Heads-up! DB2 Geek Geocaching Competition

With less than a week to go until IDUG EMEA conference in Lisbon we thought we’d give our fellow DB2 Geeks a heads-up on what they’ll need in advance of the Triton and DBI Software competition set to run from midday on Monday 2nd October.

This year’s quiz will be based on a “geocaching” theme, with contestants using a combination of the GPS in their phones and a series of clues to find certain locations in the area surrounding the IDUG conference hotel, the Epic Sana. As always, there will be an element of DB2 technical knowledge required to solve the clues and each clue will be individually posted on Twitter throughout the day on Monday.

Contestants will need the following:

  1. A GPS-enabled phone with an active data plan and the Google Maps app installed (or an equivalent app that allows GPS coordinates to be entered and shown on a map).
  2. Follow @DB2Geek on Twitter, to receive the clues. Don’t have a Twitter account? Set one up here.

@DB2Geek will begin tweeting clues at midday on Monday 2nd October. There will be four clues in total, and the answer to each one will be needed in order to solve the next. Solving the final clue will give you a numeric code that you’ll need to be in with a chance of winning one of our great prizes.

Our partners DBI Software will be handing out a limited number of invitations to the Triton/DBI drinks reception from booth 4 during the IDUG Expo reception on Monday evening. Simply enter the final numeric code on the reverse of the invitation along with your contact details. During the drinks reception, all cards with correct answers will be placed in a tub and randomly drawn for the prizes.

This year’s top prizes include:

  • 1st Prize – 1 x Roomba 650 Robotic Vacuum Cleaner
  • 2nd Prize – 3 x Lugloc Luggage Tracker
  • 3rd Prize – 5 x Tile Slim Item Tracker

So join us at La Trattoria restaurant, Rua Artilharia Um, 79, just a three minute walk from the Epic Sana hotel and don’t forget to pack your comfy shoes.

Keep up to date on our event and other IDUG EMEA updates by subscribing to our newsletter, or following us on Twitter and/or LinkedIn.

 

Some Geeky Technical Details

The answer to each of the quiz clues will be a numeric latitude/longitude, in Decimal Degrees (DD) format (e.g 52.5695, 1.3568). Please see the Wikipedia article here for more information on this format.

Once you have your answer, you can use Google maps to lead you to the next location. Not sure how to do that? More info can be found on Google’s support page, here.

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Geocaching with the Geeks at IDUG

It’s almost that time of year again! The Triton Consulting and DBI Software drinks reception at IDUG EMEA, which has become an annual event, is less than 2 months away. Join us on Monday 2nd October from 8:30pm and chat to fellow Geeks about the latest DB2 (aka Db2) developments. There have been quite a few changes since our last catch-up, so we’re sure they’ll be lots to discuss.

This year’s reception will take place at La Trattoria restaurant, Rua Artilharia Um, 79, just a three minute walk from the Epic Sana hotel. Don’t forget to pick up a party invitation from DBI Software’s booth (number 4). Invitations are limited, so be quick!

The DB2 Geek returns with a new, brain teasing challenge to test your skills (and legs). To be a winner you’ll need to pit your wits against fellow DB2 Geeks.  We’ll be running a Geocaching competition with a twist or should that be a Tweet? To participate you’ll need to follow the @DB2Geek on Twitter. Don’t have a Twitter account? It’s easy to set up. Watch out for the first clue (or create an alert), we’ll be tweeting at some point on the Monday. Winners of the competition will be announced on the night. Will you be crowned the geocache champion?

We’ll also be providing further information on the competition leading up to the event, as well as confirming this year’s prizes, so we suggest subscribing to our newsletter, or following us on Twitter and/or LinkedIn to keep up to date.

We look forward to seeing you soon for drinks, nibbles, prizes and more. Have a safe journey, oh and happy hunting!

