Hot-off-the-presses Redbook on DB2 for z/OS High Availability #DB2forz/OS

Posted by Frank Fillmore on January 25, 2014 under DB2 for z/OS, Q-Replication. Tags: , , , .

IBM just published a new Redbook titled Understanding and Using Q Replication for High Availability Solutions on the IBM z/OS Platform.  Two of my fave Silicon Valley Lab replication developer/experts – Cecile Madsen and Jayanti Mahapatra – are co-authors.

Customer expectations in 2014 are that they can conduct business with a variety of financial, retail, and other enterprises 24x7x365.  Even with the availability characteristics of the System z platform in general and DB2 for z/OS in particular, planned and unplanned outages will occur. 

The Redbook focuses on IBM InfoSphere Data Replication (IIDR) Q Replication as the undergirding HA technology.  It details two-node and three-node active-active replication topologies.  I suspect much of the basis for the document is the massive deployment of Q Replication at a large commercial bank in Brazil.

Attending zIM Bootcamp at IBM Silicon Valley Lab Next Week @IBMDB2

Posted by Frank Fillmore on January 25, 2014 under Big Data, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, IBM Champion, IBM Information Management Software Sales, IDAA. Tags: , , .

Each year IBM assembles their Client Technical Professionals (CTPs) for System z Information Management software at Silicon Valley Lab.  For the past three years IBM has invited DB2 Gold Consultants to participate.  The 4 ½ day conference is rich with lectures and hands-on labs covering such diverse topics as DB2 for z/OS tools and utilities and IMS.  I am particularly interested in:

During the week I’ll blog and Tweet.  I look forward to your comments and questions.

2014 IBM zEnterprise Summit – Next Week in Washington, DC

Posted by Kim May on January 17, 2014 under DB2 Education, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Stars, IBM DB2 Services, IDAA, TFG Blog. Tags: , , .

IBM will host the first zEnterprise Summit for 2014 at the Marriott in Washington, DC on January 21st (next Tuesday!)  I encourage you to attend f you are in the area and your schedule allows.  Your biggest challenge will be figuring out which of the many sessions to attend.  The announcement information is below; the complete agenda and registration are on the IBM website here.  I hope to see you there.

Abstract:

New technology is stretching IT budgets in many directions, forcing IT to find better ways of meeting business demands in increasingly complex data centers. With enterprise technology from IBM, you can continue to advance and close the gaps between where you are and where you want to be.

Attend the IBM zEnterprise Technology Summit and you’ll come away with plenty of valuable information that will help you continue your own trek to the summit.   We’ll show you how the unique capabilities of zEnterprise solutions fit into an enterprise private cloud, how integrated analytics can support better decision-making and new choices for delivering services faster and with more flexibility. Read More…

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.

Cinghiale DB2 101 Thursday

Posted by Kim May on April 9, 2013 under Big Data, BLU Acceleration, DB2 Education, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, DB2 Migrations, Frank Fillmore, Hadoop, IBM Champion, IBM DB2 Services, IBM Information Management Software Sales, IBM Mid Market Customers, IBM Pure Systems, IDAA, Netezza, pureScale, TFG Blog. Tags: , , , , , .

Frank is putting the final touches on his DB2 101 presentation for Thursday, incorporating last week’s Big Data announcements from IBM (great stuff; visit the IBM Big Data Hub to learn more) along with his fast-paced presentation on the solutions in the IBM Information Management portfolio.  We are expecting a great turnout but as always, we are happy to make room for more.  If you are in the Baltimore area and interested in joining us, please read my post on the event here, register here and join us.

Big Data Launch – How Exciting!

Posted by Kim May on April 4, 2013 under Big Data, BLU Acceleration, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, Hadoop, pureScale. Tags: , , .

Frank and I were invited to the IBM Almaden Research Center, where the magic really happens for IBM’s data solutions, for the Big Data announcements yesterday.  We had the opportunity to meet with a group of super-sharp analysts and members of the IBM technical leadership teams for the BLU Acceleration, Big Data and Hadoop appliance announcements. 

Most fun for me, though, was getting to spend some time with Crysta Anderson, the IBM Social Media Strategist for Information Management.  Crysta, along with Susan Visser, coordinated the efforts of (or perhaps more accurately, herded) literally hundreds of DB2 community members, including DB2 Gold Consultants, analysts, and Information Champions, to get us to tweet, blog and spread the word to the IT community about IBM’s incredible advancements.  The fingers were flying during yesterday’s announcements!

I am back in Baltimore today planning some upcoming events to make sure we share what we learned…and I’m sure Crysta is exhausted.  And thrilled, I hope – congratulations on a successful launch!

 

Parallel asntdiff Dramatically Improves Performance for Q Rep on z/OS

Posted by Frank Fillmore on February 11, 2013 under DB2 for z/OS, InfoSphere, Q-Replication. Tags: , , .

The asntdiff utility is used to compare the contents of two tables, primarily in the context of SQL and Q Replication.  The problem has been that very large tables can take a very long time to compare.  Moreover, in a dynamic replication environment, the data you are comparing might rapidly be changing.  There were attempts at fixing this problem, primarily by using the asntdiff -f parameter to provide a smaller range of rows to be compared.  Using the -f input file, SQL queries subset the data on a key value (e.g. account number) or transaction timestamp.  The bottom line is that many customers abandoned using asntdiff against production tables with millions or billions of rows.

