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IBM Db2 Database OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

IBM Db2 Database is #5 ranked solution in top Relational Databases. PeerSpot users give IBM Db2 Database an average rating of 8 out of 10. IBM Db2 Database is most commonly compared to Oracle Database: IBM Db2 Database vs Oracle Database. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a computer software company, accounting for 28% of all views.
What is IBM Db2 Database?
DB2 Enterprise for Linux, UNIX, and Windows is the ideal data server for the most demanding workloads. New XML support is designed to help firms minimize the time and effort it takes to persist and use their XML data reducing development costs and improving business agility.

IBM Db2 Database was previously known as DB2.

IBM Db2 Database Buyer's Guide

Download the IBM Db2 Database Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: January 2022

IBM Db2 Database Customers
Knorr-Bremse, Mizuho Bank Ltd., Australian Government Department of Defence, SCHWENK Zement, Friedhelm Loh Group, YAZAKI Europe Limited, Ekornes ASA, Baldor Electric, VSN Systemen BV, Lion Brewery (Ceylon) PLC, PLANSEE Group, TE Connectivity, Hansgrohe SE, Openmatics, University of Toronto
IBM Db2 Database Video

Archived IBM Db2 Database Reviews (more than two years old)

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Suhendri -
Department Head of Big Data and Analytic Solutions at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
MSP
Data Warehouse for large enterprises with good technical support
Pros and Cons
  • "When you submit a ticket the response time is quick."
  • "The price should be lower."

What is our primary use case?

I used DB2 two years ago. It's a data warehouse project solution for a bank. I use DB2 as a warehouse and the data stacks for the APL.

My role in this project was as a database designer. I would design the database, the warehouse, and get the requirements. 

I am not detailed in the technicality of creating the table in DB2.

I am now selling this product.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is data analytics.

What needs improvement?

The price should be lower.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with this solution for six months.

I use the DB2 BLU version.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This solution is stable. It's good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I don't' have any knowledge about scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is good. They have presales and technical support. When you submit a ticket the response time is quick.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Previously we were using SQL Server.

The main difference is the pricing and implementation.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward.

It took four months to deploy this solution.

What about the implementation team?

I only use one server to implement the solution.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I think that everyone knows that with IBM the standard price is higher than the others.

What other advice do I have?

There is a lot of documentation available. I was, however, able to find what I needed through Google.

For our clients who have a large scale enterprise, we suggest DB2 and mid-scale enterprise customers we suggest SQL Server or others.

It's a better solution, it's better on the application. The purpose of DB2 is for a data warehouse or with data analytics.

I would rate this product an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer:
System Administrator at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Robust, stable solution with good technical support
Pros and Cons
  • "We had a crash of the backup system and the IBM DB2 was always up and consistent. It's robust, and for us, it was always up and running."
  • "The licensing fees can be reduced."

What is our primary use case?

We are not using this with other users, it is dedicated to our backup solution.

We only have one instance, one user, one service, and we don't have any other users or clients that we connect to.

A database system is a tool used for reporting and to monitor if it is running or if there are any issues. We can set alarms and warnings. It is a backup system that manages the backup.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is that it is robust. We had a crash of the backup system and the IBM DB2 was always up and consistent. It's robust, and for us, it was always up and running.

The database is deployed using the command line, so we did not test any other tools, aside from DB2 using the command line interface.

What needs improvement?

Because this solution is a big data database only dedicated to the application server, it is very difficult for us to assess areas of improvement. We use the database, so we don't have any other requirements or need to use it in any other way.

The licensing fees can be reduced. While we don't see the breakdown, we know that IBM licenses for the backup system are very expensive.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with this solution for ten years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This solution is stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We don't have experience with scalability because the server is also a dedicated server and the physical hardware has always been dedicated from the beginning. After five years, we made a technical upgrade and have been the same since.

How are customer service and technical support?

My colleague has the primary responsibility for the backup system and he has had to open tickets on two occasions. Each time, they were okay and the issue was resolved. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is simple and straightforward. It's easy to install with no special configuration for a big data database. They make things simple.

It took less than an hour to deploy.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The cost is embedded in the price of the backup solution. We know that the backup solution is quite expensive and with each inside license, there is also a database license.

We don't see what the specific price of the DB2 license is because we pay for the backup license as a package.

What other advice do I have?

This is a robust and stable product but it's expensive.

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer:
Learn what your peers think about IBM Db2 Database. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: January 2022.
564,599 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Michael Raz
DA / DBA at Discount Bank
Real User
Excellent availability, reliability, and consistency
Pros and Cons
  • "The self-management and optimization features are probably the best on the market"
  • "The ease of use, or ease of management, could be improved."

What is our primary use case?

The solution is a major central relational database management system that maintains all of the data for our bank's core business.

What is most valuable?

The availability, reliability, consistency, security, performance, and methodology of the solution are all excellent. It's a proven product for many, many businesses in many, many different areas. It's probably one of the best products on the market.

The self-management and optimization features are probably the best on the market.

