact the IDUG Conference Planning Committee (CPC) for help.

2018 New Year’s Resolutions – Let’s Get Started!

Posted by Kim May on January 4, 2018 under Authorized Training Partner, Baltimore Washington DB2 Users Group, DB2 Education, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Migrations, Frank Fillmore, IDAA, Oracle, TFG Blog.

As always the holidays are over too soon.  Here at The Fillmore Group we are back to work, starting the year with the usual goal setting and head scratching.  Three initiatives we worked on in 2017 showed a great deal of promise but never seemed to quite gain the traction we had hoped for.  So, unlike in prior years when I would start with a blank page, I am committing myself to pushing these three harder in 2018, as all three offer terrific options to maximize the value of an organization’s data assets.  These are:

Oracle to Db2 database migrations.  Last year IBM offered discounted Db2 licenses to current Oracle customers – and when I say “discounted” I mean practically gave them away.  Frank Fillmore and I delivered several competitive migration presentations and got lots of positive feedback from Oracle customers.  Still, we didn’t see a lot of Db2 adoption from these folks and I’m sorry – for them and us.  This is a head-scratcher, because I’m not sure where we are getting snagged, but we need to figure it out in 2018.

IDAA/IIAS/HTAP vs. “edge systems”.  Admittedly 2017 was a bit of a transition year for the IBM Db2 Analytics Accelerator (aka the IDAA) as IBM completely revamped the design, replacing the Netezza-bolted-to-a-mainframe with 2 Db2 BLU Acceleration-based options to deliver the Hybrid Transaction Analytic Processing (HTAP) capability.  Meanwhile in 2017 analysts were predicting that edge systems are the future – sounding frighteningly like they did in the late 1990’s when the standalone data warehouse was the next big thing.  It makes absolutely no sense to me to build out a completely new system, particularly on the periphery of an organization’s most secure system, to perform analytics when IBM has clearly demonstrated you can leave the data in place and perform both your OLTP and analytic processing in tandem.  We need to continue to educate customers to ensure they understand the overall value – reducing complexity, reducing cost, and keeping data secure.  The new BLU-based version has a new name:  IBM Integrated Analytics System – IIAS.

Supporting the Db2 eco-system.  This is such a no-brainer but one that needs constant attention, effort and input to maintain.  IBM formal classroom education offerings are minimal.  Conferences – IBM and IDUG – are changing and it’s difficult to determine which is most appropriate to attend.  Users groups (including the Balto/Washington Db2 Users Group) are struggling to provide our users with unbiased product information, education and resources.  We aren’t giving up and hope the greater Db2 community continues to work to stay active and involved within the community and within our individual organizations.  If we want to stay relevant we need to stay involved.

Happy 2018!  Off to work!

First Half 2018 Classes Posted at www/ibm.com/training

Posted by Kim May on December 14, 2017 under Authorized Training Partner, BLU Acceleration, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 Migrations, Frank Fillmore, Global Skills Initiative, IBM DB2 Services, IDAA, pureScale, TFG Blog.

The Fillmore Group 1H 2018 Class Schedule

As an IBM Business Partner that truly believes that proper training is one of the most critical factors influencing the successful deployment and use of technology, we here at The Fillmore Group continue to evaluate the IBM Analytics courses available and to select those we feel will potentially help IBM Analytics customers succeed.  And, of course, as we believe affordable technical services are another of those critical factors influencing success, we are happy to customize classes and include them along with a fully scoped implementation or healthcheck effort.

One highlight and two classes NOT posted on the IBM website.  First, the highlight.  We’ve been told that pureScale is finally being adopted by Db2 LUW customers.  This is great news as it is great technology, featuring one of the best System z features (Parallel Sysplex) re-imagined for distributed environments.  Unfortunately, the course curriculum was written for the original version of pureScale, v10.5, and hasn’t been updated to reflect the enhancements in v11.  Nor does the course include hands-on exercises.  We have a solution:  Frank Fillmore recently delivered the class to a group of students implementing v11 and updated the materials and built hands-on exercises.

Second, two classes NOT posted on the IBM website but available in the first half of 2018:  hands-on IBM Integrated Analytics System (IIAS), the just-released upgrade to the IBM Db2 Analytics Accelerator (IDAA) and QMF for Multi-Platforms.  We are working on curriculum for both of these classes and hope to have them scheduled for sometime early in the year – we are targeting February for the IIAS class and March for QMF.  If you are interested in either class please let me know.

