Top 10 IBM Information on Demand Inspirations

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
the conference.

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.

  1. 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.
  2. XML was a big topic at the conference. Some of the
    interesting tidbits included:
    1. No complex mapping to relational schemas
    2. Storage efficiencies
    3. Since XML is part of the DB2 engine, there is no
      additional cost for the functionality
    4. SQL/XML combines the functionality of SQL and XQuery into
      a single interface
    5. It is easy to parse XML using DB2 (even without actually
      storing the document).

  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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:
    1. Setting up SSL for protecting Data In Transit has become
      easier with DB2 9.7 built-in parameters.
    2. Configuration changes must be documented and tracked as
      part of a strong security posture.
    3. DB2 9.7 offers Separation of Duties so that the
      principle of "least privilege" can be enforced.
    4. DB2 Auditing is highly granular and easily customized
  6. DB2
    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
  7. 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
    1. Cloud computing is both a user experience and a
      business model
    2. DB2 in the cloud has grown 800% in usage since July
  8. 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:
    1. ALTER TABLE statement
    2. ADMIN_MOVE_TABLE stored procedure
    3. TRUNCATE TABLE statement
    4. Online reorg for MDC tables
    5. Online partitioned table reorg
    6. Online partitioned table roll-out
    7. Automatic revalidation
    8. Soft invalidation
    9. CREATE OR REPLACE statement option
  9. 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.
  10. Birds of a Feather sessions brought like-minded
    individuals together to discuss a variety of topics including:
    1. Customer Panel for SAP on DB2 for LUW
    2. Panel: Databases on Cloud
    3. DB2 LUW Performance Birds of a Feather
    4. IBM Database Security Best Practices
    5. End to End data security with Guardium and pureQuery
    6. Optimizing Your Business System Using IBM Optim
      Performance Manager
    7. 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
    product direction.

    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
    Freakonomics books.
    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:

    YouTube IODGC’s Channel:


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    Rebecca Bond

Rebecca Bond
Rebecca Bond
Rebecca Bond, an IBM Information Champion, industry recognized independent consultant and author of the only published book specific to DB2 LUW security, "Understanding DB2 9 Security", enjoys sharing technical lessons learned from her experiences in government, healthcare and financial consulting roles. Rebecca holds numerous advanced IBM certifications covering all aspects of DB2 and is an expert at balancing the twin needs of robust security and accelerated performance. Her unique background provides a wealth of pertinent database and security puzzlers, which she delights in helping us understand and solve via articles, blog posts and presentations.

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