What needs improvement?

The ease of use, or ease of management, could be improved.

There are many improvements all the time on the solution. There is no one thing that I would mention. IBM invests a lot of money to improve the tool and maintain it. There are improvements all the time happening in different areas. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I've worked with IBM products since 1989.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is stable. No technical issues have ever occured.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is good.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is quite complex. Nothing is simple on the platform. Deployment times depend on the extent of the organization. Different tests need to be done: unique tests, integration tests, user acceptance, performance, etc.

What about the implementation team?

There are specialists on-premises that work for the bank and they handle everything themselves.

What other advice do I have?

We use the on-premises deployment model.

The solution is suitable for big organizations, big financial institutions, government, ministries, the army, insurance companies, etc. It's not for small end-users.

I'd rate the solution nine out of ten.

The learning curve for the Db2 specialist is high. To become a specialist, under production level, takes two years. It's a complex product.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Managing Director, North America at Business Consultants, Inc.
Real User
Very stable and scalable but the pricing is not transparent
Pros and Cons
  • "The solution is very stable, in both hardware and database."
  • "End-to-end encryption specifically is something the solution needs to have in the next release."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution for different banking systems.

What is most valuable?

The solution is very stable, in both hardware and database.

What needs improvement?

IBM just came out with new hardware in September, so they are getting ready for the cloud. If they can push through with all those features they're talking about, I think they have a good product lined up. Right now, the solution needs to have end-to-end encryption, to be cloud-ready, to have native support for Linux, and built-in data scientist workbenches. These are promised to us in the new release, and I hope that happens.

End-to-end encryption specifically is something the solution needs to have in the next release.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution since 1998.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is very scalable. We don't plan on increasing usage any time soon, however.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is good. they are pretty responsive.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We also use SAP HANA. These are two different applications, however, and they have different use cases. HANA runs on memory. Db2 is a much more mature, older technology with its own platform. HANA is not that new but it's not that old either. It's much faster for sure. The difference is one is in-memory computing, while the other is a traditional database on hardware on the IBM platform.

How was the initial setup?

The setup is quite complex. The solution and the hardware build are two different events. The deployment itself doesn't take more than two weeks, followed by the setup which can take, depending on the organization and its processes, a few months to a year. It varies from client to client.

What about the implementation team?

IBM assisted us with the deployment. 

They're quite good at what they do. They never deliver on time or on budget. However, they know what they're doing, as it's their product.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The solution is pretty expensive and IBM isn't very transparent in their pricing plans. You need to be aware of what your company specifically needs before purchasing anything.

What other advice do I have?

I'd rate the solution a six out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Evaristo Carvalho
IT Director at BISTP
Real User
Secure and stable for our financial and asset management solutions, but it needs a web-based interface

What is our primary use case?

We use this solution for financial software and also for asset management. We have a public cloud deployment using Microsoft Azure.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features of this solution are security and stability.

What needs improvement?

We would like to see a web-based interface for this solution, as it would help to improve visibility. It would be helpful to have more querying tools and more development tools for us to work easily with Microsoft. For example, ODBC drivers would make work easier for our development team.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for fifteen years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This solution is very stable. We have had no problems since it was…

What is our primary use case?

We use this solution for financial software and also for asset management.

We have a public cloud deployment using Microsoft Azure.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features of this solution are security and stability.

What needs improvement?

We would like to see a web-based interface for this solution, as it would help to improve visibility.

It would be helpful to have more querying tools and more development tools for us to work easily with Microsoft. For example, ODBC drivers would make work easier for our development team.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for fifteen years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This solution is very stable. We have had no problems since it was set up.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This solution is scalable. We have an infrastructure that is based on virtual machines, so we can add more to grow as we need. I am very happy about that.

We have perhaps sixty or seventy people using this solution.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support for us in São Tomé is very difficult because we don't have a local representative from IBM. We have to get our support from Portugal, so it can take a long time to solve the problem.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup of this solution was very complex.

Our deployment took one or two days.

What about the implementation team?

We needed to contract a specialist from Portugal to assist with the installation and the planning.

What other advice do I have?

I don't think that we will be changing solutions within the next year.

I would rate this solution a seven out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Giancarlo Nocerino
Consultant at a tech services company
Consultant
Has good scalability, availability, and upgrades easily
Pros and Cons
  • "The scalability and availability of this solution are the most valuable features."

    What is our primary use case?

    We use the on-prem deployment model of this solution. 

    What is most valuable?

    The scalability and availability of this solution are the most valuable features. It is a very stable product. 

    What needs improvement?

    I don't have a general opinion about how they can improve this product. The performance could be improved. 

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have 35 years of experience, almost 45 years of experience in ICT. From the start, I have used relational databases Db2 and Oracle, and so I am a good user of Db2 and relational database.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We have 2,000 ICT people and most of them are working on the operational part of the site. Minimum, there are 100 or 80 people working on the system database.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    IBM offers very good support. They have maximum knowledge. 

