Introduction to DB2
In the market of relational data management products, DB2 is one of the products which was launched and marketed by IBM. This product from IBM includes relational database servers and is packaged for users so that dependency on database servers are not a bottleneck anymore. IBM has a history of developing a family of database servers.
For example, Virtual Machines, Virtual Storage Extended, and Multiple Virtual Storage. It was in the year 1983 when IBM decided to launch DB2 for its MVS version and from there on there is no looking back. Till 2019, IBM has launched DB2 11.5 version which includes some enhanced analytics feature like natural language querying along with improved streamlined editions and easier upgrades and became “the” world’s premier AI database.
Features of DB2
With ever-changing world, IBM has released a bunch of new features in its latest DB2 version and that is exactly what we would talk about in this particular section. In the later part we will also look at some features that enable DB2 to reach a position where it is currently enjoying its stature!
Here are a few features:
- Enhanced Performance with AI: DB2 uses state of the art architecture in bringing you the best in class system performance blended with AI techniques. Using workload management, DB2 enables itself to manage and schedule execution for workloads and then using of AI techniques to fine-tune performance by allocations, monitoring, elapsed time, and other elements so that users can focus on more important kinds of stuff rather than monitoring performance.
- Built for Data Science and AI: With the latest version of DB2, it tries to walk hand in hand with the way of working of Data scientist. It has incorporated popular data science language like Python, PHP, Java, Jupyter. IBM is looking forward to enabling Data Scientists to perform complex modeling and visualizations using DB2.
- IBM BLU Acceleration: This is one of the registered trademarks of DB2 which is an in-memory technology of processing columnar data and has an important feature of the optimized process of accessing RAM. Even if the data is bigger in size than the RAM available, the intermediate data would spill over to disk. Other features of IBM BLU include Actionable Compression, CPU Acceleration, and Data Skipping.
- IBM pureScale: This feature is another IBM registered trademark, which enables the data to be accessed through multiple hosts so that the availability of data is continuous. This feature enables users with a process that requires high availability for online transaction processing. Not only in terms of availability, but pureScale also seeks to deliver transparent application scalability as well.
- SQL Compatibility: This feature is like a boon for users who want to transfer their legacy applications built in the Oracle database to DB2. This ensures that the existing skills and assets of legacy systems are intact but still migrated quicker.
- Storage Optimization: Incorporation of IBM BLU technology has also improved the storage due to not only in-memory columnar processing, but also compression and data skipping techniques employed here. Due to the above technologies, the power consumption for processing is drastically reduced.
- Simple to Administer: With the latest state of the art technique, the administration becomes super simple for users through the GUI.
- Faster Querying: With the latest AI techniques getting involved, the monitoring of SQL query performance information and then correlating it to the query using AI techniques allows the model to be created and as a response to this procedure the query is significantly faster!
- High Availability Disaster Recovery: No matter wherever the data resides, DB2 ensures high availability for complete or partial site failures and has the characteristic to support up to 3 remote standby servers.
How do DB2 works?
In order to understand more about the working of DB2, we need to carefully study what are the different elements that constitute the working of DB2. Let us start with the first, and that is tablespaces. The tablespace is a storage structure that contains tables, indexes, objects, etc. The data in the database is structured into a logical group. This helps in quick recoverability of the database and ensures optimum space utilization.
The next element is a schema, which is a named object in the database and are classified logically. This element forms the logical structure of the data storage. Another element index, which is a set of pointers referring to the rows of the table. These indexes can be unique or non-unique or may be clustered or non-clustered.
So now we have understood what the elements are, DB2 works by retrieving data through SQL queries from the tablespaces. The schemas and indexes are the elements that enable easy retrieval of data from the database.
Importance of DB2
The new features released in the newer version are some of the benefits DB2 has to offer, and not only that there are some exclusive importance or benefits of DB2 which we would like to discuss here in this section.
- The first one is the ability to support multiple platforms. DB2 is platform agnostic and apart from Windows it also supports running on AIX, HP-UX, Linux, and Sun. With DB2 being platform agnostic, the flexibility it gives the tables is an important feature which not many in the current market offers. DB2 comes out of the box as a pre-configured bundle with the OS itself.
- The next important is memory management. The feature in DB2’s memory management is work of half art and half science. The tuning which is offered in DB2 is done in such a way that we get the most optimum management. Part of this task is the configuration of memory at different workloads to achieve the best and might take significant time for the developer. The feature of STMM (Self Tuning Memory Management) allows the automatic change of memory when workload changes.
- The last but not the least important is the uninterrupted IBM support. With IBM being once of the whales in the genre of database development and maintaining them, the support it offers is unparalleled, and constant research at IBM still makes DB2 as the ideal choice for people who want to use RDBMS.
With this article, we come to an end of understanding at a basic level of what DB2 means to a user of RDBMS and what are some of the features one should be looking at while planning to use this. With the incorporation of the latest cutting-edge technologies in AI in DB2, it makes DB2 the only choice left to the users now if one thinks of RDBMS. All in all, what started in 1983 by IBM is still continuing to be the leader in RDBMS!
This is a guide to What is DB2? Here we discuss an introduction to DB2, working, features and importance in detail explanation. You can also go through our other related articles to learn more –