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Boosting DBA Productivity

As the foundation for e-business, IBM DB2* Universal Database is a complete multimedia, Web-ready, relational database management system: strong enough to meet the demands of large corporations yet flexible enough to serve small- and medium-sized (SMB) businesses.

This month, IBM made DB2 Version 8.1 (DB2 V8.1) generally available on distributed platforms. This article will be presented over two issues of this magazine. This installment focuses on the key items that make this release of DB2 shine with respect to DBA productivity and time to value through a truly SMART database. We'll attempt to give you a general feel for where DB2 is headed.

In the second installment, we'll round out the DB2 V8.1 story with a detailed look at application development enablement, scalability enhancements and new features that minimize planned outages associated with operations like reorganizations of indexes and tables, loads, the change of configuration parameters and more.

Key Features

DB2 V8.1 is arguably the most significant release of DB2 in almost a decade. It boasts more than 438 new features. It can deliver value to your organization by cutting the "time to value" of IT by boosting database administrator (DBA) productivity, easing application development and integration efforts, and providing a core foundation that can power today's most demanding transaction and decision support environments.

Here are some of the key new features in DB2 V8.1:

Self-managing and resource-tuning (SMART) databases. This new feature gives DBAs the power to manage more disk space with less effort. Self-managing technology reduces the complexity of database management (part of IBM's autonomic computing initiatives).

Easier administration. In a beta customer test, the time required to tune a database was reduced from two days to 20 minutes using the new DB2 Configuration Advisor. These features can reduce a DBA's cost for database administration and free up time to focus on higher value activities.

New utilities and commands allow DBAs to quiesce a database or instance, or leverage an online inspection tool to check written data pages (though this isn't needed for DB2 like other database vendors). Other new features provide enhancements for transactional and dual logging, support for new database container operations (such as drop, reduce and an option to avoid a rebalance when a container is added), a new notification log, and a function that automatically calculates Greenwich mean time (GMT) for your specific time zone during rollforward.

Kelly Masci is a member of the DB2 Information Development team, specializing in data movement and database backup and recovery. Kelly can be reached at

Paul C. Zikopoulos is a database specialist IBM. Paul can be reached at

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