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We previously used Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, and MySQL which is an open-source database. 

    How was the initial setup?

    We did an installation 20 or 50 years ago. It's an old installation. The database engineer has a good level of competency in Db2 installation, it's very easy. They normally upgrade Db2 without any problem.

    What other advice do I have?

    I would definitely recommend this solution to somebody considering it. I would advise that if you are looking to install it, you should have internal competence and internal skill, don't only use external support that is provided by IBM. You should have internal knowledge and competency for Db2 management.

    The performance is very critical. The software developer needs to have good knowledge of the programming technique in order to avoid the problem on the performance side. 

    The performance of Db2 depends on the system, on how you installed it. From the application part, it depends on how you developed code, how you wrote the code because if you write bad code you will have a serious performance problem. 

    Db2 is a very old product, but also a very stable product. It's really difficult to imagine something different from the actual configuration from the actual functionalities of its operation.

    I would rate it a nine out of ten. 

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Business Intelligence Consultant at a university with 10,001+ employees
    Consultant
    Good technical support and a stable platform for our Data Lake
    Pros and Cons
    • "The most valuable feature of this solution is the integration with other IBM products."
    • "I would like to see better support for advanced analytics."

    What is our primary use case?

    Our primary use case for this solution was as a data lake, in an on-premises deployment.

    We stopped using this solution almost a year ago. 

    What is most valuable?

    The most valuable feature of this solution is the integration with other IBM products.

    This solution has good storage capabilities.

    What needs improvement?

    I would like to see better support for advanced analytics.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I had been using this solution for nine years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    This is definitely a stable solution. I would rate the stability a nine out of ten.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    I would say this solution is scalable, in terms of memory.

    There are approximately one thousand users.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Technical support for this solution is good.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    Prior to using this solution I was using Oracle, although it was not for exactly the same purpose.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup of this solution is straightforward.

    There are between ten and fifteen staff that maintain this solution.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    Licensing fees are on a yearly basis.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We have changed to a new platform, so I am no longer using IBM DB2.

    What other advice do I have?

    If somebody is looking for stability then I recommend this platform, although it depends on whether they want a Data Lake or are looking for analytics.

    I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
    CTO at Jutel
    Real User
    It is a very reliable product. The backups and assistance are good.
    Pros and Cons
    • "Some of the most valuable features are the scaling from a small very cheap installation to a very large enterprise installation. In addition, the backups and assistance are good."
    • "The initial set up was complex."

    What is our primary use case?

    My primary use case is for media management purposes.

    What is most valuable?

    Some of the most valuable features are the scaling from a small very cheap installation to a very large enterprise installation. In addition, the backups and assistance are good.

    What needs improvement?

    It would be nice if it was easily available on all platforms because nowadays, it is not there as a general database.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    More than five years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It has been very stable.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It has been a very scalable solution for us.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial set up was complex, but that was a long time ago.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We considered Oracle. But, Oracle kept coming out with new versions and every time you had to change something in your application.

    What other advice do I have?

    I suggest to anyone considering this solution to get hands-on experience with the solution, and run some tests and pilots. When evaluating a solution like this one, you must consider the product itself, the support available and how common or popular the product is. I find that if it is a popular product, that means there are a lot of people who know the product well, and it's easy to do work with that particular product.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    ITCS user
    VP of IT at a financial services firm
    Vendor
    ​Scales well enough for a relational database and has a good, stable performance
    Pros and Cons
    • "It has a good, stable performance."
    • "​Scales well enough for a relational database."
    • "Do not use support. Freely available documentation is a bit weak.​"
    • "​Not very solid compared to its competitors' products.​"
    • "Some of the internal rearrangement in the administration is not as straightforward as it is in competing products."

    How has it helped my organization?

    Compared to Oracle, it is so much cheaper.

    What is most valuable?

    It has a good, stable performance, and it's not Oracle. 

    What needs improvement?

    Some of the internal rearrangement in the administration is not as straightforward as it is in competing products. 

    For how long have I used the solution?

    More than five years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Not very solid compared to its competitors' products.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Scales well enough for a relational database. Not exceptional; scales at or slightly below its peers.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Do not use it. Freely available documentation is a bit weak.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    No. I have previous experience extensive with Oracle, SQL Server and Sybase. It is a good product. Better than Sybase, but not as good as Oracle, and comparable to SQL Server. 

    How was the initial setup?

    I can't comment. I have no experience here.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    They are competitive and honest (compared to how peer firms approach licensing conversations).

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    No, they were the incumbent.

    What other advice do I have?

    Prototype any use of fringe functionality, XML-specific handling, JSON Processing, NoSQL Extensions, etc. 

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    ITCS user
    Enterprise Solutions Architect at a computer software company with 201-500 employees
    Real User
    Stability, scalability and security with high performance.

    What is our primary use case?

    Internet & Mobile banking database

    E-Payroll & E-Statement solutions

    Website database

    What is most valuable?

