DB2 Universal Database Hits
Open Beta"> Self-tuning features are critical to Tim Kuchlein, director of information systems at Clarity Incentive Systems, in New York. He has been beta testing DB2 Version 8 and said that the ability to conduct more tuning in run time without having any database downtime means fewer chances of disrupting customers, who rely on the companys IBM DB2-based database for issuing and processing debit cards. "Were a 24-by-7 shop so stopping the database needs planned and managed, and the less of that we can get the better," Kuchlein said."I would imagine 90 percent of the time it would be right on, but until I run it for a while I wont be overly keen to hand over control of the database engine," he said. Along with the autonomic computing focus, IBM also is expanding one of its most touted features of DB2 UDBfederation. Version 8 will expand on the databases ability to tie together data sources that are outside DB2, such as other vendors database systems, by adding support for integrating information from Web services. The capability will allow, for example, a user to join data from a SOAP-based Web service, like a stock feed, with data from other databases and DB2, like customer information, to perform a function, Perna said. "Now DB2 through SQL can evoke data through Web services and federate it," she said. As with most every new database release, IBM also is focusing on beefing up performance and availability. On the performance front, Version 8 offers faster queries for analytical applications. A feature called Multidimensional Clustering allows users to cluster information physically on disk. If an analytical application requires a set of queries they can tell DB2 when they create tables to cluster specific data on disk, which reduces the database I/O overhead during a query. DB2 Version 8 can perform these queries 100 percent faster, Perna said. The feature particularly benefits front-end analytical tools vendors or users who have written their own analytical applications. To improve availability, Version 8 offers additional online reorganization capabilities. The Online Table Reorganization with Data in Place feature keeps data in place during reorganization, rather than moving it to multiple sets of disk, making the table available. The features is making use of capabilities already on IBM DB2 for the OS/390, Perna said. Users interested in the open beta of DB2 Version 8 should go to www.ibm.com/db2/v8beta beginning Tuesday. Related Stories:
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He expects features like the Health Center to be helpful for DBAs diagnosing problems but also is taking a wait-and-see attitude about relying exclusively on the automated advice from DB2 over that of experienced DBAs.