Contributed by Daniel Nussbaummueller
We are living in the age where data is one of an organization’s most important assets. Companies want the ability to deliver the right information to the right people at the right time. Being agile and applying predictive analytics is the key to the insights needed to grow business so that it remains at a peak competitive edge. But nevertheless many database administrators waste their time with administrative tasks that could be made autonomic. So the question is - is this maintenance work that was set up years ago still relevant today or is there a way to make your business even more efficient?
Here's what you need to know about what autonomics in database management actually is, how it works in general and especially why it is so important for today’s business:
1. The mainframe skills gap becomes an ever-growing problem
According to recent researches, on average, 70% of the data that feeds data warehousing and business analytics solution originates on the System z platform and even 80% of transaction data originates from the mainframe in general. But although the mainframe is still one of the most important platforms to major companies, the number of people being able to control all of this growing data and complex environments is decreasing. So the Database Administrators (DBAs) and System Programmers must become more efficient to keep up with the demands of today’s work environment.
2. Many utility functions that may have been relevant back then are no longer relevant today
Most database administrators do not spend their time setting up batch schedules for new applications or modifying existing ones that can be years or decades old with many changes having taken place to utility jobs, hardware and the application itself. Those could include modifications that make the original environment that an application was developed in totally different from today’s environment, so also the maintenance requirements passed along may have changed or even were not accurate from the start.
3. Autonomics can reduce unnecessary jobs and repetitive tasks
The continued growth and change of the IT industry demands that we automate many of the functions that are now performed by humans, both to save cost and time, and to penetrate new markets. Autonomics can help IT staff reduce think time for repetitive tasks and also analyze the environment in order to run only what is needed when it is needed, prioritizing critical applications and reducing the CPU utilization for several maintenance jobs.
4. Once the autonomics is established, it should manage itself without human interaction
With Autonomics in place, the expected approach is to define all the objects, utilities and maintenance windows once while the autonomics itself would deliver better system behavior, choosing and prioritizing what to run, analyzing maintenance windows and workloads and deciding when to run. So once the autonomics is set up, it should be able to self-regulate, including the ability to self-configure, self-optimize, self-protect as well as self-heal without the intervention of the DBA.
5. IBM DB2 Utilities Solution Pack introduces autonomic capabilities in DB2 Utilities execution
DB2 Autonomics is the IBM solution to solve these business problems and leverage a smarter way to manage DB2 Utilities and Maintenance Windows. Its focus is to automate the routine collection and simple analysis of data, the obvious decision based off this analysis and the straight-forward execution of these decisions.
If you would like to see additional materials on how autonomics in database management works in detail and how to implement such a solution, see the IBM Redbooks publication Modernize Your DB2 for z/OS Maintenance with Utility Autonomics.