Inside IBM Insight 2014: See How Clients Are Revolutionizing Their Business With DB2

cassieBy Cassandra Desens
IBM Software Group, Information Management  

This will be my second year at Insight and I must say, it is my favorite time of the work year. As frenzied and busy as the planning is, the return on intangible investments is worth it. Ask anyone – after just a few short days in Vegas you walk away with a renewed sense of excitement around IBM, its products, lots of free stuff, and usually a head cold  (I’m no doctor, but casinos are definitely germ incubators).

Last year I was amazed at the hundreds of events and opportunities the conference presented by customers. Demos, a city-sized EXPO floor, labs, 1-on-1s, both large general & breakout sessions,  product specific & networking events…the list goes on and on. There are so many different ways to spend your short week with us at Mandalay Bay. The question is – what will you choose to attend?
Allow me to suggest the client-led sessions.

As I said in my last blog entry, Balluff loves BLU Acceleration too: “Hearing customer stories puts our product claims into perspective. Success stories give us the ultimate answer to the elusive question “How does this relate to me and my business?”.”

There is nothing that gets me more excited than hearing how a customer was able to revolutionize their business with DB2 for Linux, UNIX and Windows, so today I want to recommend 5 Insight2014 sessions for you to attend to hear the way companies around the world are leveraging DB2. I encourage you to weave these into your busy schedule next week. I promise you won’t be disappointed!

1) IWA-4145A: Keeping Data Analysts in the Pink: IBM DB2 with BLU Acceleration on Power System at BlueCross BlueShield of TN
Date & Time: Monday October 27th, from 2:00-3:00pm
Speakers: Randy Wilson Lead DB2 for LUW DBA at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee, and Danny Arnold, Software Client Leader at IBM
Abstract: When BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee (BCBS of TN) data analysts ran certain queries, the queries did not run in a timely manner and took hours to complete. In need of a solution, the company decided to test the IBM DB2 10.5 with BLU Acceleration technology. The initial results were astounding, showing queries completing in just seconds, not hours. The company then installed DB2 10.5 with BLU Acceleration on a large test environment on the IBM POWER7 system. It worked with its data analyst team of IBM Cognos and SAS users to identify queries that could benefit from the BLU Acceleration technology. In this session, you learn about BCBS of TN’s experience with DB2 BLU and how it allows the company to make better business decisions.

2) IWS-5729A: IBM BLU Acceleration: Adoption Guidelines and Lessons Learned at Coca-Cola Bottling Company

Date & Time: Monday October 27th, from 3:30-4:30pm
Speakers: Andrew Juarez, Lead SAP Basis DBA at Coca-Cola Bottling Co., and Naresh Chainani, DB2 Development at IBM
IBM DB2 with BLU Acceleration can provide performance improvements that range from 10 times to 25 times and beyond for analytical queries with minimal tuning. If you are eager to understand how your business can take advantage of this technology for your warehouse or data marts, attend this session. You learn how quick and easy it is to get started with BLU. You see a specific real-world example based on the Coca Cola Bottling Company’s experience with DB2 BLU, from installation to performance tests. You also see how DB2 BLU fits into the SAP BW environment.
3) IWS-5338B: Why the University of Toronto Loves BLU: Faster, Smaller, and Simpler in Only a Few Hours
Date & Time: Tuesday October 28th, 10:00-11:00am
Speakers: Brenda Boshoff, Senior Database Administrator at University of Toronto, and Adam Storm, Senior Technical Staff Member and Master Inventor at IBM
Abstract: It’s not every day that a new database technology promises revolutionary performance gains, improved compression and radically reduced time to value. It’s even less often that such aggressive claims can be validated by customers. This session takes you through the adoption cycle of IBM BLU Acceleration at the University of Toronto. You learn how an aggressive one-day proof of concept achieved dramatic performance gains in less than three hours. You gain insight into the process of taking BLU Acceleration through the QA cycle and into production. If you’re considering moving to BLU Acceleration, attend this session to see how the University of Toronto successfully adopted the technology in its environment and achieved dramatic results.

