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

IDUG Philadelphia Early Bird Discount Extended – Register Now!!

Posted by Kim May on March 21, 2018 under DB2 Education, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for z/OS, IBM Champion, International DB2 Users Group (IDUG), TFG Blog.

For those of us weathering the Spring snowstorm of 2018 on the East Coast – not in sunny Las Vegas, an incentive to think Spring and plan for warmer weather in Philadelphia during IDUG, scheduled for April 29th – May 3rd.

The Early Bird discount has been extended until March 31st.  There are – now – ten more days to register and take advantage of the reduced price.

As Bill Shipley emailed earlier today:  Remember this is the 35th Anniversary of IBM Db2 for z/OS, 25th Anniversary of IBM Db2 LUW and 30th Anniversary for IDUG.

IDUG 2018 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

And my birthday’s in there, too…hope we can celebrate together in Philly!!

Congratulations Double Champion Frank!

Posted by Kim May on March 5, 2018 under Authorized Training Partner, DB2 for z/Linux, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, DB2 Stars, Frank Fillmore, IBM Champion, IBM DB2 Services, IBM Information Management Software Sales, TFG Blog.

Frank’s on a roll – he recently received notification his US Secret clearance was approved and learned this morning he’s been named an IBM Champion in a second category – IBM System Z – making him a “Double Champion” in both System Z and IBM Analytics.  And he recently earned his Amazon Web Services Certified Solutions Architect certification so he can help Db2 for LUW users deploy on the Amazon cloud when, you know, management tells them they must.

Frank is juggling a couple current projects and managing The Fillmore Group’s consultants.  If you are in need of IBM System Z and/or Analytics education, consulting, staff augmentation or purchasing assistance he would be happy to chat with you about how our team can help.  And don’t forget to congratulate him – he is one of four consultants recognized by IBM for the “Double Champion” status!

The Fillmore Group’s capabilities statement listing all the areas where we can help is attached.  Take a look – and to Frank say,

CHEERS!!!!

The Fillmore Group Capabilities Statement 2018

Baltimore/Washington Db2 Users Group Annual Education Event – Wednesday, March 14th

Posted by Kim May on March 2, 2018 under Baltimore Washington DB2 Users Group, DB2 for z/OS, IBM Champion, SQL Tuning.

I am looking forward to the Baltimore/Washington Db2 Users Group March education meeting – in our new meeting location, the BWI Hilton!!  After months of discussion the board decided this location offers our members convenience, better traffic routes and an improved lunch facility (the Flight Deck; even sounds fun!)

The meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, March 14th, from 9:00am – 4:00pm.  The cost is $250 in advance and $350 at the door.  Register HERE.

March is of course the group’s annual education session.  This year the group has invited Tony Andrews of Themis to present.  Tony’s full-day session consists of topics selected specifically to assist developers with Db2 SQL programming performance and best practices.

Attendees will gain knowledge of SQL programming, performance and tuning, and the SQL-PL native Stored Procedure language.

The material provided to each attendee will include:
– SQL Standards and Guidelines
– SQL coding best practices
– SQL-PL coding best practices
– Many great SQL examples on rewrites
– SQL and program tuning tips
– SQL and program tuning step by step processes

Session Topics:
? Learn the top reasons for poor performance
? Learn our top SQL rewrites every developer should know
? Learn our top SQL Tuning Tips for developers
? Learn our top reasons why you have to watch out for null columns
? Learn the top reasons why developers need to know their data
? Learn what filter factors are and why they are so important
? Learn our top 10 steps to tuning a query or program
? Learn our top SQL-PL stored procedures best practices

Presenter Tony Andrews, Themis Inc., Consultant and Trainer
Tony Andrews has more than 25 years’ experience in the development of relational database applications. For most of this time he has provided development and consulting services to Fortune 500 companies and government agencies. Tony has written literally thousands of queries and programs and has also served as a database analyst. For the last 10 years Tony has been splitting his time between performance and tuning consulting engagements and training.  His main focus is to teach today’s developers the ways of RDMS application design, development and SQL programming — always with a special emphasis on improving performance.  He is a current IBM Champion, and regular speaker at many regional user groups, IDUG NA, and IDUG EMEA.  He is also the author of a book for developers titled ‘DB2 SQL Tuning Tips for z/OS Developers’.

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!