Plan for Replication Success with Education and Services from The Fillmore Group

Posted by Frank Fillmore on November 6, 2019 under Authorized Training Partner, DB2 Education, DB2 for i, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for z/Linux, DB2 for z/OS, Global Skills Initiative, IBM Analytics Software Sales, IBM DB2 Services, Replication, TFG Blog.

If your organization is considering a year end CDC acquisition and plan a 2020 implementation, consider training and services from The Fillmore Group to accelerate your success.  The Fillmore Group is working to update the IBM Change Data Capture curriculum – course KM020G – adding optional sessions covering replication to Kafka and replication to and from PostgreSQL.  Please note: customers purchasing replication licenses prior to year end may qualify for free PostgreSQL or Kafka education.  Contact me if you are interested.

In addition, our team is also ready to assist with replication Quickstart services.  A TFG consultant will help your organization leverage the best features and functionality available in the IBM replication product family – quickly!

Training
2/3/20 – 2/5/20 Change Data Capture Essentials.  Prepare for planning, installing, managing and monitoring IBM replication with this IBM training class, KM020G.  Cost:  $2775.  View the course outline: KM020G Change Data Capture Essentials

2/6/20 – 2/6/20 CDC New Features – Kafka and PostgreSQL.  These 1/2 day sessions are designed to extend the KM020G class material with topics specific to Kafka and PostgreSQL replication.  Cost:  $350.  Outline: Kafka and PostgreSQL Replication Class Module Abstracts

Services

  • Kafka Quickstart.  Leverage expert technical assistance for a successful implementation.  Overview: Kafka Replication Quickstart.
  • PostgreSQL Quickstart.   The Fillmore Group’s PostgreSQL delivers a skilled consultant to work with your team to plan and execute a successful replication implementation.  View the offering summary: Postgres Capture Quickstart.
  • Remote Capture Quickstart.  Work with a skilled replication expert to apply this new offering in your environment with services to help you design, install and administer replication away from System z, reducing MIPs consumption and lowering System z  data replication costs. View the offering summary: Remote Capture Quickstart.

Through a partnership with TechData, one of IBM’s select global training providers, The Fillmore Group delivers authorized training for the design, installation, maintenance, and troubleshooting of IBM Analytics solutions. This partnership allows The Fillmore Group to leverage the award winning IBM technical training content that is exclusive to IBM’s global training providers.

Fall Class Highlights

Posted by Frank Fillmore on September 18, 2019 under Authorized Training Partner, BLU Acceleration, DB2 Education, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 Migrations, Global Skills Initiative, IBM Training Services Delivery Partner, pureScale, Q-Replication, TFG Blog.

Learn new Db2 skills and help your organization leverage the best features and functionality available in the Db2 product family.  The classes below are our Fall, 2019 top picks!
 
Virtual and in-classroom options are available.  For registration email Kim May.
—-
10/7 – 10/9 Db2 pureScale Implementation and Management.  Prepare for planning, installing, managing and monitoring a DB2 pureScale database system.  Cost:  $2325.  View the course outline below.
—-
10/10 – 10/12 Db2 BLU Acceleration Implementation and Use.  Learn the concepts and facilities of BLU Acceleration including loading data into column-organized tables and monitoring the processing of SQL statements that access the tables.  Cost:  $1550.
—-
10/15 – 10/17 Change Data Capture Essentials.  Learn the architecture, components and capabilities of CDC, day-to-day operations, monitoring and troubleshooting.  Cost:  $2775.
—-
10/21 – 10/23 Db2 LUW – and IAS! – Database Administration Workshop.   The Fillmore Group’s Db2 DBA fundamentals course, authored by our consultants and trainers, and delived to hundreds of Db2 users.  Cost:  $1800.
—-
10/28 – 10/31 Q Replication Workshop.  Learn the architecture, components and capabilities of Q Replication, day-to-day operations, monitoring and troubleshooting.  Cost:  $2400.

—-

Through a partnership with TechData one of IBM’s select global training providers, The Fillmore Group delivers authorized training for the design, installation, maintenance, and troubleshooting of IBM Analytics solutions. This partnership allows The Fillmore Group to leverage the award winning IBM technical training content that is exclusive to IBM’s global training providers.

Vote for me! Replication Enhancement to Support ASM

Posted by Frank Fillmore on June 17, 2019 under DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for z/OS, IBM Analytics Software Sales, Replication, TFG Blog.

IBM recently introduced the Data and AI ideas portal for clients where users are invited to request enhancements.   And vote on them – sort of like voting for class president.