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.

Calling All IDAA Users!

Posted by Kim May on April 18, 2017 under DB2 Education, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, Frank Fillmore, HTAP, IDAA, TFG Blog.

The next IBM-sponsored DB2 Analytics Accelerator Users’ Group meeting was announced this week.  The Fillmore Group’s Frank Fillmore will be presenting one of the sessions, along with BNY/Mellon Pershing’s Al DiGiovanni, whose support and promotion of the IDAA enabled Pershing to acquire their first IDAA.

Al and Frank will be presenting the meeting’s final session titled, “Increasing Utilization of the Accelerator by your Lines of Business”, a session whose topic has been a core issue for System z customers trying to persuade their colleagues to consider investing in the IDAA.

As many technical teams promoting IDAA adoption have learned (the hard way!), most organizations adopted the circa-Y2K best practice of running OLTP and analytic workloads separately, and are therefore reluctant to re-integrate the two, in spite of the cost, latency and simplicity advantages.  This session is designed to surface the issue and discuss options to address and overcome it.

Information on the DAAUG meeting is below.  Please be advised that membership in this group is limited to current IDAA customers and registration to attend is managed by IBM.  If you own an IDAA and would like to attend, and have not received an email invitation from IBM, please email me (kim.may@thefillmoregroup.com) and I will connect you to the IBM team coordinating the meeting.

I hope you will join us May 9th.

Session Details
Increasing Utilization of the Accelerator by your Lines of Business
Frank Fillmore and Al DiGiovanni, BNY/Mellon Pershing

The IDAA is a powerful tool for performing real-time analytics on z/OS transactional data.  In many cases it is left to the managers of an enterprise’s mainframe to “sell” an IDAA to lines of business (LOBs).

  • The audience for the sales pitch: CFOs, CTOs, Enterprise IT Architects, Data Scientists
  • The objections:
    o existing infrastructure (ETL processes, enterprise data warehouses)
    o mainframe marginalization (“The mainframe is too expensive”; “The mainframe is not a strategic platform”)
  • The advantages:
    o reduced complexity
    o reduced latency
    o cost savings (e.g. inexpensive data archiving of all System z data)
  • New opportunities:
    o in-database transformation (i.e. AOTs for MicroStrategy)
    o in-database analytics (i.e. INZA-IDAA 3.2.2.1)
    o cloud deployment (Public/Private/Hybrid)
    o Machine Learning
    o R support

DB2 Analytics Accelerator Users’ Group (DAAUG) Meeting

Date:           Tuesday, May 9, 2017
Location:     IBM Offices, NYC or via web conference
Time:           9:30am – 2:00pm EDT

During this meeting, Ute Baumbach, subject matter expert from the Analytics on z Systems Center of Excellence out of Boeblingen, Germany, will cover the most recently introduced Accelerator features, functions and fixes. Tim Willging, Distinguished Engineer, will discuss how you can expand your Accelerator use cases with new functionality in the Accelerator Loader Tool. Jonathan Sloan, Business Analytics Executive Consultant, will present ways the Accelerator complements IBM Machine Learning. Frank Fillmore, DB2 Gold Consultant of the Fillmore Group, and a customer presenter will share their successful experiences to help you promote the value of the Accelerator to your Lines of Business.

We encourage you to join the meeting in person if you are local. Web Meeting details will be provided for remote attendees.

Agenda:

09:30 – 10:00       Registration
10:00 – 10:15        Welcome
10:15 – 10:45         Developer’s Update: DB2 Analytics Accelerator Features, Functions and Fixes
10:45 – 11:30         Expanding Accelerator use cases with new DB2 Analytics Accelerator Loader
functionality
11:30 – 12:00         Lunch Break
12:00 – 01:00        Complementing IBM Machine Learning with the DB2 Analytics Accelerator
01:00 – 02:00       Increasing Utilization of the Accelerator by your Lines of Business

Thank you Governor Hogan!

Posted by Kim May on February 9, 2017 under DB2 for z/Linux, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Migrations, IBM Information Management Software Sales, IDAA, Mako, Netezza, TFG Blog.

When I started working for The Fillmore Group over ten years ago, the world of DB2 was far different.  The State of Maryland had probably over a dozen IBM mainframes running state government agencies.  We occasionally delivered training and support, but often struggled with the procurement processes, as we weren’t an approved vendor.

