If you are considering migrating to IDS 11.10 from an earlier release, do you find it easy to gather the information you need, for example:
- Operating system, patch and compiler prerequisites for the new IDS version
- Instructions for correctly backing up and shutting down your IDS instance prior to upgrading
- Release notes and machine notes for the version you are upgrading to
- Knowledge of new features implemented since your last release that might be useful to you
- Understanding of how to optimally tune your onconfig file and other settings for the new release
A recent Informix Technote attempts to consolidate some of this information: Knowledge Collection: IBM Informix Dynamic Server (IDS) version 11.10 Migration
The article includes a presentation on Conversion/Reversion by Nelson Corcoran which provides a very useful summary of pre and post conversion steps and reversion caveats. It also goes into some of the internal details of how conversion works during an upgrade.
Note: this document is part of a wider set of documents on migration that starts here: http://www-1.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=swg21259394
What else should IBM provide to make migration to a later release of IDS more straightforward?
I'm going to try re-enabling comments on this blog for a while and see how the spam goes so if you have any suggestions please do leave a comment.Disabling the Installation's Database Server Prerequisites Check
The IDS 11.10.xC2 Documentation Notes
mention a new feature that allows you to disable the standard OS version and shared library checks made by the IDS installer. I am already finding this feature useful since I have a machine with an older version of Solaris (2.8) and -disable-checks
saves me from having to hack the installer just to install IDS.
Here is an extract from the documentation:
A -disable-checks option has been added to the Dynamic Server installation command. This option lets the install application run without verifying that your computer has the prerequisites for a working instance. The database server prerequisites are listed in Platform.prq on an operating system basis. Use the -disable-checks option to bypass the shared-library prerequisites check.
To use a java command to start the Dynamic Server installation, disable the shared-libraries check by using the -W systemcheck.active=false option in your command.
Refer to the Machine Notes for comprehensive operating system information.
One word of warning - the prerequisite checks are there for a reason; the check is for the minimum OS and library versions that IDS underwent comprehensive testing for on that platform. Installing on an older OS is at your own risk, but can be useful in known situations to make the upgrade process smoother.[Read More
Cheetah training for Tech Support moves to Lenexa, Kansas
this week. Lenexa is the largest Informix support hub, home of much of IDS product development, and venue for the 2008 IIUG Conference
The training material for these classes was developed by support engineers, and each class has four teachers who share the delivery between them. The volume of new features in IDS 11.10 is such that a week just about suffices to go through the material if we don't do too many exercises. For tech support engineers it is often the case that some time will pass before they deal with a case for a specific new feature - in which case having the material, VMWARE instance and exercises for future reference will come in handy.
Cheetah TOI students vs Basic Text Search exercises
Thanks to the generality of global email aliases I am able to share vicariously in the Cheetah release celebrations that took place at the India Software Lab in Bangalore
this week, which consisted of cake..
..followed by lunch at Sahib Sindh Sultan
, a trip to the pub
and movie - Partner
(warning, the last link has sound). A well-earned celebration - the ISL engineers I've worked this year have been putting in long hours and a great deal of expertise into the Cheetah development effort. If anyone who attended reads this let me know how it went.IDS Performance Webcast
IDS Performance Architect Scott Lashley
will be discussing some of the important performance features in IDS 11.10 including non-blocking checkpoints, automatic checkpoints, auto-LRU tuning and Recovery Time Objective (RTO) in a webcast on Tuesday July 31
at 4pm London, 8am Pacific. You can sign up for the webcast here: https://ww4.premconf.com/webrsvp/register?conf_id=9484894
. If you want to be prepared take a look at Scott's developerWorks article
in advance.ZK Tutorial
There is a new Getting Started with ZK
tutorial on the ZK website
which takes the reader through the creation of a to-do list application which uses the HSQL
Java database as a back-end, and could be easily adapted to other data servers. It's a little more fully-featured than the simple to-do list
ZK app I went through earlier.
