Attend my Ed Seminar at IDUG North America 2006

The volunteers at IDUG 2006 in Tampa Florida have kindly asked that I call your attention to this year's DB2 and Informix education sessions and seminars.

This year I am presenting a full day seminar on Sunday May 7th: DB2 LUW Performance Best Practices: Methods and Metrics for Results!  This class is updated every year, and this year's version includes new insights from Saturn and Viper.  Click on this link to learn more about IDUG Ed Seminars and Sessions. 

While I'm in shameless plug mode, be sure to visit DBI's Booth #206.  We will be doing a drawing for a grand prize that you just won't believe until you see it.

Until next time,

Scott

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Customer Service Excellence

Marketing people will tell you that if someone experiences poor customer service that they will tell at least ten friends, but that good news and compliments travel much less rapidly.  Most people will share news of excellent service or products with maybe one or two people.

I strive to be different.  I recently had a customer service experience that really pleased me, and I think you readers should know.

JetBlue just recently started flying to Austin Texas with service to Boston and JFK.  Now I've been a very loyal Delta customer since about 1991 with almost 1,000,000 miles flown, so I have a lot of experience in airports and in the air.  My wife also works for Delta, so believe me the praise you are about to read is indeed genuine and well deserved.

Electronic check-in at the gate was easy, as anticipated.  Not that this is much of a differentiator, because many airlines offer this service now and do it well.  But, there were so many terminals that I didn't have to wait in line to use a machine.

Boarding was easy and the overhead storage was generous.  The leather seats were uncommonly comfortable.  I quickly noticed that JetBlue's planes do not have center seats on either side of the aisle --- this is nice!  No worries about every having to be squished between two other people.

One of the key service differentiators is those really nice personal color TVs on the seatback of every seat.  I don't watch much TV, but it was nice to catch up on the news while in the air.

What a difference $3.00 can make.  What impressed me most is that the flight attendants walked up and down the aisles with large wicker baskets full of brand name snacks.  "Have as many as you would like," the flight attendants frequently said.  American Airlines charged me $3.00 for a box of snacks last month.  If there is anything that appeals most to computer/DBA people, it is free food and beer.  At least JetBlue had it half right.

At the JFK airport, I noticed another valuable service differentiator.  A free wireless Wi-Fi hotspot network was available throughout JetBlue's terminal area.  This was provided by JetBlue as a courtesy to their road warrior customers.

I should probably also mention that JetBlue's web site is easy to use, and you can find it at www.jetblue.com.

I hope to see you on a flight someday.  And I assure you that DBI will be working hard to provide products and services that exceed expectations.

Cheers,

Scott




Have you seen our ad in DB2 Magazine Q1 2006?

Check out page 69 of DB2 Magazine, Q1 2006 issue. You'll find our ad that introduces DBI's industry unique solution for DB2 UDB auditing and SOX compliance.

Brother-WatchDog unmasks otherwise anonymous Web End Users so you can audit end user activities within valuable corporate databases. In addition, Brother-WatchDog also audits local users, client users, DBAs, SYSADMs, power users, security failures, security changes, object changes (create, alter, drop), and more.

All of this valuable audit data is hardened with "tamper evident seals" (digital signatures) so that auditors and management alike can have confidence that the data hasn't been tampered with. Forensic research is made easy by a simple "Google(R) like" search interface with robust query and reporting capabilities.

Learn more at www.database-brothers.com/brother-watchdog.php

Thanks for reading,
Scott


Who did it?

I ran into an old friend at the IBM Data Management Conference last September.  He was really happy to see me and learn that I had started a new company.  You might know him.  His name is Bing and he works for one of our nation's largest banks.

The Big Problem

After a bit of reminiscing, Bing said to me in his big, animated, booming voice "Scott!  Our bank has a very big problem!  I mean, it's a huge problem!"  I raised my eyebrows as if to urge him to continue.  Bing continued, "Our management would pay truck loads of cash for a solution to this problem!  Big trucks!  Tractor Trailer trucks!"

I started thinking about how much all that cash might weigh and where I could hide it.  So I took the bait and asked, "Okay, so what's this problem?" 

