Keep on Learning


DB2 9 is a leading-edge hybrid data server that offers optimum storage, scalability, and availability. DB2 pureScale is a new technology primarily optimized for scale-out transactional processing clusters in an active-active manner. This succinct guide will show you how DB2 with pureScale can provide you transparent application scalability, the ability to deliver agile-like computing to your transaction systems, and extreme availability.


Want even more information about DB2 pureScale?  See the blog entry I wrote in August: More on DB2 pureScale.



BLU at IOD: Highlights from 2013

svisser1 Tags:  db2 ibmiod in-memory ibmblu 1 Comment 9,287 Views

This year's IOD conference was amazing!  Record crowds, lots of events, great people, and for the first time ever, our beloved product DB2 was front & center!  DB2 with BLU Acceleration is clearly a winner and you had no trouble learning about it at IOD: the whole conference was painted BLU!

I've put together this rather large slideshare to show you what I mean.  I presented these slides to the development team and the feedback was awesome.  Throughout the slides, I've added links that will allow you to "take" part in the event after the fact.  I link to free books that you can download, videos and blogs by our subject matter experts, and more.  I hope you enjoy the photos and the twitter messages I've added throughout.


You can reach the slideshare directly via via @SlideShare


Please share! 

PS... if you think I've missed something, let me know.  I'd be happy to add more links, photos, and information.



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Flashbook: IBM Cognos Analytics and Cloud Computing

svisser1 Tags:  cloud book signing iod2010 iodgc cognos 3 Comments 9,184 Views
IBM Cognos Analytics and Cloud Computing: Best Practices for Deploying Cognos Business Intelligence to the IBM Cloud

by Anant Jhingran, Stephan Jou, William Lee, Thanh Pham, Biraj Saha


This book introduces cloud computing, workloads in cloud computing, analytics as a service, and its implementation using Cognos Software and provides guidance and considerations for your cloud solution, such as “Where should the data be located” and “How many images should I create?”  Step-by-step instructions on how to install, configure, secure and test a Cognos Business Intelligence deployment in the IBM Cloud are provided to help you get to a point where you have a saved private instance to an image that you can then deploy in minutes on demand.

Learn how to graduate from single images to multiple images and more complicated topologies that are better suited for production workloads and how to secure your Cognos cloud solution.

More advanced topics include moving from a single image to multiple images, scalability and performance, and how to plan for scaling to ensure a high performing solution.  Finally, tip are provided to ensure that your Cognos BI cloud solution is highly available and handles failover scenarios.


All about IDUG DB2 Tech Conference - Anaheim

svisser1 Tags:  conference books db2 certification idug 2 Comments 9,155 Views

Friday on the DB2Night Show, host Scott Hayes invited Bryan Paulsen and Paul Turpin to talk about the upcoming IDUG conference:

  • Bryan Paulson, John Deere, Volunteer of IDUG – current chair
  • Paul Turpin – S1, Volunteer of IDUG - past chair

First thing to notice is that the name of the conference has changed.  It is now the IDUG DB2 Tech Conference.  They made the name change to help people get funding to attend the conference. 

The conference takes place May 2-6, in Anaheim California.  This is the first time an IDUG conference has taken place in Anaheim.  I attended IBM conferences there a few times and quite enjoyed the lovely weather and restaurants… as well as the nearby Disney Park.  (It is the best Disney park, in my opinion.)

Monday May 2 is a full day of education that costs an extra fee.  The idea is to have in depth education that will go to a much deeper level than is normal during the much shorter conference sessions.  There is the extra fee, but it is well worth the price.  There are 6 classes available for you to choose from:


The next four days, May 3-6 are for the 105 technical sessions.  The sessions are split across 7 tracks including: DB2 LUW, DB2 z/OS, and Application Development.  Speakers are in three categories: Users, Consultants, and IBM experts:

  • Users are DB2 professionals working in the field on DB2 on a daily basis.  This includes  DBAs, Application Developers, and more.  Some of the notable speakers this year include: Bryan Paulson, Alexander Kopac, Tony Andrews, and Suresh Sane.
  • Consultants are in the field selling education and services to the customers using DB2 and include Susan Lawson, David Buelke, Sheryl Larsen, and Fred Sobotka.
  • IBM experts are people from various roles in IBM including the Development Lab, Product Management, Education, and more: Terry Purcell, Matt Huras, Roger Miller, Matthias Nicola, Paul Zikopoulos, Melanie Stopfer, Kate Kurtz, and Leon Katsnelson.

