InfoSphere Optim Query Capture and Replay – What’s the value?

Posted by Frank Fillmore on August 8, 2012 under DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for z/OS, InfoSphere, Optim, Oracle. Tags: , .

Database recovery logs have been around for a long time.  They support rolling back transactions that abend – providing a logical unit of work (LUW).  The also provide roll-forward recovery so that if a database crashes, a full backup restored can be supplemented by all of the transactions, in chronological sequence, that have occured since the last backup was taken.

For many years now, clever engineers have been using this record of transactions for other purposes.  The most prominent is changed data capture: the technique of reading the database recovery log and replaying the transactions on another server to, say, feed a data warehouse or load-balance between two transaction servers.

IBM has packaged its Guardium technology to provide a new way to capture in-flight SQL statements: InfoSphere Optim Query Capture and Replay (IOQCR).  Not the most lyrical of names, but the idea is sound.  Rather than exploit the database recovery log, IOQCR imbeds a Guardium S-TAP in a database server to gather the SQL as it occurs.  This SQL can then be replayed in another environment.  The use case is to take SQL running in a production system and rerun it against Performance, QA, or Test/Dev database servers.

In May I participated in the IOQCR beta and installed it in a small DB2 9 for Windows server.  The purpose was to evaluate basic functionality and usability.  The IBM development team graciously assisted me with the installation and configuration.  It took a few tries – remember, this was an early beta – but I was able to successfully use all of the features.  SQL statements executing on a database server were captured and replayed flawlessly on another.

Rather than drive transaction load through scripting or third-party products, you can use IOQCR to validate database configuration changes or even the viability of running an SQL workload developed for one database server (we’re looking at you, Oracle) on a different vendor platform entirely.  This is a nifty way to test DB2 9 support of Oracle APIs using your own production PL/SQL code- especially dynamic SQL generated on the fly or by an IDE.  DB2, Informix, Netezza, Oracle, Teradata, SQL Server, Sybase, and MySQL are all supported in v1.1 announced on July 10th.

There’s a demonstration on developerWorks.  The Announcement Letter is also useful.

Oracle to DB2 Migration: Why and How

Posted by Frank Fillmore on May 15, 2012 under DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 Migrations, International DB2 Users Group (IDUG), Oracle, Q-Replication. Tags: .

I’m headed out the door to attended the 2012 International DB2 Users Group Technical Conference in Denver.  But first, I wanted to post two related items:

Please post you comments on the blog.  I welcome the feedback.

IDUG NA DB2 Tech Conference 2012 – Replication Topics

Posted by Frank Fillmore on May 9, 2012 under DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 Gold Consultants, DB2 Migrations, IBM Champion, InfoSphere, International DB2 Users Group (IDUG), Oracle, Q-Replication. Tags: , .

The International DB2 Users Group (IDUG) DB2 Tech Conference will be held in Denver, USA from May 14 – 18 (that’s next week at the time of this post).  There are two events in which I am involved that touch on Replication.

  • On Wednesday, May 16 from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. a Replication Special Interest Group (SIG) will be held in Room 110.  Senthil Chandramohan of IBM will be co-leading the SIG with me.  Jenny Pang of Nationwide will be the moderator.  The purpose of the session:

“Meet industry experts and develop a better understanding of the best practices to support a replicated environment.  Are you faced with monitoring replication or determining the latency in replication?  Are your sources and targets in sync?  When problems occur, how do you resolve them?  Come and share your questions and experience with other professionals and other experts in the field of replication.”

  • On Thursday, May 17 from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. I will deliver “Zero Outage Oracle to DB2 Migrations” (Session G09) in Room 112.  Replication figures prominently in reducing a migration outage window.  The abstract:

“IBM has enabled the Oracle PL/SQL API’s in DB2 for Linux, Unix, and Windows v9.7; 97% of Oracle application code will work unmodified. So, how best to migrate the Oracle data to DB2? The IBM Data Migration Tool (IDMT) fosters a batch migration which requires an application outage – backup, IDMT, restore, SET INTEGRITY – which can last for hours or days depending on the volume of data and complexity of the data model. What if my website, eCommerce, OLTP application can’t be down that long? Learn how a world-wide Top 50 financial institution migrated data from Oracle to DB2 with a minimal application outage using InfoSphere Replication Server’s heterogeneous replication from Oracle to DB2.”

I hope to see you in Denver.  Safe travel!

SmarterQuestions Video on Oracle to DB2 Migration

Posted by Frank Fillmore on February 21, 2012 under DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 Migrations, Oracle. Tags: .

My colleague, Kim May, and I were interviewed at last year’s IBM Information on Demand Conference (IOD) regarding an Oracle to DB2 migration project on which The Fillmore Group was engaged in 2011.  We gave a brief overview of the motivations for the customer to undertake such a significant change to their IT infrastructure and the success that they achieved.

The full interview available here.

IBM Data Strategy Luncheon

Posted by Kim May on February 13, 2012 under Baltimore Washington DB2 Users Group, DB2 Connect, DB2 Education, DB2 for i, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for VSE&VM, DB2 for z/OS, Frank Fillmore, IBM Champion, Netezza, Optim, Oracle, Q-Replication. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

In 2011, Information Management was IBM’s largest software product family, based on worldwide sales.  What does IBM have that you should know about?  Join us in the beautiful Patrizio dining room at Baltimore’s award winning Cinghiale Italian restaurant on March 8th to find out.

