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IBM Db2 Database OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

IBM Db2 Database is #7 ranked solution in top Relational Databases. PeerSpot users give IBM Db2 Database an average rating of 8.0 out of 10. IBM Db2 Database is most commonly compared to Oracle Database: IBM Db2 Database vs Oracle Database. IBM Db2 Database is popular among the large enterprise segment, accounting for 69% of users researching this solution on PeerSpot. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a computer software company, accounting for 18% of all views.
IBM Db2 Database Buyer's Guide

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

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 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

IBM Db2 Database Pricing Advice

What users are saying about IBM Db2 Database pricing:
  • "It is expensive. The price depends on the size of the machine on which you are installing the Db2 and the features you are using. It also depends on the country. IBM has different policies and different options for payment for this product."
  • "It is expensive when compared to other products."
  • "Among Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, and Db2, Microsoft SQL Server is the cheapest one, and Oracle is the most expensive one. Db2 is in the middle. As compared to SQL Server, its price could go down. It will be good for customers."
  • "We did not buy it. It came with our hardware without any complimentary maintenance. If I compare Db2 Database with Oracle Database, its price is lower than Oracle Database."
  • "It's very expensive for West African countries like ours."
  • IBM Db2 Database Reviews

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    Mainframe Technical Manager/Service Integration Lead at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    Top 20
    Very scalable with high availability and excellent technical support
    Pros and Cons
    • "I like that its true active-active. For example, if there are two instances within a cluster, we can take one of them down and there's no failover or switch over. There's no primary and secondary, it's true active-active. We can take one side down and we can upgrade that with new maintenance or a new version, obviously testing coexistence beforehand, without impacting the business."
    • "We just want a bit more integration with Linux. That said, we are already seeing Linux more readily available on the mainframe environment."

    What is our primary use case?

    It's not the Db2 LUW, which is Linux, Unix, Windows. It's the mainframe. It's the active-active, high availability environment that we need for the aggressive SLAs that we've got here in Saudi Arabia.

    What is most valuable?

    I like that its true active-active. For example, if there are two instances within a cluster, we can take one of them down and there's no failover or switch over. There's no primary and secondary, it's true active-active. We can take one side down and we can upgrade that with new maintenance or a new version, obviously testing coexistence beforehand, without impacting the business.

    In a distributed world, you've got lots of different prerequisites you've got to be managing here. Not just the database - possibly the VMs that the database is in and the OS that the database is running on, Linux or Windows, as well as the storage.

    I like its high availability. It's well supported by IBM. It's used by a lot of the larger business organizations globally within banking, finance, credit cards, insurance, retail, and government.

    We're proving that it's got that high availability and robustness. We can prioritize the workloads that are coming into that database management system, using the features of the IBM z/OS environment. That way, if this transaction's coming in off the network that is in and out, they will be given priority over somebody doing a lengthy query that's coming in from the network that you would consider to have more batch-like tendencies. 

    We like that it's using separate specialized CPU engines to manage the locking and the sharing of data via a coupling facility. This stays on the CPU that we would be licensed for. We call them specialized engines that you don't license. They're not paying your licensing costs. Whereas, for example, in other database management environments for high availability, they communicate between themselves over an IP network. The CPU would be higher for them. There's no special process or capability that allows taking that CPU and that communication between them. It has to, if you've got four nodes of a database management system, one of them would have to lock on a row in a table or whatever, it's going to have to propagate that information to the other three nodes on the mainframe side. It would just put it into what we call a coupling facility, and the other Db2 members or instances in the same cluster would be able to check that and see that, no, we can't update that yet, we'll have to wait.

    There are lots of different things we use it for. We use it for data replication, which means that we've got an always-on alternate Sysplex cluster several thousand miles away that is propagating the data to that Db2 over there using replication services at the software level rather than, if you physically replicate data and the Db2 or the Oracle environment, physically using storage replication, you've in effect got a cloned copy of that environment. It's going to fire up at the remote site, looking for the network that's at the local site. There are lots of things you would have to do there to do that. Plus the RTO time to actually get that alternate Db2 at the DR side could be 40-45 minutes depending. Whereas we can do this capability and we call it always on, where the RTO is about a minute.

    What needs improvement?

    The good thing is that there are improvements coming with later function levels for the z/OS Db2. I'd like it if, with the operating system that we've got, z/OS, on the mainframe, it would allow us to refresh the hardware to run Linux dockers on the mainframe. This means this might give us opportunities for different ways of coming into the Db2 environment in the future. We just want a bit more integration with Linux. That said, we are already seeing Linux more readily available on the mainframe environment.

    Not only have we got the premium operating systems on OS. We can run LPARs on the same mainframe footprint that is also supporting Linux. This is what has improved and made the mainframe environment more competitive.

    We're also looking at AI for Db2 as well, and machine learning for the future. We know that AI has come out, that we're going to get that, and we're going to evaluate that product next year for Db2.

    That said, I haven't got any real complaints about Db2 on the mainframe. For the most part, a lot of the problems we have nowadays are to do with communication between the various teams that you would class as stakeholders.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've been working in a mainframe environment since 1991. I got involved in Db2, in the mid-nineties back in the UK. I've supported the database team regarding the system programming side of things, however, I used to be involved in it quite a lot operationally as an ops analyst lead. I've not actually worked with other database management systems on other platforms. However, some of my team support them. I occasionally have to look at these sites to understand the products and what their advantages and disadvantages are.

