Join BFF’s at Insight

Posted by Kim May on October 9, 2014 under DB2 Education, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 Migrations, Frank Fillmore, IBM Information Management Software Sales, Insight 2014, Oracle, pureScale, TFG Blog. Tags: , .

Excuse the corny wordplay – please!

IBM will again host the annual Break Free Forum (BFF) at the upcoming Insight Conference in Las Vegas (previously known as the Information on Demand Conference).  In addition to many terrific conference sessions, speakers and entertainment, the Break Free Forum is a 2-hour session dedicated to customers considering, and hopefully moving to, DB2.

Frank has been invited to participate on the panel at the Break Free Forum, which is quite an honor.  And, as Frank and I have had the pleasure to work with many of the talented IBM teams that support customers moving to DB2, we will be there with several BFF’s – including Amit Patel, Bill Kincaid and this year’s Break Free Forum host Paul Zikopoulos.

If you are planning to attend the Insight Conference and are interested in joining us at the Break Free Forum, please let me know.  I believe the session is invitation-only, but I am sure coordinator Angie Payton would be happy to send you an invitiation.

The Top Three Reasons DB2 is Best! Webinar, 9/25

Posted by Kim May on September 15, 2014 under DB2 Education, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 Migrations, IBM Champion, IBM DB2 Services, IBM Information Management Software Sales, IBM Mid Market Customers, Oracle, TFG Blog. Tags: , , , , , .

Date:  Thursday, September 25, 2014

Time:  12:00pm – 1:00pm EDT

Register:  HERE

Every organization – current DB2 users and others – is under fire to deliver a flexible, reliable database solution to support business requirements.  In sixty minutes you will learn why DB2 10.5 for LUW is the best choice to support critical data management needs.  When someone asks, “Why DB2?” you will have 3 answers!

We will cover:

  1. Functionality: high availability with pureScale, maximum data compression, and query acceleration with DB2 BLU
  2. Success:  learn how current customers are leveraging DB2 to meet their objectives
  3. Pricing:  find the right fit with simplified purchasing options

Whether you are currently using DB2 and looking to better understand its features, or considering a move to DB2, please join us.

The webinar will be presented by IBM DB2 Competitive Sales Specialist Bill Kincaid and IBM Champion Kim May.

About the presenters:

Bill Kincaid is an IBM DB2 Competitive Sales Specialist.  Bill has worked for IBM, Microsoft and Oracle, as well as data virtualization solution developer xkoto.  Bill’s specialty is helping database users – customers currently using DB2 and customers considering migrating to DB2 – to fully understand the value of DB2.  Bill earned his BA at the University of North Carolina and his MBA from the University of Georgia.  He lives in Charlotte and works with IBM customers in the Eastern US.

Kim May is the Vice President of Business Development for The Fillmore Group and an IBM Champion for Information Management.  Kim coordinates The Fillmore Group’s software sales and consulting efforts, including migration support for customers moving workloads to DB2.  Kim’s experience includes several years supporting technical education, and she currently serves on the board of the Baltimore/Washington DB2 Users Group.

 

“IBM Data Retrieval Technologies : RDBMS, BLU, IBM Netezza and Hadoop” #IDUG Europe

Posted by Frank Fillmore on July 14, 2014 under Big Data, BigInsights, BLU Acceleration, DB2 Education, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, Hadoop, IDAA, Netezza. Tags: , , , , , .

From November 9 – 14 I will be visiting one of the most charming cities on the planet when I attend the International DB2 Users Group (IDUG) conference in Prague, CZ.  I will present “IBM Data Retrieval Technologies : RDBMS, BLU, IBM Netezza and Hadoop”.  It will be session E7 on Tuesday, November 11 from 3:15 to 4:15 p.m.  Please consider attending IDUG Europe and joining me at this session.