 

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Three is the Magic Number – Triton Trio to Present at IDUG EMEA 2017

We are delighted to announce that three members of the Triton Consulting team will be heading to Lisbon this year to present at Europe’s biggest and most prestigious DB2 technical conference, IDUG EMEA*. This year’s conference will take place at the Epic Sana Hotel from 1st – 5th October 2017 and will include five days of educational sessions, half and full day workshops and in excess of 100 one hour technical sessions.

“We are thrilled that all three members of the Triton team who submitted an abstract have been selected to present this year. It is always such a great privilege for us to be able to share our knowledge and recent experiences with fellow members of the DB2 Community at such a renowned event.” Carol Davis-Mann, Marketing Manager.

As in previous years Triton’s presentations will cover both DB2 LUW and DB2 z/OS topics.

Julian Stuhler, Solutions Delivery Director at Triton Consulting, is well known in the DB2 community for his excellent presentations and his status as an IBM Gold Consultant.  Julian will be presenting on Total Recall: Exploiting In-Memory Features in DB2 12 for z/OS. Julian will provide an overview of the ways in which DB2 is evolving to exploit more real memory, reduce CPU and deliver improved price/performance, with a specific emphasis on exploiting new DB2 12 in-memory features such as contiguous buffer pools and Fast Traverse Blocks (FTBs).

James Gill, Principal Consultant will share his vast knowledge of REST API to the IDUG audience. James’ presentation REST Easy with DB2 For z/OS – Services Made Simple will provide an overview of the new capabilities, how to create and consume REST services using it and what methods can be used to achieve this.

Mark Gillis, Senior Consultant at Triton Consulting will also be presenting this year. Mark’s session on DB2 11 Performance: BLU Hits and Misses will examine some ‘real’ workloads and a comparison between 10.5 and 11.1 on the processing done ‘under the covers’. Mark will also look at some of the inevitable gotchas and pitfalls.

Find out further information on this year’s IDUG EMEA agenda or benefit from the Early Registration discount here.Mark

*The International DB2 User Group (IDUG) is an independent organisation providing educational events, technical resources and peer-driven product training to its members.

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Black Friday – surviving the inevitable peaks

IT teams working for large retailers, logistics and fulfilment organisations are under immense pressure in the lead up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday with record numbers of online purchases taking place last year. According to IMRG UK online spending in 2016 reached

  • £ 1.23 billion on Black Friday compared to £ 1.1 billion (2015)
  • £ 6.45 billion online over the Black Friday through Cyber Monday period (2016)

The reality is that different businesses peak at differing times during the year, it just happens that Black Friday and the ensuing Cyber Monday are attracting the most public attention.

However, for a Holiday Company, their peak is post-Christmas bookings as people seek to shrug off the grey of January and plan a holiday to look forward to. So, peaks are not confined to Black Friday at all! However, peaks tend to happen pretty much at the same time for the same reasons i.e. they have a degree of predictability in the main.

A database outage or reduction in throughput, at any time of the year, can be disastrous for organisations. Avoiding downtime or compromised throughput during a peak period is essential. According to the Ponemon Institute businesses risk losing $ 740,357 (£ 580,000) every hour their website is down; however, the cost of database outages can be measured in many ways:

  • Lost sales revenue
  • Lost customers
  • Reputational damage
  • Regulatory and compliance implications
  • Internal morale

Whichever way you measure the cost of a database outage there will always be a negative financial effect on the organisation.

Sometimes it is necessary to get an independent, unbiased view of current processes and procedures to ensure that your systems are as stable, secure and efficient as possible.

Triton Consulting is the largest independent DB2 and information management consultancy in the UK and operate globally.  So, what can we do for you?  Our role is to help you enjoy a “seamless peak” i.e. no panic, no over-running jobs, your organisation’s and customers’ expectations fulfilled.

