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TechTip: How to Prepare for the DB2 10.5 DBA for LUW Upgrade from DB2 10.1 Certification Exam

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One of the best ways to prepare for any DB2 certification exam is by answering practice questions that are similar to, and that are presented in the same format as, the questions you are likely to encounter when you take the actual exam.

Editor’s note: This article is adapted from DB2 10.5 DBA for LUW Upgrade from DB2 10.1: Certification Study Notes (Exam 311) by Roger E. Sanders.

A few months after the “IBM DB2 10.5 DBA for LUW Upgrade from DB2 10.1” certification exam (Exam 311) was announced, I spent several weeks developing training material that I could use to help individuals prepare for the 311 certification exam. I used the same technique to develop material for that course that I have used to develop my other DB2 certification exam preparation courses and study guides: I carefully reviewed notes I had taken during the exam development process, as well as the questions I wrote for that particular test, and I made sure I covered, in detail, all the objectives that had been defined for that certification exam.

After presenting this material to a DB2 customer, I altered it to improve some of the material I saw class participants struggling with. I then used the updated material to teach a “DB2 10.5 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows Database Administration Certification Upgrade Exam Preparation” educational seminar at the 2015 International DB2 User’s Group (IDUG) North American Conference.

In January 2016, I was invited to teach my DB2 10.5 DBA certification preparation course at the IDUG conference again. And because several individuals had contacted me asking if I would consider making my training material available, I contacted MC Press and suggested we publish my material, along with a set of practice questions and answers, in a book that anyone wanting to take Exam 311 could use as an exam study guide. The result is my latest book, DB2 10.5 DBA for LUW Upgrade from DB2 10.1: Certification Study Notes.

Because much of this book consists of the material I use to teach my educational seminar, it is presented in the form of slides. For example, the following slides, which can be seen on pages 35 to 37, describe the method that is used to compress column-organized tables.

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In my opinion, one of the best ways to prepare for any DB2 certification exam is by answering practice questions that are similar to, and that are presented in the same format as, the questions you are likely to encounter when you take the actual exam. Therefore, in the remaining portion of the book, you will find 56 practice questions, as well as comprehensive answers for each question. (It’s not enough to know which answer is correct; it’s also important to know why a particular answer is correct—and why the other choices are wrong!). All these questions were developed using copious notes that were taken during the exam development process; as a member of the team that developed the DB2 10.5 DBA for LUW Upgrade from DB2 10.1 certification exam (Exam 311), I had the opportunity to see every question that was created for this exam!

Here is an example of a practice question that you’ll find in the book:

Which two characteristics are related to BLU Acceleration? (Choose two.)

  1.  “Always on” adaptive row compression
  2.  Default and referential integrity informational constraints
  3.  Enhanced caching strategy that improves buffer pool utilization
  4.  Significantly smaller storage footprint for database transaction logs
  5.  Multiplied CPU power that uses Single Instruction Multiple Data (SIMD) instructions for many operations

And the answer to this particular question looks like this:

The correct answers are C and E. DB2 10.5 with BLU Acceleration was designed around the following seven “big ideas”:

     1. Simple to implement and use

     2. Compute-friendly approximate Huffman encoding and compression

     3. Multiply the power of the CPU (by taking advantage of SIMD)

     4. Column data store

     5. Core-friendly parallelism

     6. Scan-friendly memory caching that improves buffer pool utilization

     7. Data skipping

Adaptive row compression is neither “always on” nor is it part of BLU Acceleration (Answer A); although referential integrity informational constraints have been available for quite some time, default informational constraints are not supported (Answer B); and while the use of BLU Acceleration can result in a smaller storage footprint for data, the same cannot be said for transaction logs (Answer D).

With 169 comprehensive slides and 56 practice questions with detailed answers like this, the reader should come away with a strong understanding of the concepts that must be mastered in order to obtain IBM Certified Database Administrator—DB2 10.5 DBA for LUW Upgrade from DB2 10.1 certification.

Roger Sanders

Roger E. Sanders is a Principal Sales Enablement & Skills Content Specialist at IBM. He has worked with Db2 (formerly DB2 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows) since it was first introduced on the IBM PC (1991) and is the author of 26 books on relational database technology (25 on Db2; one on ODBC). For 10 years he authored the “Distributed DBA” column in IBM Data Magazine, and he has written articles for publications like Certification Magazine, Database Trends and Applications, and IDUG Solutions Journal (the official magazine of the International Db2 User's Group), as well as tutorials and articles for IBM's developerWorks website. In 2019, he edited the manuscript and prepared illustrations for the book “Artificial Intelligence, Evolution and Revolution” by Steven Astorino, Mark Simmonds, and Dr. Jean-Francois Puget.

From 2008 to 2015, Roger was recognized as an IBM Champion for his contributions to the IBM Data Management community; in 2012 he was recognized as an IBM developerWorks Master Author, Level 2 (for his contributions to the IBM developerWorks community); and, in 2021 he was recognized as an IBM Redbooks Platinum Author. He lives in Fuquay Varina, North Carolina.


MC Press books written by Roger E. Sanders available now on the MC Press Bookstore.

QuickStart Guide to Db2 Development with Python QuickStart Guide to Db2 Development with Python
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DB2 10.1 Fundamentals (Exam 610) DB2 10.1 Fundamentals (Exam 610)
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Artificial Intelligence: Evolution and Revolution Artificial Intelligence: Evolution and Revolution
Operational AI has become available to the masses, setting the wheels in motion for a worldwide AI revolution that has never been seen before.
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DB2 10.5 DBA for LUW Upgrade from DB2 10.1: Certification Study Notes DB2 10.5 DBA for LUW Upgrade from DB2 10.1: Certification Study Notes
Here's everything you need to know to take and pass Exam 311, complete with a practice exam and study key.
List Price $21.95

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From Idea to Print From Idea to Print
Here's everything you need to know to turn your technical knowledge and expertise into a published article or book.
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DB2 9 Fundamentals (Exam 730) DB2 9 Fundamentals (Exam 730)
Use this review before taking the test to prove you've mastered the basics of DB2 9.
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DB2 9 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows Database Administration (Exam 731) DB2 9 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows Database Administration (Exam 731)
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DB2 9.7 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows Database Administration (Exam 541) DB2 9.7 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows Database Administration (Exam 541)
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DB2 9 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows Advanced Database Administration (Exam 734) DB2 9 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows Advanced Database Administration (Exam 734)
Review all exam topics and take the included practice test to be sure you're ready on testing day.
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DB2 9 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows Database Administration Upgrade (Exam 736) DB2 9 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows Database Administration Upgrade (Exam 736)
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