IBM Gets SMART About Managing DB2

By Matthew Hicks  |  Posted 2002-06-04 Print this article Print

As part of its overall push toward autonomic computing, Big Blue introduces the first tools for its DB2 Universal Database to come out of its Self Managing and Resource Tuning database initiative .

IBM is introducing new tools for its DB2 Universal Database with self-managing capabilities that are part of the companys overall push toward autonomic computing. The two tools, DB2 Recovery Expert and DB2 Performance Expert, are the first to emerge from IBMs SMART (Self Managing and Resource Tuning) database initiative being led by its research labs in San Jose, Calif., and Toronto. They also are part of 20 new tools the company announced on Monday in its continued expansion of a line of business it only launched in 2000. The SMART tools also are a preview of the types of features IBM plans to add into its next DB2 introduction, Version 8, due out in the second half of this year, officials said.
"In the next DB2 you will see enhancements to the various internal workings of DB2 that do make much of its own activity self-managing," said Jeff Jones, director of strategy for the data management solutions group. "The tools supplement the self-management work were building into the engine."
DB2 Recovery Expert focuses on simplifying and speeding the recovery of a database in case of a failure, while DB2 Performance Expert concentrates on improving database performance. Both DB2 Recovery Expert and DB2 Performance Expert combine passive diagnostic features along with active recommendations that werent available before in a single tool, Jones said. Performance Expert, for example, both monitors database performance and makes suggestions for improving it, Jones said. Those tools, along with three others, will be available on multiple DB2 platforms, including Microsoft Windows, Linux, HP-UX, IBM AIX and Sun Solaris. Two of the other new tools are being extended to the Informix Dynamic Server database (IBM acquired Informix last year for $1 billion). They are the DB2 Table Editor, which allows for updating and deleting data across databases, and the DB2 Web Query Tool for connecting users through the Web to multiple databases. The final new multiplatform tool is the DB2 High Performance Unload tool, which allows for quick unloading and extracting of data from DB2 for moving to other systems or for reorganization. The multiplatform tools, except for DB2 Recovery Expert, will be available on July 26. Recovery Expert will ship Sept. 27. IBM entered the database tool space in September 2000 and has been introducing new tools twice a year since, Jones said. The company invested $200 million in the business, and revenues for the tools have tripled over the past 18 months, he said. "The point of our tools business is to provide [database administrators] with more power and to provide the database systems with more automation," Jones said. "So these are not so much things that stand alone but to be thought of as extensions of our database effort in the areas of automation and self-management." For its mainframe zSeries and iSeries platforms, IBM is in the process of shipping 15 new tools for its DB2 and IMS databases. These will focus on everything from analyzing the performance of SQL queries to providing administration tools for high performance. Some of the tools began shipping in March and will continue to be made available through July 26.
Matthew Hicks As an online reporter for, Matt Hicks covers the fast-changing developments in Internet technologies. His coverage includes the growing field of Web conferencing software and services. With eight years as a business and technology journalist, Matt has gained insight into the market strategies of IT vendors as well as the needs of enterprise IT managers. He joined Ziff Davis in 1999 as a staff writer for the former Strategies section of eWEEK, where he wrote in-depth features about corporate strategies for e-business and enterprise software. In 2002, he moved to the News department at the magazine as a senior writer specializing in coverage of database software and enterprise networking. Later that year Matt started a yearlong fellowship in Washington, DC, after being awarded an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellowship for Journalist. As a fellow, he spent nine months working on policy issues, including technology policy, in for a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He rejoined Ziff Davis in August 2003 as a reporter dedicated to online coverage for Along with Web conferencing, he follows search engines, Web browsers, speech technology and the Internet domain-naming system.

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