Web Server Connection Pooling Masks User Identities

Bing replied with continued exclamation "Websphere!  Websphere web users!  Connection Pooling!  We have no idea what our Websphere users are doing inside of our corporate databases!  There's no accountability and everyone from the CEO on down is stressed!"

"Ah yes," I said.  "Web servers like Websphere, WebLogic, JBOSS, Sun J2EE, and Tomcat all mask the identities of end users thanks to connection pooling using a single userid."

Anonymous Users > No Accountability > Vulnerability

Bing nodded and added "And we have no (explitives omitted) idea who is doing what to our corporate data and the SOX Compliance people are stressed!"

"And you'll send me a tractor trailer truckload of cash if I can help your bank accurately determine who is doing what, when, and from where, so that accountability is restored and anarchy is avoided?" I asked with a hopeful look.

MISSION IMPOSSIBLE

"Absolutely!  But, it's impossible to solve, you can't do it, so don't start spending the money just yet!" he exclaimed with a wry grin. 

I frowned with disappointment but was intrigued by the challenge.  "What else do you need help with?" I asked.

"Auditing.  Login failures.  Tracking and controlling security changes.  Tracking object maintenance.  Tracking SYSADM and other power user activities.  And the data can't be updated - it needs to be hardened for the auditors" Bing bemoaned.

"Would you like a Coke and fries with that solution?" I asked with a grin.


Well, that was about five months ago.  We've been working very hard at DBI  (I know I haven't blogged as often as I'd like) ever since.  We want to help organizations achieve greater performance and accountability.  We want to help prevent identity theft.  We want to help with SOX Compliance.  We're on a mission.  We want all corporate data users to be accountable.

I am very pleased to announce that on March 31, 2006, DBI will have a solution for Bing and his bank.  We'll have a solution for web end user database anonymity, or end user identity assertion as it is sometimes called.  Brother-WatchDog(TM) uses breakthrough, US Patent Pending, technology to unmask anonymous web users and reveal their activities (data access, update, insert, delete, grant, revoke, create, drop) inside corporate databases.  No web application changes are required.  And, oh yes, we capture and track local users, power users, client users, SYSADMs, and the whole cast of characters too.  The impossible problem is solved.  Please contact DBI to learn more about our accountability solution - the identity theft you prevent may be your own!

Until next time,

Scott Hayes, IBM DB2 GOLDConsultant, President & CEO, Database-Brothers Inc.




751 SQL/Second on 2-way pSeries!

I was recently talking with a bank and the DBA told me they had a pretty active database that performed 200,000 SQL per hour.  I'm sure this rate of SQL won't set any world records, but it did inspire me to do a few performance science projects of my own.

DBI recently purchased a 2-way pSeries machine with 2GB memory and over 500GB disk across 8 73GB drives.  It runs AIX 5.3 and DB2 UDB LUW 8.2.2.

WOW!  GREAT RESULTS! 

I ran 200,000 SQL statements across two db2batch connections in parallel and completed 400,000 SQL in 11 minutes 45 seconds - 567/Second or over 2,000,000 per hour!  The table has 2,111,928 rows.

EVEN BETTER!

200,000 SQL statements across three db2batch connections in parallel completed 600,000 SQL in 13 minutes 18 seconds!  751 SQL/Second!  2.7M/Hour!

Gee, I guess I should start tuning this database now.  LOL!  icon_lol

Cheers,

Scott


PS - How fast is your database? Drop a comment and let us know.




1997 - Tune DB2 while you fish, golf...

Who'd have thought?

It was back in 1997 that I first presented "Tune DB2 While You Golf" at an IBM DB2 Technical Conference. The idea back then was to help people automate the analysis and tuning of their DB2 databases.

Now it's 2005, and IBM has made the vision of autonomic tuning a reality, and they continue to enhance DB2's autonomic tuning and management capabilities.

The Index Advisor was born in DB2 UDB V6, and in V8.2 IBM gave us the gift of the Design Advisor. Have you tried out this remarkable DB2 technology yet? It is by far my favorite autonomic computing feature of DB2.

I was speaking with someone at the IBM Toronto Lab recently and I shared with him a number of Index/Design Advisor success stories from past consulting engagements. He, as a key contributor towards the Design Advisor technology, was quite pleased to learn of the dramatic and substantial ways that this technology helps IBM DB2 customers.