4) IWS-5787A: Simplify your SAP Landscape – Superior SAP BI Performance @ Yazaki with DB2 BLU
Date & Time
: Wednesday October 29th from 11:15-12:15pm
Speakers: Juergen Laudien, Infrastructure Manager at Yazaki Europe, Bernd Ertl, Competitive Sales Lead at IBM, Karsten Stoehr, Competitive Database Sales Specialist at IBM, Carsten Dieterle, SAP Infrastructure Solution Architects (SOLAR) – SAP Growth Program at IBM
Abstract:The topic is about simplifying your SAP BW landscape by taking SAP BWA and HANA appliances out of the IT infrastructure and replace it with DB2 BLU instead of SAP HANA – Many DB2 clients have done this. They have gained their experiences in proof of concepts as well as in production environments which prove, that DB2 BLU needs up to 85% less cores/storage/RAM compared to SAP BWA or HANA appliances. This huge amount of HW savings and the reduced SW license costs allow clients to run their business faster and more efficient on DB2 BLU.

5) IDB-4606A: Ameriprise Financial’s Deployment Experiences with IBM DB2 High Availability Disaster Recovery
Date & Time: Wednesday October 29th from 4:30-5:45pm
Speakers: Chip MicAllister, UDB Database Technical Lead at Ameriprise and Dale McInnis STSM: Chief Architect IM Cloud Availability
Abstract:  In this session, you learn about the high availability disaster recovery (HADR) feature in IBM DB2. Then, you will hear about Ameriprise Financial’s experience when deploying DB2 HADR in its production environment.

Safe travels everyone and see you soon!

Inside IBM Insight 2014: What You Need To Know About The dev@Insight Program


By Steven Miller
Data Maestro, Talent & Skills Ecosystem

Something new and interesting is taking place at IBM conferences this year.  Maybe you’ve noticed the dev@ events?  If not, let me tell you about dev@Insight.

IBM Insight is a meeting of minds for data and anaytics. Big data and analytics are necessary to help your team improve every decision, optimize every process, and inform every interaction.  dev@Insight is a developers and architect-specific program that takes place along-side the Insight conference to give you the know-how, skills, and best practices for you to harness this all-important data and analytics. This is your opportunity to build new skills, learn how to build serious mobile & cloud data driven applications, to get to know technology experts, and to network with peers.

Join the thousands of architects, scientists and practitioners who will share their insights, experience and expertise in more than 130 hands-on labs, sessions, workshops, Ignite® talks, hackathons and certifications.  Learn from leading data and analytics experts, work through technical exercises at your own pace, and explore innovative new technologies.

dev@Insight is open to everyone who attends Insight 2014 with a valid registration. 

For full details, click here.

The Sunday kick-off starts at 4:30pm. Monday’s night’s main event starts at 7pm. Wednesday night’s finale starts hosted by the Cloudant team starts at 5:30pm (registration required).  Beer will be served at the evening events.

Book your build consult or hands-on lab now:

20 Quick Tips for Making the Most of Your Time at IBM Insight

Melanie StopferBy Melanie Stopfer
Consulting Learning Specialist, Information Management, IBM
If you’ve been to as many conferences as I have, you’ll know that there are certain habits that you can follow with so much going on around you.  Here are my 20 tips to make life easier for you at IBM Insight 2014 taking place October 26 – 30.

Tip #1: Get organized! Build your agendas at IBM Insight Conference Connect Center.    Log in with the username and password given to you in the registration confirmation letter.  Download the mobile version so you can take your agenda with you.  If there are too many sessions for you to navigate through, be sure to read the blog entries to help you choose the best sessions.

Tip #2: Avoid lines! Pickup you IBM Insight badge in the Bayside Foyer Mandalay Bay CC South Level 1 as soon as you can.  They are open on Saturday from 10AM-9:30PM  and Sunday from 7:30AM-9:00PM.