To be in England in the Summer time. A kestrel hovers. A dragonfly skims over water meadows rich with clover. The liquid call of the nuthatch. The subtle beauty of the spotted orchid. These and other fond memories are evoked as I gaze through my hotel room window and contemplate the scenes of pastoral harmony before me..
This week's Cheetah training for Tech Support takes place in London and Sydney. In London we're starting with Continuous Availability presentations. Here's a photo Ed Raven
took of Holger Kirstein
enlightening us with the Mach 11
Second time around Cheetah continuous availability features are becoming much clearer. Today I had fun setting up Shared Disk Secondaries
on Windows. A fairly straightforward process using Instance Manager
to create a new instance, setting ROOTSPACE to match the primary instance, and adding the SDS
parameters to the primary and secondary onconfig files.[Read More
We had a guest speaker at yesterday's Cheetah TOI (transfer of information) session in the form of Alexander Koerner
who showed the IDS11 ToGo
demo he's been delivering to appreciative audiences at the last 3 Infobahn
events in Germany. The demo consists of 3 512Mb USB flash drives concealed in various trouser pockets, each containing an auto-booting Qemu
based Linux virtual machine with IDS 11 installed.
The first drive contains one IDS 11 primary and two SDS
nodes, the second has a pre-configured IDS 11 HDR
node which automatically connects to the primary IDS instance on stick 1, and the third has a pre-configured RSS
node which also automatically connects to the primary instance on stick 1.
Before the IDS11 ToGo
moniker was chosen, other names under consideration were "Cheetah on a stick
" and "Cluster in my trousers
". They seem perfectly good choices to me. Qemu
allows the demo's to be independent of the host machine, communicating with each other over a private network, so no additional software needs to be installed on the host laptop. The demo has an integrated browser and applications to showcase various IDS features and blades. It's an impressive and concise way to see the strengths of the Cheetah release. Note that the IDS11 ToGo demo is not currently available outside IBM.
In the evening we were taken to a restaurant in Trudering
where we had the opportunity to try some enjoyable Bavarian cuisine and the dunkel weiss bier that was allegedly the downfall of a certain UK tech support manager on his last visit.[Read More
So far the Cheetah TOI in Munich has covered High Availability and most of System Administration. We'll probably need to step it up to get through the Performance, Security and Application Development modules by the end of the week.
The sun made an appearance this morning, so instead of the promised rain shot here's a snap of the Moosfeld IBM office..Put Yourself on the Map Part IIAron
and Marty Lurie
's Google Maps mashup tutorial has been revamped in a new developerWorks Article: Put yourself on the map with Google Maps API Version 2, DB2/Informix, PHP, and JMeter on Linux
. The article is updated with new features, and uses version 2 of the Google Maps API. Examples are provided for both IDS and DB2.[Read More
This week the blog comes from rainy München, or Moosfeld
to be more accurate, where in-depth Cheetah training for tech support is taking place. The same training is being simultaneously delivered in Singapore; next week the show will move to London and Sydney, and on to Lenexa, Kansas two weeks later.
One nice feature of the training material is that everyone gets a VMWARE image with the software, IDS instances, scripts and exercises required for the training. This environment means attendees can use their own laptops, and have a reference implementation of IDS 11.10 set up, with instructions for all new features, which will serve as a ready-to-use environment both during the class and for later testing. I'm just wishing I'd bought a GB of extra memory for my laptop.