Without naming names (we are, after all, a privacy obsessed world), I thought it might be helpful for DB2 UDB LUW users in general to be aware of some of these success stories.

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Getting Business Done in a Fraction of the Time

There's a company in Maryland running SAP R3 on DB2/AIX.  There was a warehouse transaction that was taking over 3 minutes to complete.  An SAP America consultant had been on site working this problem for over 3 months when I showed up.  I performed an SQL Workload Analysis as described by DB2 Magazine article Measure, Improve, Repeat and found an SQL statement using some 90%+ of CPU time with average response time of about 90 seconds, and this statement was run twice for each transaction.  We passed this statement to the IBM Advisor (db2advis), and it provided us with an index solution that cut transaction response time from 3 minutes down to about 10 seconds.  By combining SQL Equalization and Cost Aggregation workload analysis with db2advis, we solved a difficult performance problem in about two hours that another "expert" had already been working on for 3 months.

Cutting Machine CPU Utilization by 80%

There's a company in Poughkeepsie NY running DB2/AIX.  Their machine was running 100% CPU busy all day and transaction response times were unacceptably slow.  After performing SQL Equalization and Cost Aggregation as described by US Patent 6,772,411, a very costly SQL statement was discovered that had a very inefficient access strategy.  This statement was passed into db2advis, and the Advisor provided an index solution that cut CPU utilization on the machine by more than 80%.  Not surprisingly, transaction response times started to fly.


Attention!

Please be aware that the Design Advisor aggressively favors Index Only Access and makes liberal use of suggesting multi-column composite indexes.  The DBA should make sure that suggested indexes do not cause redundant indexes to exist, that the suggested indexes have sufficiently high cardinality relative to the base table cardinality (at least 80% as a rule of thumb), and that the suggested indexes are not subject to skewed values.


Design Advisor Help

At the command prompt, you can easily get help with the Advisor tool by using the command:

$ db2advis -h


I hope this blog post is helpful for some of the readers.  Do you have a db2advis success story?  Please post a brief comment and tell us about it.

Regards,

Scott




Take 2

My father is fond of saying “The difference between stupidity and ignorance is how many times you make the same mistake.”  I am a student of life.  [chuckles]  I love to learn.  I love to teach.  Most of all, I love helping people.

 

Many of you may already know my not-so-secret recipe for success (from conference presentations and seminars).  Begin with 6 lemons and juice them.  Add 3 cups of water, ˝ cup of sugar, some ice, and stir.  When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.  This is a great recipe, and you can share it with your families.

 

I started Database-GUYS Inc (DGI) in May of 1998 with my first consulting engagement, a $24,000 check, and a dream.  We grew a great team.  We built great products for IBM DB2 UDB LUW.  After the economic drought of 2002, we were acquired by BMC Software in June of 2003 for $3,000,000.  I can think of a few things I would have done differently.  Let’s just say I’m a little less ignorant now.  [grin]

 

I can also think of plenty of things that we did very well.  We put our customers and their needs first.  We had intense focus in our niche area of expertise:  DB2 UDB Distributed performance.  We focused on delivering results and performance solutions.  We provided customer support that met, and usually exceeded, our customer’s expectations.  We will seek to repeat these successful initiatives:

  • Customer needs first
  • Intense Focus
  • Solutions that deliver measurable, tangible, and meaningful RESULTS
  • Customer service that exceeds expectations

 

Database-Brothers Inc (DBI) was born on July 15, 2005.  I have to admit that my blood must be “blue” and my second love is DB2.  Of course, my first love is my wife Janie.  Having learned from DGI what works, and what doesn’t, will be invaluable to our new and growing team, and to our valued clients and customers.

 

Our web site has been online for just a few days so far, and already there is speculation about Scott Hayes and DB2 UDB, Dave Moore and Oracle, and our new company.  Some of our business plans and partnerships are still developing, so for now we’ll simply rejoice in the database community’s gossip.  It warms our hearts and fuels our energy levels to know that we have touched so many lives in positive ways that we are worthy of your attention.

 

Soon our team will be bigger than DGI ever was.  Our dreams are bigger too.  We look forward to helping you Accelerate Your Business.

 

Best regards,

Scott

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