DB2 Direct: A new way of consuming your Database

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by Phillip Downey, WW program Director, IBM Analytics Platform Hybrid Cloud Strategy

 

In DB2 11.1, we introduced two new and easy to consume DB2 Direct editions: DB2 Direct Advanced and DB2 Direct Standard. Both editions bring a new dimension to the database offerings for the small and larger enterprise clients that are looking for the flexibility and scalability of the hybrid cloud. They can be acquired directly online via passport advantage and offer a simplified licensing metric and monthly subscription pricing model that are ideal for private, public and hybrid cloud deployments.

Packaging

·        DB2 Direct Advanced Edition

The DB2 Direct Advanced Edition has all DB2 Server and Client features from DB2 Advanced Server Edition including encryption, multitenant deployments, adaptive compression, BLU Acceleration, SQL compatibility with PL/SQL, Data Server Manager, pureScale and database partitioning feature options. It also includes federation capabilities providing access to non-DB2 database sources like Oracle, MS SQL, Teradata, Hadoop, Netezza, Spark and other solutions.

Advanced Federation Capabilities

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It also includes access to 10 User licenses of Infosphere Data Architect per installation for designing and deploying database implementations.

·        DB2 Direct Standard Edition

DB2 Direct Standard Edition is modelled on DB2 Workgroup Edition, which provides encryption, pureScale for Continuously available HA deployments, Multitenant Deployments, SQL compatibility with PL/SQL, Data Server Manager Base Edition, Table partitioning, multi-dimensional clustering, parallel query and concurrent Connection pooling. It is limited to 16 cores and 128GB of RAM and is ideal for small to mid-sized database applications providing enterprise level availability, Query performance and Security as well as unlimited database size

You can take advantage of the new subscription model to lower costs and enjoy licensing flexibility for on-premises and cloud deployments:

Licensing Metrics:

Virtual ProcessorCore (VPC) Charge metric

  • Virtual processor core licensing gives you flexibility and simplified sub capacity licensing options that enables you to optimize your licensing to meet your business requirements.
  • There are two Licensing Scenarios you can apply
    • Simply license the sum of all available Virtual Processor Cores on all Virtual Servers the Direct edition is installed on
    • OR when you can identify a Server and it is more cost effective to do so simply license all available Processor Cores on the Physical Server regardless of the number of virtual machines on the system.
  • Benefits: This makes it simple for private and public Cloud deployments alike and enables you to optimise your licensing

Pricing Structure:

Subscription based pricing

      • DB2 Direct Advanced $354 USD per month per VPC
      • DB2 Standard Edition $135 USD per month per VPC

(Prices as of May 10th, 2016 in the United States.)

Each Deployment requires a minimum of 2 VPCs except in the case of Warm standby, which requires only one VPC.

These editions are ideal for customers who want to move to a subscription based model on their private cloud or a 3rd party vendors (hosts) and pay as their applications grow in size. It is also ideal for ISV’s who charge their applications to customers on a subscription model and want an easy to order database at competitive subscription pricing.

Understanding the Virtual Process Core Metric

Virtual Processor Cores are defined to simplify licensing in the private or public cloud deployment environment. You can deploy DB2 licenses with confidence even though you may or may not be aware of the underlying infrastructure. It enables customers to easily analyze their Licensing requirements including in sub-capacity situations.

A Virtual Processor Core is a Processor Core in an unpartitioned Physical Server, or a virtual core assigned to a Virtual Server.  The Licensee must obtain entitlement for each Virtual Processor Core made available to the Program.

For each Physical Server, the Licensee must have sufficient entitlements for the lesser of

  1. the sum of all available Virtual Processor Cores on all Virtual Servers made available to the Program or
  2. all available Processor Cores on the Physical Server.

Other key Virtual Processor Core considerations for you to understand

    • If the number of VPCs is greater than the physical cores, then you only need to license the number of physical cores on the machine
    • Minimum of 2 VPCs per deployment (1 VPC for idle/warm standby)

You can determine the VPC requirement through DB2 Itself by executing the following on each Physical or logical server DB2 is installed on and take the Online CPU Count and divided it by the HMTdegree result (threading degree) to get the count of Virtual CPU’s present.