Later in the week I hope to update the blog with an inspiring photo of some rain.Cheetah available for Electronic Delivery
Last week's news is that IDS 11.10.xC1 is now officially available for download. See Fernando's blog
for the scoop.Server Studio and Sentinel 6.1 Announced
Last week Server Studio 6.1
was announced. This is the Server Studio
version designed for IDS 11.10. I was fortunate enough to get a preview of 6.1 from Anatole Vishon
at the last IDUG conference, and was impressed with some of the new features, including version snapshots of schema and configuration changes. If you haven't looked at Server Studio in a while it's worth a test drive. The 6.0 release that supported IDS 10.0 had a huge list of enhancements, my favourite being the Entity Relationship diagram
feature of the Schema Manager, which provides an intuitive graphical interface to even the most complicated schemas. Integrated with this is a redesigned Dependancy Analyzer
. The enhancements in the last two releases are too many to list here. I can't find the release notes online but if you install a free test drive take a look at them to get an idea of how much development has gone into recent versions.
Today sees the announcement of Cheetah
. Informix Zone
has done a nice job of collating the English and German press coverage
; the leitmotif of which might be summarized as "global availability".
Yesterday there were meetings and breakfast/lunches to mark the announcement at the major IDS development sites, with an IDS all-hands call hosted in Lenexa by Jerry Keesee
(Development) and Bernie Spang
Here in Beaverton the IDS development team met to discuss ways to improve communication between engineers working on IDS at the various sites (e.g. Lenexa, Menlo Park, Beaverton, India, Germany, and various smaller outposts). I was unfortunately unable to participate due to an urgent appointment with Cannon Beach
which I'm pleased to report was pleasantly sunny, but it was interesting to look at the meeting minutes. An improved centralized website providing for the needs of IDS development engineers was high on the agenda - it's all too easy to end up with too many partial information solutions in a distributed development environment - a website here, a wiki there, a team room somewhere else. Once in a while someone needs to take a look at the current state of available information and develop a new root site or at least refurbish the old one; with central links to the most important knowledge sources, a decent search engine, and evaluate what information is not readily available. An example of information no longer readily available that was discussed is a centralized ftp server for all internal Informix downloads - something we once had but over the years has devolved into multiple ftp servers and NFS drives. It is good to have these discussions, some of the problems are readily solved with willingness and a few hundred GB of storage.[Read More
The article has been updated and is back online!
Want a summary of IDS 11.10 features in a developerWorks article, with handy links to the documentation for each feature? IBM Software Engineers Inge Halilovic
, Mohan Saraswatipura
, Radhika Gadde
and Priyambada Behera
have published such an article: What's new in IDS Cheetah (IDS 11)?
It makes for a good digest of the major Cheetah features - useful to scan through if you think you know all the major enhancements, or have missed the hype and want to know what Cheetah is all about.[Read More
published a revealing article about IDS Cheetah today.. IBM Looks to 'Cheetah' to Speed Up Blade Servers
IBM officials hope a new feature aimed at increasing performance and availability of applications using Informix Dynamic Server "Cheetah" in a multi-node, blade server environment will separate the upcoming release from the pack.
"Users can deploy a greater number of nodes—beyond only a primary and single secondary," said Bernie Spang, director of IBM data servers. "Nodes can be brought online with a simple command without disrupting running applications. Also, nodes can be taken offline without disruption."
It's the first time I've seen the codename MACH 11
used in an external article - good to see some of the IDS 11.10 replication enhancements getting some publicity.
had an article about IBM's partner efforts for Cheetah: IBM Musters Partners For Cheetah Release
- which included a rumoured release date of around June 12.
team have begun testing a new concept called developerWorks community topic spaces
- empowering people to create "micro-sites focused on a specific technical subject, software project, development activity, or user group community".IDS Cheetah
already has its own community space, see the preview here: http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/db2/ids
.Er, what is a space?
From the developerWorks Spaces Wiki FAQ:
A space is a Web micro-site with one or more owners who can manage the content, presentation, and distribution with an easy-to-use interface. Spaces usually combine multiple ways to create or collaborate on content such as blogs, forums, wikis, file-sharing, video sharing, and so on. They may also provide ways to distribute the content via Web feeds such as Atom, or RSS.
Much more than a home page, a space allows the owners to communicate and connect with others. Each space is a potential community of its own: a following around an expert, a community of interest around a topic, a software project community, a user group community, and so on, based upon the wishes of its members.