I submitted a request earlier today for the addition of Oracle ASM support in IBM InfoSphere Data Replication/Change Data Capture.  I did this because I was introduced to an Oracle customer currently using Informatica replication who needs to find an alternate replication solution, as Informatica is moving replication to the cloud.

IBM’s replication solutions are quite strong compared to other vendor options.  The list of ICDC supported database sources and targets continues to grow, with Postgres and Kafka being recent additions.

I think IBM should continue to enhance ICDC by adding support for ASM so we can introduce more Oracle customers to ICDC.

PLEASE!  Vote for my enhancement – I believe it’s I-83 at this link.  It’s currently in “under consideration” status so I may need to update the link when I have confirmed it’s available for voting.

I’ll post some signs up in the hall announcing my enhancement’s candidacy.  Vote early and vote often!!  Thank you for your support!!

IBM Highlights Gold Consultants on IBM.com

Posted by Frank Fillmore on May 31, 2019 under DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Stars, IBM Champion, TFG Blog.

Thanks to the combined efforts of several Gold Consultants, notably Julian Stuhler and Ted Alexander, IBM Gold Program sponsors and advocates Jim Reed and Reid Gerson, and The Fillmore Group’s Megan Byrne, a new page highlighting the Gold Consultants program is available on IBM.com.

The page provides links to consultant specialty and contact information.  The directory is attached here:  IBM Gold Consultants Profiles

Best of all, the page answers the frequently asked question, “What exactly are the Gold Consultants?”

An elite group of independent consultants with vast experience in IBM data repositories, unified governance, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning

IBM Gold Consultants bring extensive industry experience and technical expertise to help IBM clients define and implement strong strategies for their data and analytics initiatives using IBM Db2® on all platforms, IBM Informix, IBM InfoSphere®, IBM CICS® and related technologies. This group is recognized as some of the world’s most experienced independent consultants for these products. With in-depth technical knowledge and communication skills, the consultants can fill in skill gaps within a client’s organization and facilitate better performing solutions, optimal database designs and high availability.”

The new page link is:  https://www.ibm.com/analytics/ibm-gold-consultants

Check it out – it looks much better on screen!

 

 

 

Mid-Atlantic Db2 LUW Meeting – Bethesda, May 7th

Posted by Frank Fillmore on May 2, 2019 under Baltimore Washington DB2 Users Group, BLU Acceleration, DB2 Education, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 Migrations, pureScale, TFG Blog.

Thank you to the IBM Technical Team, Kay Groski and Warren Heising, for coordinating this terrific agenda and group of excellent speakers for the Mid-Atlantic Spring Db2 LUW Users Group Meeting!

The is no cost to attend (again thanks Kay and Warren).

Registration is required.  Register here.

Date:                            Tuesday, May 7, 2019
Time:                            9:00am – 2:30pm
Location:                      IBM Bethesda, Room 02-2A304, 6710 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD  20817

Agenda:
09:00-10:30    SESSION 1:  Futures (vNext coming soon!) presented by Jon Lind
10:30-10:45     BREAK
10:45-12:00     SESSION 2: IBM Streams presented by Roger Rea
12:00-12:45     Networking Lunch
12:45-2:00       SESSION 3:  Demystifying the Db2 Logger presented by Dale McInnis
2:00-2:15         BREAK
2:15-2:30         IDUG Overview

Conference & Conference & Conference Oh My!!

Posted by Frank Fillmore on April 1, 2019 under DB2 Education, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for z/OS, International DB2 Users Group (IDUG), TFG Blog. Tags: .

The buildup and push for the Think Conference was manic. The “EXCITEMENT!!” seemed to come from a small group of IBM marketing folks and the focus on attendance numbers (tough to confirm or deny) was odd.

Customers and Business Partners focused on the data management component of the Analytics portfolio, and with a limited budget to attend conferences, seem to have shifted from the IOD/Insight/Think Conference to the International Db2 Users Group (IDUG) conferences. IDUG North America is held in the Spring, this year in Charlotte, South Carolina, from June 2 – 6. The conference focus is education for IBM database technologies solutions.  Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning aren’t the dominating topics, and session selections and content are managed by IDUG volunteers.  IDUG NA 2019 costs $2165 to attend, with a $300 early bird discount available until April 22nd.

Having IDUG to counterbalance Think makes sense to me.  Also, the IDUG community is very user friendly.  There are several discount options to make attendance affordable, and as has been the case at most technical conferences, presenters receive a free pass.

Now – the wild card.  IBM, through their marketing collaboration with IDG, has scheduled another conference, this one called IBM Data and AI Forum, for Miami, Florida, from October 21 – 24.   This event is the former IBM Analytics University, which I believe evolved from the Db2 Technical Conference.

