Optim Update

IBM Optim provides functionality for secure archiving, as well as the functionality to compare data, restore data, and browse data. The Optim solution can handle many different database management systems singularly and also works well cross-platform, this includes DB2, Oracle, SQL Server, Sybase and also covers legacy systems such as IMS. The following will provide a brief outline of the Optim product and its capabilities.


Installing Optim

This fairly simple, the following covers a simplistic Windows installation, using a gui to install. The first step requires setting up the first workstation, this is the machine that will have the connectivity to the databases/s, you can also install on a file server. Once the installation is complete, run through the configurations for the first workstations (be aware that not all the configurations have to be completed, you can come back to them through optim configuration) and any further workstations. A registry file can be used to configure further workstations by importing the previously exported registry file during the configuring of the first workstation. Other configurations include personal options, security, file locations etc.


The security aspect is covered by three areas: functional, object and archival security. Archive file security refers to the control over an archive file, specifically the access to the data within the archive files, which is associated with a file access definition (FAD). The FAD will list the tables, columns etc. and specify the privileges for them and the specific roles involved. Functional security restricts or allows the user’s access to the Optim objects, through the use of ACD access control domain, which is automatically created when you initialize the security parameter. Lastly object security, using an ACL access control list an administrator can control the access to specific Optim objects within the Optim directory. Suffice to say security is tight and all aspects are interrelated and work together to provide the required level.


This first workstation can also be used as the server, which can be configured using the same process as the first workstation, but instead selecting the check box for server set-up, once completed you can configure further workstations or servers. The Optim Directory is home to sets of tables, which store Optim related object attributes that have been created. Installations can be undertaken on a file server, however this installation has its drawbacks, mostly performance related. An advantage is the administration of a single file server is much easier than several workstations.  This is the simplistic view of the Optim install and configuration, a more detailed overview can be located within the Optim installation and configuration documentation.


The user configuring Optim will need to have the necessary priviliges which allow the user to create tables, procedures etc. All database management systems will have their own related permissions. DB2 UDB users at a basic level require CONNECT, CREATETAB, IMPLICIT_SCHEMA, BINDADD and CREATE_NOT_FENCED_ROUTINE.


Your license agreement determines which components you will have access to. The crux of the software is to provide mechanisms to handle data growth and therefore the following components are integral. As mentioned in my first post, archive is the process of copying data from one location to another usually to a file, nominated as the archive file. The aim is to remove aged data or data that is used infrequently out of an environment where data growth is substantial. This data will then be available for a period of time for searching and even restoration using the browse utility. The process is not very involved and requires an archive request, which governs the data to be archived through the access definition. The archive request paramitises the archive file, index file, access definition etc. and the the access definition details the start tables, relationships, archive indexes, archive actions covers features like the archive process. The deletion process can be invoked after the archive or deferred till a later time. If using a deffered delete the data can be browsed and confirm the data archived is correct. A further utility provides the restoration of archived data to an existing database or to a new database. As with nearly all tasks associated with Optim, the parameters for the utilities are set within request editors, whether this is the delete process request editor, restore process request editor etc. 


The concept of the move facility is to extract and insert data that can be complex or simplistic, the selection criteria will specify what is required to be moved and saved as an extract file. The extract file can then be used to populate tables, that may reside on a development database or a production database, the file can also be sued to create the tables if required. Using move to create a test region by way of moving production data into a test environment can benefit the user by providing live data to test against. The data extracted can be selected through several methods and can be transformed, aged and migrated.

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