Abstract:  IBM offers four distinct data retrieval technologies: the traditional RDBMS, which primarily relies on indexes to speed access; the new BLU Acceleration columnar compression database; IBM PureData System for Analytics (IBM Netezza), which deploys racks of Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) processors to parse the data; and IBM InfoSphere BigInsights, which is the IBM distribution of Hadoop. Choices are good to have, but how do you choose which technology to apply to a particular business use case? In this session, you learn how these techniques differ, including their relative strengths and weaknesses, to help you make an informed choice.

Services – Available Help for the “tions”

Posted by Kim May on May 30, 2014 under Authorized Training Partner, Big Data, Data Studio, DB2 Connect, DB2 Education, DB2 for i, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for VSE&VM, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, DB2 Migrations, Federation, Frank Fillmore, Hadoop, IBM Champion, IBM DB2 Services, IBM Pure Systems, IDAA, InfoSphere, InfoSphere Streams, MQT's, Netezza, Optim, Oracle, pureScale, Q-Replication, SQL Tuning, TFG Blog. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

I was on a call this morning with an IBM technical team to discuss our progress filling the seats in one of our upcoming free IDAA classes.  Not surprising, given the number of people on the call (and who they were!) we went a bit off topic and ended up chatting about services and what appears to be – to IBM customers and sellers at least – a shortage of skilled consultants available to help with the “tions” – replication, implementations, migrations and federation.

The Fillmore Group has skilled consultants available to support these efforts, at rates that are typically about half of those being charged by “the competition”.

If your team has a project pending, or one in process, where a skilled consultant, at a reasonable hourly rate, can get things back on track, please contact me.  We are ready to work!  A list of our IBM Information Management capabilities is attached here.

 

IBM zEnterprise Technology Summit – May 6th, Washington, DC

Posted by Kim May on March 21, 2014 under Baltimore Washington DB2 Users Group, DB2 for z/OS, IBM DB2 Services, IDAA, Optim, Q-Replication, TFG Blog. Tags: , , , , , , .

IBM has scheduled a second presentation of the 2014 zEnterprise Technology Summit due to the snowstorm that hit in January when the event ran originally.  If you are in the area and have time to attend, please do!  Information on the event is below; register on the IBM site here.  There are several other events scheduled across the US in 2014 – view them on the IBM site here.

IBM zEnterprise Technology Summit Tuesday, May 6, Washington, DC

New technology is stretching IT budgets in many directions, forcing IT to find better ways of meeting business demands in increasingly complex data centers. Read More…

BLU Acceleration – One Size Fits Most (Well)

Posted by Kim May on March 17, 2014 under BLU Acceleration, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for z/OS. Tags: , .

DB2-L had some interesting and (always!) entertaining discussion recently about the process of performance tuning for DB2 for LUW vs. DB2 for z/OS.  After a bit of spirited debate Leon Katsnelson posted an analogy explaining the evolution of DB2 BLU.  It’s perfect.  Enjoy it below.

Leon Katsnelson DB2-L Post 3/17/14:

At some point in time, not too long ago the only way to get a well fitting suit was to go to a tailor. Tailor would measure you up and after a few fittings you would get a suit that was, well, tailor made for you. Nobody, and especially not me, would argue that this is the best way to get a great fitting suit. However, most of us could not afford a tailor made suit. But most of us can go to a mall and pick up a great Boss suit for, say $600, off the rack. What the fashion industry has done is deliver high fashion to everyone. Some designers argued that it could not be done as did many custom tailors. Now, high end designers have not disappeared and I get calls and emails from custom tailors who still make the best fitting suits … for a price.