I recognize every name listed above.  I think just about each of them has at one time or another earned Best Speaker awards.  I don’t think people will be nodding off in any of these sessions!

Jeff Jonas is this year’s keynote speaker.   His topic: “Sensemaking on Streams and What Makes Smart Systems Smart!”.  Jeff is one of the most interesting people who I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in the past few years.  He has much energy, enthusiasm and charisma all on top of his very high intelligence!  IBM bought the company that Jeff founded that helped casinos reduce fraud and Jeff decided to stay with IBM.  He travels the world talking to people including many very influential people.  You’ll be very energized after hearing Jeff speak and believe me, you’ll be searching the web to find out more about this fascinating person!

There are three spotlight sessions led by Jeff Josten, Berni Schiefer, and Curt Cotner.  Spotlight sessions are highlights of key technologies that will be discussed in depth throughout the week.

  • Jeff Josten - DB2 10 Technical Overview
  • Berni Schiefer – Saving Your Company Money with DB2 LUW
  • Curt Cotner – Application Development

As usual, there are also free certification exams.  This is how I first got to know IDUG, when I ran the certification program.  This year each attendee is allowed to take 3 exams for free.  That is a $600 value!  Make sure you study before you go to get the best value.  See an older blog entry I wrote for some Guidance: Certification 101.  For the exams that are available, see this website.

The Vendor Exhibit has more than 20 vendors that you can explore.  A fun event IDUG is doing to help you meet the vendors is the “Passport to Prizes”.  You need to visit certain vendors to get a stamp on your card.  The completed card is your ticket to a draw where you could win some cool prizes.  Believe me, the prizes are much better than the free stuff you may pick up!  One year a friend of mine won a Wii!   I don’t know what the prizes are this year, but it is fun to get the stamps and even more fun to win.  Good luck!

Vendor Solution Presentations (VSPs) are where vendors can showcase their suite of products.  Don’t think of VSPs as marketing pitches… but rather in depth talks about the solutions being offered by the vendor.  I see 16 sessions listed on the website!

Special Interest Groups (SIGs) are user community meetings where you can take part in discussions about successes, tips, and more with other users and subject matter experts. There are 10 SIGs scheduled.  See the website.


Besides what was mentioned already, there are four networking events set up:

  • Exhibit Hall Welcome.  This year the sponsor is DBI.
  • Networking Event

Dine Around sessions where you can have dinner with popular speakers at an interesting local restaurant  You pay for your own meal.  Know that this has become a very popluar event, so you should sign up as soon as you can.    Dine Around – look for the signup sheet immediately so you can get with your favourite speaker or restaurant OR signup on the web at this page.  The spots get filled really fast!

  • Bubba Gump Shrimp:
    • Group 1: Terry Purcell and Daniel Luksetich 
    • Group 2: Burt Vialpando and Rebecca Bond
  • California Pizza Kitchen:
    • Group 1: Judy Ruby Brown and Phil Grainger
    • Group 2: Chris Eaton and Scott Hayes
  • P.F. Chang’s:
    • Group 1: Bonnie Baker and Sheryl Larsen
    • Group 2: Roger Miller and John Campbell
  • Roy’s Hawaiian:
    • David Beulke and Craig Mullins

There are a few offers that you should be aware of.  

IDUG Mentor Program

If you’ve attended 3 or more conferences, you can sign up as a mentor and bring a new attendee at an 80% discount.