 

Our Black Friday / Peak service covers three key phases:

Identification

  • Conduct pro-active health check to review critical DB2 system settings and assist with identification of potential workload bottlenecks

 Analysis

  • Evaluate failover strategy and ensure high availability solution is configured appropriately ready for Black Friday

 Execution

  • Provide recommendations to improve database scalability, including potential changes specific for Black Friday workloads only, to ensure database and application availability

 

All of our consultants are DB2 experts with deep technical knowledge and experience.  This is combined with the ability to work with C-level teams to provide real, quantifiable business results from better managing IT.

Contact us to find out more

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Time is running out! Plan your move

For organisations currently running DB2 LUW versions 9.7 or 10.1 time is running out. IBM will cease to support customers running either version from 30th September 2017, just 3 months away. For those organisations that haven’t begun their migration planning, now is the time to start!

What are the consequences of going out of support?

The consequences of going out of support can be costly and really depend on what software we are talking about. In database terms it could mean that the skills to maintain that database version are no longer, or are dwindling, within the organisation. It could also mean that your IT infrastructure is more susceptible to issues of reliability and availability. There could even be regulatory implications.

By staying on older unsupported versions you’ll be missing out on all the cool new features that come with the latest version DB2 11.1. You can find out more about them in our webcast series. You’ll also miss out on a free upgrade to DB2 11.1; you can now directly upgrade from DB2 9.7 to DB2 11.1 without the need to upgrade to DB2 10.5 first.

We have a range of DB2 migration services. Our extensive experience with DB2 means you can place your migration project in safe hands. Find out more.

We understand that it can be a real issue for some organisations to stay up to date on the latest versions. So what’s the solution and what can you do to minimise risk?

  1. Where possible keep up to date via fixpacks – new updates are available all the time
  2. Consider a RemoteDBA support service from an expert DB2 organisation that can help to keep your critical databases running and fixpacks up to date. You can find out more about Triton’s RemoteDBA service here.
  3. Arrange regular training for your DBA team, or consider signing up to Triton’s Consultancy on Demand service. Using Consultancy on Demand for out of support versions is a great insurance policy for your DB2 database. Available in 20, 50 or 100 hours the hours can be used for training, database health checks or to answer technical questions no longer supported by IBM.
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Flexible DB2 Resourcing – Don’t take work on holiday with you this summer

Taking a break from DB2? With summer just around the corner many of us will be looking forward to a well-earned break. However, we all know how stressful the workplace can be in the lead up to a holiday.

Managing annual leave cover can prove difficult particularly in organisations with just one or two DBAs. High or continuous availability is a common requirement for today’s “on demand” IT systems which can also put real pressure on small or overstretched DBA teams. Worrying about downtime, loss of data or worst of all a complete systems failure is not the optimal way to de-stress and unwind whilst on annual leave.

At Triton Consulting we offer a range of flexible DB2 services that can be tailored to your company’s requirements. Our Consultancy on Demand  and RemoteDBA services are ideal for short term loss of DB2 skills such as holidays. They are also suitable for other scenarios such as long term sickness, maternity cover or paternity leave.

Our customers have found that working alongside a partner who can provide 24×7 DBA cover provides the insurance they need to allow them to relax in the knowledge that their IT systems are in safe hands. There really is no reason to leave your DBAs feeling unsupported and vital systems unattended.

For further information please visit our Flexible IT Resourcing webpage.

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Database Performance Management – The Solution

With each new DB2 LUW or DB2 z/OS release IBM rightly continues to develop and improve the features and capabilities. At Triton we have found that many of our customers are finding it increasingly difficult to remain up to date with best practices and ensure that they are fully exploiting the many benefits that each new DB2 release can offer.

Triton’s DB2 Health Check aims to address this by providing a comprehensive, structured review of the customer’s DB2 environment.

What does the health check cover?

One of our DB2 experts will spend the day getting “under the covers” of your DB2 systems to look at the following:

 

  • Database server capacity
  • Database software
  • Instance & database configuration
  • Housekeeping
  • Back-up and recovery
  • Data placement
  • Performance monitoring
  • Logging configuration
  • Bufferpool configuration

 

We will investigate any specific DB2-related issues or concerns you may have, and recommend an appropriate course of action to resolve them. You will then receive a summary of findings outlining any areas for improvement with expected benefits and estimates of the associated effort involved.

