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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DBA’s Holiday Checklist – DB2 cover

We’re so over winter….bring on spring! We all look forward to the lighter, brighter evenings and warm spring sunshine and not forgetting the all-important time off work, but what if your organisation has just one or two DBAs? Managing holiday cover can be difficult and stressful. We all know how vital it is that our business critical databases are kept running and we’re able to give customers the high levels of support they depend on.  However, this can be a challenge when DBAs are in short supply, particularly so if your DBA team is small and provides 24/7 cover.

Sound familiar? If your organisation requires extra IT skills quickly to cover leave then you are not alone. This is one of the most common resourcing challenges that we see our customers facing on a day-to-day basis. That’s one of the reasons why we introduced our Consultancy on Demand service, to enable customers to gain access to skilled DBAs at short notice when they need that little bit of extra support.

With a Consultancy on Demand contract you can purchase a block of hours and allocate them to be used throughout the year. Our specially designed, highly flexible service enables organisations to access top DB2 talent when needed without having to take out a support contract. Simply purchase a block of 20, 50 or 100 hours which can be used over a 12 month period for any type of DB2 related work including adhoc support, consultancy, project work or training.  Gaining access to DB2 support and giving your DBA a well-earned holiday couldn’t be easier!

To find out more call +44 (0) 870 2411 550, visit our website or see what our customers have to say.

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DB2 12 for z/OS – The In-Memory Enterprise Database for Transactions and Analytics

IBM have just released their latest white paper on DB2 12.  This white paper was authored by our very own Julian Stuhler and provides a high-level overview of the major new features of IBM DB2 12 for z/OS from an IT Executive’s perspective, with the emphasis on the underlying business value that the new release can deliver.

Download now

DB2 12 for z/OS delivers a number of significant business benefits, many of which are exploitable “out-of-the-box” with little or no database, application or system changes.

– CPU Reductions

– Scalability Improvements

– Productivity Enhancements

– Improving time-to-value

Customers can expect to see net DB2 CPU savings of up to 8% in their traditional OLTP workloads when compared to DB2 11, and up to 2x or more for modern analytic workloads.

Download the white paper to find out more

 

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IDUG EMEA 2016 Roundup

The Triton team has (just about) recovered from the trip to Brussels and are finally getting their voices back after singing far more songs than they ever imagined they would at any event, let alone an IDUG Technical Conference. Not only did the Geeks have an impromptu karaoke session at the Triton party, they also rounded up the week with another singalong at the fabulous IBM party on Wednesday evening, which included a memorable rock ‘n’ roll band that no one can actually remember the name of!

It’s been said a few times already but one of the things that won’t be forgotten about this year’s conference is the technical content. This year’s technical grid was considered one of the best, so well done to all the IDUG committee members for providing such a great educational programme. Big congratulations to Triton’s Head of Midrange and Managed Services, Iqbal Goralwalla. Iqbal was this year’s IDUG Conference Chairperson and was kept extremely busy during the conference and leading up to the event. As you can see Iqbal took great pleasure in officially opening the event.

 

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Iqbal Goralwalla officially opening the conference

 

Well done also to Triton Director Julian Stuhler who was awarded the Top DB2 Consultant 2016 by IBM at their event this year.  Julian received the award due to his contributions to the DB2 12 for z/OS launch which included leading the IDUG white paper team, writing a business value white paper, and participating in the launch webcast.

We don’t mind saying that we think this year’s Triton party was a huge success, so well done us! As always we like to share a few memories of the night with all those that attended and others within DB2 community who were unable to attend.

 

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Congratulations to Dragica Smintic from Zagreb, our competition winner

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Why not take a look at next year’s conference and consider submitting an abstract and become more involved in the DB2 Community by sharing your experiences. The call for presentations is open already!

We hope to see you all again next year!

