Information Management Academic Community Updates
PatFletcher 060001U06U Tags:  data magazine academic free initiative ai management dm complimentary 1,713 Visits
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PatFletcher 060001U06U Tags:  university academic management db2 information education initiative informix databases 2 Comments 1,536 Visits
Welcome to the Information Management Academic Community Updates for Faculty Blog!
I would like to use this blog to post interesting information relevant to the academic community. Please feel free to comment and let's discuss things further! The IM Academic Community Marketing team is really interested in hearing your views about what you are seeing and hearing from your vantage point, whether that be as a university professional or a student or a business leader or an IBMer. Let us know where you see needs and we will work together to help out.
We will also use this forum to post interesting profiles of Young Professionals doing interesting real-world projects using IBM technology to learn what they are finding valuable in their early careers and what helped them get to their current positions in the first place.
Today, let me point you to this interesting study by the IBM Institute for Business Value: http://www-931.ibm.com/tela/webmail/Newsletter/7486/22705
The Strategy and Change Section points us to a report: Inheriting a Complex World It can be downloaded for the complete version.
Both CEOs and current student leaders were interviewed about what future leaders will need to be successful in our complex world. Several points jumped out at me.
- Today's current CEOs talked about creativity and and adventurous spirit being very critical. This seems to be SO important, yet often overlooked while trying to ensure that a high amount of knowledge and skills are imparted to our students in always too short a time.
- Both CEOs and students also noted how important the correct analysis of trends is/will be. CEOs noted this relative to operational dexterity and students comment on making decisions using more data. Will databases have been around for a long time now, their importance continues to grow. As does the amount data to be analyzed. Students need a strong knowledge of database fundamentals to understand how data can be managed and what capabilities are possible with data analysis. IBM has a large portfolio of data analysis products and tools. Let's work together to use these tools to teach students what they need to learn to be successful for their future.
PatFletcher 060001U06U Tags:  im initiative db2 management profile darshan ai ypp information academic 1 Comment 3,870 Visits
Young professionals building successful careers using IBM Information Management products
Darshan Vaishnav: DB2 for Linux, Unix and Windows Young Professional
Darshan Vaishnav was born and raised in
This inspired Darshan to begin certification training on DB2 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows (LUW). He found the database product extremely interesting as well as easy to use. He earned his IBM Certified Database Administrator for DB2 on LUW V8.1 certification in 2004. Darshan worked as a consultant at several Fortune 500 companies before he moved to his current company, Marriott International, about 2 years ago. At Marriott, an industry leader in the hospitality industry, Darshan works as a senior database analyst in support of the Marriott.com website, where customers make business and personal lodging plans online.
Typical day of a database analyst
Darshan supports the main production database for the Marriott.com website. He carefully checks and validates any proposed structural or functional changes to the database before the changes go live in the production database. He ensures that the changes will not harm currently used databases or processes.
Darshan also teams with other Marriott database application developers and testers to ensure they have proper authorization for their projects in the test, development and production databases that he owns. He must ensure, however, that they do not gain any level of access beyond their functional role.
Other daily activities include ongoing database maintenance tasks such as ensuring critical daily backups are successful and monitoring and adjusting database space usage.
Darshan is often called upon to offer suggestions about performance tuning issues, such as adding indexes, changing database parameters and modifying existing queries. Another critical task he owns is ensuring his databases are ready for potential disaster recovery situations.
Technical challenges Darshan faces on the job
Marriott.com is a highly visible asset of Marriott International as well as a very high volume website. Darshan must ensure that his databases are maintained to a high set of standards and that they are ready for any jump in traffic. The main challenges he has faced were ensuring that the databases were tuned to avoid locking problems while at the same time providing enough concurrency for various applications while also keeping daily maintenance jobs running smoothly. In addition, he must ensure that the nightly data refreshes to the production database are successful and performed on time. Darshan and his peer DBA also ensure the best query performance by making sure that all tables have current statistics information and that the tables are available at any point in time.
Interesting application of the DB2 database
Darshan makes maximum use of DB2 LUW's maintenance utilities. He is an avid believer that DB2 has fantastic maintenance strategies in their Runstats and Reorg commands. He created scripts to update statistics every day and performs reorgs every week. He explains how he also makes use of the aliases capability in the DB2 product, “An alias is a pointer used for an actual table and we used it in some special manner such that, when some maintenance is happening, there is no outage required and all important tables have the best possible performance.”
His largest accomplishment in his career to date Darshan is very proud that his knowledge and support for the Marriott website databases has helped successfully maintain high availability over the last two years. Darshan is also proud of an earlier project he accomplished prior to starting at Marriott International. The task was to convert databases at several hundred stores from Sybase to DB2 UDB. He carefully crafted several custom scripts and a set of steps to migrate the data. The migration occurred very effectively and accurately due to his skill and diligence on that project. Advice to peers pursuing a similar career path Positive impact Darshan's work has on Marriott customers Darshan understands the importance of staying current with additional database training, and he has also completed his "IBM Certified Database administrator for DB2 V9" certification. This allows him to understand the ongoing feature additions to DB2 LUW and implement the appropriate ones for his databases. This dedication to his company and to his skill development makes Darshan an outstanding example of a successful DB2 Young Professional!
Darshan is very proud that his knowledge and support for the Marriott website databases has helped successfully maintain high availability over the last two years.
Darshan is also proud of an earlier project he accomplished prior to starting at Marriott International. The task was to convert databases at several hundred stores from Sybase to DB2 UDB. He carefully crafted several custom scripts and a set of steps to migrate the data. The migration occurred very effectively and accurately due to his skill and diligence on that project.
