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4.0 out of 5 stars long, intricate db2 commands, 4 May 2012
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The authors emphasise, even if perhaps unintentionally, that using db2 entails a lot of typing of commands. That is one thing that struck me immediately about this text. Sure, there are sections with screen captures of the GUI that IBM provides as a more user friendly front end to running a db2 database. But more importantly, the complexity and specialised nature of many of the tasks done in the text are not fronted by a GUI. You invoke at the command line of the operating system the 'db2' program with an attendant and typically long list of options. In many ways, this reminds me of when I was a systems administrator of a cluster of IBM RS6000 workstations, that ran AIX, IBM's version of unix. AIX also had this feature of long command line commands. But AIX came with SMIT, a very nice and powerful GUI for the sysadmin, that let you far more easily run commands. Behind the scenes, SMIT generated the text of the commands, showed it to you in a window and ran it. In an analogous way, the db2 command really seems like it needs its corresponding GUI to be fully fleshed out.

As for the text's contents, they do warrant a pre-existing sophisticated understanding of SQL and relational database theory. IBM's db2 comes with useful features like an optimiser that tries to improve the performance of complex queries. The book also makes you pay attention (well, it tries at least) to mundane but key issues like doing a tape backup. Using Tivoli Storage Manager. This particular topic has a bunch of grubby details in the examples. But that is the reality of most backups. You should also look carefully at the incremental backups. These are inherently far faster to perform.

Along the lines of backup, but extrapolating to the extreme case of disaster recovery, IBM has made HADR (High Availability Disaster Recovery). Used for a critical database failure or disaster. You need extra hardware, in the form of a standby server, which is preferably at a different location. That is the point, isn't it? HADR then does the backup of your primary database. If your data center is vital enough, take a serious look at this section of the text.
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