As I learned, the master vendor list for IT vendors to the State of Maryland adds new vendors only once every 8 to 10 years, as the qualification process (we are talking government here!) is onerous and terribly time consuming for all involved.  So I waited and finally this past year it was time again for open enrollment.  The qualification process WAS onerous and time consuming and required the assistance of Maryland Governor Hogan’s office to make the insurance requirements attainable for small businesses like The Fillmore Group.

Many thanks Governor Hogan!  Today The Fillmore Group received the fully executed contract to deliver IT services to the State of Maryland.   There aren’t as many mainframes as there were ten years ago and efforts have been underway to consolidate their workloads, but we can help.  I think a private cloud running System z with a couple shared IDAA’s would be cost effective, efficient, and modern.  Can’t wait to get started!

Kim May Takes the Reins at Baltimore/Washington DB2 Users Group @IDUGDB2 @IBMzAnalytics

Posted by Frank Fillmore on February 2, 2017 under Baltimore Washington DB2 Users Group, DB2 Education, DB2 for z/Linux, DB2 for z/OS, IBM Champion, IDAA, International DB2 Users Group (IDUG). Tags: , , .

My colleague, Kim May – Vice President of Business Development at The Fillmore Group, has been elected Chairperson of the Board of Directors of theMay - Champion Baltimore/Washington DB2 Users Group.  Kim has served on the board of BWDB2UG since 2005 in many capacities such as programming and membership.  BWDB2UG continues to provide strong technical leadership for DB2 practitioners in the US Mid-Atlantic region.  Kim takes over from long-time board Chair Steve Rosenberger.

Kim is also an IBM Champion and is very active in the DB2 Community.  As an example, she presented at the IBM World of Watson conference in Las Vegas in 2016.  Kim recently returned from the zAnalytics Bootcamp held annually at IBM Silicon Valley Lab.

Kim’s business focus in 2017 is the IBM DB2 Analytics Accelerator (IDAA) and DB2 running on Linux on System z.  Please join me and the BWDB2UG board in supporting Kim in her new role.

It was 30 years ago today… The Fillmore Group “Founder’s Day” @ffillmorejr @KimMayTFG #IBMAnalytics #IBMz

Posted by Frank Fillmore on January 13, 2017 under DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for VSE&VM, DB2 for z/Linux, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, DB2 Migrations, Federation, HTAP, IBM Champion, IDAA, International DB2 Users Group (IDUG), Q-Replication. Tags: , .

On Tuesday, January 13, 1987 I sat in the kitchen of my 11 foot wide rowhouse in the Highlandtown section of Baltimore and typed out on a manual typewriter the Articles of Incorporation for The Fillmore Group.  My son, Nathaniel, was five weeks old.

Some back-of-the-envelope metrics across the past 30 years:

  • approximately 300 clients
  • about 60 consultants have helped train these customers and implement their IBM Analytics software
  • As a consultant, instructor, and/or presenter at technical conferences I have traveled to approximately 20 countries.  Prague is my favorite foreign city; I’ve been there three times and look forward to returning.

I have had two consultants, Ray and Jim, tell me that working for The Fillmore Group “has changed [their] life”.  In the beginning it was a common occurrence that an employment verification form from a mortgage underwriter would arrive shortly after a consultant started with TFG.  I know of several consultants that purchased their first home while working with us.

My favorite work environment was The World Bank.  The cosmopolitan atmosphere – working with colleagues from all over the planet – was delightful.  I helped implement a telephone billing system there using SQL/DS.

My most satisfying project was the Oracle to DB2 migration at JP Morgan Chase.  It was a tough, demanding environment with a timeline that was half of the 18 months originally estimated.  But we got it done with the help of Jim, Joe G., Joe L., John, Rebecca, and Teresa.  The customer had an equally talented, hard-working team.  Our contribution to that project was recognized by IBM SVP Steve Mills at the Insight conference that year.

As a small business owner, my favorite question from an IBMer (Scott): “Since the deadline can’t change, if money were no object what would you do?”  The answer: supply five more consultants to the project.  It was completed on time – if not under budget.

As a technician, my favorite question from an IBMer (Hunter) in the parking lot after a detailed technical presentation to a customer involving replication and federation tools: “We can do that, right?”  The answer: yes we can.  It resulted in a massive data warehouse at a large federal government healthcare agency.