    Buyer's Guide
    IBM Db2 Database
    September 2022
    Learn what your peers think about IBM Db2 Database. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: September 2022.
    634,590 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Sometimes it's how you go about system management processes within the environment, and not always the product itself. If, for example, we're going to put maintenance onto the Db2, we would do that in a sandbox environment first. We would test that the Db2 that we've put the maintenance on can exist or coexist in the same cluster as the ones we haven't put the maintenance on. That's the first thing.

    We would test functionally and can regress that maintenance in case we introduce a defect, or it causes an application defect. Coexistence and regression are very important in the sandbox.

    After we've signed that off, we would move it into the development environment where they've got all the different development services, integration, UAT, dev-test, pre-production, model production, et cetera. We would let the development workloads test the Db2 instance there and see that that's working. If that's okay, then we upgrade the other Db2 instance in the cluster. Finally, we put it into the production environment.

    Therefore, you're not going to do a big thing. You're putting your maintenance in on 50% of the database environment so that you've got ability and capacity on the other side where you haven't made that change. And you've already proved coexistence and regression, should there be a defect identified through the application.

    I like the way that Db2 allows us to do that. Certain DBMS environments, you have to upgrade them all to the same level. Some of them have to be patched quite regularly due to security. However, in the mainframe, it's not too bad.

    When I first came here, they were putting the maintenance and the new release, they would do it across the whole cluster. Which, if we had a problem with some of the applications that are running in there, we would have to regress that, which would probably mean an outage. There are operational or system management processes that we've tuned and we've improved so that we're mitigating against any service disruption.

    The way the IBM z/OS Db2 environment's designed does allow coexistence. It does allow us to upgrade 50% of it, or 25% of it, and leave it running alongside one that's back level - as long as we've proven our coexistence.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We've got a two-way Db2 cluster at the moment. With two members in that cluster, we could have up to 32 members in that cluster. It's got outward scalability as well.

    It's got the ability to have up to 32 members within that data sharing group or that cluster. So you could run one of these on a separate Z server, Z mainframe, which would give you quite a lot of CPU capacity. I don't know whether there are any environments out there that would need or have that. Some of the world's largest banks - maybe in America or in Asia - might have a configuration like that. For us, we're across multiple processes, and we've got the ability, should we enable for cloud at a later date, to be in a position where we can just scale-out with little disruption, by just adding more LPARs with Db2 members in. We just have to make sure that we've got the processing capacity on the mainframe to support the additional workload.

    How are customer service and support?

    IBM technical support is pretty good. We haven't had issues with them from the operating system, from the KICKS, from the MQ, from the Db2. When I compare it to, for example, Oracle tape, we don't get the same level of support there. There's a lot of collection of log information and things like that. We have to escalate that case or that incident to the second or third level within that organization. We tend to find that IBM, on the other hand, is pretty good with that. I can't comment on other areas other than experience with Oracle, which sometimes isn't that good.

    How was the initial setup?

    The mainframe environment does not that often require that we have to set up another Db2. If you're creating a brand new Db2 cluster or data sharing group, then there is a bit of work in that.

    The IBM manuals for this and our localized documentation assist the engineers and consultants in building a Db2. I don't consider any issues regarding a build of a Db2.

    The mainframe environment from a security perspective is one of the key fundamental selling points of the mainframe environment. It is relatively secure assuming that the security people that administer the RackF database, the external security database, are actually configuring it right. Then we deploy role-based access controls. When they're doing this sort of activity database, people would have to liaise with other areas within the infrastructure and support to configure that Db2. Obviously, with any Db2 you need security permissions. They would need to discuss with the storage team how much disc space they're going to need and to discuss with the performance team and capacity team to make sure that they're going to profile that environment. They would need to discuss with the automation team to make sure that the Db2 is shut down when we need to shut the system down and that it's started up properly when the system's reloaded, or if it is in an unplanned activity, that we can restart it in light mode. Furthermore, the automation tool is monitoring that Db2 instance to make sure that it's healthy. Ultimately, there are lots of different teams that would be involved in this. 

    For the most part, the setup is simple. If somebody wants a new database or schema, we could just quickly do that within that environment. If we need a brand new, separate Db2 environment, that would be more complicated, however, we have the procedures and processes in place for that.

    We could have just one systems programmer doing that maintenance. That said, from my perspective, I engage a lot of the teams. Once we've put that maintenance into the development environment and we leave it for a week against one member and leave the other member back level, we would do full performance analysis to see that, with all the transactions that are running there, there's no additional CPU and there's no deterioration in response time and that the Db2 member itself is looking healthy, it's not having any resource shortages, there's no virtual memory or physical memory increases or deviations or anomalies.

    We'd engage with the performance and capacity team. I recently engaged with the distributed team, for example, the middleware teams, to make sure that if anything is coming off the web through the web servers, they are aware of our change so that they can monitor and support us.

    While it's one person that's doing the change, he might be working with a few junior engineers to do training. We tend to engage a lot of teams across the activity to make sure that everything looks okay and we're not impacting SLAs.

    Furthermore, we have a 24 by seven operations team and they do all the operational side. You wouldn't get a Db2 systems programmer in production stopping and starting the Db2. That would be done by the operators.