DB2Night show special offer $50 off conference fee for show attendees.  Listen to the replay of today’s show to get the details on how to get a discount.


Moderators are needed, so if you are interested in volunteering, your efforts will be very appreciated.


See some of my previous posts about IDUG, most notably the two guest entries by Rebecca Bond:

Rebecca Bond: IDUG NA – The Geeky Vacation!

Budgeting for IDUG North America conference as viewed by the DB2 Locksmith

IDUG = International DB2 User Group


I think tomorrow I’ll have a guest blog by a DB2 for z/OS DBA to help you choose appropriate sessions.



There won’t be a bookstore on site at this event.  Instead, order the books you need directly from the publisher at a discount.  Members of IDUG get 45% off IBM Press books.


I’m trying to work out a special deal with MC Press on their collection of Certification Guides as well.  We’ll be launching two new titles at the conference, so watch here for details.



Certification Offer: Assess & Save, until Dec 14, 2012

svisser1 Tags:  db2 certification offer 5 Comments 9,149 Views
Back by popular demand: Assess & Save: Advance your career - Save 50% on IBM Professional Certification for Information Management Professionals

Gauge your readiness for certification by purchasing and completing an online assessment test. Pass an Information Management Online Assessment Test from November 1, 2012 through December 14, 2012 to qualify for the 50 percent certification savings voucher.

If you pass the test, you'll automatically receive an electronic 50 percent savings voucher good toward the corresponding certification exam between November 1, 2012 through January 31, 2013.  Details.

Here some exams that you may consider taking with this offer:

Exam 610 - DB2 10.1 Fundamentals
Exam 611: DB2 10.1 DBA for Linux, UNIX, and Windows
Exam 614:  DB210.1 Advanced DBA for Linux, UNIX, and Windows

More blog posts about Certification:

A new way to study for DB2 Certifications
DB2 10 Certification Tutorials
Cert 101
How to Prepare to Pass a DB2 Certification Exam?
DB2 10 for z/OS Certification Roles, Exams and Study Materials
Certification Study Guides for DB2 LUW Exams
DB2 9.7 for Linux, UNIX and Windows: Certification Roles and Exams
Certifications: Beyond DB2
Certification Tips on the DB2Night Show
Web-based Training Courses to Consider

Good luck on your exam!


The Best of the Best Bundle

svisser1 Tags:  books 33 Comments 9,129 Views
Discover the best of the best with this collection of top-selling books from IBM Press.

New to DB2? IBM Press has an easy, visual guide to introduce you to every concept behind DB2, step-by-step, including installation, configuration, objects, database instances, storage, connectivity, security, performance, backup and recovery, SQL fundamentals, and much more: Understanding DB2: Learning Visually with Examples
By Raul Chong, Clara Liu, Sylvia Qi, Dwaine Snow
Full price: $59.99

Loving Linux? Here's your indispensable guide to maximizing Linux system and application performance, with easy-to-understand examples based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Server: Performance Tuning for Linux Servers
By Sandra Johnson, Gerrit Huizenga, Badari Pulavarty
Full price: 54.99

Bundle information and price: ISBN: 0132227673; $78.30

If you become an IBM Press member, your price is $73.95. This is a savings of $41.03 if you buy the bundle rather than each book individually.

If this bundle doesn't appeal to you, check out one of these:

The Foundation for Certification Bundle

Essentials for DBAs Bundle

z/OS and Loving It Bundle

I haven't yet figured out whether these bundles and their prices will disappear at some point or not. I'm checking into it and will update this post.

Susan[Read More]

Certification Study Guides for DB2 LUW Exams

svisser1 Tags:  db2 roger_sanders books cert certification 9,085 Views

I work in the Toronto Lab where we have at least 2500 employees.  We're lucky enough to have a library where local employees may borrow books.  This morning I shared the elevator with a couple of people carrying one of the books by Roger Sanders.  The book is affectionately known as the "red book" and the one that I saw clearly came from the library and was so well-used it was amazing!  It makes me happy to see that there are so many people here at the lab who prepare and take the certification exams.