Tip #3: New to IBM Insight? You can walk many miles during a conference. Wear comfortable shoes and your fitbit! #HighHeelsRNotYourFriend

Tip #4: Meet experts, grab coffee and schedule meetings in the IBM Business Partner Café at IBM Insight.  Sign up at the Cafe welcome desk.

Tip #5: Register for InsightGo and stay connected at IBM Insight.  This is a free interactive digital platform for virtual conference experience.  This can be used even by those not attending the conference this year!

Tip #6: Follow IBM Insight social media on Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+

Tip #7: Spend IBM Insight time at @StopHungerNow Expo Booth & package meals for malnourished kids. Register early.

Tip #8: Bring photo ID when pickup badge at IBM Insight registration. License, passport, or work ID required.  Your badge is GOLD – don’t lose it!

Tip #9: Interact, explore, network, kickback at InsightGO Lounge at IBM Insight. Contests, giveaways, video wall & charging stations!

Tip #10: For $30 take Test C2090-311:  IBM DB2 10.5 DBA for LUW Upgrade from DB2 10.1 at the IBM Insight Certification Testing Center.

Tip #11: read Susan Visser’s blog to prepare for Certification Exams at IBM Insight.

Tip #12: Read IBM Insight Navigation, Tips, & Hints by Ember Crook.

Tip #13; Kick off IBM Insight right! Network & preview wide-ranging technology exhibits at Grand EXPO Welcome Reception, Sun. 6:00-8:30 PM.

Tip #14: Get grounded on what technology is hot at IBM Insight EXPO Theater.

Tip #15: Take charge of your career at #WIT panel. Learn how executives manage careers. Networking reception follows.

Tip #16: Baby it’s cold in there! Pack a sweater, wrap or jacket for IBM Insight. #MeatLockerTemps

Tip #17: Networking opportunities galore at IBM Insight. Pack a lot of business cards, get out there & mingle at EXPO, receptions & lunches.

Tip #18: Meet an author!  17 books are featured this year at IBM Insight with either a book signing, giveaway or both: Book Signings and Giveaways at IBM Insights 2014

Tip #19: Have fun at a No Doubt Concert!  Join us for Tuesday night’s special event featuring No Doubt!   No Doubt has won two Grammy Awards and five MTV Video Music Awards, launched international sold-out tours and were invited to perform for Paul McCartney and the President at the annual Kennedy Center Honors in 2010.

Tip #20: Get inspired!  Attend the general sessions to hear from Keynote speakers: Kevin Spacey, Captain Richard Phillips, Grant Imahara, and Terry Jones.

Mastering the DB2 10.1 Certification Exam – Part 2: Security

It’s hard to argue against the benefits of becoming a DB2 Certified Professional. Aside from gaining a better understanding of DB2, it helps keep you up to date with the latest versions of the product.  It also gives you professional credentials that you can put on your resume to show that you know what you say you know.

But many people are reluctant to put in the time and effort it takes to prepare for the exams. Some just don’t like taking tests, others don’t feel they have the time or money to prepare. That’s where we come in – the DB2 team has put together a great list of resources to help you conquer the certification exams.

We caught up with Anas Mosaad and Mohamed El-Bishbeashy who are part of the DB2 team to that developed the DB2 10.1 Fundamentals Certification Exam 610 Prep – a 6 part tutorial series aimed at helping DBA’s prepare for the certification exam.

What products are focused on in this tutorial?

In this tutorial we’ve focused completely on DB2 10.1 LUW

Tell us a little about what students can hope to learn about in this tutorial?

It is the second in a series of six tutorials designed to help you prepare for the DB2 Fundamentals Exam (610). It puts in your hands all the details needed to successfully pass security related question in the exam. It introduces the concepts of authentication, authorization, privileges, and roles as they relate to DB2 10.1. It also introduces granular access control and trusted contexts.

Why should a DBA be interested in this certification?