A health check from Triton is a cost effective way of quickly identifying any issues and ensure that a customer’s environment remains in good health.

Contact us to book your DB2 health check today!

 

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IDUG EMEA 2017 – Call for presentations deadline approaching

Are you attending this year’s IDUG EMEA Technical Conference?  There’s still time to submit a presentation abstract. The deadline date for abstract entries is  24th April 2017, so just under a week away. Share your DB2 experiences with fellow members of the DB2 Community.

The Conference Planning Committee is looking for presentations on a range of DB2 related topics including:

  • New DB2 releases: migrating and effective usage
  • Analytics & Business Intelligence
  • New Technologies: Mobile Applications, Cloud, xAAS, …
  • Performance, Availability & Security
  • Application Development and Data Modelling
  • DB2 and Packaged Applications (ERP, …)
  • User Experiences and Best-Practices: what did you achieve with DB2?

This year’s conference takes place on 1st– 5th October in Lisbon, Portugal and includes:

  • Five days of education sessions
  • Half and full-day workshops
  • More than 100 one-hour technical sessions
  • Three expert panels on z/OS, LUW & Application Development

And much more!

The International DB2 User Group (IDUG) is an independent organisation providing educational events, technical resources and peer-driven product training to its members.  IDUG is all about community, with unique access to fellow users, product developers and solution providers, IDUG offers an expansive, dynamic technical support community for DB2 users across the world.

 

For more information on the IDUG EMEA technical conference visit http://www.idug.org/emea2017

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IDUG Educational Events for your Diary

If you haven’t done so already, there’s still time to register for two IDUG events taking place in North America this year.

Firstly, the IDUG Technical Conference in Anaheim, California takes place on April 30th – May 4th 2017.

Spotlights include:

DB2 12 and Beyond – with guest speakers Kevin Foster, DB2 for z/OS Development Director, John Campbell, Distinguished Engineer and Chris Crone, DB2 Distinguished Engineer.

DB2 LUW Trends and Directions – Guest speakers from the DB2 LUW product management team include Matthias Funke, Director DB2, Peter Bradford, DB2 Offering Manager and Daniel Hernandez, VP Offering Management.

Register here

Secondly, the IDUG Data Tech Summit will take place from April 30th to May 4th 2017. The event is designed with data architects and data scientists in mind and offers a deep dive into emerging data technologies and trends, such as:

Big Data and analytics in a cognitive era

  • Machine learning with Spark
  • Performance enterprise architectures for analytic design patterns
  • R as a weapon of choice for data science

Find out more

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Tick Tock, time is running out – what’s your upgrade plan?

Is your organisation currently running DB2 LUW versions 9.7 or 10.1? From 30th September, 2017 both versions will cease to be supported by IBM, that’s less than 6 months away. Now is the time to start focusing on your upgrade plans!

An average upgrade cycle can take up to 12 months which means that anyone still in the planning stages or perhaps pre-planning really have an extremely tight window of opportunity to complete the upgrade.

In a recent DB2Night Show poll, our partners’ DBI Software, analysed which DB2 versions its viewers were using. A startling 43% were on 10.1, v9.7 or earlier.

Recognising that some organisations are still running older DB2 versions, IBM has made the upgrade to DB2 11.1 easier. You can now directly upgrade from DB2 9.7 to DB2 11.1 without the need to upgrade to DB2 10.5 first. That makes the upgrade much faster which means you can start benefitting from a whole host of features that come with the latest version sooner. Find out more on DB2 11.1 features in our webcast series or recent blog.

We understand that upgrading to new software versions can be a daunting prospect. Our specialist DB2 skills mean that we can assist with any DB2 upgrade. Consultancy on Demand from Triton is a specially designed service to enable organisations like yours to access top DB2 talent when you need it without having to take out a support contract.

 

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