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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DB2 12 Launch Webcast – Replay Available

If you missed the recent DB2 12 webcast or you want to refresh your memory on some of the key topics then you can listen to the replay here – DB2 12 Launch Webcast Replay

Julian Stuhler of Triton Consulting joined the IBM expert panel to talk about the key features of DB2 12.

Nearly 50 customers and partners have been testing DB2 12 since February and have seen some fantastic results. Hear what users are saying about DB2 12.

Here are just a few of the ways that DB2 12 for z/OS delivers industry leading innovation:

  • Improved business insight

    Highly concurrent queries run up to 100x faster

  • Faster mobile support

   6 million transactions per minute via RESTful API

  • Enterprise scalability, reliability and availability for IoT apps

   11.7 million inserts per second, 256 trillion rows per table

  • Reduced cost

    23% lower CPU cost through advanced in-memory techniques

  • DB2 12 Utilities and Tools

Unlocking the power of DB2 12 and more offering comprehensive solutions helping clients save time and money

  • QMF 12 delivers support across data sources and platforms from VSAM, IMS and DB2 to REST APIs and Spark support.

If you are in the process of or about to start planning your migration to DB2 12 and would like some input from our DB2 experts then contact us to arrange an initial discussion.

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The clock is ticking for DB2 10

DB2 10 will cease to be supported by IBM from September 30th 2017. Those organisations who are still running DB2 10 now have less than a year to move off this release and upgrade to DB2 11. An average upgrade cycle can be anything from 12-18 months elapsed which means that anyone still in the planning stages or perhaps pre-planning really have a tight window of opportunity to complete the upgrade.

There is a huge list of great reasons for organisations to upgrade to DB2 11, just a few of them include:

– CPU reductions

– Temporal Data Enhancements

– pureXML Enhancements

– Data sharing performance enhancements

However, the most pressing reason to kick-off an upgrade project if it is not already in progress is the looming September 2017 deadline.

You can find out more about upgrading to DB2 11 in our “How To Have a Happy DB2 11 CM Day” white paper which you can download here

Visit our website to find out more about DB2 11

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DB2 12 for z/OS Launch Webcast – TODAY!

We are excited to announce that Julian Stuhler of Triton Consulting will be co-hosting IBM’s launch webcast for DB2 12 for z/OS.  Julian will be speaking alongside Jeff Josten, Tom Ramey and Haakon Roberts of IBM.  Join the webcast here…

DB2 12 is faster than DB2 11 in operational performance and up to 100 times faster for query performance.  

Nearly 50 customers and partners have been testing DB2 12 since February and have seen some fantastic results. Hear what users are saying about DB2 12.

Here are just a few of the ways that DB2 12 for z/OS delivers industry leading innovation:

  • Improved business insight

    Highly concurrent queries run up to 100x faster

  • Faster mobile support

   6 million transactions per minute via RESTful API

  • Enterprise scalability, reliability and availability for IoT apps

   11.7 million inserts per second, 256 trillion rows per table

  • Reduced cost

    23% lower CPU cost through advanced in-memory techniques

  • DB2 12 Utilities and Tools

Unlocking the power of DB2 12 and more offering comprehensive solutions helping clients save time and money

  • QMF 12 delivers support across data sources and platforms from VSAM, IMS and DB2 to REST APIs and Spark support.

Join the “LIVE” webcast today and hear how the #1 Enterprise Database has to offer. 

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DB2 12 Latest News – Join the IBM Webcast featuring Jeff Josten and Julian Stuhler

We are delighted to let you know that Julian Stuhler, Solutions Delivery Director at Triton Consulting and IBM Gold Consultant will be joining the panel on IBM’s next DB2 12 webcast on Tuesday 4th October.

Register here

Julian will be speaking alongside Jeff Josten – IBM’s DB2 for z/OS Chief Architect. This informative webcast will provide you with all the latest news and updates including:
– Mobile integration
– Cloud support
– Analytic technologies

DB2 for z/OS is designed and built around empowering enterprises for the future. Make sure you register for the webcast to find out all you need to know about DB2 12 for z/OS.

Register here

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IDUG EMEA 2015 Day 4

Dublin hosted IDUG EMEA for the first time and what a warm welcome we received. Plenty of great company, great food and of course great Guinness.

Day 4 is always tinged with sadness as it is the end of IDUG EMEA for another 12 months. Although not for the busy IDUG volunteers who are already in full planning mode for next year’s event in Brussels. Without the IDUG volunteers there would be no conference, so many thanks to all of them.