“Db2pd –osinfo”

An example of this In a Cloud deployment

  • A customer buys a Virtual Cloud Server as a Service on a internal private cloud or MSP like Softlayer/Azure/ Amazon/rackspace ….
  • They purchase an 8 core Virtual CPU Environment
  • The customer runs “ Db2pd –osinfo” is run on the machine and shows HMTDegree of 1 and OnlineCPU of 8

The customer must license 8 VPC for this environment

An Example of a Private Cloud deployment using VM-Ware

  • A customer deploys Multiple VMWare Hosts are created on a server to run DB2. The server is a 2 Socket server, 8 cores per processor, with hyper-threading turned on to a degree of 2 (16 physical cores) Each of the 11 virtual VMs deployed Reports 6 Virtual Processors.
  • The Customer runs “db2pd –osinfo” across all VMWare Hosts reporting a total of Online CPU of 64 across 11 Virtual Machines (HMTDegree of 1 for all VMs)

As the Hardware can be physically Identified as a 16 core server the customer only has to pay for 16 VPC’s not 64 as some competitor programs would as it is the lesser of the two numbers.

 

Auditing Informix database connections

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By Inge Halilovic, IBM Analytics Platform

 

Preserving integrity of information and managing compliance control across heterogeneous environments is becoming increasingly critical. IBM Security Guardium has worked with Informix for many years now  and  with Informix 12.10.xc6, you have increased capabilities when you audit the user actions for your Informix database server with IBM Security Guardium, version 10.0. Guardium prevents leaks from databases, ensures the integrity of information, and automates compliance controls across heterogeneous environments.

Guardium can now:

  • Mask sensitive data in Informix databases.
  • Audit, and close, any Informix connection (if necessary,), regardless of the connection protocol. Previously, Guardium audited and closed only TCP connections.

On the Informix side, you use the new ifxguard utility to monitor connections that are audited by Guardium. Every time a user session attempts an action that is auditable, an ifxguard agent contacts the Guardium server. The Guardium server audits the connection and takes any appropriate action. You can customize the behavior of the ifxguard utility:

  • Set the logging mode
  • Set the number of ifxguard worker threads to prevent heavy locking

You can enable auditing and set the actions of the database server if the Guardium server does not respond in the timeout period by setting the new IFXGUARD configuration parameter in the onconfig file. For example, if the timeout period is exceeded, the Informix server can allow the client connection without auditing, trigger an alarm, disable auditing altogether, or shut down.

The 2016 IIUG conference will include sessions by experts that cover this topic in greater detail. If you are interested in learning more you can Register for the conference and attend the session on auditing with IBM Security Guardium to find out how to configure auditing for your Informix database server.

The conference will be held from May 4th – 8th at the Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, USA.  The good news is that IIUG members get Flat $100 off on the registration fees. You can register here – http://bit.ly/iiug2016reg.

Golf, Beaches and Informix – Welcome to Florida!

By Sajan Kuttappa, Marketingsajan Manager – Analytics Platform Services, IBM

IBM Informix has forged new frontiers with its ability to effectively manage large amounts of data from the Internet of Things. You can also seamlessly integrate non-standard data types, with a rich set of APIs including REST, that enhance development simplicity, flexibility and time to market. All of this without compromising on availability, scalability and security which make it the most powerful enterprise class database in the market today

While Informix has evolved over the years to stay in tune with rapid advances in technology, the annual IIUG conference has established itself as the premiere data and analytics conference and the best place to learn about the latest updates from the technology world. The best brains are selected to share their expertise during 3 days of educational sessions that will help the audience develop key skills for career advancement while also providing great networking opportunities with IBM executives, Informix development team and more.

In 2015 we celebrated 20 years of the IIUG and I am sure the emotional moments from the conference held at San Diego last year will be etched in the memories of all those who attended. The 2016 conference will be held from May 4th – 8th at the Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, USA and the lineup of speakers and sessions looks very promising.