BLU Acceleration for Cloud is high end data warehousing for everyone the same way a $600 Boss suit is a high end suit for everyone. Many have told us it can’t be done. Well, we did it. The cloud allowed us to take the cost of the hardware off the table. It also allowed us to create configurations which just like suit sizes fit most people. BLU Acceleration technology removed indexes, reorgs etc., and does not even give one a choice to disable compression and other features.  It removed the need and in some cases even ability to decide on some aspects of the system. Fewer decisions make it much easier to run. For many, BLU Acceleration is as close to the load-and-go system as you can get. BLU Acceleration for Cloud went even further by integrating BI tools (Cognos BI), pre-engineered schemas and reports (3 Warehouse Packs) and we are working hard on making sure that getting data in to the warehouse is brain dead simple. Can you create a better performing data warehouse by hand tuning DB2? Yes you can. But can you make one available to your end-user to run themselves in less than an hour and for less than $1/hr? That is what BLU Acceleration for Cloud does. We are betting that there are lots of people who could use data warehouse capability if it was easy and affordable. We intend to help these people, regardless of their skill or budget, get value from the IT technologies that for too long have been out of reach. For these people, cloud is the only path and technologies like BLU is the only future.

 

2013 Recap and DB2 Support Trends to Watch in 2014

Posted by Kim May on January 5, 2014 under DB2 Education, IBM DB2 Services, IBM Training Services Delivery Partner, International DB2 Users Group (IDUG), TFG Blog. Tags: , , , .

I spent some time this past week reviewing our 2013 performance, which was terrific, and planning for 2014.  It was a good exercise in looking at what seems to be working for The Fillmore Group, as well as the trends that seem to be changing the way we are engaged and supporting Information Management users.

In terms of trends I am surprised, and quite honestly a bit reassured by, the number of consulting engagements we’ve been authorized to work remotely.  The expense and wear and tear from travel that is frequently associated with working onsite at a client’s location cannot be overestimated.  However, up until about two years ago, we did almost 100% of our billable work at customer locations.  I was shocked at how much this has changed.  I hope this is an indication of more confidence in our consultants, who perform work at a high level regardless of where they sit, but also I understand this also reflects more confidence in the tools and technologies that enable us to work and communicate effectively when we work remotely.  Kudos to all the consultants making their way to the airport tonight, but also many thanks to the customers who trust in our professionalism and communication skills and are allowing many members of our team to sleep in their own beds tonight.

The second trend surprising me is the silence from the DB2 community around the IBM Global Skills Initiative.  By outsourcing training IBM has essentially unraveled the lifeline that keeps technical skills current and enables customers to make use of the wonderful solutions available.  This troubles me – I am not sure if this is an indication of the aging IT workforce (“I learned the basics years ago; nothing has really changed”) or the constriction of education funding available to support skills.  I expected a revolt!  Instead, while I see IDUG flourishing and third party training options increasing (both of which are great for the overall DB2 ecosystem in my opinion), I fear the decline in training will parallel a decline in new product adoption.  I hope, as the Global Training Providers get a better handle on how to deliver IBM education, that offerings and options – and enrollment – will increase.  We view lifelong education as one of the requirements – and pleasures – of life in the world of technology; I hope it isn’t stifled or relegated to slide decks and 30 minute presentations on concepts.

Finally, a trend that I intend to address as best I can in 2014 is Procurement and E-cig Twigg’s popular e-juice guide.  Why, in the world of cost cutting and expecting people to do more with less is the ability to engage with customer organizations becoming so terribly difficult?  We’ve been an IBM Business Partner for decades and have established our organization in many ways.  In the past year we have run into multiple situations where technical managers who are trusted with million dollar budgets are bound by Procurement teams whose job seems to be to make it nearly impossible to engage reasonably priced resources to support business critical projects.  When our consultants are only able to engage as a subcontractor to a subcontractor (this is the case with several of our current customers) and the rate the customer ultimately pays is excessively high, no one wins.  I am not sure how I will overcome this, but I plan to attack it in 2014!

A healthy and prosperous 2014 to everyone in the DB2 community!

 

Frank’s IOD Presentation Scheduled

Posted by Kim May on August 26, 2013 under Big Data, BigInsights, BLU Acceleration, DB2 Education, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, Frank Fillmore, Hadoop, IBM Champion, IBM DB2 Services, IBM Pure Systems, IDAA, Netezza, TFG Blog. Tags: , , , , , .

