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A Little Help from Friends

If you want to learn more about DB2, IDUG forums are the places to be

The IDUG North America DB2 Tech Conference in Anaheim was quite a week. Seeing IBM® DB2® database users sharing their experiences with each other was a great way to begin my time as president of IDUG. Before I continue, I would like to thank David Beulke, a past president of IDUG, for writing this article on behalf of IDUG for a number of years.

It was clear in Anaheim that DB2 10 for z/OS is foremost in the thoughts of many organizations. One useful element of this version is the ability to skip a release, as a significant number of organizations run DB2 8.

IDUG has launched a forum for discussing DB2 10 for z/OS migrations, including best practices and skip release experiences. This is just one example of how the DB2 community offers peer-to-peer help and assists all users in their careers. A number of industry experts have agreed to contribute to this forum, ensuring that there will be great information: Joe Borges, John Campbell, Ian Cook, Chris Crone, Michael Dewert, Gareth Jones, Jeff Josten, Roger Miller, Bryan Paulsen, Suresh Sane, and Julian Stuhler. Come visit the forum on idug.org, and here’s a taste of an early discussion (posts edited for length and clarity).

Forum Member: We are what I would classify as a young vanilla DB2 user and we had no issues migrating from DB2 7 to DB2 8. Here is my dilemma... Leapfrog DB2 9 to DB2 10 so we can get current (won’t do that until at least nine months after DB2 10-GA), which will give us immediate CPU savings and all the other goodies and then have more time to take advantage of the new features and educate everyone? Or keep my job safe by going to DB2 9?

Julian Stuhler: […] If you’re well established on DB2 8 and have the resource/approval for an upgrade project in the very short term, it might be worth going to DB2 9 first while the DB2 10 codebase continues to mature. […] If it’s going to take you some months to get the resource/approval for the upgrade, or if you’re in need of specific features in DB2 10, then the skip migration might be for you. The critical factor is the announced EOS [end of service] date for DB2 8, which is April 30, 2012. If you’re not off DB2 8 by then, you’re going to have to talk to IBM about extended support. […]

Roger Miller: I tried to put my flavor of choices into a paper, and I often append it to migration presentations, like this one: ftp://ftp.software.ibm.com/software/data/db2/zos/presentations/migration/db2-10-migration-planning-webcast-2011-feb-miller.pdf

Early migrations need to use best practices for service and testing. We have been keeping changes on these pages: ibm.com/developerworks/data/bestpractices/db2zos

Bjarne Nelson: Unless your (or the company’s) risk appetite would fit being an early adopter of a new release of DB2, my take would be that you can alone justify the migration from DB2 8 to 9 based on normal software life cycle needs. […] The business case for going through another software life cycle shortly thereafter could then be easily justifiable based on CPU savings and all the nice new features being made available in DB2 10. You will anyway have to learn and adapt new features and functions in both DB2 9 and 10, so perhaps a step-by-step approach would be the right way forward considering all factors.

This conversation is just one of many on a wide range of topics available in the IDUG forums. It’s the place to be if you want to learn more about DB2. I’m looking forward to seeing you there!