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.