For those of you planning to attend this year’s Information on Demand (IOD) conference in Las Vegas, starting November 3rd, please join us for Frank Fillmore’s session, IPT-2150-B, “IBM Data Retrieval Technologies: RDBMS, BLU, IBM Netezza, and Hadoop“.  The session is scheduled for Tuesday, November 5th, from 1:45-2:45pm.

The session abstract is below.  In the session Frank will share his experience with IBM’s solutions to help determine which is best to meet your organization’s unique needs.

Abstract:  IBM offers four distinct data retrieval technologies: the traditional RDBMS, which primarily relies on indexes to speed access; the new BLU Acceleration columnar compression database; IBM PureData System for Analytics (IBM Netezza), which deploys racks of Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) processors to parse the data; and IBM InfoSphere BigInsights, which is the IBM distribution of Hadoop. Choices are good to have, but how do you choose which technology to apply to a particular business use case? In this session, you learn how these techniques differ, including their relative strengths and weaknesses, to help you make an informed choice.

Break Free from Oracle Webinar

Posted by Kim May on June 21, 2013 under BLU Acceleration, DB2 Education, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 Gold Consultants, DB2 Migrations, Frank Fillmore, IBM Champion, IBM DB2 Services, IBM Information Management Software Sales, IBM Pure Systems, Oracle, pureScale, TFG Blog. Tags: , , , , .

The Fillmore Group will deliver a free webinar Wednesday, June 26th, from 11am-noon EDT on the value of migrating from Oracle to DB2.  We have been assisting customers with Oracle to DB2 migrations for the past few years and believe that with the recent DB2 BLU enhancements and IULA announcement the time is right to break free!

Register Here.

What’s an IULA?  It’s the IBM Unlimited License Agreement, a new way to license DB2 use that provides a low cost entry point to purchase DB2, and allows customers to predict and control their ongoing maintenance and support costs.  

As long-time believers in the superiority of IBM’s database technology, we also want to spread the word about the technical enhancements announced for the new IBM BLU Acceleration.  With beta customers reporting 90%-95% compression and amazing performance improvements, the DB2 vs. Oracle performance comparison is a great story to tell.

Most importantly, however, is helping current and prospective IBM customers understand where IBM’s efforts to compete directly with Oracle will deliver the most benefit to their organizations.  Whether it’s cost, performance, or simplifying their in-house database environment, we want to help each one understand why and how IBM has the lead.

I hope you will join us!

IBM Data Strategy 2013: #BigData #BLU and much, much more…

Posted by Frank Fillmore on April 16, 2013 under Big Data, BigInsights, BLU Acceleration, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Migrations, Hadoop, IBM DB2 Services, IBM Information Management Software Sales, IBM Mid Market Customers, IBM Pure Systems, IBM Smart Analytics System, IDAA, InfoSphere Streams, Netezza, Optim, Oracle, pureScale, Q-Replication. Tags: , , , .

Thank you to all of the customers, colleagues, and IBMers who joined The Fillmore Group on April 11, 2013 at Cinghiale in Baltimore, USA to discuss IBM’s Data Strategy – which we call “DB2 101”.  As it happens, many DB2 customers don’t realize the strength and depth of the IBM Information Management portfolio.  And many non-DB2 customers don’t know about the governance and management tooling available in InfoSphere and Optim (e.g. Guardium) which IBM provides for Oracle, SQL Server, Teradata, and other-vendor database servers.

Prominently featured were the highlights of IBM’s April 3rd announcement held at Almaden Lab which my colleague, Kim May, and I attended.

Also of note is the bundling of functionality in DB2 Advanced Enterprise Server Edition (AESE).

  1. pureScale – shared-disk clustering
  2. Data Partitioning Feature (DPF) – shared-nothing hash partitioning
  3. DB2 for LUW v10.5 columnar compression database

The presentation is available at DB2 101 – IBM Information Management Software Portfolio Overview 2013-04  The audio-video recorded delivery can be viewed here.