New Release Of IBM's DB2 Database In The Pipeline

IBM will ship Release 10 of its DB2 database and InfoSphere Warehouse software at the end of this month, the vendor said this week.

The new releases offer a range of new and enhanced capabilities for better handling of "Big Data" -- the growing volume, variety and velocity of information organizations wrestle with today -- and more tools for simplifying and automating data management chores.

"We've got to automate more routine tasks and shift [database administrators] to the higher-value businesses," said Bernie Spang, IBM director of database software and systems strategy, in an interview.

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That resonates with Paul Stoker, sales and marketing director at Triton Consulting, a U.K.-based IBM channel partner that provides information management consulting, training and managed services. Autonomic computing "allows us to concentrate on more interesting things like data mining and reduces the amount of time DBAs spend on day-to-day tuning and maintenance."

Some 200 channel partners, including solution providers, ISVs and systems integrators have been working with the new DB2 release, some as far back as late 2011, according to Spang. More than 100 early-access customers have also been working with the product.

DB2 10 has new "adaptive compression" and "multi-temperature data management" tools: the former compresses data, freeing up storage space to improve Big Data processing; the latter moves data to the most cost-effective storage systems based on how frequently it's accessed.

IBM said early users of DB2 10 freed up storage space up to 90 percent with the new compression capabilities.

The new database also offers enhanced integration with Hadoop, the open-source platform for developing data-intensive, Big Data applications. That integration makes it easier to combine analytical results from Hadoop-based systems with more traditional business intelligence systems working with structured data.

InfoSphere Warehouse, IBM's data warehouse software, uses DB2 at its core. Spang said the Hadoop integration would be especially useful for InfoSphere operators.

Next: DB2 10 Offers "Time Travel" Capability

On the data management automation front, DB2 10 supports Resource Definition Framework (RDF) "triple graph store" data structures. RDF makes it easier to keep track of data dependencies and identify links among bits of information.

The new Time Travel Query feature makes it possible to access data at any point in time. IBM used the example of an online travel agency that could use the capability to detect inconsistencies such as a hotel room booked in one city for eight days and a rental car reserved in another city for three of those days.

Until now such functions needed to be programmed into applications that access a database, greatly increasing their complexity. That database feature will make it easier for ISVs developing applications that run with DB2, Spang said.

DB2 10 also has the capacity to support multiple secondary databases, making it possible to have geographically distributed database clusters, according to Spang. And what he called "continuous data ingest" uses parallel processing to keep a steady flow of data into the system, better enabling real-time analysis of operational data.

Stoker praised what he described as IBM's efforts to make upgrading to DB2 10 "as easy as possible."

IBM offers versions of DB2 for System z mainframes, midrange System i servers, and for systems running on Windows, Linux and Unix.