IBM professional certifications are recognized world wide, so you will get recognized! In addition, this one is the first milestone in the advanced DB2 certification paths (development, DBA and advanced DBA). It acknowledges that you are knowledgeable about the fundamental concepts of DB2 10.1. It shows that you have an in-depth knowledge of the basic to intermediate tasks required in day-to-day administration, basic SQL (Structured Query Language), understand which additional products are available with DB2 10.1, understand how to create databases and database objects, and have a basic knowledge of database security and transaction isolation.

Do have any special tips?

Absolutely, here are a few of our favorite tips for preparing for the certification exam:

  • Practice with DB2
  • If you don’t have access to DB2, download the fully functional DB2 Express-C for free
  • Read the whole tutorial before taking the exam
  • Be a friend of DB2 Knowledge Center (formerly infocenter)
  • When in doubt, don’t hesitate, post and collaborate in the forums.

For more information:

DB2 10.1 fundamentals certification exam 610 prep, Part 2: DB2 security

For the entire series of tutorials for Exam 610 DB2 Fundamentals, include the following:
Part 1: Planning
Part 2: DB2 security
Part 3: Working with databases and database objects
Part 4: Working with DB2 Data using SQL
Part 5: Working with tables, views, and indexes
Part 6: Data concurrency

About the authors:
Anas MosaadAnas Mosaad, a DB2 solutions migration consultant with IBM Egypt, has more than eight years of experience in the software development industry. He is a member of IBM’s Information Management Technology Ecosystem Team focusing on enabling and porting customer, business partner, and ISV solutions to the IBM Information Management portfolio, which includes DB2, Netezza, and BigInsights. Anas’ expertise includes portal and J2EE, database design, tuning, and database application development.

Mohamed El-BishbeashyMohamed El-Bishbeashy is an IM specialist for IBM Cairo Technology Development Center (C-TDC), Software Group. He has 12+ years of experience in the software development industry (8 of those are with IBM). His technical experience includes application and product development, DB2 administration, and persistence layer design and development. Mohamed is an IBM Certified Advanced DBA and IBM Certified Application Developer. He also has experience in other IM areas including PureData Systems for Analytics (Netezza), BigInsights, and InfoSphere Information server.

Learn How to Accelerate Social Media Analytics at IBM Insight 2014

Are you going to the IBM Insight 2014 Conference in Las Vegas next week?  If yes, then come to our session IDB-4741C: Accelerate Social Media Analytics for Big Insight with IBM DB2 BLU and IBM InfoSphere Optim Database Tools to learn how businesses can provide fast response times, be competitive, and effectively use social media analytics insights for better customer service.  This session will take place on Mon Oct 27 ( 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. ).

In this session, you learn how the right combination of technologies can help accelerate a social media analytics application, hosted on SoftLayer, with comprehensive reports and fast response. This mix includes IBM Cognos Business Business Intelligence, IBM DB2 BLU, IBM InfoSphere BigInsights, InfoSphere Optim Performance Manager and InfoSphere Optim Query Workload Tuner.

Consider also attending these related sessions:

Lakshmi Palaniappan is a Senior Software Engineer at the IBM Silicon Valley Lab in San Jose, CA.
Jothi Subramani is a Senior developer in IBM Social Media Analytics.
Thuan Bui is a software architect working with OPM.

Roger Sanders: Previewing the DB2 Sessions at IBM Insight 2014

rogerBy Roger E. Sanders
Senior Consultant, Software Engineer

As a DB2 professional, there are two major events I look forward to each year – the International DB2 User’s Group North America conference and the IBM Insight (formerly Information On Demand) conference. And this year, I’m really excited about the IBM Insight 2014 conference.

Why? Well, for one thing, I have a new book out and I will be autographing copies outside the bookstore, right after the opening session on Monday morning. Writing is a solitary, lonely activity. And until others have read your work and commented on it, writing is an activity that is essentially done in a void. At book signing events, I have the rare opportunity to meet some of my readers and solicit their input on things I have written in the past. By finding out what readers like and (what they don’t), I can improve my skills as a technical writer.

For more information on the book signings taking place at the conference, see Book Signings and Giveaways at IBM Insights 2014.