At the home of the PGA tour, you will be served an excellent platter of technical educational sessions that cover everything from the benefits of Hybrid databases, Spark analytics with Informix, Tools and technologies for the world of Internet-of-Things (IoT). You can further benefit from the optional tutorials on May 8th around database administration, application development and tools on Sunday. Become IBM Informix Certified by taking the IBM Informix Professional Certification exams or almost any other IBM Information Management exam (the first exam is usually free at a savings of about $150).   IIUG banner

Visit www.iiug2016.org for more details and register yourself. Paid registration includes full access to IIUG 2016 from May 4 – 8 including continental breakfast and lunch each day, the Wednesday evening reception and admission to IIUG party on May 5 and 6. IIUG members who register online get $100.00 off registration fees

So get ready to tee off with the best minds in the technology world. Welcome to Florida!

IBM Insight 2015 – A guide to the DB2 sessions

sajan

By   Sajan Kuttappa,  Marketing Manager, Analytics Platform Services

In just a few weeks from now, thousands of people will converge in Las Vegas for the much talked about IBM Insight 2015 conference at Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas.

If you are a DB2 professional, an information architect or a database professional interested in knowing about the latest in in-memory technology, DB2 for SAP workloads and database Administration tools, there is an excellent lineup of sessions by subject matter experts that has been planned for you at the Insight conference. This article will highlight the topics that will be covered so that you can create your agenda in advance

IBM DB2 continues to be the best database option for SAP environments. Experts will share DB2 BLU Best Practices for SAP systems and the latest features of DB2 that enable in-memory, high-availability and scalability for SAP. For those interested in new deployment options like Cloud, we recommend sessions covering IBM’s portfolio of Cloud solutions for SAP on DB2 customers. The Hands-on-Labs at the conference will showcase how to best leverage DB2 BLU for SAP Business Warehouse.

Don’t miss the many client stories about how they benefited from DB2’s in memory technology (BLU Acceleration) to enable speed-of-thought analytics for their business users, share their lessons learned on and best practices, and talk about enhancements and tips for DB2 LUW and DB2 BLU. If you are planning for increased workloads, look out for the session on scaling up BLU acceleration in a high concurrency environment.
Learn more about upgrading to the Data Server Manager for DB2 and simplify database administration, optimize performance with expert advice & reduce costs across the enterprise.  Apart from this you can hear how our clients achieved cost savings and reduced time-to-market by migrating to DB2 LUW. Also on the menu is a Database Administration Crash course for DB2 LUW that will be conducted by top IBM champions in the field.

There is a lot that will be take place in Las Vegas. A week of high-quality educational sessions, hands-on-labs and panel discussions awaits you so attendees can walk away with better insights into how DB2 integrates into big data analysis and how it delivers in the cloud and more. We look forward to meeting you in Las Vegas for Insight 2015; and whatever happens in Vegas (at Insight) should definitely not stay in Vegas!!!

A list of all the sessions can be found at the below links

DB2 for SAP:   http://bit.ly/db2sapatinsight
Core DB2 for the enterprise: http://bit.ly/db2coreatinsight
DB2 with BLU Acceleration: http://bit.ly/db2bluatinsight
DB2 LUW tools / Administration: http://bit.ly/db2toolsatinsight

So start planning your agenda for Insight 2015 .

Follow us on Twitter (@IBM_DB2 ), Facebook (IBM DB2) for regular updates around the conference and key sessions.

Connected devices and new business engagement models for industries

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By   Sajan Kuttappa,  Marketing Manager, Analytics Platform Services

Business strategy expert Michael Porter recently referred to it as the “Third wave of IT innovation”. Not a day passes without articles being published about the multi-billion dollar value that it will help create.

If you are still wondering what this is about…here’s one more hint –  While everyone seems to agree on the impact that this will create not many understand the true shape that this could take in the future.

We are talking about the Internet of Things (IoT) and the promise of an utopian future where connected devices are the norm. As experts will tell you, the IoT as it is popularly called, is not new-to-the-world. In fact it has been around in different forms for many years.

