2016 Posted by Julian Stuhler

DB2 11 for z/OS Comes of Age

It’s easy to think of DB2 11 for z/OS as still being the new kid on the block, but it actually became Generally Available back in October 2013 – Miley Cyrus was getting plenty of airtime with Wrecking Ball and the movie Gravity was expertly inducing vertigo in audiences all around the world.

New releases of DB2 tend to go through a fairly well defined adoption cycle. First there’s the ESP (Early Support Program) where a small number customers try out the new function (often with an urgent business need for one or more specifc items) and provide IBM with invaluable feedback to help then fine-tune the new  release. Then comes General Availability, and it’s not uncommon for some of those same ESP customers to immediately begin their upgrade to the new version (having typically gone though extensive regression testing during the ESP and built confidence in its stability).  During the 18 month period after GA many customers with proactive upgrade policies will also make the transition to the new release, but the majority will typically begin their upgrade projects 18-30 months after GA when they feel that the new release has fully “bedded in”.

This is the point we’re currently at within the DB2 11 adoption cycle, and it’s very noticeable that the past few months have seen a pretty significant uptick in DB2 11 upgrade activity. Several DB2 11-related Triton articles and papers  have steadily become more popular (see below for some links), and we’re suddenly being asked to teach a lot more DB2 11-related training courses. Given that support for DB2 10 for z/OS ends on 20th September 2017, you should certainly begin planning your DB2 10 to DB2 11 upgrade project if you haven’t already. There are plenty of good business and technical reasons to upgrade, including some significant CPU savings, increased zIIP offload, better support for online schema change and relief from RBA/LRSN scalability issues, to name but a few (see links below for more details).

And of course, the cycle continues with the advent of DB2 12 for z/OS. The ESP program for that release is due to formally begin over the coming weeks, with General Availability likely to be announced later in 2016. DB2 12 promises some great new features, and I’m especially looking forward to the new in-memory enhancements that will allow customers to better exploit the massive amounts of real storage starting to appear in z13 machines. We’ll be covering all of the new DB2 12 features extensively in the coming months, but I’m expecting to see the familiar release adoption pattern play itself out one more time over the next couple of years. Beyond that we could be in for a some big changes that have the potential to radically disrupt the traditional 3-year cycle, but that’s a discussion for another day.

Some useful DB2 11 information from Triton:

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