List of Roger's books:

This is the one that is known as the “red” book.  It covers everything you need to know to pass Exam 730 which is the basic exam that is pre-requisite for all V9 and V9.7 DB2 Certification exams.  The book includes sample questions at the end of each chapter with answers and reasons for the answers provided in an appendix at the end of the book.  Roger was a member of the exam development team for Exam 730 and has written many of the questions you’ll need to answer.


This is the one that is known as the “green” book.  It covers everything you need to know to pass Exam 731 which is the DB2 9 for LUW Database Administration exam.  The book includes sample questions at the end of each chapter with answers and reasons for the answers provided in an appendix at the end of the book.  Roger was a member of the exam development team for Exam 731 and has written many of the questions you’ll need to answer.  You may also wish to use this book to pass Exam 541: DB2 9.7 for LUW Database Administration if you also read the following Flashbook: Break free with DB2 9.7: A Tour of Cost-Slashing New Features.

This is the “gold” book.  It covers everything you need to know to pass the upgrade Exam 736 which is a short exam for those who are already certified for DBA V8 and don’t want to take the full exam.  The book includes sample questions at the end of each chapter with answers and reasons for the answers provided in an appendix at the end of the book.  Roger was a member of the exam development team for Exam 736 and has written many of the questions you’ll need to answer. 


This is the “purple” book.  It covers everything you need to know to pass the advanced DBA Exam 734 which was co-written by IBM expert Dwaine Snow.  The book includes a huge amount of reference information plus sample questions at the end of each chapter with answers and reasons for the answers provided in an appendix at the end of the book.  Dwaine and Roger were members of the exam development team for Exam 734 and has written many of the questions you’ll need to answer. 


This is kind of an update to the book DB2 9 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows Database Administration Certification Study Guide, but not really.  It is a collection of slides that Roger has used when teaching crammer courses for Exam 541, DB2 9.7 LUW Database Administration exam.  If you’ve been fortunate enough to attend a conference where Roger is teaching the crammer course, and have taken it, you’ll know how valuable the content is. 


I’m hoping that Roger will sign up to write the updates for these books when the DB2 product and exams are updated.  Thanks Roger for being such a big part of our DB2 certification and book programs.  You really are an IBM Champion!




PS.  If you like what I tend to share, I encourage you to “follow” my blog.  As of writing this entry, I have 199 followers and thank every single one of you.  I’m in the midst of reading Antonio Cangiano’s book: Technical Blogging: Turn Your Expertise into a Remarkable Online Presence and am learning tips from his expertise.  I would like to put many of his tips into practices in the next few months…. I wonder if you’ll notice?  Asking you to follow my blog is just one of his tips!

IBM SPSS Modeler Cookbook

svisser1 Tags:  book ibminsight spss author 9,052 Views

Another great book that will be featured at the IBM Insight conference this year is:

IBM SPSS Modeler Cookbook

By Keith McCormick, Scott Mutchler, Dean Abbott, Meta Brown, and Tom Khabaza

At IBM Insight:

If you are attending the IBM Insights Conference, you can purchase this book and have Keith and Scott sign your copy.  They will be available for signing on Monday, October 27 from 12:00 – 1:00 pm. 

About the book:

IBM SPSS Modeler is a data mining workbench that enables you to explore data, identify important relationships that you can leverage, and build predictive models quickly allowing your organization to base its decisions on hard data not hunches or guesswork.

IBM SPSS Modeler Cookbook takes you beyond the basics and shares the tips, the timesavers, and the workarounds that experts use to increase productivity and extract maximum value from data. The authors of this book are among the very best of these exponents, gurus who, in their brilliant and imaginative use of the tool, have pushed back the boundaries of applied analytics. By reading this book, you are learning from practitioners who have helped define the state of the art.