 

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Let Triton add some DB2 Magic to your Christmas holidays

It’s nearly the most wonderful time of the year.  Or something.  Whatever your thoughts on Christmas, whether you’re a fairy lights over your laptop or more of a Grinch who stole Christmas kind of techie there is no escape from the inevitable holiday silly season.  Providing adequate cover for your DB2 databases over holiday seasons can be difficult.  For DBAs who don’t work in the AVIVAs and Lloyds of this world (who have large teams to support their databases) holiday season can be a lonely and stressful time.  In organisations with just one or two DBAs, managing holiday cover can be very difficult. 

 How about a RemoteDBA service? “We have our own DBA and they’re great, we don’t need a support contract” we hear you cry.  Well we’re glad to hear that your DBA is doing a great job but sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in a day. 

Christmas is supposed to be full of magic right? Well, did you know that Triton are not only DB2 experts but we’re magicians too……We can actually give your DBA more hours in their day!  Sort of. 

RemoteDBA can easily work alongside existing DBAs to help provide support out of hours and during busy periods.  One of our existing customers, Vision Express, has an in house DBA.  However, that person also has responsibility for many other areas.  You can read the case study here to find out more.

 “Triton continues to provide an excellent level of support and guidance” Phil Wainman, Head of Database Intelligence, Vision Express – Read more

Find out more about how you can use Triton’s RemoteDBA service to have yourself a merry little Christmas and very productive New Year!

Sign-up to receive exclusive DB2 consultancy offers!

 

 

 

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IDUG EMEA 2016 – Day 3

Visiting an IDUG location in a centre of cultural significance is always an eye-opener, so I took to the rainy streets of Brussels on arrival, to check out the ambience. After a wander round the Grotemarkt, I grabbed a snack at a street stall. I say snack; this is not for the faint-hearted. Known hereabouts as a Mitraillette (literally ‘sub-machine gun’, although heavy artillery would be more accurate) it is half a loaf, slit length-wise, with some meat of dubious provenance, a pound and a half of chips, onions, mustard and whatever else is in reach at the time, wedged together into a carbohydrate bomb.

This washed down with a few ferocious Belgian Ales including one, I kid you not, called Kwak and I felt as if I never needed to eat again.

However, the technical culture on offer at IDUG, whilst similarly heavy-duty, was a lot more digestible. I represent the more sprightly LUW side of things DB2 at Triton, so the new V11.1 release was what piqued my interest.

We had a great Technical Overview of the product and its benefits from Matt Huras and some in-depth examination of specific features: David Kalmuk on the new MPP Scale out for BLU acceleration and Phillip Nelson’s attempt (successful, I should add) to placate the Luddites, myself amongst them, decrying the replacement of our beloved db2top with the new interloper dsmtop.

Melanie Stopfer explained how to go through the upgrade to V11.1 without shooting yourself in the foot, and crammed 160 slides into 60 minutes despite her projector quietly dying through the course of her presentation. And John Hornibrook showed us in detail what the V11 changes are doing under-the-covers, as far as the Optimizer and your access plans go and this was elaborated on by Matthias Nicola who gave us the headline performance benefits in V11; the things our customers are going to be asking us about in the near future.

It’s this level of detail that makes IDUG for me. As Melanie put it this morning “if you only come away from a session with one fact that you didn’t have before, you are going home after the week at IDUG with 20 or so of them”. Each session has provided far more than just one such nugget for me.

So, after a few more sessions tomorrow, I will be dragging my weary carcass back to the UK where I will be spending the next few weeks processing the material I’ve acquired in Brussels. And, No, I’m not talking about snacks named after weapons.

 

 

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IDUG Day 2 – Expect the unexpected

Having been fortunate enough to have attended IDUG for many years I know what to expect. But I also know there will be some surprises and to expect the unexpected.

I know at IDUG there will be the opportunity to meet up with DB2 colleagues from all over Europe and the chance to compare notes on our daily operational challenges as DBAs & Sys Progs, as well as discussion about new features the young guns are implementing and using. And the chance to chat to others about future challenges such as continuous delivery and how DBAs often find themselves trying to assist agile development whilst at the same time trying to protect production service. Turn a different corner and there is another heated debate amongst IDUGers on how to deal with the ever increasing pace of change in DB2.