    A) The command set is almost the same in Windows and AIX operating systems, which greatly minimize the administration efforts to manage DB2 in both environments. Needless to say that working with the banking sector (which is my default playground) I need the ability to deal with many operating systems.

    B) The ability to understand and interpret PL/SQL queries, with ease switching from Oracle to DB2.

    C) Stability, scalability and security with high performance.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Our software products have to be PCI-DSS compliant, so encryption of customers' credit card numbers is a must-have feature. Using DB2 AWSE v11 enables us to do out-of-the-box encryption with ease.

    What needs improvement?

    Backing up databases from Windows and restoring them on AIX and vise-versa.

    Support for migrating DB2 v9.7 to 11 in a single process with no intermediate versions jumping

    For how long have I used the solution?

    More than five years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    No.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    No.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    IBM Knowledge Base is more than enough, I never asked them for support.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    I used Oracle DB and am still using it with some of my customers, but Oracle administration is a nightmare compared to DB2.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is straightforward, but securing your environment is a bit more complex.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    Use DB2 Express for your development environment, but consider using Workgroup Server Edition if you need to federate two databases together or need to server a huge amount of data. If you plan to be PCI-DSS compliant, use AWSE.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    MS SQL Server 2014 and Oracle 12g.

    What other advice do I have?

    I recommend it to medium-to-large enterprise applications

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    ITCS user
    DB2 DBA at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    ​A lot of scalability can be done in DB2, it only depends on the money you want to invest in that and on the functions that you really need. It can go from a free database to a very big infrastructure

    What is most valuable?

    • PureScale
    • Blu acceleration
    • XML and JSON datatypes
    • Autonomous computing (storage, memory, and maintenance)
    • HADR
    • NoSQL (RDF and MongoDB).

    How has it helped my organization?

    Due to the stability, the applications can have a very long uptime, even with modifications in the application.

    I have never needed to install a fix pack because there is a problem on the engine where new functions are used. Users forget to know that a DB2 is supporting the data.

    What needs improvement?

    Monitoring. There are very few applications that really monitor DB2.
    Marketing. IBMers from other IBM brands, do not rely on DB2.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    12 years.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    It is easier to administer and to use than other RDBMS; however, developers like complex things and they get into trouble when using DB2 for the first time.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Not at all.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    A lot of scalability can be done in DB2, it only depends on the money you want to invest in it and on the functions that you really need. It can go from a free database to a very big infrastructure.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Customer Service:

    In other countries, different to US or Canada, the support is not straightforward. This product has a small market share outside North America, and for this reason, experts outside that part of the world are very few, even inside IBM. Thus, the customer support is very basic, and any medium problem needs to go to Canada.

    Technical Support:

    A six out of 10.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    I have used a little bit of Oracle, SQL Server, PostgresSQL, and MySQL. They are good platforms, but they are not as easy to work with as DB2 is.

    How was the initial setup?

    DB2 is easy to install. You just need to run the installer, and that is all. In AIX, it runs smoothly.

    In Linux, it requires some libraries. Sometimes in 32 bits they are not easy to get, but once you got them, the installation is normal.

    In Windows, it is just next, next. Once the binaries are installed, the instance is created in less than a minute, and it is only necessary to know what an instance means in DB2.

    Finally, the database is just a command, that in some very specific cases it need extra parameters. If not, it creates a database in two minutes, and then, you have a powerful database ready to receive your data.

    What other advice do I have?

    If you are creating a small budget project, DB2 could be your first option. You have almost no limits with the Community-C edition (the free one), and then you can scale up to a supported version. Instead, when you have a very big infrastructure, I recommend you to check what you need, then DB2 could be a very good option.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    ITCS user
    Security Analyst at a insurance company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Real User
    The most valuable features automated security administration and reporting

    What is most valuable?

    Ease of use and robust automated security administration and reporting are features any mainframe shop needs and should have. The cost of investing in such products will usually offset the expense associated with the DB2 environment and the efforts to protect those data resources associated with it.

    How has it helped my organization?

    When new DB2 resources are introduced into the environment, the Vanguard Administrator product allows us to quickly build the required RACF security rules and access lists. There are features in the Administrator product that automate the tedious security administration efforts. The Vanguard Advisor product provides a mechanism for monitoring the RACF/DB2 environment, identifying and reviewing security violations that occur, etc. As stated earlier, we also use Vanguard Integrity Professional’s “Security Center” product for RACF DB2 administration. The Security Center has a direct GUI interface to RACF. As such, it does not require the RACF administrator to use TSO to define or change RACF security profiles associated with DB2.

    What needs improvement?

    It is worth noting that the RACF security product is used to safeguard the DB2 environment on the mainframe. This allows us to maintain all security rules for resources on the mainframe using the RACF security product. Some shops I have worked in do not use external security managers like RACF, Top Secret or ACF2 to protect the DB2 environment. I have seen instances where installations with DB2 use native internal security.

