Hassi Norlen is an advisory engineer in information development. He started his career at IBM a dozen years ago in the Enterprise Content Management (ECM) field, and has since migrated to database management and monitoring software solutions. His areas of expertise are up and running documentation and user interface development with the progressive disclosure methodology. Hassi holds degrees in physics and science journalism and works out of the IBM Washington, DC office.
Before making changes to your production database environment it is vital to test and validate that these changes will not affect the accessibility and reliability of your databases. These tests will differ depending on the type of change that you will be implementing, such as software upgrades, database schema changes, or hardware upgrades, but common to the any testing scenario is verifying that your current SQL workloads will work as expected in production after the change.
IBM InfoSphere Workload Replay is a versatile tool that lets you record the actual SQL workload in your production environment, and then analyze how this captured workload improves or degrades when replayed in a pre-production environment with the planned production changes implemented. With InfoSphere Workload Replay you do not have to create and run elaborate and error prone test scripts to complete your database testing, instead you use actual SQL data from the same production environment that you are upgrading.
The workload capture, replay, and reporting process consists of four main steps: Capture, Transform, Replay, and Report. Each step lets you configure how the data is captured, and then modified to fit your pre-production environment. For example, you can filter out workload data that is not relevant to your testing, capture and then replay LOB and XML data as actual data or as generated data of the correct length, map captured user IDs and schemas to pre-production user IDs and schemas as needed, replay workloads at different speeds to simulate different traffic loads, group and mask SQL statements in your reports, and so on.
With InfoSphere Workload Replay you set up a baseline workload to use in the pre-production environment, and then replay this workload after making changes to your pre-produtioin environment.
After analyzing the effects of the changes you can remove SQL data that is not important to your workload, and then test the replay with this modified data. You can also fine-tune the changes to pre-production and run the workload again in an iterative test cycle.
When you are confident that your workload behaves correctly with the environment changes in pre-production you can apply the changes in production.
For more information about the complete process of capturing and replaying workloads and creating reports with InfoSphere Workload Replay, and how to quickly get up-and-running with the product, read Getting Started with IBM InfoSphere Optim Workload Replay for DB2,SG24-8221
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