April 24, 2009
I chatted with IBM Thursday, about recent and imminent releases of DB2 (9.5 through 9.7). Highlights included:
- DB2 is getting Oracle emulation, which I posted about separately.
- IBM says that it had >50 new DB2 data warehouse customers last year. I neglected to ask how many of these had been general-purpose DB2 customers all along.
- By “data warehouse customer” I mean a user for InfoSphere Warehouse, which previously was called DB2′s DPF (Data Partitioning Feature). Apparently, this includes both logical and physical partitioning. E.g., DB2 isn’t shared-nothing without this feature.
- IBM is proud of DB2′s compression, which it claims commonly reaches 70-80%. It calls this “industry-leading” in comparison to Oracle, SQL Server, and other general-purpose relational DBMS.
- DB2 compression’s overall effect on performance stems from a trade-off between I/O (lessened) and CPU burden (increased). For OLTP workloads, this is about a wash. For data warehousing workloads, IBM says 20% performance improvement from compression is average.
- DB2 now has its version of one of my favorite Oracle security features, called Label Based Access Control. A label-control feature can make it much easier to secure data on a row-by-row, value-by-value basis. The obvious big user is national intelligence, followed by financial services. IBM says the health care industry also has interest in LBAC.
- Also in the security area, IBM reworked DB2′s audit feature for 9.5
- I think what I heard in our discussion of DB2 virtualization is:
- Increasingly, IBM is seeing production use of VMware, rather than just test/development.
- IBM believes it is a much closer partner to VMware than Oracle or Microsoft is, because it’s not pushing its own competing technology.
- Generally, virtualization is more important for OLTP workloads than data warehousing ones, because OLTP apps commonly only need part of the resources of a node while data warehousing often wants the whole node.
- AIX data warehousing is an exception. I think this is because AIX equates to big SMP boxes, and virtualization lets you spread out the data warehousing processing across more nodes, with the usual parallel I/O benefits.
- When IBM talks of new autonomic/self-tuning features in DB2, they’re used mainly for databases under 1 terabyte in size. Indeed, the self-tuning feature set doesn’t work with InfoSphere Warehouse.
- Even with the self-tuning feature it sounds as if you need at least a couple of DBA hours per instance per week, on average.
- DB2 on Linux/Unix/Windows has introduced some enhanced workload management features analogous to those long found in mainframe DB2. For example, resource allocation rules can be scheduled by time. (The point of workload management is to allocate resources such as CPU or I/O among the simultaneous queries or other tasks that contend for them.) Workload management rules can have thresholds for amounts of resources consumed, after which the priority for a task can go up (“Get it over with!”) or down (“Stop hogging my system!”).
Categories: Application areas, Data warehousing, Database compression, IBM and DB2, Market share and customer counts, OLTP, Parallelization, Workload management
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