    If an installation does not use an external security manager product like RACF, Top Secret or ACF2, then native internal DB2 security would have to be used to safeguard DB2 resources. This results in the DBA's being responsible for security profiles that protect DB2 resources. It's better to let the DBAs do the job they do best; that is, define the resources and then let the security team protect them accordingly, with their input of course.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We have used this solution for approximately 10 years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    There were no stability issues.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    There were no real scalability issues. Features in the Vanguard RACF security products allow the installation to determine security policy for DB2 resources and build the security rules as needed.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I think the Support Team at Vanguard Integrity Professionals is great. I have never had a problem with Support getting back to me in a timely manner with the information I need to resolve issues.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We have not used any external security managers other than RACF to safeguard the mainframe DB2 environment. At one point I was involved in looking at IBM’s zSecure product as an alternative RACF security and audit tool.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup of the automated security products like Administrator and or Advisor is straightforward. I highly recommend a Systems Programmer install the products to maximize the software investment a company makes.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    I am not directly involved with pricing and licensing, but I know that despite the associated cost of the software prudent and practical use of these products will be cost-effective. Mainframe software, after all, is expensive and you by strategically planning a security implementation up front will be beneficial in getting desired audit and security results.

    What other advice do I have?

    If your computing budget allows you to get automated security and audit products for your mainframe environment and the applications that run on it, you are fortunate. It is then your responsibility to maximize the software investment to insure all resources on the mainframe platform are adequately protected.

    Truth be told, companies using mainframes spend a lot of money on not just hardware, but the software (DB2/RACF/etc.), that runs on it. It goes without saying that any mainframe installation with DB2 and RACF needs reliable security products to administer the environment provide security and audit reporting and streamline efforts to safeguard the environment.

    From personal experience, I submit that software that enhances and automates security administration efforts for the mainframe and it isn’t cheap either. It’s important for a mainframe organization to maximize the financial investment in such tools.

    In addition, an installation running DB2 and RACF needs to make an important decision. That is, who will be responsible for securing the environment. If RACF or another external security manager is not used than internal DB2 security will need to be employed for safeguarding resources. It’s important to have a security process in place to:

    • Determine what DB2 resources need protection and identify who the users or groups are that need access, and the type of access (inquiry, update, etc.).
    • Audit settings: What type of violations are being monitored and what is the process for reporting them.
    • Security reporting: Periodic re-certification of security rules and access lists, etc. Things (access requirements) change over time.
    • Change control: Security updates which need to be applied in the event of employee hiring, transfers and terminations. Managing a mainframe environment is difficult enough without having to also worry about security clutter.

    Incidentally, this is only a partial list of things to consider when securing a DB2 environment. For example, this write-up doesn’t even address backup, recovery, and/or restoration issues (process/procedures).

    In the many years I have been administering RACF and other security, I have come to conclude that there perfect security does not exist for any application or specific resource. A practitioner I once observed at a security conference summed it up by saying, "Computer security is a journey that never ends..." Ever changing new technological developments and access requirements mean you have to adapt accordingly from a security perspective.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Derez Lusk
    Mainframe Application Analyst / Developer at a insurance company with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    All parts of storage mediums, including VSAM and sequential files to make the system work.

    What is most valuable?

    Data structure -- easy access batch or interface.

    How has it helped my organization?

    All parts of storage mediums, including VSAM and sequential files to make the system work.

    What needs improvement?

    Applications are used within the boundaries of their functionality and/or business purposes.

    While there are different situations that may occur either on a daily basis or once in a while, solutions are limited to the scope of their usage. So it's very difficult to determine if any improvements are needed or suggested.

    This would be a situation basis and an attempt to use the product
    outside of the business scope.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    Since the early 1970s (IBM DB2 V2).

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Very rarely.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Very rarely.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Excellent, if this question is referencing our DBAs.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    N/A.

    How was the initial setup?

    Not involved.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    Not involved.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user442923
    VMware & Storage Design Lead at a university with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    Before installing DB2, make sure full planning is done regarding scalability and performance requirements

    What is most valuable?

    The simplicity of installation/setup and the ability to run without requiring constant maintenance.

    For applications, we have Oracle and Microsoft SQL deployed for application systems, but I prefer DB2 for my “systems” usage primarily due to its limited requirement for administration.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Not one that is relevant, it is used purely in a “systems infrastructure” setting rather than as a “business application system”.

    What needs improvement?

    In my limited use case, the only major thing would be improved reporting capability.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    The first time was in 1989/1990.

    Recently, from 2007 to the present day.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    No, I had a DB2 instance running on an old IBM x3650 with Windows 2003, which ran continuously for eight years.

    It was a performance data repository for our storage and fabric switches, with an average insert activity of several 1,000 per minute (had automatic record pruning setup).

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    No, but we never had it greater than 100TiB.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Can’t rate it as we never had to use it.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    No, I selected DB2 based on previous experience with Oracle and after a brief look at MS SQL.

    How was the initial setup?