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

    In the 90s, there was a big problem with the IBM mainframe environment and there was a big push to move the middleware off the mainframe and put it on cheaper distributed hardware. What happened then was the workload was coming in over the network. This was what we called dynamic SQL coming into Db2 - which was a bit more resource-intensive to what it was with traditional legacy style workloads that were static SQL coming into the Db2 environment, that we could see the CPU on the mainframe.

    In the old days, in the 90s and before that, we were charged quite expensive amounts for licensing the software on the full capacity of the mainframe they're running on.

    Now, what they introduced mid-nineties/late-nineties was these specialized processes like a coupling facility. There was a Z integrated information process called a zip. This supported workloads coming in off the network from web servers coming into Db2, and we know that these workloads are traditionally resource-intensive. They're not as efficient as static SQL. This meant that in the old days, our licensing costs would shoot up as we would have to upgrade the mainframes and it would make it more expensive.

    IBM introduced these specialized processes and the zip allows the workload to be dispatched on that specialized processor. Not all of it - maybe 40% to 50% of a transaction is eligible to be dispatched on a zip. This means that we don't need as much of the standard mainframe engines to support the business workload. Anything that's running on a zip, we don't have to pay licensing fees.

    This was something that made the mainframe more competitive again. Furthermore, with the mainframe we have now we can have the forerunner to virtualization (VM), which is what I started on back in the early 90s, known now as ZVM. Having ZVM means that you can run virtual machines in that OS. It acts as a hypervisor. It runs virtual machines in that OS that could be separate Linux instances.

    The flagship or premium operating system on the mainframe is z/OS. It used to be called MVS, multiple virtual storage. We're going to be able to evaluate next year within Linux Dockers, in them LPARs, alongside all other tasks that we've got running such as Db2, such as KICKS. It is going to make it really interesting in the future.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We have been comparing Oracle RAC against the z/OS Db2.

    I tend to see that there's a lot of bias for people, depending on, for example, if they work for an Oracle database management system. In that case, you tend to get a lot of people that are biased towards the Oracle. Likewise, you'll get that with Db2 LUW or Db2 z/OS. They don't tend to know what the other environment can do. That said, looking at it from an infrastructure and system programming background, as my background is really system programming and storage and hardware infrastructure, it's trying to get a general view on what the database management system can offer for SLAs, high availability when it's patched, and how often it would have to be patched. I want to know, for example, if there are a lot more security defects and fixes with one environment as opposed to another so that we're not interrupting our hosted business in the environment when we're doing our maintenance and new releases of software.

    What other advice do I have?

    I'm a partner of IBM. I used to be an IBM employee until August when I switched over to a partner company.

    I'm not would say totally biased towards IBM. We do like to look at other vendors' hardware and software. For example, we use Oracle hardware on the mainframe environment for the tape. Oracle took over Sun which took over Storagetech, which is a mainframe and distributed tape solution. We do have a mixture of IBM and non-IBM software and hardware.

    I'm a technical manager at the moment, and I'm supporting a team that's running Db2 across multiple sites within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

    We are moving to the private cloud, however, at the moment, it's on-premise between multiple data centers dispersed within Saudi Arabia. They don't want to be looking at any cloud services from suppliers where they do not have control of the data. We are looking at maybe next year a private cloud infrastructure for the mainframe Sysplex environment.

    I'd advise new users to make sure they know what you're doing. Don't guess. There's a lot of people working out there in IT that like to tell people that they know what they're doing. From my experience, they don't know what they're doing, and they can make a complete mess of it. I see it a lot over here in the Middle East. They need to be aware of what they're doing. They need to be following proper procedures and processes.

    When they're upgrading to the production environment, they should be raising a high severity ticket with the supplier. For example, if we're changing the version of Db2 in our production environment on 50%, or one member, I would inform the team to raise a high severity ticket so that we've got IBM support on hand should we encounter any anomalies. I would be saying that the same to the Microsoft SQL team, to Db2 LUW, to Oracle, that sort of thing. That would mitigate risk.

    They should also properly test it. They should make sure that they follow all the functional tests, which we call IVPs, which are scripted tests that you can run to prove that it looks okay. You should be engaging with the application team in non-production first to see that they're not having any problems with the application. You should try and see if there's a performance team or monitoring team that's able to look at the performance of it. You should be talking with the middleware team, like the webserver teams, the .NET, the KICKS, and making sure that all their processes are working with that database. And then you migrate it into production.

    I'd rate the solution at a ten out of ten. The product, the support of the product, the high availability that it offers, the active-active, plus how we're managing it, has been great. We're having fun with it.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PeerSpot user
    Senior Systems Architect/Analyst/Developer at a logistics company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Real User
    Top 20
    Extremely scalable, extremely stable, and unhackable
    Pros and Cons
    • "Your iOS, your throughputs, your performance cycles, you cannot touch it with Microsoft or with Oracle scalability-wise. That is far and away the most scalable systems and the highest performing systems of the set of them."
    • "Their view of it is they're maintaining it, they're continuing to upgrade it, they're continuing to grow it, however, they don't go out and try and sell that as an architectural solution the way they do Linux and Unix."

    What is our primary use case?

    We primarily use the solution as the main data store warehouse for the corporation.

    What is most valuable?

    It's great as a backend database system utilized to store the data for the entire corporate structure.

