2009 Posted by Carol Davis-Mann

DB2 Gets More Bite With COBRA

Business Benefits of DB2 9.7 

IBM has been making huge technical strides with their flagship database, DB2, over the past few years.  As expected, the recent launch of DB2 9.7 has not failed to impress, incorporating even more improvements.

DB2 9.7, also known as the COBRA release, has made up significant ground on Oracle.  The ease with which organisations are now able to migrate from Oracle to DB2 has been enhanced so dramatically that it is now an enticing option.  Previously the time taken to migrate an Oracle-based application to DB2 would take weeks, if not months.  This can now be achieved in a matter of days.

“We’ve had experience of a customer who wanted to convert from Oracle to DB2. It took 3 weeks to do that initially. With the DB2 9.7 beta we got that down to 2 days of a Junior DBAs’ time” Says Julian Stuhler, Triton Consulting “The SQL compatibility feature means that there will be many more customers out there who are going to be really interested in using the core strengths of the DB2 database engine.”


Given the current state of economic instability around the world, the benefits of DB2, particularly lower CPU costs, storage costs and compatibility with Oracle, there is a compelling argument for organisations to move from Oracle to DB2.

Key Business Benefits

The most obvious business benefit of moving to DB2 9.7 is lower costs.


Lower storage costs
Lower data management and analysis costs
Lower database administration costs
Lower development costs

The results of a recent piece of research by International Technology Group state that “Use of DB2 9.7 results in combined three-year costs for database software, disk and tape storage systems, servers and personnel that average 36 percent less than those for use of Oracle 11g.”

In addition to the cost reduction which can be seen ITG also state that “Use of DB2 9.7 provides opportunities not only to lower energy costs, but also to contribute to the realisation of broader environmental objectives such as reducing organisational carbon footprints.” In an age where environmental concerns are growing ever more important the “Green IT” benefits of DB2 9.7 cannot be ignored.

Technology Enhancements


With More than 70% of data breaches coming from internal weaknesses it is vital that organisations put internal security at the top of their “to do” list.

A heightened level of security is now required as threats to data security increase. DB2 9.7 enhances the security features put into place within previous versions. The predominant factor in this release is the distinction between duties; DBAs will no longer have access to the data within a database by default and will now only have maintenance authorities over a database environment. With this new enhancement organisations can maximise the security of their key intellectual property.

High Availability

DB2 has become a front runner in high availability and each new version sees more enhancements to an already superior offering.

24/7 system availability is a key requirement for many organisations. The internet has allowed many businesses to move online and create a further revenue stream. However, this requires their systems to be available around the clock.

DB2 is widely recognised as a stable platform but the developments in this version have taken stability to a new level, meaning that organisations can achieve 24/7 availability for their critical DB2 data.

Manageability Developments

Further manageability developments in DB2 9.7 now allow for less involvement for the DBA. More and more tasks that previously required the intervention of the DBA are now automated or moving towards becoming automated. This means that highly skilled DBAs can spend less of their time on everyday manual tasks and more time on other projects and operational tasks.

Enhanced Monitoring for Better Performance

24/7 available database environments, and even those environments that are not 24/7, all require a high level of performance. It is vital then that monitoring tools do not interfere with database, and therefore application, performance when active. The new monitoring enhancements in DB2 9.7 can be used to diagnose issues without putting added pressure on database performance.

Enhanced Workload Manager

Effective workload management is vital to the workings of the database, server and the utilities running against the database. More often than not an application customer will not be aware of the kind of work being undertaken and the amount of management and monitoring required. At times it is difficult to anticipate the amount of work or management and on these occasions thresholds need to be in place. DB2 9.7 workload management capabilities are derived from mainframe architecture. This means they bring the mainframe strengths of managing diverse and concurrent workloads. DB2 9.7 ensures that system resources are used much more efficiently.


DB2 9.7 is – by a wide margin – better designed and optimized to deal with the future evolution of the XML world than any competitive database – ITG.

XML is key to the flexibility found in DB2 9.7. PureXML was first introduced within version 9.1 and has now been developed further to incorporate more flexibility and reliability. Previously, organisations’ transactional systems had to convert XML data into relational data but with DB2 9.7, XML data can now be stored in a warehouse. This means that organisations can use BI tools directly against XML to unlock the business insight stored there. According to the ITG research paper “DB2 9.7 is – by a wide margin – better designed and optimised to deal with the future of the XML world than any competitive database”

Pushing the Boundaries

With the release of DB2 9.7 we have seen IBM make an already good product into a genuinely great one. With its many benefits, both to the business and technical teams, DB2 9.7 is the obvious choice for those looking to achieve lower costs whilst heightening security and reliability. IBM has pushed the boundaries and really taken the fight to Oracle and now have a compelling reason for organisations to change allegiance.

For more information on how DB2 9.7 can benefit your organisations call 0870 2411 550 to speak to one of our experts.



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