But the conference is much more than just an opportunity to sign books. It is also an opportunity to hear technical presentations from many of the IBM Distinguished Engineers who are responsible for the development and testing of the DB2 software. This year, I’m looking forward to hearing about the latest features and functionality that can be found in the “Cancun” release of DB2 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows (DB2 10.5, FixPack 4).

I’ve read many of the product announcements and I have participated in a couple of webinars, but after attending some of the sessions being offered, I expect to come home with a burning desire to get some hands-on experience with some of the new features I will learn more about.

Finally, I’m looking forward to seeing many old friends. I’ve been attending both conferences regularly for over a decade and it seems like I meet new people every year. Consequently, each conference now feels like a family reunion. And after a day of trying to absorb a lot of technical information, spending time at the evening activities catching up with old friends is a great way to relax and wind down.

Here are some of the DB2 sessions that I am looking forward to attending:

I’ve made my travel arrangements, created a conference agenda, and have started packing my bags. Hope to see you at the IBM Insights 2014 conference next week!

DB2Night Show Recap – An In-Depth Look at DB2 10.5 “Cancun Release”

Fans of the DB2Night show were treated to a great program on Friday as IBM Champions Scott Hayes and Iqbal Goralwalla talked in-depth about DB2 10.5 “Cancun Release”.

Iqbal has been testing the release since it was available and shared a wealth of knowledge with the audience, including topics on combining transactional workloads with analytics, transactional workloads, BLU shadow tables, and recommendations on how registery variables need to be set in order to get the desired performance effects.

If you didn’t get the chance to join us Friday, you can catch a replay of the show on the DB2Night website by clicking here.  And you can also see a recap of our live tweets from the show on the IBM DB2 Storify.

Must See at IBM Insight 2014 – DB2 HADR with pureScale in SAP Systems

aliBy Ali Mehedi
SAP DB2 Integration and Support

We’re less than a week away from IBM Insight 2014, and although I’m not going to Vegas, I’m still very excited about some of the session offerings being taught by a few of my colleagues from the IBM and SAP worldwide joint development team.

As you probably already know DB2 10.5 supports High Availability Disaster Recovery (HADR) on a pureScale environment. How exciting is that! It was our team’s responsibility to test and certify the feature for SAP environment. DB2 10.5 “Cancun Release” was certified for SAP on October 17th and is now available to customers.

I have had the privilege to work with my colleagues Catherine Vu and Edgar Maniago on a white paper on HADR on pureScale environment for SAP which can be found here. Some of the items from the paper will be presented in the Hands on Lab Session “LCI-5110A: Study of HADR with DB2 pureScale in SAP Systems“.

It is exciting to finally see the fruits of our labor being presented to customers on a big event such as IBM Insight.

DB2 HADR for pureScale with SAP is a complex environment involving multiple clusters of Application Servers as well as Database Servers but we made it surprisingly easy to setup and monitor. It will be exciting to see our customer’s reaction and get feedback about their hands on lab experience.

Other SAP related sessions you may wish to attend include:

Several Reasons for DB2 pureScale Users To Be Excited About IBM Insight

KellySchlambBy Kelly Schlamb
Executive IT Specialist, WW Information Management Technical Sales
DB2 pureScale & PureData System for Transactions Specialist, Competitive Insight


When I tell my friends I’ll be going to Vegas for IBM Insight, there’s a bit of eye rolling along with a sarcastic “yeah, sounds like hard work… say hi to the blackjack dealer for me”. But while there are some fun events associated with the conference (a No Doubt concert, evening receptions, and keynotes involving Kevin Spacey and Grant Imahara from Mythbusters) it is really about the “work”, and in my case it’s helping evangelize DB2 pureScale and other great DB2 technologies (and as odd as it might seem to some, I do actually find this fun as well).

For those of you attending — or still on the fence trying to decide whether it’s worth going or not (hint: it is!) — I’d like to quickly highlight some of the pureScale-related sessions that you will be able to attend while there (among hundreds of other ones). The first two below are mine, but overall there’s a good mix of IBM speakers (giving you insight and behind the scenes info on how things work that you won’t hear anywhere else), as well as DB2 pureScale users who are going to talk about their personal experiences and how they’re using pureScale to meet their high availability, scalability, and performance demands.  I’ve got them all on my own personal agenda and I’m looking forward to seeing them.