It seems to be IBM’s attempt to cross pollinate Db2 users with AI, not necessarily a logical partnership in my opinion, as the potential benefits of AI and Machine Learning seem to be in the conceptual sales stage, being pitched to senior management, while the technical teams running data centers aren’t setting the analytics vision.  The conference pass cost is far lower than IDUG or Think, at $1295 for a full price pass and $1095 with the early bird discount through July 31.

The call for speakers is open and I understand selected speakers will be compensated for presenting.

It will be interesting to see how the community responds to all these conference offerings.  Hmmm…

IBM 2019 Replication Updates – 4 in 45 Minutes – Featuring Kafka!

Posted by Frank Fillmore on January 8, 2019 under Attunity, DB2 Education, DB2 for i, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for z/Linux, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, DB2 Migrations, DB2 Stars, Frank Fillmore, IBM Champion, IBM DB2 Services, IBM Information Management Software Sales, pureScale, Q-Replication, Replication, TFG Blog, Webinar. Tags: .

Join replication experts Frank Fillmore and Ed Lynch for this information-packed webinar with news and announcements about IBM’s replication solutions. Whether you are a current IBM replication user, investigating replication for a new deployment, or working with a competitor’s solution, this webinar will help you understand what IBM offers today, and the enhancements that will help you succeed with replication in 2019.

At a sprint!

In forty-five minutes Ed and Frank will deliver an overview of IBM’s current offerings, the four most important 2019 enhancement announcements, and 3 special pricing offers that can help your organization realize significant savings. We know you want your data to be available when you need it and where you need it, and fast. We can help.

Registration is required. Please register HERE.

Date: Thursday, 2/7/19

Time: 1:00pm – 2:00pm EST

Presenters:

Frank Fillmore is the Founder and President of The Fillmore Group, Inc., an IBM Business Partner specializing in replication solutions in the IBM Analytics portfolio. Frank has been a Db2 Gold Consultant since 1998 and is currently an IBM Champion for both Analytics and System z. Frank frequently presents on cutting-edge topics at regional and international Db2 Users Group meetings and is an IBM authorized instructor for delivery of replication courses including Q Replication, ICDC and pureScale. Frank leads a team of expert consultants delivering presales, implementation and enablement support to IBM customers. Frank is currently supporting a pureScale implementation for a US Federal agency.

Ed Lynch was with IBM for over 25 years as a leader and innovator in Data Analytics and Information Integration.  Leveraging his balanced and diversified knowledge of data and Information Technology with business needs and capabilities, Ed consistently recommends and delivers best of breed technical solutions. A trusted advisor to his customers and colleagues, Ed’s cross-industry knowledge enables him to be an effective go-to resource, particularly for difficult and complex challenges, and his success in many diverse roles at IBM, including development, technical team management, marketing and sales, showcase his flexibility. Ed is currently supporting a complex replication implementation for a large, US-based financial institution.

SQL to Aid #Db2 for z/OS EBCDIC to Db2 for LUW Unicode Conversion #IBMAnalytics #IBMz

Posted by Frank Fillmore on January 2, 2019 under DB2 for i, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for VSE&VM, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Gold Consultants, IBM Champion. Tags: , , , .

Dr. Sheldon Cooper of “The Big Bang Theory” regularly records a YouTube video called “Fun with Flags” so I’m going to call this blog post “Fun with SQL”.  Sheldon may be a future Nobel Prize winner, but I’ve been named an IBM Champion for Analytics and System z for 2019. 🙂

The problem statement: a large US government agency is contemplating migrating a packaged application from System z to Linux.  The current and future database repositories are Db2 for z/OS and Db2 for LUW respectively.  As a System z Champion I’ve presented on the continued relevancy and efficacy of the IBM mainframe, but that’s not the focus of this post.  One of the challenges of porting data is the conversion of character encoding from EBCDIC (Extended Binary Coded Decimal Interchange Code) which is the legacy encoding protocol used on IBM mainframes and System i to Unicode.  Db2 for z/OS supports Unicode, but I’m not going to address anything other than EBCDIC encoding at the source and Unicode at the target (Sorry, ASCII).  In brief, EBCDIC represents an 8 bit binary encoding scheme that can represent 256 different characters.  For example: the letter “F” (one of my faves) is represented as 1100 0110 in binary and C6 in hexadecimal. For national language support amid the variety of Single Byte Character Sets (SBCS) used around the world – think the German umlaut (i.e. ä ö ü) – the 256 byte universe of EBCDIC wasn’t nearly enough.  The Unicode solution is to use more than 1 byte to represent some characters.  For example: the “¢” cent sign takes one byte to represent in EBCDIC, but 2 bytes in Unicode.

