Panta rhei or, in English: all things are in flux. Everything changes, nothing stays the same.

The IT industry is very well aware of that ancient Heraclitus’ phrase, perhaps more than any other industry in the World. The latest hype in the IT world is the Cloud – shut down your costly local Data centre and move all your computer resources to the Cloud – all your servers, all your databases, all your applications, all your development platforms… everything. Leave no trace at home.

According to a recent study carried out by LogicMonitor Cloud 2025* 87% of enterprises will accelerate their migration to Cloud with Covid 19 being cited as the main reason. Most people who will read this article are already moving to the Cloud, or planning to do so in the near future. The rest of the crowd are steadily drifting into obsolescence and oblivion…

OK, just kidding, it’s not so drastic yet, but there are articles predicting that in as little as 20 years all of the world’s data centres will be in the Cloud, except perhaps some very small businesses and/or special individual cases.

Even the largest governments in the world have started moving their critical resources to the Cloud. Just think of the JEDI project (Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure) for example – a $10BN large United States Department of Defense cloud computing contract.

Obviously, it looks like the time has come to move on and leave your rusty local data centre behind!

From a data perspective, there are a number of things to consider and plan to make your migration to the Cloud successful. Download Application Replatforming – The Data Perspective for a detailed check list.

And when you start thinking about the journey, it may also be the perfect moment to reflect on your current infrastructure setup, database configurations, application development platforms and, indeed, everything that constitutes your software solution and to see what could be done to improve on any one of those.

Below we look at a selection of DB2 features for you to consider enabling once your DB2 system is on the Cloud and before opening it up for business. The list is by no means exhaustive, represented below are the factors Triton Consulting considered and implemented in the Cloud migration projects that we have advised and delivered so far.

Convert all tablespaces to Automatic Storage and Reclaimable

If you are still using the good old (but very much obsolete) DMS and/or SMS tablespaces, now is the time to drop that old habit.
Also, if you have been using the AS (Automatic Storage) tablespaces since DB2 version 9.7, there is a good chance your tablespaces are non-reclaimable (i.e. the empty space within tablespaces cannot be returned to the disks easily).
Find out if any of this is the case, convert and move on!

Consolidate Disk LUNs

All of us who started our DBA careers 10+ years ago must have set up at least one database with tablespace containers spread over as many different filesystems as possible (where these filesystems ideally never shared any physical disks). That was fine back then in the good old days when the OS actually had some control over the disk spindles. In today’s world where everything is moved away, cached and virtualized, including the logical disks/filesystems that the OS works with, it makes sense to consolidate the LUNs and let the Storage Server optimize it as much as it can.

Revision of user accounts

Over time, the total number of user accounts with a specific set of access privileges on the database and its objects will increase. Whether those are, or were, database administrators, developers or read only business userids, is sometimes hard to tell. People come and go from organisations and more often than not their digital accounts are not cleaned up properly. Artefacts remain and sometimes no one is 100% sure what will happen if an obscure user account is dropped and whether it can be dropped at all (there may be an equally obscure part of the Application service still using it, however rarely).

Enable data compression

The option of compressing the data in our databases has been around for quite a while now. And frankly, there’s no reason why you should not enable it. In particular, the DB2 compression has become so deeply embedded in the database engine that it can operate on the compressed data without the need to decompress it first. Just go for it!

Enable data encryption

Everyone (and their dogs) is talking about security, security and then some more security. Data encryption falls into this category so without further ado, if you too are concerned with your database security, do enable the data encryption at all levels – data at rest and in-transit.

System Architecture change

This is actually not a “DB2 feature” but something that you will have to take into account, whether you want it or not, if you decide to migrate your long standing on-premise AIX DB2 installations into the Cloud to a typically Linux-flavoured platform, because the two are not binary compatible.

DB2 Replatforming to the Cloud – 6 features to enable provides additional technical information on the features listed above.

Plan before you move

So, moving slightly more up to date than Heraclitus, in the words of Benjamin Franklin… and Winston Churchill… and General Dwight D. Eisenhower:

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”

Have a successful move to the Cloud.

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