    Due to the fact that we're going to go with the hardware-specifics of the fact that it's bundled in IBM i, it's exceedingly reliable, as the architecture of the IBM i just does not go down.

    It runs very well. It runs very solid. It does everything that I expect it to do. It offers all of the standard RDBMS functionalities and capabilities. I consider Db2 to be a direct competitor with Oracle and SQL servers any day of the week. The difference is what flavor of Db2 you're going to run. You're going to run the Linux Unix, are going to run the IBM i version, and then it comes down to, for me, the IBM i, due to the fact that the architecture does not fail. It does not go down. It does not get hacked. There's never been a successful hacking of an IBM i architecture. You're looking at an environment where your data is extremely secure, compared to a lot of the other RDBMS systems.

    The solution is configurable and has what you would consider to be a desktop management configuration capability too. You can partition it off, and you can set up different instances of it and such. The interface is more than adequate. There's nothing great about it, there's nothing poor about it. It's more than capable of doing what you need to do if you do need to do DBA maintenance kind of work to it.

    What needs improvement?

    It's going to be a much smaller marketplace for this product, and most significantly, IBM doesn't target marketing to that marketplace. Their view of it is they're maintaining it, they're continuing to upgrade it, they're continuing to grow it, however, they don't go out and try and sell that as an architectural solution the way they do Linux and Unix. That's because once you get inside of the IBM architecture, up until about six or eight years ago, it was not open source. You were tied to the development language of either COBOL or the development language of RPG if you wanted to develop on that platform.

    Now, it now supports Java and PHP, and it does open source, but for those reasons, IBM was never looking to market or push that as a viable solution. They didn't push the IBM i as a direct competitor to Oracle, they pushed their Linux Unix versions of it, their IBM Z series against Oracle and SQL server, as it's a more direct head-to-head comparison. The IBM i architecture is the one-off if you will. You're not going to see a lot of people looking at it.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've been using the solution for 25 years at this point. It's been a while. 

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The solution is stable and reliable. The hardware does not fail, the software does not fail, and so the reliability is there, however, the reliability isn't necessarily Db2, it's the fact that it's the IBM i that has the reliability. Db2 is inheriting that, and again, is staying up and running because of that.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The system scales very well. It runs the new power nine chips and it's about to run the new power 10 chips that IBM is releasing as well. For that reason, the current systems out there are 16 CPU Power 10 processors that can have terabytes of memory associated with them. It performs extremely well in the environment. 

    The system is very scalable to very large magnitudes. There are some very large Fortune 10 and Fortune 15 companies that run Db2 systems and can attest to the scalability

    How are customer service and technical support?

    IBM's technical support is fine and their people are good. When you give them a call they get after it. We're satisfied with the level of service provided. 

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is very straightforward. Due to the fact that it's bundled inside of the system, you don't have to do any special implementation. As soon as you have the system up and running, and the operating system running, Db2 is already running. There was an instance of it running on the architecture at that moment. There's absolutely zero setup in that environment.

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

    It's hard to separate out the exact pricing. It's bundled; you can't compare head-to-head against Oracle and SQL server at that point, as the costing is embedded inside of the purchase of the operating system software.

    What other advice do I have?

    We're not a software provider, we're an end-user.

    When you start talking about Db2 on Linux and Unix, the current version is version 17.3 or 17.4. The IBM i, the versioning doesn't work the same way, it has to do with the operating system levels that you're running, as to which version of Db2 you're in. It's integrated in with the system, operating system. It's not actually an independent version of Db2, it's integrated in with the operating system on that platform.

    Db2 is different in our architectural world than standalone Db2. It's not like standing up an instance of Db2 would be the same as it would in Oracle, or a Microsoft SQL instance, on a Windows 10 server or a Windows 2008 server or whatever it may be. It's the fact that it's bundled in with the software, with the operating system, with the hardware, when you buy that machine. Since it's all bundled inside of it, we're having to go out and independently do things with it. It's inherent, it's bundled. It's probably not the best example of Db2, because even when IBM goes out and talks about Db2, they talk about Db2 zOS, which is the Linux Unix installation. You very rarely see them talking about the IBM i installations. In fact, in even the documentation I was reading in the comparisons, it was comparing the Linux Unix IBM Db2 against Oracle, and against the Microsoft SQL Server.

    If you're looking at an alternative to Oracle or to Microsoft SQL server, look at Db2, and then once you're in Db2's world, take a look at IBM i against the IBM Z, and compare the two of them. The stigma that the IBM i has, is that RPG language barrier. Since that barrier has now been removed, you can do everything that you can do on the IBM Z as well. The stability of the platform is what people need to look at. There is a trade-off of uptime and never been hacked operating system against versus Microsoft and Oracle in the news every single day. Microsoft cloud just made a comment in the last 48, 72 hours about their cloud services being hacked. That's just something you do not see happening with that IBM series architecture.

    Since Db2 rides inside of very secure architecture, people should probably give it a very good, hard look, compared to Oracle and Microsoft, and say, "Hey it might not be as popular. It might not be as big a deal, but if my data is more secure, and I don't have downtime and I have performance, is it something that we should be looking at?" 

    I've been at companies that have looked to move off of that, and when they've looked at the Oracle solution, and, no matter how you power it, and no matter how you scale it, whether you scale it up or you scale it wide, the performance is simply just not there compared to what the IBM systems offer through their Db2, whether it be the i or the Z through what they offer internally in their performance capabilities. Your iOS, your throughputs, your performance cycles, you cannot touch it with Microsoft or with Oracle scalability-wise. That is far and away the most scalable systems and the highest performing systems of the set of them.