select length(ebcdic_str('¢')) as EBCDIC, length(unicode_str('¢')) as Unicode from sysibm.sysdummy1;
EBCDIC    UNICODE

     1          2

This problem has manifested itself as an error when moving a CHAR(5) column of data from Db2 for z/OS to Db2 for LUW.  If, say, the pesky “¢” is present in the string and all 5 characters are significant (i.e. no trailing blanks), the string won’t fit in the same column width on the target platform.  Most customers find this out the hard way when the Db2 for LUW LOAD command or IMPORT utility posts errors.  There are two possible solutions:

  • data cleanup (Do we really need the pesky ‘¢’ in a Comments column?)
  • lengthen the target columns to accommodate Unicode expansion

Both can be time-consuming and expensive and will depend on a variety of factors beyond the scope of this blog post.  The purpose here today is to identify the extent of the problem before you actually try to port the data.  I’ve constructed this SQL statement to do just that. Read More…

2019 Events – Coming Soon!

Posted by Frank Fillmore on December 28, 2018 under DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for z/Linux, DB2 for z/OS, DB2 Migrations, IBM DB2 Services, InfoSphere, pureScale, Q-Replication, TFG Blog.

With 2018 coming to a close I am focused on plans for 2019.  Our current plans are being driven by changes in IBM’s services delivery model and product enhancements to be available in 2019.  Change can be good!

In 2018 IBM’s Lab Services organization opted to extend their use of Business Partners to support customer engagements.  Lab Services has long maintained relationships with skilled partners to augment their staff consultants; in 2018 this utilization was increased.  The Fillmore Group staffed several Lab Services engagements and supplied half a dozen consultants to support a variety of engagements including implementations, migrations, healthchecks, and staff augmentation, supporting replication solutions InfoSphere Change Data Capture, pureScale, Kafka, and Q Replication, as well as Db2 and Hadoop.

In staffing these engagements we became aware of several interesting customer situations and opportunities we hope will deliver better results to our customers in 2019.  Through a chance conversation with a Federal agency looking to identify the best replication tools for their next generation applications, we learned about some enhancements to the replication portfolio solutions expected to be delivered in 2019.

To support our IBM colleagues in spreading the word about the upcoming enhancements, and to (no surprise!) encourage customers to contact us if they are in need of support, the 2019 schedule of events below was drafted.

Some of these “events” consist primarily of outreach to customers who may be interested.  If these apply to you, feel free to contact me for more information.

Here’s to a busy 2019!

1. CDC Healthcheck Services. Delivery through Lab Services. a. Audience: current CDC customers considering new replication environments and/or looking to better support current replication. b. Tasks/activities: a review of current replication environments, staff enablement, monitoring review, performance tuning and/or planning new replication environments. c. Deliverables: Healthcheck report, enablement recommendations, plan for new replication sources and targets.

2. IBM Replication Roadmap Webinar. a. Audience: current and prospective replication customers. b. Content: a review of current and new replication offerings. c. Deliverables: recommendations/actions needed to initiate CDC purchases.

3. Kafka Webinar. a. Audience: current and prospective customers looking to replication to Kafka. b. Content: a review of Kafka, use cases, and where Kafka is best deployed. c. Deliverables: recommendations/actions to initiate Kafka deployment.

4. Replication Whitepaper. a. Audience: current and prospective customers. b. Content: TBD – replication competitive options, pricing, and/or Db2 for z data focus. c. Deliverable: whitepaper explaining IBM replication options compared with competitor solutions.

5. Kafka Quickstart Services. Delivery through Lab Services. a. Audience: customers implementing replication to Kafka. b. Tasks/activities: Kafka installation, replication set-up, and staff enablement. c. Deliverables: data replicating to Kafka.

6. Kafka Training – Extending KM020G ICDC Class a. Audience: new Kafka customers. b. Tasks/activities: instructor-led modules to demonstrate and explain Kafka implementation and administration. c. Deliverables: 2-days of formal classroom instruction with hands-on exercises.

7. IAS to IAS Replication Quickstart Services. Delivery through Lab Services a. Audience: customers implementing IAS to IAS replication. b. Tasks/activities: Software installation, replication set-up, and staff enablement. c. Deliverables: IAS replication, monitoring in place.

8. Competitive Replication Webinar. a. Audience: Oracle GG and Attunity customers. b. Content: a review of the advantages of IBM replication solutions. c. Deliverables/action items: action plan to PoC IBM replication offerings.