While a few industries like manufacturing are ahead of the curve with adoption of IoT, there are new use cases within other industries where the concept of devices talking to each other over the internet is helping with designing innovative products, tackling inefficiencies within supply chains, improving customer service and more. Businesses of all types – manufacturers, servicing organizations, public utilities, industrial, telecommunications, healthcare providers and more are adopting the use of sensor technology to lower operating costs and increase business value. This is driving the need for instant access to information for speed-of-thought insight and the ability to deliver new services in record time.IoT event - San Jose

Join IBM and Intel for a special event at the IBM Briefing Center in San Jose on August 17th. This half-day event will feature real world solutions using the latest IoT, cloud and analytics technologies. Come and learn how leading edge solutions can be implemented now and take the opportunity to meet the IBM and Intel teams supporting IoT industry solutions.

You can register for the event here – https://ibm.biz/BdXAXK

Top ten reasons to love IBM Data Server Manager

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By Radha Gowda

Technical Marketing, IBM Analytics

Today many in-house or multi-vendor data management tools lack end-to-end visibility, usability and scalability. Database administrators often struggle to keep workflows and analytics operating at optimum efficiency and are unable to provide the continuous availability needed for ever-increasing transaction volumes. By effectively integrating database management functions, organizations can streamline routine maintenance and free up resources for more strategic, business-enhancing projects.

IBM presents IBM® Data Server Manager, an integrated database management tool, to administer, monitor, manage and optimize the performance of hundreds of IBM DB2® for Linux, UNIX and Windows databases across the enterprise. It is easy to install, cloud ready and can be accessed remotely from any supported browser.

Find out more reasons to love Data Server Manager from this infographic and try the base edition today – ibm.biz/dsmdownload.

IBM Data Server Manager Top10

Continuous availability benefits of pureScale now available in a new low cost DB2 offering

KellySchlambKelly Schlamb
DB2 pureScale and PureData Systems Specialist, IBM

Today, IBM has announced a set of new add-on offerings for DB2, which includes the IBM DB2 Performance Management Offering, IBM DB2 BLU Acceleration In-Memory Offering, IBM DB2 Encryption Offering, and the IBM DB2 Business Application Continuity Offering. More details on these offerings can be found here. Generally speaking, the intention of these offerings is to make some of the significant capabilities and features of DB2 available as low cost options for those not using the advanced editions of DB2, which already include these capabilities.

If you’ve read any of my past posts you know that I’m a big proponent of DB2’s pureScale technology. And staying true to form, the focus of my post here is on the IBM DB2 Business Application Continuity (BAC) offering, which is a new deployment and licensing model for pureScale. This applies to DB2 10.5 starting with fix pack 5 (the current fix pack level released in December 2014).

For more information on DB2 pureScale itself, I suggest taking a look here and here. But to boil it down to a few major points, it’s an active/active, shared data, clustering solution that provides continuous availability in the event of both planned and unplanned outages. pureScale is available in the DB2 Advanced Workgroup Server Edition (AWSE) and Advanced Enterprise Server Edition (AESE). Its architecture consists of the Cluster Caching Facilities (CF), which provide centralized locking and data page management for the cluster, and DB2 members, which service the database transaction requests from applications. This multi-member architecture allows workloads to scale-out and workload balance across up to 128 members.

While that scale-out capability is attractive to many people, some have told me that they love the availability that pureScale provides but that they don’t have the scalability needs for it. And in this case they can’t justify the cost of the additional software licenses to have this active/active type of environment – or to even move from their current DB2 Workgroup Server Edition (WSE) or Enterprise Server Edition (ESE) licensing up to the corresponding advanced edition that contains pureScale.

