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.

Frank Fillmore to Present at Heart of America #DB2 Users Group #zIBM #IDAA #HTAP

Posted by Frank Fillmore on February 26, 2016 under BLU Acceleration, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, Frank Fillmore, IBM Champion, IDAA. Tags: , , , , , .

On Monday, March 14, 2016 DB2 Gold Consultant and IBM Champion Frank Fillmore will present on Hybrid Analytic/Transaction Processing (HTAP) at the Heart of America DB2 Users Group in Overland Park, KS.

A complete agenda, presentation abstracts, and speaker biographies can be found here.

IBM Hybrid Transaction/Analytic Processing #HTAP #IDAA #BLU #IBMz Webinar Materials

Posted by Frank Fillmore on July 21, 2015 under BLU Acceleration, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for z/OS, IDAA, MQT's, Netezza, Sidecar. Tags: , , , , , .

The concept of Hybrid Transaction/Analytic Processing was coined by Gartner. IBM implements HTAP in two ways:
– IBM DB2 Analytics Accelerator (IDAA) for DB2 for z/OS data (using Netezza hardware)
– DB2 BLU Acceleration – DB2 for Linux, Unix, Windows (a software-only implementation)

Click here for the recording of the webinar.  The presentation materials: Hybrid Transaction Analytic Processing – HTAP

“The Top Three Reasons #DB2 is Best!” Webinar Materials

Posted by Frank Fillmore on September 29, 2014 under BLU Acceleration, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 Migrations, IBM Champion, IBM Information Management Software Sales, IBM Mid Market Customers, Oracle, pureScale. Tags: , , .

Many thanks to my colleague, Kim May, and IBMer Bill Kincaid for an excellent presentation on DB2 for LUW feature/functionality and pricing advantages over competing offerings.  And thank you to the many IBMers and customers that attended.  We received great feedback from you during the poll questions and the Q&A.

To view the webinar click here.

The presentation materials are here: Top Three Reasons DB2 is Best Presention 9.25.14

Summary of DB2 and Q Replication Performance Tuning Techniques

Posted by Frank Fillmore on March 25, 2014 under DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, Q-Replication, SQL Tuning. Tags: , .

Performance tuning for both DB2 and Q Replication are an ongoing process.  However, there are three tools which provide an initial set of recommendations for bufferpools, Database Manager (DBM or instance) and database configuration parameters, indexes, and other application table objects.


DB2 Configuration Advisor

The DB2 Configuration Advisor recommends the initial values of the bufferpool size, database configuration parameters, and database manager configuration parameters.

To use the Configuration Advisor, specify the AUTOCONFIGURE command for an existing database, or specify AUTOCONFIGURE as an option of the CREATE DATABASE command.


db2 autoconfigure using mem_percent 50 num_stmts 100000 tpm 6000 admin_priority performance num_local_apps 144 num_remote_apps 0 isolation UR apply none

DB2 Design Advisor

The DB2 Design Advisor is used to improve application SQL performance by creating (or dropping) indexes, Materialized Query Tables (MQTs), and MultiDimensional Clustering (MDCs).  The Design Advisor analyzes an SQL workload against existing table structures and recommends changes to improve performance.  The workload can be derived from Dynamic Statement Cache (DSC).  The DB2 Design Advisor command can be invoked by the db2advis command.

A prerequisite is creating the DB2 EXPLAIN tables for the schema conducting the analysis.

cd /<path>/sqllib/misc

db2 –vtf EXPLAIN.DDL

Then run the db2advis command.

db2advis -d mydb -g -a myuser -x -c USERSPACE1 -f -m IMCP -o db2advis_output


Q Replication Dashboard Performance Advisor

The Q Replication Performance Advisor helps you identify latency issues with your replication environment and suggests ways to lower end-to-end latency.  The Performance Advisor tab is located within each Monitoring Group.  The Q Replication Dashboard Performance Advisor can recommend updating statistics or reorganizing tables.

Changing the Hostname for a DB2 Server – An Update

Posted by Frank Fillmore on February 7, 2014 under DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 Migrations. Tags: , .

Probably my most popular blog post of all time – certainly the one most commented upon – was called Changing the Hostname for a DB2 Server.  If you work in a shop that uses the same image (i.e. a Windows backup, VMWare image, or some other form of snap-shotting a Windows computer) containing DB2 for LUW for multiple implementations you will have run into a problem.  When changing the “Computer name” or hostname, the DB2 instance fails to start with an SQL1042C error.

I won’t repeat the entire blog post here – that’s why I included the link above – but I do need to post an update on the location of the important db2nodes.cfg file.  The db2nodes.cfg file now (in DB2 version 9.7) resides in the instance directory.  On a default Windows DB2 installation, that would be x:\ProgramData\IBM\DB2\DB2COPY1\DB2

Please be sure to follow the rest of the instructions on the original post to clear the SQL1042C error.