Contributed by Daniel Nussbaummueller
There have been many changes in the past 25 years in our IT world that have led to the need for autonomics in our database environment, especially in DB2 on z/OS. But while always talking about the solutions, the question arises – how do you actually implement them?
Each company may have different priorities which dictate the order of the implementation steps. Company A may need to apply intelligence to their reorg utilities as their top priority while Company B may need to address utility standards because of the impending retirement of the support person for their homegrown DB2 utility generator. Regardless of the order in which you start, IBM provides the software for a comprehensive autonomic environment that addresses the business problems that most companies face: limited expertise, greater application availability, or the need to control costs by moving work to off peak hours.
Here we will show you how to move from the traditional steps into a modernized autonomic environment, by implementing an active strategy for your DB2 Maintenance Tasks, following these five steps:
Step 1: Collect the metrics and related statistics for utility maintenance
First of all, you have to collect all relevant statistical data on your DB2 objects. This data can be used to filter out objects that are physically disorganized. Your goal is to execute run maintenance by exception and filter out wasting of resources attributed to running of utilities. IBM provides two DB2 stored procedures that collects statistics about objects we have defined via a profile and will generate an alert if the statistics exceed criteria, placing the alert into a table, and performs the RUNSTATS for your optimizer needs.
Step 2: Group your objects
Grouping your DB2 objects can be achieved in several ways. DB2 Automation Tool provides a function called Object Profiles which provides more flexibility and functions for object grouping – called Object Profiles. Using these Object Profiles, you can include objects on which you want to run utilities, as well as exclude objects that you want the utilities to ignore. Object Profiles are similar to DB2 TEMPLATEs. They allow table spaces and index spaces to be chosen for processing in much the same way.
Step 3: Create exceptions and thresholds for utilities
The next step to implement an active autonomic strategy is to run all your maintenance by exception filtering. The DB2 Automation Tool provides a function called the Exception Profile. This definition contains the conditions under which users want to run utilities. When combined with Object Profiles and Utility Profiles, the Exception Profiles act as a filter against the objects specified in the Object Profile.
Step 4: Build optimized utility JCL and jobs
Before execution, first you have to build the optimized utility JCLs and jobs. Regarding this, Job Profiles are used to connect the different profiles which are created in the DB2 Automation Tool. A Job Profile is the master profile and associates all the profiles - Utility Profiles, Object Profiles, and Exception Profiles - together. The combined profiles, which are headed by the Job Profile, form the basis of a DB2 Automation Tool task. We can submit this task manually or schedule it by using the DB2 administration task.
Step 5: Execute the jobs in a predefined maintenance window
Today, a typical maintenance strategy has pre-defined jobs in a job scheduler. These jobs are run in maintenance widows weekly, monthly and quarterly. With the Autonomics Framework, you can leverage your own batch scheduler for spawning evaluation jobs as well as starting the Autonomics Director procedure at any time during your maintenance window.
After following these steps, transforming your passive into an active autonomic environment, the corrective actions are taken automatically by the system – i.e. monitoring and analyzing the related metrics to pro-actively make recommendations and even execute them. These are tasks typically done by a DBA. With these automated basic administration tasks you give DBAs freedom to work on higher business value tasks. And more important they do not rely on old, homegrown processes which are difficult to maintain and keep up with new DB2 versions.
And how about you - have you already moved from passive to active strategy in your environment? What benefits have you seen? Tell us which experiences you gained regarding the change process.
For more information see the IBM Redbooks publication Modernize Your DB2 for z/OS Maintenance with Utility Autonomics.