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

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PeerSpot user
    Buyer's Guide
    IBM Db2 Database
    September 2022
    Learn what your peers think about IBM Db2 Database. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: September 2022.
    634,590 professionals have used our research since 2012.
    DBA at a tech vendor with 201-500 employees
    Consultant
    Top 20
    99.99% availability, highly scalable, and capable of supporting half a million transactions per second
    Pros and Cons
    • "Its functionality and availability are valuable. Its availability is great. It is available 99.99% of the time."
    • "The management of Db2 should be simplified because there are not too many specialists in this area, and the learning curve of Db2 specialists is very long. After the courses, probably it takes one and a half or two years to get to the point when you are using the product properly in the production systems. So, the complexity is very high, and the most important thing is to simplify the management of the product, including self-maintenance. They should simplify the installation, management, and monitoring to simplify the product. It takes too long for a person to be a specialist in this product."

    What is our primary use case?

    I am currently using IBM Db2 for z/OS. It is used to manage a huge amount of structured business data and provides DB services for many different applications.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Its performance is great. In my case, half a million transactions per second are using the DB services of the Db2 mainframe. So, it provides a great ability to support logical units of work.

    For every big organization or big site, such as a bank or a credit card company, the most important asset is data. An organization puts all its business data and manages it in Db2 because it trusts that Db2 will be able to provide all the necessary services, such as:

    • Business continuation
    • The ability to process a large amount of data
    • The ability to maintain a large amount of data
    • The ability to execute DB services in a fraction of a second

    What is most valuable?

    Its functionality and availability are valuable. Its availability is great. It is available 99.99% of the time. 

    Its security is great, and there is also the ability to execute very complex SQL statements. It provides the developers the ability to get the functionality using great tools like SQL and many other additional features.

    What needs improvement?

    The management of Db2 should be simplified because there are not too many specialists in this area, and the learning curve of Db2 specialists is very long. After the courses, probably it takes one and a half or two years to get to the point when you are using the product properly in the production systems. So, the complexity is very high, and the most important thing is to simplify the management of the product, including self-maintenance. They should simplify the installation, management, and monitoring to simplify the product. It takes too long for a person to be a specialist in this product.

    The price should also be adjusted a little bit. IBM is quite expensive with respect to the product.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been working with this solution for 34 years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It is very stable.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It is absolutely scalable. It is hard to count the number of users. For example, in a bank, each and every customer of the bank uses the product. There are hundreds of thousands or, in my case, even millions of customers. There are also people who are not customers but access the website of the banks to look at something. Those people are not registered, but they're using the product as well. So, there could be millions of users. In the banks where I work, the business is growing. With the growth of the business, the number of users is also growing every year by a small percentage.

    If Db2 is properly used, an organization can build a database with thousands of tables, and it can provide the exact information for the applications within a second. We have 500,000 transactions a second, and each of them needs to get some information from the database to perform a show, insert, or delete operation for different users. In the banking or finance domain, there are a large number of transactions. Even in a small country, there would be a large number of transactions every minute or seconds of the day. Db2 is capable of providing services for each and every transaction.

    How are customer service and support?

    Currently, technical support is concentrated in IBM's main supporting facilities and laboratories. Years ago, each and every country had its own engineers who provided technical support, but today, it is concentrated in a few hands through the support centers of IBM, and their support is good.

    How would you rate customer service and support?

    Positive

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

    Before Db2, we used IMS. It was years ago, and currently, in addition to Db2, the same organization is using Oracle, MSSQL, MySQL, and even NoSQL databases, such as MongoDB. During the past five years or so, the NoSQL databases are getting in as well. So, we are using a few RDBMSs and NoSQL databases as well in parallel.

    When I compare IBM's mainframe Db2 for z/OS with other relational database management systems, this one wins against almost each and every other database in terms of abilities and performance. Optimizing the scales or optimizer for creating the access process is probably the best in the world. In many aspects, Db2 wins against almost each and every other RDBMS, including Oracle, Microsoft, MySQL, and NoSQL ones. However, in the area of complexity and maintenance, probably the others are better.

    How was the initial setup?

    It is quite complex. It is not a simple installation. If the installation is done by a specialist, it takes a few hours.

    What about the implementation team?

    It was implemented by our own in-house team. For deployment and maintenance, in a big organization, probably two DBAs are required to be on the safe side, in case one of them is on holiday or something like that. Two people are sufficient to maintain the product.

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

    It is expensive. The price depends on the size of the machine on which you are installing the Db2 and the features you are using. It also depends on the country. IBM has different policies and different options for payment for this product. 

    What other advice do I have?

    IBM Db2 manages a huge amount of structured business data and provides DB services for many different applications in banking, military, logistics, and other areas. Big organizations that are using IBM mainframe are using Db2 Database for providing the database services for various applications. Thousands of organizations in the world are using Db2 for managing their data—their most important asset. By using Db2, they can manage this huge amount of data by building an enterprise-wide data model, consisting of thousands of entities and tables. When built with a proper methodology, Db2 is a great asset for each and every organization.