Advice to peers pursuing a similar career pathDarshan believes it is important for all database administrators to also have some understanding of the operating system where the database resides and how the database interacts with the operating system. With this knowledge, he describes the ease of learning DB2, "IBM's DB2 is less complicated than other database management systems. It is easy to learn and easy to get certified. The database is very responsive, very fast, and very efficient."
Positive impact Darshan's work has on Marriott customersDarshan is very dedicated to maintaining the Marriott.com website and keeping it available for customers at all times. Darshan explains how he has made a positive impact on his customer's overall experience with Marriott.com. "I feel that when I work with the back end as a DBA, the front end (the Marriott.com website) gets better; the front end gets smoother. People can come on my website and book their trip very easily, without any issues and very fast. And they can get on with their lives. If it starts with a really good experience with my website, obviously they’ll be happy. So that makes me feel really very good."
Darshan understands the importance of staying current with additional database training, and he has also completed his "IBM Certified Database administrator for DB2 V9" certification. This allows him to understand the ongoing feature additions to DB2 LUW and implement the appropriate ones for his databases. This dedication to his company and to his skill development makes Darshan an outstanding example of a successful DB2 Young Professional!
Glad to report on a new Informix Redbook: IBM Informix Developer's Handbook: http://www.redbooks.ibm.com/redpieces/abstracts/sg247884.html
It's a great guide to the many different interfaces for application development on Informix. It covers Java, ESQL/C, OLE DB, .NET, PHP, Ruby on Rails, DataBlade®, and Hibernate. Check it out!
PatFletcher 060001U06U Tags:  ibm informix im initiative management academic ids ypp database information 2,251 Visits
Young professionals building successful careers using IBM Information Management products
Alexandre Marini – Informix DBA improving database performance in Brazil
Meet Alexandre Marini, an Informix Database Administer working in
He currently works at the Local State Financial Department of Mato Grosso do Sul (Secretaria da Fazenda do MS). Read below to learn more about Alexandre’s role maintaining the government database systems and some of the technical challenges he faces on the job.
Typical day for a database administrator
As a database administrator, Alexandre is responsible for operating two types of systems for the MS government. The Informix-based OLTP (Online Transaction Processing) systems manage the daily transactions for tax documents in the state. These databases are integrated with the larger Brazilian national tax system. They are also connected into the mail system and aid in preventing tax evasion. Alexandre manages eight instances of the OLTP environment.
Alexandre also manages one instance of an OLAP (Online Analytical Processing) database. This instance is optimized for handling Decision Support System (DSS) queries that generate supervisory and executive management reports. The OLAP database contains historical data from the OLTP system and other data sources that enable the government to observe longer term trends and analyze metrics to make better business decisions.
Technical challenges on the job
Alexandre works hard to keep his databases healthy and fully available for his customers. He continues to improve his skills as evidenced by completing two Informix professional certifications last May (Informix Dynamic Server 11.50 Fundamentals and System Administration for Informix Dynamic Server) He also stays current with new Informix features and functionality. These skills helped him solve a challenge when a disk space problem shrank the amount of available disk space to a critically low level. Alexandre implemented the Informix Storage Optimization feature to compress the data and shrink the amount of disk space required for the database. This enabled the database instance to be back up and running smoothly on the existing, smaller number of disks in no time.
- Informix just released an exciting new version, v11.7, in October 2010. Read more about this feature-rich release at http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/data/products/informix/.
- Two versions of the Informix product are available at no cost and can be downloaded from the web. You can learn more about all of the Informix versions at http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/data/library/techarticle/dm-0801doe/
- Faculty members who belong to IBM’s free Academic Initiative (http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/university/academicinitiative/) can also access free courseware covering Informix data topics as well as courseware covering Infosphere Data Architect and Data Studio.
Favorite aspect of the job
Alexandre loves the enthusiastic environment that surrounds his job and the atmosphere that encourages continued study and new technology skill growth. Alexandre describes his job environment, stating, “I’ve got great work friends here. We are always helping others, giving technical suggestions to help other teams improve their work quality and solve some of their problems.”
Alexandre is also very excited to be working with the Brazilian Informix User Group and increasing the visibility of this group within his work community.
Technical skills required on the job
The core computer science, database and operating system concepts Alexandre learned in school continue to be important for understanding and finding solutions to database management problems. He describes their importance, stating, “That gave me critical knowledge to recommend hardware and installation techniques to other teams, improving overall database performance.”
Why Informix over other databases?
During the acquisition period at the local state financial department in MS, the Informix family of products were highly recommended by other government bureaus in Pride in accomplishment Alexandre is proud of developing encrypted reports that prevent tax fraud. He is also proud to have implemented some Informix data replication features that improved the overall structure of the database system and lowered the amount of resources required to manage the database environment. Alexandre continues to improve his database skills and is looking forward to continue to work with big enterprises, implementing high availability on environments, partaking in systems migrations, and spreading Informix features and benefits throughout the marketplace over the next several years. Advice to peers pursuing a similar career path Alexandre would give the following advice to his peers, “Make an effort to thoroughly learn all the concepts; this will help to apply your knowledge into different areas of technology. Recommended Links
Pride in accomplishment
Alexandre is proud of developing encrypted reports that prevent tax fraud. He is also proud to have implemented some Informix data replication features that improved the overall structure of the database system and lowered the amount of resources required to manage the database environment.
Alexandre continues to improve his database skills and is looking forward to continue to work with big enterprises, implementing high availability on environments, partaking in systems migrations, and spreading Informix features and benefits throughout the marketplace over the next several years.
Advice to peers pursuing a similar career path
Alexandre would give the following advice to his peers, “Make an effort to thoroughly learn all the concepts; this will help to apply your knowledge into different areas of technology.