IBM's DB2: After 30 Years and a Look Ahead

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2013-05-17 Print this article Print

In just a few weeks, on June 7, IBM's DB2 will mark the 30th anniversary of its launch—which cemented the relational database's role as a cornerstone of the enterprise for many. Not long after the anniversary, a new version of DB2 will become generally available that includes some of the most significant technology advances in the software's history. An innovation called "BLU acceleration" can increase reporting and analytical workload times to the speed of thought, according to IBM. "Top performance and storage efficiency are yours," the company said, "without database tuning, indexes or aggregates." IBM DB2 is a relational model database server developed in 1983. There are three main products in the DB2 family: DB2 for LUW (Linux, Unix and Windows), DB2 for z/OS (mainframe) and DB2 for iSeries (formerly OS/400). The DB2 LUW product runs on multiple Linux and Unix distributions, such as Red Hat Linux, SUSE Linux, AIX, HP/UX and Solaris, and most Windows systems. DB2 also powers the IBM InfoSphere Warehouse edition, which is basically DB2 LUW with a database partitioning feature (DPF), a massive parallel share-nothing data warehousing architecture. eWEEK takes a look at DB2's roots and its future.

  • IBM's DB2: After 30 Years and a Look Ahead

    by Darryl K. Taft
    1 - IBM's DB2: After 30 Years and a Look Ahead
  • DB2: What’s in a Name?

    The name DB2, or IBM Database 2, was first given to the Database Management System or DBMS, in 1983 when IBM released DB2 on its MVS mainframe platform.
    2 - DB2: What’s in a Name?
  • For Mainframes Only

    For some years DB2, was exclusively available on IBM mainframes. Through the years, IBM has brought DB2 to other platforms, including Unix, Windows and Linux. DB2 is optimized for the cloud, SAP, Intel's Xeon processor and IBM POWER. This expansion has brought the power of the relational database to a variety of businesses worldwide.
    3 - For Mainframes Only
  • IBM Research Defines the Relational Database

    Until the mid-1970s, computers sorted information using rigid, one-off database programs. Predecessor systems like IBM's IMS and VSAM on the mainframe could store megabytes of data, but it had to be entered and retrieved in the same structured way every time. IBM researcher E. F. "Ted" Codd wanted to improve the way data was sorted and handled. He sought to create a generalized description of how to store, update and extract data with accuracy, and query responses so any changes to data produced consistent results. In 1970, Codd completed his definition of the relational database, which became the foundation for IBM DB2 products.
    4 - IBM Research Defines the Relational Database
  • From Prototype to Production

    Pat Selinger, a leading member of the IBM Research team that produced the world's first relational database system, said: "More than three decades ago, as we built the research prototype that became the foundation for DB2, we were determined to prove that the relational databases were usable and could perform well. Wow. Did IBM ever prove that."
    5 - From Prototype to Production
  • BLU Acceleration Adds New Twists

    BLU acceleration, invented in IBM Research and to be commercialized in DB2 Version 10.5, provides several innovations. These include  "data skipping," which offers the ability to pass over duplicate data or data that doesn't need to be analyzed; the ability to analyze data in parallel across different processors; greater ability to analyze data transparently to the application, without the need to develop a separate layer of data modeling; "actionable compression," in which data no longer has to be decompressed to be analyzed; and performance improvements over traditional in-memory systems that allow data to be loaded into random access memory instead of hard disks for greater speed.
    6 - BLU Acceleration Adds New Twists
  • Coca-Cola Bubbles Over About DB2 10.5

    Beta customer Andrew Juarez, an IT lead at Coca-Cola Bottling Co., said: "These queries are coming back in seconds. Those … quick-minute decisions that the analytics are providing us are not a nice-to-have, [they are] essential to being able to stay competitive."
    7 - Coca-Cola Bubbles Over About DB2 10.5
  • Blu Acceleration Changes the Game

    "BLU Acceleration is a game-changer," said Kent Collins, a database solutions architect at BNSF Railway.
    9 - Blu Acceleration Changes the Game
  • Orders of Magnitude Faster

    John Schlesinger, chief enterprise architect at banking software company Temenos, said of DB2 10.5: "We created a table of 200 million records with financial data. What took 30 seconds, now takes one third of a second."
    8 - Orders of Magnitude Faster
  • DB2 10.5 Makes It Simple With BLU

    "IBM wanted to make using the BLU extremely easy, so a simple registry setting, DB2_WORKLOAD=Analytics, turns on BLU," said Evan Quinn, senior principal analyst with Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG). "That simple setting ensures that all subsequent database definitions will default to a columnar format, and all the technologies of acceleration will come to bear. IBM has plans to spread BLU acceleration throughout its product line, including future availability for z/OS databases."
    10 - DB2 10.5 Makes It Simple With BLU
  • IBM DB2 Gets Social With Facebook, Twitter

    The 30th anniversary has spawned a Facebook page started by fans and users of DB2 on z/OS. IBM's DB2 also has a Twitter handle.
    11 - IBM DB2 Gets Social With Facebook, Twitter

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