    It was very simple to get up and running. The documentation is very good and the user forums, including IBM wikis, make it very easy to find out most things we did to it as far as setup/tuning are concerned.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    As we already use Oracle and MS SQL for applications, I looked at the latest version of Oracle (at the time v9) to examine any differences pertinent to the last time I had looked at it.

    MS SQL: I only briefly looked at it. IMHO, it was no match for DB2 or Oracle, as far as what I consider “Enterprise Databases” to be.

    What other advice do I have?

    Define their use cases as exactly as they can, then look at what DB fits them.
    I have seen the app/database team deploy Oracle/MS-SQL when something really simple like MySQL would have been a better option.

    Also, before installing DB2 make sure full planning is done regarding scalability and performance requirements.

    Definitely, use the planning worksheets and search the DB2 wiki’s and user forums to ensure the setup is optimal from the start, especially as far as layout is concerned.

    I have found in the x86 world that products seem to be installed with very little pre-installation planning. With my mainframe background, you don’t install anything until you have examined all available documentation, so you are aware of all the key decision points in the install/setup/layout.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Don Denoncourt
    Lead Code Wisperer at a tech vendor
    Real User
    If you want horizontal scaling and reliability, DB2 for i is absolutely the way to go.

    What is most valuable?

    Scalability, the IBM i Logical views, journaling.

    How has it helped my organization?

    DB2 was always there, so I can't answer that. Know that I've used MySQL, PostgreSQL, and SQL Server extensively as well, and always missed DB2 for i.

    What needs improvement?

    Not sure.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    Since before it was called DB2, back on the System/38, so twenty years or so.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Hah! You kidding. DB2 for i? No. Never.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Hah! You kidding. DB2 for i? No. Never. Would you like a description of the IBM i Single-level Store. Add a new drive and you are good to go.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Good to excellent. It can get expensive but third party is very good.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    I did not use a different solution prior to IBM DB2.

    How was the initial setup?

    It was integrated with the IBM i OS.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    If you want horizontal scaling and reliability, DB2 for i is absolutely the way to go.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    No, I did not evaluate other options before choosing this product.

    What other advice do I have?

    If you don't know IBM i OS, just use it for DB2 for i, and scalability, reliability, and security. Then consider using partitions for Linux for your business logic.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user700107
    DBA with Oracle Database, IBM DB2 and Cloudera Hadoop project at a financial services firm with 5,001-10,000 employees
    Vendor
    On our old system...the performance and stability couldn't meet our requirements. After migrating to DB2, it's much better.

    What is most valuable?

    A4: Automatic storage. Disk space management is one of the biggest pain points for a DBA. Even Oracle 11g R2 cannot do better than IBM DB2 when it comes to this feature.

    How has it helped my organization?

    The old system (Wealth Management) was on Microsoft SQL Server platform, however, the performance and stability couldn't meet our requirements. After migrating to DB2, it's much better.

    What needs improvement?

    Absolutely -- centralized management tools with UI interface, like Oracle EM .

    For how long have I used the solution?

    Three years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Yes. We even encountered DB2 bug on the Version 9.7.0.9 and it's the reason why we upgraded to Version 9.7.0.11 .

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Yes. Many tables or indexes can't be scaled up without reorg step. As an unbreakable system, it's a very bad design.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    8 out of 10. IBM Lab is quite strong. The site technical support is good, too.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    See my answer to the 'Stability' question.

    How was the initial setup?

    It's quite complex. It cannot be done without reference.

    What about the implementation team?

    The reference documents and education resources in the market might not offer as much as Oracle Database or Microsoft SQL Server.

    It's still much more than open source databases such as PostgreSQL, but much less than Oracle and Microsoft.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    Calculating the license fee is always very complicated and only the IBM sales can get the final answer. It's not a transparent way.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    Yes. Oracle Database.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user700098
    Project Manager at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
    Consultant
    We use it to provide for back-end DB for many proprietary applications.

    What is most valuable?

    We use it to provide for back-end DB for many proprietary applications. The most valuable features are reliability, performance, and portability across different platforms.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We have moved a lot of our applications off zOS to distributed platforms and IBM UDB DB2 has been extremely critical in our solution to provide for a scale-able, cost-effective and reliable DBMS solution on distributed platform.

    The other advantage is we don't have to make lot of changes in the application DB2 access layer in order for it to work with IBM DB2 UDB. These applications have been originally designed to work with the host database (IBM DB2 zOS).

    What needs improvement?

    I would definitely like to see a better interface to interact with the database. Performance monitoring tools which come out of the box don't need to come along with all the bells and whistles. They need to be effective and intuitive. There are ways to do that out-of-box even today, but it can be improved

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We have used this solution for over 15 years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    There were no issues with stability.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    There were no issues with scalability.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    The IBM Technical Support model is satisfactory.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We used XDB (Micro Focus RDBMS equivalent to DB2) which used to have scalability and reliability issues in our development environments. We switched to IBM UDB DB2 in our DEV environments on account of its reliability and scalability.

    How was the initial setup?