The way it works, as far as I can tell, is that as the creator or maintainer of one of these spaces you choose from a selection of portlets
to add to your page, examples include: blogs, feature stories, lists, forums, lists, podcasts, RSS aggregators, custom feeds and more, thus creating your own portal/aggregation site. These portlets can be dragged around the page and various layouts and themes chosen to suit your aesthetic proclivities. You can add up to 10 co-editors.
It will be interesting to see how this idea grows. If you feel like starting your own space, apply here
A new developerWorks article was published last week by Abhishek Mathur
called Using the new Deployment Wizard in IDS Cheetah - New control for the IDS install process
The article highlights an important new feature in IDS 11.10 install - the ability to customize which components are installed.
Now instead of copying all the files during installation, just those for the chosen components are copied. For IDS 10.0 and below most of the files in the media were language files of which only a small subset were likely to be relevant to your locale. I am not sure I go along with this sentence though..
The disk footprint of IDS is considerable - Enterprise Edition installation is a little over 270MB on most platforms
Have you seen how large some other Enterprise RDBMS installations are? However the point of this sentence is well-intentioned. Perhaps 270Mb should be viewed as considerable if we can reduce the footprint by only copying the required files.
This goes a step towards Componentization
- where you can pick and choose which Software components you wish to install rather than legacy all-or-nothing software installations.[Read More
A closed beta for the Windows 64-bit port of IDS is scheduled to begin around mid-May. The 64-bit port has some performance advantages, including support for shared memory greater than 4GB. Here's an example onstat -g seg
from a pre-beta test instance showing >5GB shared memory. Note that SHMBASE
is now placed above 2GB (0x80000000).
D:\disks\ids\x64>onstat -g segUpdate 4/7/07:
IBM Informix Dynamic Server Version 11.10.F -- On-Line -- Up 00:10:52 -- 5586560 Kbytes
Segment Summary:id key addr size ovhd class blkused blkfree1381386241 1381386241 0000000080000000 1341784064 66480744 R 1376153 71381386242 1381386242 00000001CFFA0000 83886080 984624 V 4549 15931Total: - - 1425670144 - - 1380702 15938
(* segment locked in memory)
Note that this is a x86_64
(also known as AMD64) port. No IA64
version is currently planned.
If anyone is interested in participating in this beta please contact
the project manager Anita McKeithen
Keen eyed readers of the developerWorks Information Management
pages may have noticed a new cat:
Could this be the beginning of project Ocelot - a cuter and slightly slower version of Cheetah, with improved striping capabilities?Update 4/2/07:
it looks like developerWorks has updated their cat and is now back on-message..
The top story developerWorks article referenced is: Non-blocking checkpoints in Informix Dynamic Server
by Scott Lashley
- Tune Informix Dynamic Server to take advantage of non-blocking checkpoints and RTO_SERVER_RESTART in an online transaction processing environment
- a detailed architectural explanation of the non-blocking checkpoints feature of IDS 11.10 that is well worth a read.[Read More
The Unofficial Oninit blog
has an article with an English introduction on how to make IDSAdmin
work with non-English locales: IDSAdmin with non-English DB ?
It's good to see people customizing IDSAdmin. The PHP code is there for anyone to modify for their own purposes. The problem the blog mentions "The current open beta version of IDSAdmin does not use Locale variables when it establishes connection to the database server"
has now been logged and will be fixed by GA.New Informix PDO Driver Version
An Informix PDO Driver for windows compiled against the latest versions of the driver and also PHP (version 5.2 and 6) has been released and is downloadable at the PECL4WIN
site here: http://pecl4win.php.net/ext.php/php_pdo_informix.dll
This means you should now be able to use the latest versions of XAMPP
. I have not tested this yet but my colleague tried copying the latest XAMPP over his existing installation, with the new PDO driver, and reports that it is working.[Read More