This is where BAC comes in. With BAC – which is a purchasable option on top of WSE and ESE – you can create a two member pureScale cluster. The difference, and what makes this offering interesting and attractive for some, is that the cluster can be used in an active/active way, but it’s licensed as an active/passive cluster. Specifically, one member of the cluster is used to run your application workloads and the other member is available as a standby in case that primary member fails or has to be brought down for maintenance. But isn’t that passive? No… and the reason is that this secondary member doesn’t just sit idle waiting for that to happen. Under the BAC offering terms, you are also allowed to run administrative operations on this secondary “admin” member. In fact, you are allowed to do all of the following types of work on this member:

  • Backup, Restore
  • Runstats
  • Reorg
  • Monitoring (including DB2 Explain and any diagnostic or problem determination activities)
  • Execution of DDL
  • Database Manager and database configuration updates
  • Log based capture utilities for the purpose of data capture
  • Security administration and setup

By offloading this administrative work off of the primary member, you leave it with more capacity to run your application workloads. And with BAC, you are only fully licensing the one primary member where your applications are running (for either WSE or ESE plus BAC). The licensing of the secondary member, on the other hand, falls under DB2’s warm/idle standby licensing which means a much reduced cost for it (e.g. for PVU pricing the secondary member would only be 100 PVUs of WSE or ESE plus 100 PVUs of BAC). For more details on actual software costs, please talk to your friendly neighborhood IBM rep.

BACgraphicAnd because this is still pureScale at work here, if there’s a failure of the primary member, the application workloads will automatically failover to the secondary member. Likewise, the database will stay up and remain accessible to applications on the secondary member when the primary member undergoes maintenance – like during a DB2 fix pack update. In both of these cases the workload is allowed to run on the secondary member and when the primary member is brought back up, the workloads will failback to it. All of the great availability characteristics of pureScale at a lower cost!

If you contrast this with something like Oracle RAC One Node, which has some similar characteristics to IBM DB2 BAC, only the primary node (instance) in Oracle RAC One Node is active and the standby node is not. In fact, it’s not even started until the work has to failover, so there’s a period of time where the cluster is completely unavailable. So a longer outage, slower recovery times, and no ability to run administrative work on this idle node like you can do with BAC.

Sounds great, right?

And for those of you that do want the additional scale-out capability, but like the idea of having that standby admin member at a reduced cost, IBM has thought of you too. Using AWSE or AESE (the BAC offering isn’t involved here), you can implement a pureScale cluster with multiple primary members with a single standby admin member. The multiple primary members are each fully licensed for AWSE or AESE, but the single standby admin member is only licensed as a passive server in the cluster (again, using the PVU example that would only be 100 PVUs of either AWSE or AESE). In this case, you can do any of that administrative work previously described on the standby member, and it’s also available for workloads to failover to if there are outages for one or more of the primary members in the cluster.

Happy clustering!

Join Us For Our Next DB2 CrowdChat – DB2 Into The Future!

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By Jason Burns
ITSO Social Business Manager for DB2

In the 20 years since DB2 was launched on the Linux, Unix and Windows platforms, the product has seen amazing transformations! It is used by database professionals around the world and continues to evolve and increase in popularity.

As we look forward to the next 20 years, our clients and partners will continue to play an important role in shaping the future of DB2. What is it you like about DB2? What features are helping you achieve your goals: from the reliability and safety that is core to database technology, to the power of accessing any kind of data faster than ever before.

In this month’s CrowdChat, we’re assembling a who’s who of IBM DB2 professionals to talk about what you like about DB2 and how you envision its future. Panelists include: Sam Lightstone, Kelly Schlamb, Ember Crocks, Amit Patel, Lynn Chou, and Iqbal Goralwalla.

Questions for this month’s CrowdChat include:

• FP5 was just released and included new features. Could you tell us more about this?
• BLU Acceleration is available on new platforms (Windows and zLinux). How will this broadened platform support help you and your clients?
• What benefits will I see if I use BLU Shadow Tables?
• What is new with the pureScale feature?
• How easy is it for a DB2 DBA to manage a pureScale environment?
• Security is a top business concern! How does native encryption help improve security in business?
• Does native encryption vary for operational reporting vs transactional data?
• In the past, it seemed that special hardware was required to run pureScale. Is that still the case?
• What are some of the best use cases you have seen for DB2 with BLU Acceleration?

What is a CrowdChat?
A CrowdChat is a free community virtual event platform that works seamlessly with Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to allow users to engage in an online conversation held at a pre-arranged time around a topic using a specific #hashtag. You can sign in using your Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn account. It’s easy (and fun!) to participate in a CrowdChat.