    The setup was straightforward. However, the Linux setup can be improved.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    I love the way the product is licensed on zOS and zLinux (core-based). However, IBM needs to improve their licensing for cloud environment, as we are planning to leverage that platform extensively in the future. Right now, the setup for AWS/Azure licensing is very confusing and not cost-effective.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We evaluated Oracle, but the ease of application re-hosting with IBM DB2, as well as its comparable reliability and scalability tilted it in favor of IBM DB2 UDB.

    What other advice do I have?

    For folks looking to re-host applications that are using zOS DB2, our advice is to strictly go with IBM UDB DB2. Do not consider other options, as they usually require extensive changes in the application layer.

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are IBM's partner.
    it_user700134
    SAP Basis Administrator at a pharma/biotech company
    Vendor
    HADR/TSAMP allows us to handle unplanned outages with very little user impact.

    What is most valuable?

    HADR/TSAMP: It makes planned downtime very manageable, and allows us to handle unplanned outages with very little user impact.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We use IBM DB2 as part of a SAP implementation. DB2's performance and stability has been a key factor in the success of the SAP rollout.

    What needs improvement?

    The diagnostic log (db2diag.log file) could be a little bit more user-friendly.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have used this solution for 16 years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    There were no stability issues.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    This is not relevant for me, we have rarely needed to build on the initial server footprint.

    How is customer service and technical

    What is most valuable?

    HADR/TSAMP: It makes planned downtime very manageable, and allows us to handle unplanned outages with very little user impact.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We use IBM DB2 as part of a SAP implementation. DB2's performance and stability has been a key factor in the success of the SAP rollout.

    What needs improvement?

    The diagnostic log (db2diag.log file) could be a little bit more user-friendly.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have used this solution for 16 years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    There were no stability issues.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    This is not relevant for me, we have rarely needed to build on the initial server footprint.

    How is customer service and technical support?

    Right now, I deal directly with SAP support for DB2 issues. But, when I previously worked for IBM, I found the DB2 support staff to be very helpful and knowledgeable. Due to the size of the company, there was a huge breadth of knowledge and experience.

    How was the initial setup?

    The installation process and setup is fairly straightforward (assuming that you have a good working knowledge of the underlying OS and basic DB2 concepts).

    What other advice do I have?

    Take advantage of the dedicated IBM teams that are in place to help with the migration process from other DBMS.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    ITCS user
    Engineer at a tech services company
    Consultant
    We replicate TSM servers' databases to the other sites with the HADR feature.

    What is most valuable?

    We use DB2 HADR to replicate data on LAN to another site. It is easy to takeover to the other site. There is easy integration with TSM.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We replicate TSM servers' databases to the other sites with the HADR feature. We use HADR takeover to switch the TSM service to the other site.

    What needs improvement?

    • Automatic upgrade process (e.g., from v9.7 to v10.5) often fails.
    • Error messages are rarely unusable (e.g., I/O error -> instance upgrade was unsuccessful. You must issue an instance upgrade manually).
    • The same issue with the dialog messages, independent from LOGLEVEL.
    • A lot of irrelevant information (hexdumps, etc.)

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    There were no issues with stability.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    There were no issues with scalability.

    How is customer service and technical support?

    Technical support, works, but they are slow to get to the real experts, Level-2, who can really help. Level-1 support often asks for irrelevant data.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was complex. There are InfoCenter Pages and TechNotes, but these only cover the "usual" cases. You need a lot of experience and/or support.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    It depends on the customers. Often, DB2 is more expensive than Oracle on the same environment. There are those with more experience with Oracle, and it is hard to find DB2 DBAs, engineers, and experts.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We did not evaluate other options from a TSM server point of view, as there was no other way. From other way, we evaluated Oracle, which is cheaper and there are more people with Oracle-experience.

    What other advice do I have?

    Use InfoCenter, then DeveloperWorks, and the TechNotes. :) Do this in order to get experience.

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Our company is an IBM Business Partner, first of all implementing and supporting Spectrum Protect environments.
    ITCS user
    Sr. System Architect at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Consultant
    IBM is the king of servers (Infrastructure) , IBM DB2 the king of Database Servers

    What is most valuable?

    I have benefitted from many features including:
    1. Product is built on RDBMS principles and principles of Normalization. Have benefitted by the normalization capabilities built into the product;
    2. SQL Query capabilities, Tools such as SPUFI, QMF, BMC Catalog Manager,DB2 File-Aid make it easy to query the data,
    3. Programming capabilities (such as host variables, cursors ) provided by languages such as COBOL to invoke DB2 DML statements to query, modify the DB2 Tables;
    4. Ability of DB2 rows to be presented to CICS screens, Batch Jobs, Web Programs;
    5. Entire 4 GL Tools such as Cool:Gen, Advantage Gen Encyclopedias implemented as DB2 tables;
    6. Entire Advantage Gen / Cool:Gen / IEF components viz. programs, program components are modeled as DB2 tables. Thousands of programs, program components built, accessed by thousands of programmers are stored as DB2 table entries. These are easily queried, extracted, modified, loaded to other regions by customized programs. Entire models can be created by copying DB2 tables. These are done reliably, consistently, and scalability is provided. This speaks about the power and capability of DB2;
    7. Entire Cool:Gen components / DB2 entries can be queried by IBM Websphere with ODBC connection and the results can be web enabled. This means DB2 is programmable for the web as well;
    8. DB2 entries can be extracted, modified and loaded to other regions and datawarehouses. IBM DB2 Unload, Load Utilities, products such as IBM Optim, IBM Websphere Datastage, IBM Websphere all enhance the capabilities and features of IBM DB2.

