Tuesday, September 2, 2014

New DB2 Cancun Release (Version 10.5 Fixpack 4) offers many enhancements

The fixpack 4 for DB2 10.5 is available since end of last week. Because it has an unusually long list of product enhancements and new features the fixpack even has the codename or nickname "Cancun Release". For those of you not too familiar with Northern American vacation culture, CancĂșn is a favorite vacation/tourist destination in Mexico, located at the Carribean Sea. So "Cancun Release" may suggest relaxation, recreation, and a dream come true because of ease of use, simplification and major performance enhancements for the DB2 in-memory database feature (BLU Acceleration), the broadened pureScale support, and other nice to haves.

A good start for approaching the new DB2 Cancun release is the fixpack summary in the Knowledge Center. It lists new features by category, my personal highlights are:
  • For the in-memory database support (referred to as "column-organized tables" and known as "BLU Acceleration" some bigger items include so-called shadow table to improve analytic queries in an OLTP environment, lifting of several DDL restrictions, and major performance improvement by adding CHAR and VARCHAR columns to the synopsis table. An in-memory database can be made highly available with the HADR feature.
  • DB2 pureScale clusters can be deployed in virtualized environments (VMware ESXi, KVM), on low-cost solutions without the RDMA requirement, and geographically dispersed cluster (2 data centers) can be implemented on AIX, Red Hat, SuSE with just RoCE as requirement.
  • As part of the SQL compatibility DB2 now supports string length definitions by characters, not just by bytes as before.
  • Installation of DB2 in so-called thin server instances.
  • A SECADM can enforce encryption of backups.
  • db2audit can be used to transfer audit records to syslog for simpler analyzation with, e.g., Splunk.
  • db2look has been improved to generate the CREATE DATABASE statement and export the configuration (see my earlier blog article on that db2look improvement in DB2 10.1).
  • Official support for POWER8.
I plan to blog about some of the new functionality over the next weeks. Until then you can take a look at the new items yourself. Fixpacks can be downloaded from this IBM support website. If you have an IBM Bluemix account or plan to create one, you can use the improved DB2 as part of the Bluemix Analytics Warehouse service. Check out my earlier post about how to set it up and connect to it using a local DB2CLP.

Last but not least: What is your favorite vacation destinations? Suggest new codenames as comment and don't forget new DB2 features you want to see...