Thursday, October 4, 2012

IBM DB2 Analytics Accelerator for z/OS V3.1

Yesterday was a prolific announcement day for IBM. Rumours of improvements for the IBM DB2 Analytics Accelerator (IDAA) were already heard before the summer, but now they're officially announced : "IBM DB2 Analytics Accelerator for z/OS V3.1, together with related prerequisite hardware, is a high-performance software offering that delivers fast analytic query responses (ZP12-0503)". We're of course talking about the Netezza technology which replaced the Smart Analytics Optimizer last year.
In short, DB2 tables are offloaded to the Netezza box. When a query is launched DB2 decides whether to fetch the data in its own tables or to go and get them from the Netezza box. The IDAA has proven to be way more performant than queries executed on the mainframe itself. It makes analytical queries possible which were unthinkable of in the past. This happens all transparently to the user or application program launching the queries.

So, what's new with this new version ?

The IDAA can now function as a High-performance storage saver : "this feature stores a DB2 table partition or full table of data solely on the accelerator, reducing the need for host storage. This feature removes the requirement for the data to be replicated on both the DB2 storage and the Accelerator storage. Tables can now be divided between traditional database resident partitions on DB2 for z/OS and high-performance storage saver on the DB2 Analytics Accelerator". The implication is of course that you have data which is only stored in one place. In case the IDAA is unreachable, you don't have access to those data. On the other hand, it could be a great solution to put archived data not only on tape with rather slow access, but also keep them on the IDAA for fast access when needed. In other words : another opportunity to improve and speed up your analytical queries.

Another complaint that was sometimes heard was that customers needed (even for their Data Warehouse) near real-time accessability. This was not possible until now as you always had to copy at least on a partition level. Now we have the incremental update feature. "With the new incremental update capability, tables within the accelerator are continually updated throughout the day. This technology reads the log of the database residing on DB2 for z/OS and applies those updates to the DB2 Analytics Accelerator. With this feature enabled, queries off-loaded to the DB2 Analytics Accelerator operate on a near real-time version of the data". Of course you still control the timing for those updates yourself. Nice improvement !

Also the UNLOAD of the data has been changed via what's called Unload lite. "With UNLOAD Lite, the data conversions are done on the accelerator and not on z/OS". This implies that you can save some MSUs with this.

The DB2 Analytics Accelerator for z/OS software requires :z/OS 1.11, or later,DB2 V10.1 for z/OS, DB2 Utilities Suite for z/OS V10.1, XML Toolkit for z/OS V1.10, IBM Ported Tools for z/OS V1.2.0.

This new version will become available on November 30, 2012.

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