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Book Review: DB2 10 for z/OS: The Smarter, Faster Way to Upgrade

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Trying to figure out whether to upgrade? Read on.


Soon after a new version of software is made available to existing customers, it doesn't take long for discussions to arise between the technical and business leadership within a company on when to upgrade. The development teams drool over the productivity and performance benefits offered by the new version while the IT executives fixate on the costs and risks associated with upgrading to the latest software version.


The internal debates around new versions of the DB2 for z/OS product are usually even more intense because this DB2 product is responsible for running so many mission-critical workloads and processes. Luckily, DB2 for z/OS clients can utilize the DB2 10 for z/OS: The Smarter, Faster Way to Upgrade book to make a decision and build an upgrade plan that's best for their business.


The DB2 10 for z/OS book helps the parties on all sides of the debate by quantifying both the business and technical benefits of the new version. In addition, the book includes practical information to help clients develop an effective business case for upgrading to DB2 10 and a solid migration strategy. The book also does an impressive job of effectively communicating to all levels within an organization by including an Executive Summary at the beginning of each major section before diving into more-technical discussion.


The Introduction section gets the book off to a great start by including a list of the Top 10 reasons to upgrade to DB2 10 for z/OS. I found this Top 10 list to be an effective tool to get the reader quickly focused on the noteworthy enhancements in the release. This concentrated focus is especially important given that DB2 10 is the most significant release IBM has shipped in more than a decade for DB2 for z/OS, so it's easy for clients to be overwhelmed by the wide range of improvements.


The Top 10 list is then followed by quotes and comments from DB2 for z/OS customers. These quotes from real-world customers, many of whom participated in the DB2 10 beta program, are a great complement to the perspectives and opinions shared by the book's authors.


After the Introduction, the book is broken into two parts. Part I focuses on helping customers achieve a successful upgrade to DB2 10 by covering migration and planning considerations in great detail. Some of the migration considerations are based off of actual customer experiences. Any time clients can build plans based on real-world experiences, they are going to feel much more comfortable in their ability to execute.


Migration planning for DB2 10 is even more challenging than normal because for the first time IBM is allowing DB2 for z/OS customers to skip a level and upgrade directly to DB2 10 without first upgrading to DB2 9. Part I has an entire section dedicated to the question of whether clients should skip the DB2 9 level.


Part II of the book then changes the focus to the performance benefits of DB2 10 and examines how those benefits translate into financial benefits for a company. This second section of the book wraps up by showing techies how to build a business case to justify the update to DB2 10 for z/OS.


Get and read this book if you want to make an upgrade decision on DB2 10 for z/OS that allows you to balance the business and technical benefits.

Kent Milligan
Kent Milligan is a Senior Db2 for i Consultant in the IBM Lab Services Power Systems Delivery Practice.  Kent has over 25 years of experience as a Db2 for IBM i consultant and developer working out of the IBM Rochester lab. Prior to re-joining the DB2 for i Lab Services practice in 2020, Kent spent 5 years working on healthcare solutions powered by IBM Watson technologies. Kent is a sought-after speaker and author on Db2 for i & SQL topics.


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