    IBM mainframe Db2 for z/OS would probably be the best platform if you need a database that is not limited to one specific area and can provide you with the following:

    • Different DB services
    • Different functional and application areas
    • Parallel processing abilities with a big amount of relational structured data

    It will be difficult to find a better solution for such a business.

    I would rate it a nine out of ten. It is very good.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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    Architect at a wellness & fitness company with 1-10 employees
    Real User
    Performs well, easy to manage, technical support is helpful, and responsive
    Pros and Cons
    • "I believe that because the support is good, they jump in and assist us in determining the root cause."
    • "The pricing could be improved, it's expensive."

    What is our primary use case?

    The primary use case of the IBM Db2 Database is our trading platform.

    We use store procedures and SQL. 

    We have some tables with partitions, as well as some tables with a large amount of data. 

    We use partitions, we use views, and we know who uses them.

    What is most valuable?

    We don't have any compatibility issues because we use all IBM products. We use every IBM product. That is why we use IBM's developer tool as well. We never encounter any product compatibility issues during development and deployment.

    That is one of the good things that happened to us, in my opinion.

    When we had server-related issues, such as a database outage, compatibility and support were good. I believe that because the support is good, they jump in and assist us in determining the root cause. 

    The product is really reliable. 

    We have seen very few instances of problems, overall IBM products are valuable.

    The most valuable features are compatibility and support. 

    What needs improvement?

    I am currently moving away from that core application. I am not focusing on the solution. 

    It is our trading application, and there are some reservations, about continuing to upgrade to the latest versions even though we are currently running on older versions. I believe the first step would be to upgrade it to the most recent versions and then see if any improvements are required while continuing to provide feedback on older versions.

    The pricing could be improved, it's expensive.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I am not working on it as closely these days, but our application began in 2001, and we have been using the IBM Db2 database since then.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    IBM products are very nice and perform very well.

    IBM Db2 Database is a stable product.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We use a scalable WebSphere Application Server topology, but it's a monolithic application that can only be scaled vertically, not horizontally, because it's a monolithic single database, but those limitations exist. But there are times when I believe we are pleased with the product.

    We have multiple production environments and various resources, as well as separate teams to manage the database and separate teams to manage the Application Server. I believe it began with a small team, but as time passed, I believe the number of environments and teams increased. Teams are popular now. I believe we have teams dedicated to each area.

    I can say that there are approximately 100 developers, both offshore and onshore.

    How are customer service and support?

    We have support. In my opinion, they are prompt, we receive responses from IBM within two to three hours. 

    There are some challenges. There may be one or two instances where it exceeds, but we are content with that.

    The product is very reliable and stable, and we used to receive prompt responses from IBM on support. 

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

    Previously, we were using the WebSphere Application Server. Those applications are in maintenance mode.

    We also worked with the Application Developer,m which is the Rational Application Developer for WebSphere software. It is running on legacy Java version 8.

    No one is currently using this software because everyone has upgraded to the latest version, but our application is still running with an older version. I don't believe anyone is currently using the older version of Java and the Application Developer that we are.

    It's an older version of Java, and I don't believe any developmental improvements will be made to the tool as of now. Because we are not using the most recent version of the tool and the most recent version of the WebSphere Application Server, the feedback I could provide may be ineffective.


    We are in the process of migrating to the AWS Cloud.

    Our design approach is to convert our monolithic applications to microservices.

    We have not used Hadoop, High-Availability Clustering, or Backup and Recovery, we only use the Application Server to host our applications.

    How was the initial setup?

    The monolithic application is hosted on-premises.

    We installed the system in 2001 and have been using it ever since.

    The maintenance and support staff is quite small. We have a dedicated database team, we can support multiple database products in addition to Db2.

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

    I am aware that IBM pricing is expensive in comparison to other products. 

    However, I am not the person who dealt with pricing.

    It is expensive when compared to other products.

    What other advice do I have?

    We are moving away from IBM products.

    Everyone is now gravitating toward AWS and cloud computing. And this is a legacy monolithic platform. My advice will be ineffective. The legacy system was designed in the year 2000.

    When we first launched our product, IBM hosted our client platform.

    Our client insisted on using IBM products, but I believe we are now satisfied. However, the company where we started, has now been acquired by four different companies.

    We are working on a different company that has Java-based products, department-based products, and many other products. It's obvious it's a trade. We will build a trading platform on which our clients and sponsors will trade.

    I would rate IBM Db2 Database an eight out of ten.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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    Basil Ndolo - PeerSpot reviewer
    Product Development Manager at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
    Real User
    Top 5
    Futuristic, feature-rich, fast support, and perfect for environments that require scalability
    Pros and Cons
    • "It has a good feature called pureScale, which is just for scalability. It is a perfect solution for environments where scalability is going to be an issue."
    • "Microsoft SQL Server is comparatively very simple to use. I wish IBM would move towards making Db2 easy to use for both basic and advanced users. This is where I see room for advancement. Db2 is also more expensive than Microsoft SQL Server, and its price can be reduced. The replication feature needs to be there in Db2. Microsoft provides similar functionality in SQL Server. IBM also has similar functionality, but it exists in a different product. So, to have the replication ability, you have to buy a different product. It makes sense to have this functionality within Db2 instead of a different product. It will also be helpful in terms of competition. In Africa, the problem for Db2 is competition. Oracle Database and Microsoft SQL Server have been in this market for a very long time. These companies have built the ecosystem and the brand within this market for a very long time. So, they are very popular with users. Db2 or IBM came a little later in the game, and that's where the problem lies. They also don't do a lot of marketing for it, which is also a problem."