It was an early start on Day 4, particularly following the very enjoyable IBM awards party Wednesday evening at the Guinness Storehouse. There were some well deserved winners of awards, regional user groups and individuals, who contribute to the DB2 community throughout the year. And also recognition for Triton Associate Colin Raybould who passed 4 certifications in 3 days. As a souvenir of the IBM event we all received an engraved Guinness pint glass which, given the volumes of ‘The Black Stuff‘ I have consumed over the last few days, is likely to be used for nothing stronger than water. For a while at least.

Back to the early start on Day 4 and a very topical presentation from IBM’s Gareth Jones on performance monitoring of Dynamic SQL. Being a typical DBA control freak, dynamic SQL makes me a little nervous. With static SQL I can view access paths and report on package performance to provide trend analysis and enable early indication of potential problem SQL. Dynamic SQL is a little more problematic. However Gareth’s presentation offered ideas  and processes to explain dynamic SQL and capture performance data. I will certainly be improving dynamic SQL performance monitoring for our customers where applicable.

The final presentation in Dublin was a very interesting closing keynote by Jonathan Adams describing the challenges that the ever growing Digital workload will present. Jonathan was very engaging and an excellent presenter providing valuable insight into what we should be worrying about in the coming years as Digital data demands increase.

It may have been the first time Dublin welcomed us IDUGers, but judging by the Craic that everyone had, I suspect it won’t be the last. Sláinte to all and see you in Brussels, which I’m sure will be just as successful with our very own Iqbal Goralwalla as the IDUG Europe CPC chair.

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IDUG EMEA 2015 Day 3

So, Day 3 of this year’s IDUG Europe is in the books, and as usual it’s been a busy one. After all of the frantic activity leading up to Monday’s Triton/DBI party, last night the DB2 Geeks stepped it down a notch and visited the excellent F.X. Buckley restaurant for our traditional Tuesday night Triton team meal. Wow. Several of us (including a couple of VERY serious meat eaters) are on record as saying that was the best steak we’ve ever tasted, and one of the Geeks has gone so far to change his Facebook profile image to a photo he took of his ribeye! I’ll be making a beeline for this place when I’m next in Dublin.

Back at the conference, I’m enjoying my first IDUG in 18 years without any volunteer duties. John Campbell kicked off the day with his usual mix of great technical information and customer war stories, this time focusing on the CPU and elapsed time gains possible in high-volume OLTP applications by exploiting thread reuse and RELEASE(DEALLOCATE). Nothing particularly new here, but it’s surprising how many DB2 10 and DB2 11 customers are leaving some fairly easy performance gains unclaimed by failing to exploit this now that the DBM1 31-bit virtual storage constraints are a fading memory.

Another standout presentation was Bart Steegmans sharing his experiences with Recent DB2 for z/OS Customer Pain Points and How to Address Them. This presentation covered a lot of ground, but each of the case studies was relevant and contained important lessons for us all. Bart finished up with a nice section on exception-based monitoring that could easily have filled an hour on its own! I’m seeing more customers willing to invest in some sort of DB2 performance warehouse, but there are still too many that are not.

Next up was the DB2 Experts Panel, which I was honoured to be asked to participate in this year. The hour set aside for the panel just flew by, and for the first time I can remember we didn’t have time to address all of the pre-submitted questions. I believe that this is a direct result of the new IDUG mobile app making it so easy so submit questions, and we’ll have to work harder to prioritise the questions if this happens again in the future.

Final session of the day for me was courtesy of BMC’s Ken McDonald, who shared several tragically entertaining tales of woe in his “Recovery Tales from Experience” presentation. Ken’s career as a DB2 recovery / logging specialist has put him in a unique position to share some of the common traps that many customers fall into. I suspect most people left the room with a resolution to finally make the time to revisit and test those recovery jobs they wrote 5 years ago. I know I’ll be using some of his war stories as an additional incentive to help my customers focus on the importance of a solid backup and recovery strategy.

Tonight is the eagerly-anticipated IBM customer event at the Guinness Storehouse in the centre of Dublin, so there will be no shortage of the famous Black Stuff. As a keen advocate of bringing the conference here during my years on the Conference Planning Committee and the Board, and it’s great to see so many people enjoying all that this great city has to offer. I hope we return here again, and soon.

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