I have had the privilege to learn from and share friendships with some of IBM’s original developers of relational database technology including Pat, Curt, Don and Don, and Hamid.  For IBM’s Hybrid Transaction/Analytic Platform (HTAP) implementations of today I rely on Paul, Tim, Gary, Namik, Knut, Patric, and Udo among many, many others.

I also cherish the friendships I have formed with other DB2 Gold Consultants like David, Ted, Bonnie, Jan, Juergen, Julian, Jackie, Kermit, Sheryl, Susan – and especially Gerry.

IBM has been a maddening company with which to partner, but the vast majority of the time The Fillmore Group has benefited from the technical excellence and basic decency of IBM employees.  In return, TFG consultants like Roger and Ravi have delivered innovative, cost-effective IT solutions to our mutual customers.  After more than two decades I still rely on Roger for his calm, wise counsel.

There have been tough times, too.  The Fillmore Group overcame at least three financial near-death experiences (1993, 2002, 2006).  At the risk of tempting fate: we never missed a payroll or failed to pay a debt on time.

But the best time, by far, was the day Kim May arrived to rent The Fillmore Group’s technical training classroom in downtown Baltimore in 2003.  That was the day my life changed forever.

This is reverie, not valedictory.  I am still too young to retire.  And I am as jazzed about the possibilities of HTAP, data repositories, and data interoperability (aka “plumbing”) in 2017 as I was when I first started working with SQL/DS (maximum storage capacity: 64GB) in the mid 1980s.  We’re currently working on a database rehosting project for a local government targeting DB2 for z/Linux and have an IBM DB2 Analytics Accelerator (IDAA) v6 Workshop scheduled next month.

But I wanted to take a moment to jot down a few thoughts on the past three decades.  Of course, I haven’t called out everyone by name who has contributed to our success over the years.  But I truly, sincerely appreciate your hard work, dedication, integrity, smarts, and moxie.  Thank you!

In closing, when Curt retired from IBM I asked if he was pleased with a career that had reached a pinnacle as an IBM Fellow.  His response: “It turned out better than I ever could have imagined.”  Me too.

IBM DB2 Analytics Accelerator (IDAA) *Free* Hands-On Training Class

Posted by Kim May on January 3, 2017 under Data Studio, DB2 Education, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, Frank Fillmore, HTAP, IBM Champion, IDAA, TFG Blog.

idaa-sticker

DB2 Gold Consultant and IBM Champion Frank C. Fillmore, Jr. will deliver a *free*, hands-on IDAA training class in Baltimore on Monday and Tuesday, February 27th and 28th.  IBM System z customers considering a 2017 IDAA purchase are invited to attend.

Frank has delivered similar classes in the past and looks forward to delivering this updated class featuring the recently announced IDAA V6.1.  This class will combine material explaining why you should have an IDAA and how to use it (query acceleration, High Performance Storage Saver, loading non-DB2 data using the Rocket Loader tool), along with new material introducing new ways to extend your System z’s processing capabilities to the cloud and into the new world of HTAP – Hybrid Transaction Analytic Processing – with the latest IDAA release.

Class is free, however attendees are responsible for their travel and lodging expenses.  IBM reps are invited to join us along with their customers.  The Fillmore Group will provide a continental breakfast and lunch each day, and dinner Monday evening for attendees interested in joining us.  Registration is required – please follow the link below to register.

Dates (2 days):    Monday and Tuesday, February 27th and 28th, 2017
Class Times:        9:00am – 4:00pm ( breakfast served at 8:30am)
Cost:                    Class is free; attendees are responsible for their T&L
Instructor:            Frank Fillmore
Location:              The Radisson Cross Keys, 5100 Falls Rd, Baltimore, MD 21210

REGISTER HERE

Topics:
• New in IDAA v6.1 – the architecture, cloud option, R functions support and dashDB
• Assessment tools to support acquisition:  Workload Assessment, Client Value Engagement, PoC
• Positioning IDAA within your organization with the most valuable use case

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
• High Performance Storage Saver (HPSS): store archival data only on IDAA
• Accelerating Static SQL workloads

“Help!! My Manager Said We’re Moving Off the Mainframe!” Materials #zIBM #zAnalytics

Posted by Frank Fillmore on November 17, 2016 under DB2 for z/OS, IDAA.

One of our best attended webinars ever!  Lots of great questions.

The presentation materials are found here: help-my-manager-said-were-moving-off-the-mainframe-slides-11-14-16-final

The recording can be found here.