Conor O'Mahony's Database Diary

Your source of IBM database software news (DB2, Informix, Hadoop, & more)

Archive for August 2009

The DB2Night Show

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Database-Brothers Inc. (DBI) are organizing a regular Webcast called The DB2Night Show. It promises to be an informative and fun show, and has lined up interesting guests. It also has fun segments like the following:

We are going to go to a shopping mall and ask random people what they think and know about DB2, if they have heard of IBM, and how they are contributing to a Smarter Planet.

You can sign up for the shows at The DB2Night Show.


Written by Conor O'Mahony

August 31, 2009 at 7:12 pm

Top 7 Reasons to Use DB2 for SAP Applications

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  1. IBM and SAP work together to optimize DB2 for SAP
    SAP and IBM work together to optimize DB2 for SAP. The joint SAP and IBM teams co-located in Toronto, Canada and Walldorf, Germany make sure that DB2 is optimized and certified for each new release of SAP in a timely manner. DB2 is the only database software with such a close working arrangement. Other database vendors typically take several months to become officially supported by SAP.
  2. SAP Integrates DB2 into SAP Applications
    By integrating DB2 into SAP applications, SAP offers you a single point-of-contact for support. IBM and SAP cooperate in every phase of the software lifecycle to provide you with the best possible integrated product offering.
  3. DB2 has more efficient storage
    SAP environments often have large amounts of data. Some estimates claim that data storage costs represent almost half of enterprise IT infrastructure costs. DB2 typically outperforms other database software when it comes to minimizing data storage.
  4. DB2 is easier to administer
    DB2 automates many DBA activities for SAP environments, including database reorganizations, memory tuning, collection of database statistics, database backups, log file management, and storage allocation.
  5. DB2 Makes SAP Faster
    DB2 has consistent leadership of SAP SD 2-tier and 3-tier performance benchmarks. See for yourself at SAP Standard Application Benchmarks.
  6. DB2 offers High Availability and Disaster Recovery as standard
    DB2 for SAP includes High Availability and Disaster Recovery capabilities for no extra charge. DB2 provides ultra-fast switchovers from the primary to standby systems; for example, in a SAP test environment with 600 users, services were resumed within 11 seconds.
  7. SAP uses DB2
    There can be no greater endorsement than SAP choosing to use DB2 for all of its own SAP applications.

Written by Conor O'Mahony

August 31, 2009 at 6:49 pm

Switch SAP Applications to use DB2 for a Quick Return on Investment

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There is an article at describing how SAP infrastructure changes to databases, servers yield quick returns. The article quotes Derek Prior of AMR Research who says that “some are finding it cheaper to swap Oracle databases in a more Unix-oriented environment to DB2” and that companies are “realizing payback within nine to 10 months“.

This is consistent with what we are seeing at IBM. Here are a selection of quotes from organizations who recently swapped the database software for their SAP applications to DB2:

The migration to DB2 was completed in three months. We estimate that database operational costs have been cut by 68 per cent… The migration was smooth and completed absolutely without a hitch.“—Ralf Rohrer, Head of Server and Storage Operations at Industrielle Werke Basel (IWB)

Thanks to DB2, we are saving around 25 per cent on software licensing and maintenance fees – which means we have more money in the IT budget to spend on solutions that deliver additional competitive advantage for our business.“—Ozcan Soke, IT Manager, Borçelik

Our database is now 43 per cent smaller than before, and some of the largest tables have been reduced by up to 70 per cent. Despite the compression, there has been no impact on batch performance, and our most important online transactions are actually 20 per cent faster with the new version of DB2.“—Roland Heim, SAP Basis Administrator, INTER Versicherungen

Choosing DB2 has delivered significant benefits for our organization: database size has been reduced by 40 per cent and performance is 15 per cent above our targets.“—Brian Visser, IT Operations Director, Central Services at KONE

We expected an improvement of around 20 per cent in terms of system response time, but we found that the new system was actually 40 per cent faster. The DB2 database is even more efficient than we had anticipated. This means that the investments in new server and storage hardware will actually last longer than planned, contributing to a better-than-forecast return on investment, which is very pleasing.“—Peter Boegler, Solution Architect at SAP IT

There are many more such quotes in the DB2 for SAP case studies.

Written by Conor O'Mahony

August 26, 2009 at 10:06 am

Why SAP Chose DB2…

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Here is a video featuring Dr. Bernhard Wallner from SAP IT explaining why they chose DB2 as the database for their corporate business systems. Of course, it is especially gratifying when SAP chooses DB2 to power it’s own SAP applications. In the video, you will hear lots of great facts like how DB2 improves performance by 40% in the corporate HR system.

Written by Conor O'Mahony

August 25, 2009 at 7:22 pm

Posted in DB2 for LUW, SAP

Chat with the Labs: Data Studio

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DB2 Chat with the Labs This Thursday, IBM will host another of its Chat with the Labs, where you get to hear directly from IBM developers. This week’s Webcast will cover various Data Studio topics including installation, management, utilities, configuration, and tuning. It will primaily cover the no charge features, but it will also talk about the paid features like change management, test data management, data privacy, and more. The Webcast will also describe how to use the new DB2 9.7 features like Workload Management and Oracle migrations. For more information, see

Written by Conor O'Mahony

August 25, 2009 at 11:06 am

Posted in IBM Data Studio

Even More Reasons Why DB2 Data Compression is Better than Oracle Database

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Last week I described Why DB2 Data Compression is Better than Oracle Database. In my blog post, I focused on the reasons why the DB2 compression techniques get better compression rates than the Oracle Database compression techniques. In this post, I’d like to focus on a couple of recent additions to DB2 that even further enhance its ability to minimize your storage costs:

  • DB2 9.7 also has compression for user temporary tables and system temporary tables. We have seen that temporary tables can occupy as much as one third of the data storage in certain environments, so compressing temporary tables can have a very significant impact on your data storage costs.
  • When it comes to compressing database indexes, DB2 9.7 offers both RID list compression and dynamic-length prefix compression that includes substrings of columns. Oracle Database, on the other hand, offers only fixed-length prefix compression.

When you combine all of these DB2 advantages, it should be apparent that DB2 will typically do better than Oracle Database at lowering database-related storage costs. In fact, International Technology Group (ITG) came to the following conclusions in its report at VALUE PROPOSITION FOR IBM DB2 9.7: Cost Savings Potential Compared to Oracle Database 11g:

Oracle 11g compression rates are typically in the 20 to 30 percent range – many users find performance degradation at higher levels to be unacceptable – while early DB2 9.7 users have routinely employed 60 to 80 percent compression rates with negligible effects on processor performance.

However, you should be aware that data compression rates and performance are highly dependent on the nature of your data and the nature of your environment. Your best course of action is to get IBM and Oracle to prove the kinds of storage savings they can achieve for your data in your environment. That’s the only way to cut past the marketing and determine the real impact.

Written by Conor O'Mahony

August 21, 2009 at 10:15 pm

Why Dow Jones Chose DB2…

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Here is an interview from 2008 with Bashir Khan from Dow Jones. In this interview, he tells us why Dow Jones chose DB2 ahead of other database management systems. I especially like the following quote where he indicates that they benchmarked the various vendors and DB2 came out ahead.

After looking at a lot of options, there was only one real option that was left for for us, and that was DB2 for LUW on the Unix platform. Before we made a final decision, we benchmarked some of the key database management systems that includes Oracle, SQL Server, and DB2. We ended up choosing DB2 for several reasons. One was reliability. Second was performance. And perhaps the most important factor was ease of use.

Written by Conor O'Mahony

August 21, 2009 at 4:52 pm

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