I know there will be insightful sessions such as Mark Rader’s DRDA enhancements in DB2 12 for z/OS. 10 years ago DB2 Connect Server/Gateway was the advised and expected architecture to manage distributed workload against DB2 z/OS. How unexpected would it have been then to hear that DB2 Connect will now restrict much of the new functionality being introduced such as invocation of Fast Load utility from command line and XA transaction management. Maryela Weihrauch’s session on RESTful APIs and how easy it is to deploy a service on z/OS showed how we can provide both internal and external consumers the freedom of calling JSON services on mainframe, which would have been unexpected a few years ago.

I know and expect that John Campbell will provide 2 hours of invaluable tips and warnings of undocumented gotchas on the latest version of DB2 z/OS. As usual in a John’s sessions the room is full of fellow IDUGers frantically scribbling down vital notes. Most cannot write quick enough to keep up with the info that John provides.

What I didn’t expect at IDUG this year was the time to go so quickly. The Triton/DBI Monday evening had only just started and then, wham, it was over for another year. I didn’t expect impromptu Karaoke until 05:00 however. And I expected to sample some of the locale cuisine, Carbonade Flamande & maybe Moules et frites I thought. And when it comes to eating frites then I’m your man. However I never expected to be tucking into curried python whilst in Brussels. Snake and chips anyone?

Expect the unexpected at IDUG. But expect IDUG to be the best DB2 educational and knowledge exchanging event there is.

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IDUG EMEA 2016 – Day 1

IDUG EMEA 2016 is taking place in Brussels, so travel options were a bit more flexible this year. Having decided not to spend most of the day in the queue for security in Stansted airport, we opted to go via Eurostar. Ironically, this meant that we got to spend an hour in a security queue at St Pancras station instead.

After a quiet evening – in part caused by the more rowdy members of the team arriving in the bar late – breakfast and some light plotting for the day ahead ensued.

I have always enjoyed John Campbell’s presentations. He manages to cram an enormous amount of information into the time he has available – in this case a double session on DB2 for z/OS V12 Technical Overview. There is so much useful information in this presentation, I would encourage anyone interested to download it from the IDUG website. Things that are still fresh in the mind:

  • Index fast traversal blocks (FTBs)
  • INSERT performance
  • Dynamic plan stability
  • RUNSTATS INVALIDATECACHE
  • RESTful API now part of DRDA (PI66828 and PI70477)
  • Online REORG mapping table format change (7 byte RIDs)

There is so much new functionality in DB2 V12, I suspect John could have talked for a whole day!

After a couple more sessions in the afternoon, we had to make our way over to the vendor exhibition hall – in a different hotel – to meet up with DBI. Every year we partner with them and hold the Monday night drinks reception. This year it was at the top (30th floor) of the Sheraton Hotel. The view was quite something, even in the dark and the rain. The quiz for the prize draw was slightly trickier this year, as knowledge was required from both DB2 for z/OS and DB2 LUW to complete it. But that did not stop 30+ people getting it right. A draw for the prizes gave Dragica Smintic from Zagreb a mobile phone controlled drone – although it wasn’t flown at the party.

Ad astra.

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IDUG is Just Around the Corner

Our team of DB2 geeks will be heading off to IDUG this weekend.  Iqbal Goralwalla, our Head of Midrange and Managed Services, is also the IDUG Conference Chairperson this year and so has been incredibly busy in the last few weeks alongside the whole IDUG team and this year’s conference is set to be a truly great one.

On Monday night Triton, along with partners DBI Software, will be holding a drinks reception.  This is a great opportunity to come along and meet our team and have a few drinks and some food with your fellow DB2 professionals.  It is a rather special year for us as Triton Consulting celebrated 20 years of business this year so we are hoping to see lots of you there to help us celebrate!  Join us in the Horizon Room at the Sheraton from 8pm.  Don’t forget to pick up your invite from DBI’s booth at the conference exhibition.

Safe travels everyone and see you all in Brussels!

Find out more about IDUG – http://www.idug.org/emea2016

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