Rebecca Bond returns from IBM’s Information on Demand (IOD) Conference with
a Top 10 list from the DB2 LUW sessions and some other interesting insights on
I just returned from IBM’s Information on Demand 2010 with a cranium that is
crammed full of great technical information about DB2 LUW. Attending IOD each
year is a highlight for me, not just for the technical knowledge I acquire
there, but also for the opportunity to interact with my peers, discuss common
concerns and solutions and find out how others are using IBM DB2 in their
shops. The face-to-face time with individuals who are experts in their field is
almost as valuable to me as the technical knowledge I gain. This year, for the
first time ever, I was also fortunate enough to present a session on DB2
Security and that made my IOD conference experience even more special.
Rather than bore you with my full trip report, which is around twenty pages
so far, I thought I’d just share ten things about IOD that I found interesting
from the DB2 LUW perspective.
- If you missed the announcement recently, you might not be
aware that IBM is offering a "DB2
SQL Skin for Sybase". As many of us are painfully aware, supporting
multiple databases on differing software can cause some serious DBA
headaches. Previously IBM had given us the tools to easily
"enable" Oracle applications on DB2 9.7. With this new Sybase
conversion strategy, DBAs now have an opportunity to further consolidate
their environments and decrease overall complexity and costs for their
database management endeavors.
- XML was a big topic at the conference. Some of the
interesting tidbits included:
- No complex mapping to relational schemas
- Storage efficiencies
- Since XML is part of the DB2 engine, there is no
additional cost for the functionality
- SQL/XML combines the functionality of SQL and XQuery into
a single interface
- It is easy to parse XML using DB2 (even without actually
storing the document).
- There was much buzz around DB2 9.7 providing a Standards
Based Development Environment, which enhances application development and
eases deployment tasks. Visual Studio 2008, Eclipse and pureQuery
environments are all supported.
- For as many years as I have been a DBA, I have dreaded
the introduction of a new data warehouse into an environment that, up
until that point, had been primarily serving OLTP transactions
because OLTP environments and Data Warehouse environments have dissimilar
characteristics that require highly divergent workload optimization
strategies. Fortunately, Workload Optimization, a subject near and dear
to most DBAs who often struggle mightily to try to achieve the proper
workload balancing, was another common DB2 discussion point. Based on a
poll I did in my session, corporations are starting to make good use of
the DB2 Workload Manager.
- Of course, security information is always a big part of
IOD sessions and there were several sessions specific to DB2 security.
Here are some security tips from my session:
- Setting up SSL for protecting Data In Transit has become
easier with DB2 9.7 built-in parameters.
- Configuration changes must be documented and tracked as
part of a strong security posture.
- DB2 9.7 offers Separation of Duties so that the
principle of "least privilege" can be enforced.
- DB2 Auditing is highly granular and easily customized
pureScale isn’t a new topic, but was covered extensively in sessions
and key note addresses. Some of the benefits of pureScale include near
linear scalability, a robust high availability approach and ease of
- Of course, Cloud Computing
is a big overall topic, so not surprisingly there were several sessions
on that. Leon Katsnelson, Program Director, Cloud Computing, Emerging
Technologies and Growth Markets presented "IBM Smart Business
Development and Test Using the IBM Cloud’. During that session, I
- Cloud computing is both a user experience and a
- DB2 in the cloud has grown 800% in usage since July
- Online schema changes made my personal timesaving DBA
tips. Burt Vialpando presented a great session on DB2 9.7 Newest Online
Schema Change Capabilities, which included a review of:
- ALTER TABLE statement
- ADMIN_MOVE_TABLE stored procedure
- TRUNCATE TABLE statement
- Online reorg for MDC tables
- Online partitioned table reorg
- Online partitioned table roll-out
- Automatic revalidation
- Soft invalidation
- CREATE OR REPLACE statement option
- Ever heard of a "Ping Pong" DBA? I think the
term, coined by Doug Partch of Database Nerds and used for his session
on the topic, is fitting for the DBA who supports DB2 regardless of
the platform. His session contrasted the differences between the z/OS
and LUW DB2 technology.
- Birds of a Feather sessions brought like-minded
individuals together to discuss a variety of topics including:
- Customer Panel for SAP on DB2 for LUW
- Panel: Databases on Cloud
- DB2 LUW Performance Birds of a Feather
- IBM Database Security Best Practices
- End to End data security with Guardium and pureQuery
- Optimizing Your Business System Using IBM Optim
- High Availability and Disaster Recovery
Beyond the obvious value I gained from attending the sessions, IOD allowed
me the opportunity to network with individuals who share my interest in DB2. In
our casual discussions between sessions some of the themes I heard included
concerns about database security, doing more with less, database platform
consolidation and deploying better approaches to business analytics. The big
"new" discussion with my peers this year centered on a complete GRC
(Governance, Risk and Compliance) solution and what different GRC approaches
might mean to the DB2 DBA.
Usability Labs and Expo product demos allowed me to get the "touch and
feel" of IBM’s full product suite and even get a hint or two about future
The free certification opportunities were another conference benefit. This
year, I simply did not have time to try a certification exam, but literally
hundreds of attendees did. The cost-savings of those free certification exams
can definitely help defray the cost of conference attendance.
Another highlight for me was the "Women in Technology" evening
event. It was inspiring to meet so many women who are technology experts. We
were fortunate to have a guest attendee, Sam Lightstone, author of the
critically acclaimed book "Making
it Big in Software: Get the Job. Work the Org. Become Great". A
take-away from that presentation is the question, "What does new and
improved really mean?" Read Sam’s book if you’d like the answer.
I got to meet several industry authors while I was at IOD. I purchased many
books and got them autographed during signing sessions. A wealth of free
"flash books" were provided that covered a variety of technical
topics. I brought back several flashbooks for my own education and to pass out
to others on my team.
My personal highlight of the conference, however, really had nothing to do
with DB2. I was asked to help with a book signing for the featured speakers,
Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner who are the co-authors of the
I got to meet them and attend their book signing. I now have an autographed
copy of both of their books (which will soon be proudly displayed in my trophy
case). That’s an IOD benefit that is priceless!
Want to learn more about IOD?
Even though the conference is over, thanks to IBM’s Social Media initiative,
much of the material is still readily available. If you didn’t get to attend in
person, use these links to see some of the excitement:
IBM IOD Discussion: http://www-949.ibm.com/social/informationondemand/
YouTube IODGC’s Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/IODGC#p/u/0/Lsc5W28HsPE