Parallel asntdiff provides orders-of-magnitude improvements in performance.  The key differences between the processing of the legacy asntdiff and the parallel version are as follows:

  • Parallel processing: partitioning, difference detection, and reporting all in parallel
  • Compare multiple partitions in parallel (source and target table) and retrieve rows from each partition also in parallel from source and target
  • Minimize traffic (only send data needed)
  • Exploit computational capabilities of systems (checksum calculations, etc.)
  • Use a Stored Procedure (ASNTDSP) which runs at source and target systems
  • Avoid storing intermediate results

The results are dramatic.  A European bank killed a legacy asntdiff compare utility run after 17 hours; it might have run for 30.  Parallel asntdiff completed in 5 minutes.

There are some restrictions and advisories:

  1. The source and target tables must have the same code page and collation sequences.
  2. For optimal performance, increase the system resource limit for application threads and set NUMTHREADS to 21.  The minimal requirement is 6 threads.
  3. Since asntdiff can determine the parameter NUMBLOCKS automatically, grant the SELECT privilege on the following catalog tables: SYSIBM.SYSTABLES, SYSIBM.SYSKEYS and SYSIBM.SYSINDEXES.

There are others, but the topic is well worth exploring to speed up asntdiff – or to be able to use it at all.

Thanks to Jayanti Mahapatra and Xiao Li of IBM’s Silicon Valley Lab for some of the material presented here.

New Netezza – aka “Striper” Announced

Posted by Kim May on February 5, 2013 under Big Data, DB2 for z/OS, IBM Pure Systems, Netezza, Sidecar, TFG Blog. Tags: , , , .

When IBM acquired Netezza the phenomenal processing capability enabled by the Netezza FPGA technology (Field Programmable Gate Arrays) made Netezza’s query speeds clear winners when benchmarked against all competitors.  Today IBM announced a new generation of Netezza, now branded the “IBM PureData System for Analytics”Powered by Netezza”, the N2001 systems.

The new N2001 system specs once again put Netezza into the “catch-me-if-you-can category, with a 3 times faster scan rate than the current Netezza, while supporting 50% greater storage capacity per rack, and improved resiliency and fault tolerance, thanks to more spare drives in the cabinet and faster drive regeneration.

The N2001 is available with the same quick, simple installation, and IBM also updated the IBM DB2 Analytics Accelerator, the “sidecar” Netezza that attaches to the mainframe.  More on the new sidecar soon – I hear the IDAA has even more capabilities to offer DB2 for z customers.  Stay tuned!

 

Q Replication Virtual Users Group August 9th

Posted by Kim May on July 30, 2012 under Authorized Training Partner, DB2 Gold Consultants, DB2 Migrations, Frank Fillmore, IBM Champion, IBM DB2 Services, Q-Replication, TFG Blog. Tags: , , , , , .

Join us for the FIRST meeting of the Q Replication Virtual Users Group. 

Date: Thursday, August 9, 2012
Time: 12 pm – 1 pm EDT

Register HERE.

Beyond High Availability – Using Q Replication for Migration Support

What can Q Replication do that goes beyond delivering high availability? How about replicating data to support database migrations, or even platform migrations? Join us for this session showcasing a successful Oracle to DB2 migration as an example. In this session you will 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 (Q Replication) from Oracle to DB2.

Presenter: Frank Fillmore

DB2 Gold Consultant and IBM Champion Frank C. Fillmore, Jr. is the Founder and President of The Fillmore Group, Inc., specializing in Information Management software sales, consulting, and training. He has been providing IBM Information Management solutions to government, industry, and not-for-profit enterprises as varied as The World Bank, J.P. Morgan Chase, Northrop Grumman, USGA, National Institutes of Health, and the FBI for 25 years.

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Greetings from IDUG – Lead Catching?

Posted by Kim May on May 16, 2012 under DB2 Education, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Migrations, Frank Fillmore, IBM DB2 Services, IBM Information Management Software Sales, IBM Mid Market Customers, IDAA, InfoSphere, International DB2 Users Group (IDUG), Netezza. Tags: , , , .

Since early this year IBM has been promoting efforts to better collaborate with their Business Partners by passing more IBM leads to partners.  I am aware of two campaigns in 2012 where IBM has pushed leads from direct IBM sellers to Business Partners.  This makes a lot of sense as it extends the IBM sales team and facilitates more Business Partner involvement with customers.

The talk hasn’t really had any real impact on our business, unfortunately, as the two big lead passing efforts haven’t resulted in anything of substance coming our way.

So, rather than passively waiting for IBM to pass leads the The Fillmore Group, I am trying to reach out to the IBM sellers.  Being a believer in the value of face-to-face meetings and knowing I would be at IDUG this week, I asked my colleague Andrew Stenger to invite as many IBM sellers as possible to join Frank and me for a drink at IDUG so that we can say hello, introduce the value TFG brings to IM customers, and perhaps begin working together. 

Andrew sent the email invitation to a group of IBM salespeople, some of whom we have worked with, and some who have been recommended to us.  I arrived at IDUG last night, am hoping to meet some sellers interested in working with us. 

If you sell IBM Information Management software and would be interested in teaming with TFG consider this an invitation.  We are a Premier Business Partner that is:  1) authorized to deliver IBM training, 2) has a history of successful Information Management product implementations (including DB2 migrations from Oracle), and 3) is certified and ready to sell DB2, InfoSphere, Netezza and IDAA.  Most importantly, if you are at IDUG, we work to support the DB2 community – Frank is a DB2 Gold Consultant and is presenting at the conference, and Frank and I are both Information Champions.  Please stop by and meet Frank Fillmore and me at Peak’s Lounge Thursday at 5:30pm Mountain time.

If you are an IBM customer attending IDUG, and would benefit from working with a Business Partner that will help you get the best deal on IBM software, implement it properly, and understand it well enough to feel confident taking supporting it long-term, please stop by Peak’s too.  It would be even better to meet you!