Wrap-Up: IDUG Db2 North American Technical Conference in Charlotte

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The IDUG Conference in Charlotte this year was one of the best-run North American Conferences I have been to. They rose close to the high standard that the IDUG European conference committee sets. I had fewer issues with how things ran. Having breakfast available was awesome and made my days that much less stressful. I have a few main lessons coming out of the conference that I’d like to share

New Version

A new version of Db2 was announced. 11.5 will be available at the end of the month, and there was an entire track of sessions on it. I plan to write a separate blog entry on the technical details.

One thing I thought I’d note here is that IBM is once again changing the licensing model. There will now only be three editions, all of which have all features, but are hardware-limited. Community edition will have up to 4 cores and 16 GB of memory. It will also continue to have a 100 GB data limit. However, it will be free for all environments, including production. Support on Community edition will be available for a fee. Standard edition will have up to 16 cores and 128 GB of memory. Advanced edition will be unlimited.

This simplified model is nice, assuming that standard edition doesn’t end up being more expensive than the old Workgroup Server Edition.

Embracing New Methodology

This was actually my biggest personal revelation coming out of the conference. I am a confessed command-line addict. I administer Db2 from the command line, even when other tools are available. I love the command line, and the control it offers. I use GUIs only in specific areas where I see their benefit. Until the last year or two, I rarely even used anything that wasn’t on the server itself. Python has pushed me towards using a remote connection more, and though it’s a stretch to call it a GUI, Jupyter Notebook is browser-based with more of a GUI interface than anything else I’ve previously used.

When discussing some of the challenges in Db2 education with several younger IBMers, though I came to realize that even if this is the way that I and older administrators prefer to interact with Db2, that doesn’t mean it has to be the only way. In fact, better GUIs may actually ease the adoption issues that Db2 has today. I’m going to make it a focus of my Db2 time to work with the existing and next-generation GUIs so I can help IBM improve them and do what I can with my IBM connections to make them better.

Do Less

This year at the conference, XTIVIA (the company I work for) had a booth at the conference. It was a great opportunity to talk to people outside my normal small circle of friends. I was there for all of the opening hours except for Lunch on Wednesday, when I went to the speaker feedback lunch instead. I co-presented a full-day seminar on Sunday, and missed part of the Technical Advisory Board as a result. I had presentations on Tuesday and Wednesday. My Wednesday session was packed. On Thursday, I supported one of my team-members who was presenting. I had helped him write the presentation, and had co-presented it with him at the conference in EMEA, but told him he was on his own for it here. Even without being on the panel or presenting in a SIG, The first free hour I felt like I had all week was between sessions on Wednesday and the IBM event. This was a bit much to do. I’d like to do less in the future.

Lead Db2 Database Engineer and Service Delivery Manager , XTIVIA
Ember is always curious and thrives on change. Working in IT provides a lot of that change, but after 17 years developing a top-level expertise on Db2 for mid-range servers and more than 7 years blogging about it, Ember is hungry for new challenges and looks to expand her skill set to the Data Engineering role for Data Science. With in-depth SQL and RDBMS knowledge, Ember shares both posts about her core skill set and her journey into Data Science. Ember lives in Denver and work from home for XTIVIA, leading a team of Db2 DBAs.

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