Use your Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook credentials to log into http://www.crowdchat.net. The chat can also be followed on Twitter using the hashtag #DB2. Anyone and everyone is welcome to join, especially the developer community!

Date: Thursday, January 22
Time: 1:00 PM ET
Link to Chat: http://www.CrowdChat.net/db2
Chat hashtag: #db2

Creating Real World Sensor-to-Business Value Internet of Things Applications

sajanBy Sajan Kuttappa
Marketing Manager, IBM

Consider the following scenarios:

  • Analysis of data from shoppers’ mobile devices is delivering insights about which store location within a mall will guarantee a retailer the highest footfall
  • Consumers are optimizing their energy consumption by better analyzing their power usage patterns over regular time intervals. Utility companies are using this data to build more responsive grids
  • Public transport /shared transport is being revolutionized with a better understanding of how and when people travel

The aforementioned scenarios are not just a futuristic outlook on the potential benefits of connected devices – rather they are some of the existing applications of the insights gained from machines talking to each other. These are exciting times in the world of connected devices. Devices today are helping companies and consumers learn a lot more about their ecosystem and are helping create new services and evolve new business models.

Hildebrand’s Smart platform powered by IBM Informix

Hildebrand is one such company which is focused on helping develop solutions for the retail, energy and transport industries using their Smart Platform. They recently used their Smart platform to launch a retail “footfall” tracking solution that collects and analyzes 250 million data points per day to deliver insights to retailers about dwell time, frequency of return visits. Apart from this, Hildebrand solutions continue to play an important role in the domain of energy usage and transport systems.

To tackle the big data, Hildebrand deployed IBM Informix database, which has built-in ability to handle massive amounts of Time-stamped data easily while providing faster storage, retrieval and real-time analytics

Constructing the IoT solution

IBM and Hildebrand are hosting a special event in London on December 10, 2014 focused on creating real world sensor-to-business value Internet of Things applications. This half-day event will feature a real world solution using IBM Cloud TimeSeries technology with Hildebrand data collection and analytics solutions.

If you are interested in learning how real-world IoT solutions are built, you can attend this half-day event on Dec 10th starting at 09.30 AM at the IBM Executive Briefing Center, Southbank, London and take the opportunity to meet the IBM team supporting IoT Industry solutions in the UK.

You can book your place by registering for the event here http://www.hildebrand.co.uk/IoTLondon/

If you would like to stay updated, follow @IBM_Informix on Twitter for the latest Informix announcements, and updates!

Bringing Informix Technology to the World’s Fastest Growing Database Market

By Sajan Kuttappa
Social Media Marketing & Communications Manager, IBM

If someone wanted more proof that Informix is technologically a step ahead of competitors, IBM provided evidence in China! Even the hardest cynic would find it difficult to rebuff the fact that the adoption of a locally innovated version of the Informix database for the burgeoning database market in China is a masterstroke

Why Informix over other competitors?

When one of the fastest growing markets in the world embraces Informix over other open source projects, it merits taking a second look (or maybe more) at what differentiates Informix from the rest of the competitors.

Before I begin extolling the virtues of the Informix database you can find details of the deal that was signed between IBM and GBASE here:  GBASE and IBM to collaborate on locally innovated database in China.

IBM Informix is a high-performance Enterprise Class Database that provides you with competitive advantage with its low cost, no administrative overhead, and powerful innovative features like OLTP and OLAP capabilities. Informix offers high availability in a significantly less complex, less expensive manner compared to competition for both distributed and centralized deployments.

Analysts agree that where database infrastructures must meet the challenges of the future, Informix is an obvious candidate. You can read the comparative analysis here.  IBM Informix – The database for high availability and data replication

The Proof of the pudding is in the eating.

A growing database market like China adopting Informix technology to create their locally innovated database is strong reference for the technological superiority of Informix. While a lot has been said about the superior capabilities of the Informix product, this deal will go a long way in reinforcing Informix as the number one reliable and highest performing database for most applications including the “Internet of Things”.

If you would like to stay updated, follow @IBM_Informix on Twitter for the latest Informix announcements, and updates!

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