db2commerce.com Year in Review – 2014

Blog Stats

As I contemplated the blog at the end of last year, I wondered at the fact that in 2013, I had more than 100,000 page views. Well, in 2014, as of last week, I have had over 250,000 page views on the blog!


Just Wow.

I passed new plateaus on daily page views with nearly every weekday being over 1,000 now, and the good days being over 1,500. I wonder at this point when I’ll have the smallish DB2 market saturated and stop seeing grand increases every year. I’ve had over 380 non-spam comments this year. I earned this traffic, publishing over 120,000 words this year in a bit over 80 posts. Some of those words came from guest bloggers – Mike Krafick posted a number of posts this year, and Ian Bjorhovde posted one as well.

Top Posts

The top ten most viewed articles this year (not necessarily posted this year) were:
How to catalog a DB2 database
How to Find the Size of a DB2 Database
Explain Part 2 – Command Line Explain Plans Using db2exfmt
DB2 Database Restore and Rollforward: Details of Log Files
Looking at How Much Memory DB2 is Using
How to Delete Data From a DB2 Table and Release Disk Space
DB2 Basics: What is an Index?
Managing db2 transaction log files
DB2 Basics: Users, Authentication, and Authorization
DB2 Errors: SQL0204N name is an undefined name

Note that the most popular articles tend to be the basic things – they appear to a wider audience, I suppose. But the ones that are most fun to write are the ones where I learn and experiment. Some of MY favorites to write this year were:
Activities vs. Requests
Detailed Analysis of Individual Performance Metrics
Runstats Issue With Columns Where There is a Long Common Prefix in Character Data
Three Different Ways to Write the Same Join in SQL
When Index Scans Attack!
Example of A Clustering Low-Cardinality Index Helping Query Performance
DB2 Explain Output in Another Format
Customizing MONREPORT … or not

My Year

This was another banner year for me, professionally. In February, I was named as an IBM Gold Consultant, and that has been incredible for making connections and really was fun at the IBM Insight conference in November. I was named as an IBM Champion for the second year in a row. I presented two full hour-long episodes of the DB2Night Show (HADR & TSAMP Advanced Topics and Why Low Cardinality Indexes Negatively Impact Performance), along with guest-judging several times for DB2’s Got Talent – which was really fun. I spoke for two sessions at IDUG North America in Phoenix, AZ – one as a joint session with top speaker Mike Krafick. In October, I switched employers – I was shocked at how quickly I had an offer and what a great opportunity it was when I had only been looking for a week. I completely love my new employer – it’s exactly what I needed – broader DB2 experience and challenge and the opportunity to use the name I’ve built for myself in the DB2 community to help further develop an established consulting practice. (shameless marketing moment: go to http://www.xtivia.com/ if you’re interested in working with me and my team – we provide a vast array of DB2 support from help with vacations or particularly intensive upgrades all the way through to full DBA services)

DB2 This Year

This year was the first time I got to use DB2 10.1 and DB2 10.5 – both out for a while, but WebSphere Commerce certified on them more quickly than they have in the past. I very much like the latest software, and just jump for joy when I hear a client wants to be cutting edge. I would rather deal with the problems introduced by being cutting edge than the problems introduced by being on an out of support version.

DB2 Cancun (10.5 FP 4) released in October with some nifty features I’ve been playing with and thinking about – like shadow tables to combine BLU and transaction environments and easing the hardware restrictions for PureScale even further. One tiny but cool feature in 10.5 Fixpack 5 (just released on December 11) is easing on the ID restrictions on UNIX and Linux platforms – woohoo for no more 8-character restrictions!

This was the first year I got my hands on any third-party tools for working with DB2 – I enjoyed using (though not always administering) the DBI tools. There was a learning curve in administering the tools, but the easy graphical style almost made me enjoy a GUI (gasp!). I still think DBAs should be able to do all the analysis without such tools (and I learned soooo much building my own performance monitoring and investigative solutions), but for managing a lot of databases, they sure were fun.

Next Year

Next year I plan to continue to keep up my pace of at least one new blog entry per week. Between my new job and IBM Insight, I am so full of ideas for blog entries it is ridiculous. I cannot write them fast enough – my time is the only constraint.

I hope to speak again at IDUG North America, and again at the midwest user’s group meetings – a fun circuit, though it is changing. IDUG has not yet notified approved speakers as of when I’m writing this – later than normal this year. I’d like to speak at Insight too, though it was a bit nice to just experience the conference there this year without the pressure of speaking.

I have no insight from IBM on this yet, but it feels like with the version pace of recent releases, that we should be due for a new version either late in 2015 or sometime in 2016. I have no inside information on this, so I don’t know anything, but am just guessing based on this pace:
10.5 GA: Summer 2013
10.1 GA: Summer 2012
9.7 GA: Fall 2009
9.5 GA: Spring 2008
9.1 GA: Winter 2006

If the next version is just a .something release on 10, then we should expect to see it in 2015 based on past pattern. But if they’re going for a full version number change, then it might not be for a bit longer. I find it annoying to work with anything older than 9.7 at this point – there were so many great things introduced with 9.7 that I depend on.

I have plans to do some serious BLU work early in 2015, and cannot wait to do that and to write about it! As always, I’m dying to get my hands on PureScale, and hope I can find a client who that is appropriate for and who wants to do it.

What are your thoughts on 2014 and your outlook for 2015?

Ember Crooks
Ember Crooks

Ember is always curious and thrives on change. She has built internationally recognized expertise in IBM Db2, spent a year working with high-volume MySQL, and is now learning Snowflake. Ember shares both posts about her core skill sets and her journey learning Snowflake.

Ember lives in Denver and work from home

Articles: 554

One comment

  1. Hi Ember — You are simply awesome ! There are very few times that i do not get re-directed to db2commerce.com when I search for a db2 topic. When I think of you, the word ‘consistency’ comes to my mind.
    You are an excellent example to follow and have been a great inspiration for my DB2 blogging activity. I appreciate all the time we’d spent at my first IDUG in 2014 in Phoenix, AZ.
    Here is to much greater success in 2015 !

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