DB2 Gold Consultant and IBM Champion Frank Fillmore will deliver a presentation on IBM’s 2012 Information Management product portfolio, including background on IBM’s recent acquisitions and information integration and data governance strategies.  Learn how IBM has accumulated and integrated data solutions to position themselves as the thought leader in information management.

Whether you already use IBM data products or are interested in finding out what IBM has to offer, the presentation will provide a dose of nutritious food for thought.

To register, click here.   We will send you a confirmation with directions to Cinghiale.  Valet parking will be provided.  We look forward to seeing you there!

IBM Champion Awards – Update

Posted by Kim May on October 28, 2011 under Frank Fillmore, IBM Champion, Information on Demand Conference, Oracle, TFG Blog. Tags: .

From IBM’s Beth Flood:

We also took the opportunity to announce some other Champion awards for 2011 and the categories and winners are:

Champion of the Year:   Bernie O’Connor
Evangelist of the Year:   Mark Lack
Blogger of the Year:    Jim Harris
Special Recognition (Most significant displacement of Oracle to date):   Frank Fillmore

CONGRATULATIONS to all of our winners.

Great job, Frank!!


Congratulations to IBM Champion Frank!

Posted by Kim May on October 27, 2011 under DB2 Gold Consultants, DB2 Migrations, IBM Champion, Information on Demand Conference, Oracle, Q-Replication. Tags: , , , , .

Congratulations to Frank Fillmore for being recognized at the IOD Champions luncheon for his contributions to the Information Management community, specifically for blogging on the use of Q Replication to minimize the Oracle to DB2 migration outage window at JPMC.  Frank received an iPad as a reward for his efforts and more importantly the sincere congratulations of his peers, colleagues, Steve Mills, IBM Senior Vice President and Group Executive – Software & Systems, and Beth Flood, Champions Program Coordinator. Congratulations!!

Successful Oracle to DB2 Migration at a Top 50 Financial Services Firm

Posted by Frank Fillmore on July 25, 2011 under DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 Migrations, Information on Demand Conference, InfoSphere, Oracle, Q-Replication. Tags: , , .

Whew!  The last four months have been a whirlwind.  A colleague, Jim Herrmann, and I have been working since March on data migration from Oracle to DB2 for a worldwide Top 50 integrated financial services firm.  A team of specialists from IBM and The Fillmore Group – including Joe Geller, Teresa Wan, Rebecca Bond, and John Schatko – assisted the customer with all aspects of application performance testing and tuning, code remediation, and data migration.  On Sunday, July 17 the production cutover occurred – and it was a huge success.  Props especially to IBMers Jeff Richardson, Jay Lennox, and Christian Zentgraf for providing technology leadership.

One of the keys to the migration of the data was the need to limit the site outage into a window no longer than 12 hours, from midnight to around noon on Sunday.  For an earlier migration, smaller in terms of data volume, the customer had successfully used the IBM Data Movement Tool (IDMT).  Given the metrics of the latest migration, the IDMT approach alone would have required an outage of up to 5 days – unacceptable for an online banking system on which millions of customer rely to pay bills and check balances.

The Fillmore Group proposed using InfoSphere Replication Server (Q Replication) to copy updates to the live OLTP data from Oracle to DB2 while the batch IDMT was running asynchronously to move the data from Oracle to DB2 tables.  By using IDMT and Q Replication in combination, we were able to reduce the outage to a much more manageable 12 hours.

We followed a template The Fillmore Group had used in 2010 at Constant Contact for their no-outage upgrade from DB2 for Linux, Unix, Windows v8.2 to DB2 v9.5.  Dan Berry and Sankar Padhi delivered a detailed technical overview of that project at the IBM Information On Demand conference last year: Zero Downtime Upgrades Using Q-REP at Constant Contact  The Oracle migration was incrementally more complex, but not all that difficult.

Primer on Oracle to DB2 Application Migration

Posted by Frank Fillmore on June 1, 2011 under DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 Migrations, Oracle. Tags: , , .

IBM Senior Technical Staff Member, Serge Rielau, has authored a comprehensive, yet concise, overview of DB2’s support for Oracle application PL/SQL, datatypes, functions, and other APIs: “Run Oracle applications on DB2 9.7 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows“.

IBM reports more than 1,000 customers have made the switch from Oracle to DB2.  Are you paying too much for your database software?

DB2 101 at the Iron Bridge Wine Company

Posted by Kim May on April 8, 2011 under DB2 Education, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, IBM DB2 Services, InfoSphere, Netezza, Optim, Oracle. Tags: , , , , , , , .

The Fillmore Group and IBM are hosting a second session of “DB2 101” – our Information Management portfolio overview lunch and learn, on Friday, April 15th, from 11am – 2pm, at the fabulous Iron Bridge Wine Company in Columbia, Maryland, mid-way between Baltimore and Washington.  We felt local database users would benefit from gaining a better understanding of the IBM data management strategy and developed this informative presentation, which will be presented by DB2 Gold Consultant Frank Fillmore, along with Netezza’s Mickey James.  To join us, register here.