Industrial Strength Software Debuts DB2/400 Optimization Tools
April 22, 2008 Alex Woodie
Industrial Strength Software, a provider of programmer utilities and change management tools based in Illinois, recently introduced two tools designed to help System i shops get the most performance out of DB2/400. The new tools, called the DBAnalyzer (DBA) and DBOptimizer (DBO), work together to identify inefficient database structures and to automatically optimize them for peak performance, thereby reclaiming disk space and processor turns.
DB2/400–officially known as DB2 for i5/OS (IBM hasn’t gotten around to renaming it yet)–is a very robust database, and is the core engine powering many i5/OS (i) applications. While it can be very powerful and efficient, it is not necessarily economical out of the box.
One of the biggest perpetrators of DB2/400 inefficiency is the prepackaged application, according to ISS. Often, when a prepackaged application is updated, new physical files and new logical files will be created in the database. However, the applications will often create logical files using a less-than-desirable approach–such as creating them in alphabetical order–which is almost never the most efficient way to go about this.
A better way to maintain the database is to analyze the file relationships for shared resources and then create the bare minimum of logical files that share as many access paths back to the physical files as possible. After all, having multiple access paths is a waste of CPU and disk space, and slows down the system any time an insert, update, or delete operation is performed on the physical file.
However, this takes a bit of manual work, and is not always feasible in resource-constrained environments (like yours, probably). After all, how many System i shops have their own dedicated database administrator? The answer: not many.
ISS says it has a better way, through the combination of DBA and, if necessary, DBO.
DBA is used to automatically scan a DB2/400 database structure and analyze the relationships between physical files and logical files. The software can be used against a single physical file and all of its logical files, or all files in a library. After it’s done scanning, DBA reports where it has found multiple, identical access paths, and how much disk space you can reclaim.
Armed with this information, you, the adept administrator, can take steps to eliminate the redundant logicals and their duplicate paths, thereby freeing up expensive disk space, CPW, and I/O resources for more pertinent uses.
Alternatively, you can employ DBO to automatically perform the changes recommended by DBA. DBO works by recreating logical files to ensure optimal sharing of access paths, thereby minimizing the use of disk space and I/O and CPW resources.
In their strongest pairing, DBA and DBO are both used on a regular basis to ensure that the database doesn’t become unwieldy. Or, users can use DBA on a stand-alone basis, and manually implement the changes it recommends. However, if DBO is going to be used, it must also have DBA for the analysis segment.
But the best part of the new DBO and DBA offerings are their prices: $1,500 for DBA, and $1,000 for DBO. That is considerably less than other DB2/400 optimization tools on the market. For more information, visit www.industrial-strength.com.