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Db2 Mirror for i Offers Continuous Availability

Scott Forstie
Photo by David Bowman

Q: What is Db2 Mirror?

We recently announced the new IBM i operating system (OS) level, known as IBM i 7.4. Each OS level contains new and enhanced features and functions. We have a history of also delivering a major enhancement to the database (Db2* for i) when we have a new release. For IBM i 7.4, the major database enhancement is IBM Db2 Mirror for i.

Db2 Mirror is a new IBM i Licensed Program Product that enables near-continuous availability via an IBM i exclusive Db2 active-active two-system configuration.

Anyone who knows me or has heard me speak has no doubt heard me describe data-centric technologies. Data-centric solutions are realized when you task the database with solving a problem or requirement. We have a history of delivering data-centric technologies in Db2 for i. Whether its tried and true features such as trigger programs, constraints, referential integrity, or more recently added column masks, row permissions, or temporal tables, the message from team IBM i is clear: We’ve listened to our clients and have responded with enterprise worthy solutions.

How does this relate to Db2 Mirror? Db2 Mirror, at its core, is a data-centric solution for continuous availability. Db2 Mirror includes synchronous replication of database files across a tightly coupled active-active configuration. Significant advances in networking technology are a key enabling element of Db2 Mirror. Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) over Converged Ethernet (ROCE) provides far more than an acronym within an acronym. ROCE allows us to connect two IBM i partitions to establish something referred to as a node pair.

Db2 Mirror solves a very important requirement and it does so with a tremendous ease of use like so many data-centric technologies—their database objects and data within are identical (in sync) and available across the node pair. Data can be accessed and changed from either node. If there is a planned or unplanned outage, Db2 Mirror resynchronizes the data when the outage ends.

Db2 Mirror can be used to address business requirements such as:

  • Avoiding downtime related to hardware or software upgrades
  • Avoiding downtime related to maintenance
  • Achieving an active-passive solution without having stale data in the mix
  • Deploying a true active-active solution

These are exciting days that lie ahead.

Scott Forstie is a senior software engineer at IBM. He can be reached at forstie@us.ibm.com.


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