Follow the industry standard data mining process, gaining new skills at each stage, from loading data to integrating results into everyday business practices. Get a handle on the most efficient ways of extracting data from your own sources, preparing it for exploration and modeling. Master the best methods for building models that will perform well in the workplace.

Go beyond the basics and get the full power of your data mining workbench with this practical guide.


What you will learn from this book:

  • Use and understand the industry standard CRISP_DM process for data mining.
  • Assemble data simply, quickly, and correctly using the full power of extraction, transformation, and loading (ETL) tools.
  • Control the amount of time you spend organizing and formatting your data.
  • Develop predictive models that stand up to the demands of real-life applications.
  • Take your modeling to the next level beyond default settings and learn the tips that the experts use.
  • Learn why the best model is not always the most accurate one.
  • Master deployment techniques that put your discoveries to work making the most of your business’ most critical resources.


About the Authors:

Keith McCormick is an independent data mining consultant, trainer, and author. He has a wealth of consulting experience in statistics, predictive analytics, and data mining. For many years, he has worked in the SPSS community, first as an External Trainer and Consultant for SPSS Inc., and then in a similar role with IBM. He possesses a BS in Computer Science and Psychology from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He is an expert in IBM's SPSS software suite including IBM SPSS Statistics, IBM SPSS Modeler, AMOS, and Text Mining. He is active as a moderator and participant in statistics groups online including LinkedIn's Statistics and Analytics Consultants Groups. He also blogs and reviews related books at


Scott Mutchler is the Vice President of Advanced Analytics Services. Scott has a long track record of delivering enterprise class Advanced Analytics solutions that drive massive customer value. Scott is equally proficient at building high-performing teams, where ever team member focuses on their individual strengths. This approach has resulted in a team this is passionate about Advanced Analytics. That passion for Advanced Analytics is reflected in every client engagement.



For a full list of the book signing events at the conference, see



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DB2 10.5 with BLU Acceleration at IDUG Orlando

svisser1 Tags:  db2 blu idugna techsessions 1 Comment 9,015 Views

DB2 10.5 with BLU Acceleration was announced on April 3 and now it’s time to learn what was announced and how you can benefit from the new features.


If you’re attending IDUG later this month, you’ll be at an advantage and will get a headstart in learning!  



IDUG DB2 Tech Conference in Orlando, Florida, USA 2013


Orlando, Florida

April 29th - May 3rd, 2013


Here are the sessions that are focused on the latest features:



Tuesday April 30


DB2: Database Software for the Era of Big Data with Bob Picciano  

DB2 for LUW: Recent Enhancements & Trends with Matt Huras

DB2 10.5 with BLU Acceleration with Kent Collins & Les King  

DB2 9.7.1 to  DB2 10: An overview of SQL Enhancements with Eric Alton  


Thursday May 2


DB2 with BLU Acceleration: Unprecedented Speed and Simplicity for Analytical Workloads with Matthias Nicola

Panel on DB2 LUW with Matt Huras, Paul Zikopoulos, Melanie Stopfer, Calisto Zuzarte, and Chris Eaton and others.  The plan is to have all speakers take part in this panel and we encourage you to provide your questions in advance through this IDUG Survey.

DB2 pureScale: The Latest from the IBM Labs with Aamer Sachedina


Friday May 3


Full day session: DB2 10.5 for LUW Immersion Workshop - with new BLU Acceleration with Chris Eaton, Danny Arnold, and Eric Alton

How to Maximize Perf Benefits from DB2 10.1 & An Intro to DB2 10.5 BLU acceleration with Michael Kwok



Other events:




April 30 -  Big Data at the Speed of Business - Find out more about managing big data, join IBM for a free event.



May 8 - Tech Talk with Berni Schiefer: Introduction and Technical Tour: DB2 10.5 with BLU Acceleration



May 24 - Join special guest George Baklarz on the DB2Night Show to hear about the latest news on IBM DB2 for LUW: Breaking News from IBM on DB2 LUW!



See also:



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