    How has it helped my organization?

    The product has improved our organization in many ways. IBM DB2 has been used in many client projects. These projects are used for a number of years (more than 20-30). Entire Enterprise Applications in the IBM Mainframes have been built with the capability of IBM DB2. Many applications have thousands of DB2 tables and millions of rows. These are accessed for Batch Programming via COBOL, for online / CICS programming via COBOL. Some entries can be accessed by IBM Websphere for Web Programming. This has provided the organization the ability to implement millions of business functions through online / batch / web programs.

    What needs improvement?

    It should be easier for web enablement. It is currently easy, but the more web products use the tool, the better it is.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using IBM DB2 (Mainframe Version) for more than ten years.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    No. Occasional bind problems would occur, but were resolved through proper configuration management tools, such as ENDEAVOR or CHANGEMAN.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    No

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    No

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Customer Service: We didn't have to contact customer service. Our DBAs would contact customer service if and when needed. However, the near-100% availability of DB2 and Advantage Gen Encyclopedia that was housed in IBM DB2 speaks of the reliability of the product and its customer service.Technical Support: Very Good. When I contacted my DBAs, they were able to resolve the binding errors, authorizations etc. quickly and efficiently.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We switched from VSAM to DB2. DB2 is much more sophisticated and advanced than VSAM and provides a number of features which make it easier to access the data and present it, as well as use it.

    How was the initial setup?

    It was straightforward and easy. Many of the utilities provided by the vendor functioned very well. We were able to upgrade the Gen Encyclopedia easily.

    What about the implementation team?

    Through an in-house expertise.

    What was our ROI?

    It is enormous. We were able to implement many business projects on an ongoing basis without any issues.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    I was not involved in the pricing negotiations. I would say it was cost effective based on the number of successful projects.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    No, IBM DB2 has been used by the clients for a number of years; in some cases more than 20-30 years.

    What other advice do I have?

    I would say that IBM DB2 is one of the topmost Database products. It has very high availability and scalability just like the other products from IBM, such as IBM Websphere server, IBM Websphere MQ Server, and IBM Websphere Datastage. IBM is the king of servers and infrastructure. You will do well going with IBM products such as DB2, Websphere. I would say that these are very stable and scalable and available products and provide much needed reliability for businesses.
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    ITCS user
    Developer at a transportation company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    Very good, reliable and solid database server

    Valuable Features:

    - For me an advantage was that it uses Java technology - It has reduced administration costs, autonomic features reduce the time needed to tune and administer the database system - I noticed that DB2 provides a secure and safe environment - It has IBM support, when I had a question, I just asked the IBM support and they responded me in a short time

    Room for Improvement:

    - For me and the company that I work for was expensive - When I bought it, it required complicated licensing

    Other Advice:

    DB2 is a very good, reliable and solid database server with many functionalities. It may be overpriced, compared to MySQL, if the user is not using a lot of its functionalities. I believe functionality may be the primary differentiator. In my opinion, DB2 is comparable to Oracle or MSSQL in terms of features and performance.
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    ITCS user
    Database Manager at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
    Consultant
    A useful tool due to its simple development environment and support for multiple technologies

    Valuable Features:

    • The structured query language dialect of DB2 is more powerful than other databases. It has features like object tables, java method support and multiple user defined functions. Data can be accessed directly via the database management interface of DB2 using SQL. • DB2 offers multiple platform support. It runs on all available platforms rather than just windows based platforms. This multiple platform support brings flexibility to the table that other database engines do not offer.• Self-tuning memory management feature of DB2 version 9 optimizes performance with no human intervention by allowing the database to automatically change the memory allocation when there is a change in the work load.

    Room for Improvement:

    • Learning and understanding DB2 is a difficult process because no more resources are available for knowledge base.• DB2 is not a full graph database because it lacks inference engine.• Finding a database Administrator of DB2 is difficult.

    Other Advice:

    IBM’s DB2 is a robust relational database management system (RDBMS). Due to several advantages that DB2 offers, it continues to enjoy strong market presence. DB2 is very useful because its development environment is very simple and supporting multiple technologies with improves security other than database application. DB2 provides secure and safe environment and more improved development to enhance audit ability and security in key areas. DB2 provides hybrid data management for both relational and XML data and supports variety of platforms including, Linux, UNIX, Windows and can be used to power a variety of solutions including Web, SOA, data warehousing, ERP and other business and operational database applications.
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.