    What is our primary use case?

    I am an ex IBM employee, and I used to be the brand ambassador for Db2 in Africa. So, I do understand how it works because I've used it with customers. Currently, I am mostly supporting some of the Db2 customers in Kenya.

    I am now using version 11.1, but I used version 10.5 for the longest time. 

    What is most valuable?

    It has a good feature called pureScale, which is just for scalability. It is a perfect solution for environments where scalability is going to be an issue.

    What needs improvement?

    Microsoft SQL Server is comparatively very simple to use. I wish IBM would move towards making Db2 easy to use for both basic and advanced users. This is where I see room for advancement. Db2 is also more expensive than Microsoft SQL Server, and its price can be reduced.

    The replication feature needs to be there in Db2. Microsoft provides similar functionality in SQL Server. IBM also has similar functionality, but it exists in a different product. So, to have the replication ability, you have to buy a different product. It makes sense to have this functionality within Db2 instead of a different product. It will also be helpful in terms of competition.

    In Africa, the problem for Db2 is competition. Oracle Database and Microsoft SQL Server have been in this market for a very long time. These companies have built the ecosystem and the brand within this market for a very long time. So, they are very popular with users. Db2 or IBM came a little later in the game, and that's where the problem lies. They also don't do a lot of marketing for it, which is also a problem.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using this solution since 2012. It has been nine years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It is stable. The 10.5 Fix Pack One was not very stable. We also had Fix Pack 4, also called Cancun Release, which was very stable. As the product has evolved, it is more stable now than it was a couple of years ago.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It is a perfect solution for environments where scalability is going to be an issue. I am supporting two banks. They use Db2 for their core banking system. There are more than 500 users per bank who use this solution every single day.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I have worked with IBM, and I have seen their support teams. They are very passionate about supporting their users. Whenever there is a problem, they have a team that is there 24/7 to ensure that their customers are supported. They are very fast and very technical in solving problems.

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

    I have used SQL Server, IBM Db2, and Oracle Database. Microsoft provides usability. SQL Server is very easy to use and adapt. The only problem is that it only lives within the Microsoft Windows operating system, whereas Db2 is available on Linux, Unix, Windows, and Linux for mainframes. 

    When comparing IBM Db2 and Oracle Database, I would go for IBM Db2 because it has complete functionality. A lot of features available in IBM Db2 are not there in Oracle Database. IBM Db2 has time travel queries that are not available in any other solution. From the perspective of a software developer or a database developer, there are more functionalities in IBM Db2. It is more futuristic.

    How was the initial setup?

    It is very technical to deploy, but once you configure and make it work, it is a perfect solution for an environment where scalability is going to be an issue.

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

    Among Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, and Db2, Microsoft SQL Server is the cheapest one, and Oracle is the most expensive one. Db2 is in the middle. As compared to SQL Server, its price could go down. It will be good for customers.

    What other advice do I have?

    I would love to expand its usage in the future. We are looking to migrate the finance industry customers in Africa to Db2, especially from Oracle to Db2. 

    I would rate Db2 an eight out of ten.

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: partner
    PeerSpot user
    Global Infrastructure service manager at a manufacturing company with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    Top 20
    Good results, robust stability, and good support
    Pros and Cons
    • "Db2 Database has given us good results since we have started to use it. We predominantly use IBM hardware, and this is one of the reasons why we started to use Db2 Database. Db2 Database has a very good HADR capability. High availability resilience is also good in this solution. It also has pureScale, which allows you to upgrade one node to get very good and high-level resilience. If you are using a database on five nodes, you can take one node down, upgrade that, and let that node up. You can then bring the second node down, upgrade that, and so on."
    • "The only drawback that we see in Db2 Database is the crash recovery. When there is a crash and somebody has to do the recovery, Db2 Database first stops, and then it does any crash recovery. In Oracle Database, crash recovery happens within the database. The database is not shut down."

    What is our primary use case?

    We are using it for our SAP system.

    What is most valuable?

    Db2 Database has given us good results since we have started to use it. We predominantly use IBM hardware, and this is one of the reasons why we started to use Db2 Database. 

    Db2 Database has a very good HADR capability. High availability resilience is also good in this solution. It also has pureScale, which allows you to upgrade one node to get very good and high-level resilience. If you are using a database on five nodes, you can take one node down, upgrade that, and let that node up. You can then bring the second node down, upgrade that, and so on.

    What needs improvement?

    The only drawback that we see in Db2 Database is the crash recovery. When there is a crash and somebody has to do the recovery, Db2 Database first stops, and then it does any crash recovery. In Oracle Database, crash recovery happens within the database. The database is not shut down.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using this solution for five or six years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Initially, there were hiccups, but now, it is a robust database. The only limitation that we have found is crash recovery. In terms of bugs, every database will have some bugs that will hit you. I don't see much in terms of bugs in Db2 Database. Whatever known bugs are there, we get those issues.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    They are really very good. Overall, if I have to give a rating, I will give them an eight and a half or a nine out of ten. Their response to our requirements is quite good. They have good resources at the technical end. They take us very seriously. It might be because we are one of the largest accounts. I don't know what happens with medium-scale industries or small-scale industries. 