IDB-4158A: A DB2 Database Administrator’s Guide to pureScale
IDB-4159B: IBM DB2 pureScale: Highlights of New Features and Enhancements in DB2 10.5 (Including Fix Packs and the DB2 Cancun Release)
IDB-4335A: Reducing the Data Center Footprint and Improving Service Level Agreement with IBM DB2 pureScale
IDB-5158A: Best Practices of Implementing IBM DB2 pureScale with a High Availability Disaster Recovery Solution
IDB-5361A: IBM DB2 pureScale Now: Optimizing Your SAP Availability and Scalability with Ease
LCI-5110A: Study of HADR with DB2 pureScale in SAP Systems

If you are going to Insight, safe travels and stop by one of my sessions to say hi. Take care.

Mastering the DB2 10.1 Certification Exam – Part 1: Planning

Norberto Gasparotto Filho is a database specialist with more than 10 years of experience with database administration and is the author of the DB2 10.1 fundamentals certification exam 610 prep, Part 1: Planning.

He was the winner of the first edition of “DB2’s Got Talent” contest in 2011. He also worked as programmer using a variety of technologies, and has certifications in both programming and database administration areas. In his blog (“Insights on DB2 LUW database admin, programming and more”), Norberto shares lessons learned in the day-to-day database administration work, tips and knowledge. During his spare time, Norberto likes to run, ride a bike and have fun with his kids and wife. Learn more in Norberto’s profile in the developerWorks community.

We caught up with him to ask him and asked him about the tutorial and what he feels are the most important takeaways for DB2 professionals looking to become certified:

Q) What products are discussed in this tutorial?
DB2 10.1 for Linux, Unix and Windows and some related tools like Data Studio – with mentions to DB2 for the z/OS world as well.

Q) What problem does it solve?
If you don’t have an entry-level certification in DB2, this tutorial should really help you! The Part 1 (Planning) tutorial covers everything in the Planning set of questions – so read it carefully! Along with information about the different distributions of DB2 and their features, you’ll know specifics about Data Studio, CLPPlus and other tools, notions about Data Warehouse/OLTP workloads and much more. Of course, you have to study all the tutorials in the series to be completely prepared for the test.

Q) Why should DB2 professionals be interested in getting certification?
When you need to buy something, don’t you prefer to have a product that has an endorsement? Like buying shoes or any sports goods, those that have ads with famous athletes endorsing usually catch your eye more easily than others, isn’t it?

The same happens to professionals and their certifications. When you have one or more certifications, companies that are looking for candidates will prefer YOU. With your DB2 certification, IBM will be endorsing you… How fancy is that? :)

Q) Do have any special tips?

  • Don’t limit your studying to just the tutorials. Nothing can replace hands-on experience.
  • Pay attention to which version of DB2 you are studying for and make sure it aligns with the test you are taking. We are talking about v10.1, even though v10.5 has already been released. The exam questions were written before new features of DB2 10.5 were introduced (and even before new features of latest fix packs of v10.1 were released).
  • When taking the exam, don’t spend much time analyzing or thinking about a specific question. If you are unsure, chose your answer (never leave it blank) and mark the question for review (then if you have time at the end, you can back to it and think more – maybe after answering other questions you’ll find tips for answering it).
  • After you’ve completed and passed the exam – let the world know about your accomplishment! Spread the word via social media (your LinkedIn profile, Twitter, Facebook, and of course, add it to your CV). IBM has a website where you can make public your list of certifications. Just go through (Member Site / My Profile / Public Profile Information). The information is updated automatically, and you can add your picture and more info about yourself – like links to your LinkedIn/Twitter profiles and more. Take a look at mine:

To see the entire tutorial, visit the link below:

DB2 10.1 fundamentals certification exam 610 prep, Part 1: Planning


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