Tuesday, July 12, 2016

DB2 for z/OS Webinar: Who Did What to Which Data When?

Today's blog post is to let you know about an upcoming webinar (July 21, 2016) that I am conducting with CorreLog on the topic of database auditing for DB2 for z/OS. 

Unless you have been living under a rock these past few years you will have heard at least something about the many data breaches, hacks, and security issues that have been prevalent in the news. These issues have resulted in numerous industry and governmental regulations that organizations must understand and comply with. Data professionals, in particular, need to be vigilant in the tools and techniques that are available for better protecting their company’s data, and tracking those that access it. One of the most important of these techniques is database auditing. 

Database auditing provides a facility for tracking the use of database resources and authority. When auditing is enabled, each audited database operation produces an audit trail of information including information such as what database object was impacted, who performed the operation and when. The comprehensive audit trail of
database operations produced can be maintained over time to allow DBAs and auditors, as well as any authorized personnel, to perform in-depth analysis of access and modification patterns against data in the DBMS.

With this basic information on database auditing in mind, you should be able to readily see how auditing can help your organization answer questions like:

  • “Who accessed or changed critical data?” and 
  • “When was the data actually changed?” and perhaps even
  • “What was the old content prior to the change?” 

Your ability to answer such questions can make or break a compliance audit. Of course, these are just the high-level details. To delve more deeply into the important issues involving database auditing requires time and research... or you can attend our upcoming webinar and get up to speed quickly on the essentials you need to know!

The webinar, entitled Who Did What to Which Data When? will elaborate on database auditing details and issues such as the data breach trends and how costly they can be, an overview of pertinent regulations and their impact, and the various types of database auditing methods with their pros and cons... all with a specific focus on mainframe DB2. And there will also be an overview and demo of CorreLog's database auditing offering for DB2 for z/OS. 

You can learn all of this and more on Thursday, July 21, 2016, at 11:00 am Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).

But you have to register to attend, so be sure to click here to register.

Friday, July 08, 2016

Good Old Partitioned Table Space Confusion

Partitioned table spaces have been with us in the world of DB2 forever, but even as we embark on moving to Universal table spaces, there still exists some confusion "out there" in terms of the behavior of partitioning... 

For example, consider this question:

If a table is in a partitioned table space, say four partitions, for example, then to process the table in batch can I run four instances of the batch program in parallel, one against each partition?

This type of question exhibits some confusion about how partitioned table spaces work. First of all, let's assume that we are talking about classic partitioned table spaces and/or Universal range-partitioned table spaces. 

Given that assumption, yes, you can run four instances of a batch program in parallel if you so desire. Of course, that is not necessary to get DB2 use parallel tasks to read the data. The best approach is to BIND the program (package) specifying the DEGREE(ANY) parameter. Then DB2 will choose the degree of parallelism for the batch program. This is simpler than any alternative approach you might choose to code up because DB2 handles it all for you.

If you still wish to run four instances of the batch program you, of course, can. In that case you would probably want to BIND using DEGREE(1). In order for this to work the way I infer that you intend it to work, however, you may have to modify the program somewhat. I assume that you wish each job to process only against one of the four partitions. To accomplish this, you must provide some way for the program to identify and process only the data from one of the four partitions based on the partitioning key range specified in the partitioning index. 

For example, you might choose to input parameters to the batch run specifying the key range for that program to process. As long as the program adheres to that key range you should only process data from the one partition that holds that data.

Of course, that means that your programmers must be diligent in applying the key range. Perhaps you could set up 4 views that apply the key range for each partition and then use only those views in each program. But that means you will have multiple versions of the same program. You could also specify the range as an input variable and then use only one program. But that means you have to make sure that you are sending the proper range to the input variables.

So just go with the first approach and let DB2 do it for you when it makes sense...