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

    We migrated from Oracle Database to Db2 Database because it was quite a good and cost-effective solution. Oracle Database was coming out to be expensive.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was complex altogether. It was complex because we were moving from Oracle Database to Db2 Database. A lot of code changes were required. 

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

    We did not buy it. It came with our hardware without any complimentary maintenance. If I compare Db2 Database with Oracle Database, its price is lower than Oracle Database.

    What other advice do I have?

    I would recommend Db2 Database to others because, as time passed, they have made a lot of changes, such as crash recovery. The time of crash recovery is reduced by almost 60% to 70%. Db2 Database also has Db2 BLU, which actually is in-memory. We have not explored this particular feature, but I would recommend others to explore it. With Db2 BLU, it becomes equivalent to HANA. We are seeing it being used a lot in large banks etc.

    Among Oracle, Db2, and SQL databases, I would rate Oracle first, Db2 second, and SQL third. I personally believe Oracle is the most robust database. Db2 is the second robust database.

    I would rate Db2 Database an eight out of ten.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PeerSpot user
    Georges BOMBOH - PeerSpot reviewer
    Director at Pharos Consulting
    Reseller
    Top 10
    Has great performance, security, and availability
    Pros and Cons
    • "It's the best solution in terms of security, performance, and availability because the system is available 24/7."
    • "The problem with this environment is that any software that you install is very costly because there are no free tools for this environment."

    What is our primary use case?

    It is installed on the mainframe that we use for our applications.

    What is most valuable?

    It's the best solution in terms of security, performance, and availability because the system is available 24/7.

    What needs improvement?

    The problem with this environment is that any software that you install is very costly because there are no free tools for this environment.

    The environment itself comes at a very high cost because the mainframe machine is very costly, and the licensing cost is very high as well.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've been using IBM Db2 Database for the past 22 years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It's very stable, and the performance is very good.

    How are customer service and support?

    We use IBM technical support for the big bugs related to the operating system and the database. We haven't faced any problems with the database. Sometimes, with the operating system we need some fixes, and technical support has sent us those. On the application side, our team develops the application and solves any problems related to it.

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

    Previously, we used COBOL with a database sold by Computer Associates. We didn't have lot of choices for mainframes at the time. The best database that can run on the mainframe is the IBM Db2 Database, and we have stayed with Db2 from 2000 to the present.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was quite simple because we've been working in this area for more than 40 years.

    It took about a year and a half to develop and deploy the whole application.

    What about the implementation team?

    We developed the application, and we deployed it using a solution strategy. We have an IBM partner who gave us all the software that we needed, and we implemented it ourselves.

    We had three system engineers, two people for the database, and two people for the application.

    What was our ROI?

    Our ROI is big because we earned about 100 billion in our currency.

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

    It's very expensive for West African countries like ours.

    We are currently in discussions with IBM concerning the reduction of licensing costs. We have a license based on the capacity of the machine and are looking into a license based on usage.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    There weren't a lot of choices for mainframes at the time.

    What other advice do I have?

    If you're going to use it for the first time, you would need lot of training and some technical support. You would need support during development as well.

    I would rate this solution at nine on a scale from one to ten.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    Private Cloud
    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: integrator
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    PeerSpot user
    SamirKhodair - PeerSpot reviewer
    Implemenation Specialist at a engineering company with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    Top 5Leaderboard
    Reliable, easy to expand, and recently has made the implementation process more streamlined
    Pros and Cons
    • "The setup process has become much easier recently."
    • "The user interface is not user-friendly."

    What is our primary use case?

    It's shipped with another software IBM product called Maximo. I'm using it just as an underline. It is a typical database. I use it as a database container.  

    What is most valuable?

    The setup process has become much easier recently. 

    It is quite stable.

    The solution can scale well. 

    What needs improvement?

    I am not heavy into developing in Db2. All my development is in the application itself, not in the Db2. Therefore, it's hard to think about areas it needs to improve in. 

    The user interface is not user-friendly. There's a converter tool that is much easier for us in comparison. 

    We would like the product to have tutorials and answers to questions and troubleshooting to be easier to find online. It's hard to find the answers you're looking for. 

    I need data replication to be much more efficient than what is available in the current version. 

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've used the solution for around three years now. 

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The solution is stable. Even if there are a large number of records, the performance stays the same. There are no bugs or glitches and it doesn't crash or freeze. 

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We have found the solution to be scalable. If you want to expand it, you can. 

    We don't really have individual users. It comes as part of a package and therefore it's hard to say who is using it and who isn't. 

    How are customer service and support?

    They need better support and better online resources. If I try to Google something to troubleshoot, I cannot find an accessible answer. 

    How would you rate customer service and support?

    Neutral

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup has recently become easier and more straightforward. A lot of enhancements have happened here. Still, it is a bit complex. 

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

    I am not paying the license for it individually. It's included in the package.

    That said, the cost in general could be more reasonable for the package as a whole. 

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We did look at other options and found them to be more reasonably priced. 

    What other advice do I have?

    I'd recommend the solution to others. However, I'd recommend other potential users try to find a cheaper option. I'd rate it overall at a seven out of ten. 

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    Public Cloud
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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    Buyer's Guide
    Download our free IBM Db2 Database Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.
    Updated: September 2022
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    Buyer's Guide
    Download our free IBM Db2 Database Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.