Considering a DB2 upgrade? Ask yourself these questions:
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- Are you running DB2 V4 or lower? Do you know IBM no longer supports these releases?
- Are you running DB2 V5? Do you know it's unsupported as of the end of this year?
- Do you know DB2 V6 can no longer be ordered from IBM?
- Do you know that DB2 V6 or V7 provides coexistence/fallback support only back to DB2 V5, and if you're running a version lower than V5, you must upgrade to DB2 V5 before upgrading to a higher version?
- Do you know if you upgrade from DB2 V5 to V7 now, V7 is available at a reduced price for a full year?
If you're ready, then here is some help in planning your DB2 V7.1 upgrade.
The First Steps
Once you've decided to upgrade DB2, you need to get started on several tasks immediately:
- Determine whether to upgrade to DB2 V6 – if it's in house – or DB2 V7.
- Construct a project plan.
- Establish the project management infrastructure.
- Perform a survey of all Third Party products you run under DB2.
- After completing steps 1 and 4, order the necessary software products.
- If you're running DB2 V5 or lower, you need to upgrade ASAP to regain or maintain IBM support.
- DB2 V6 can longer be ordered, so if you don't already have the product, you need to upgrade to V7. There is no announced end of support for V6, however, so it will be supported for another year or more. DB2 V7 has been available since 3/30/2001, with no announced end of availability or support – it's the most current version with the longest life. See http://www-3.ibm.com/software/data/db2/os390/availsum.html.
- DB2 V7 has coexistence/fallback support for DB2 V5 or V6; DB2 V6 provides this support only with DB2 V5. If you're running DB2 V4 or lower, you need to upgrade to DB2 V5 before upgrading to V6 or V7.
- DB2 V7 requires OS/390 V2.7 or higher, DB2 V6 requires OS/390 V1.3 or above; both support z/OS.
- Both DB2 V6 and V7 require CICS/ESA V4 or higher, and/or IMS/ESA V5 or higher (if they're used).
- Software costs may increase more by upgrading directly to DB2 V7 than DB2 V6, both for DB2 and for Third Party products. This is dependent on the licensing arrangements you've made with your vendors.
- Upgrading to DB2 V6 means another upgrade will be needed to get to IBM's most current level, while moving directly to DB2 V7 accomplishes this in a single step with slightly more effort.
- If a V6 upgrade is already underway, it may make sense to complete the upgrade, then move on to V7.
- DB2 V6 has been in the field longer, and thus is more "well-seasoned" code, but DB2 V7 has been out for well over a year, so both releases have been well exercised.
Start the Project Plan
While it's too early in the process to develop a detailed project plan, creating a comprehensive, high-level plan that can be expanded is possible, and critical. The project plan must be dynamic; it grows and evolves at least into the testing phase of the upgrade. Start by identifying whatever high-level tasks you can, assign responsible individuals to each primary upgrade component, and you'll be amazed at how quickly the detail blossoms!
A project management tool, with good reporting facilities, is a must for good project planning. This tool will be the center of project management, tracking project progress, producing project management reports, and serving as a communication vehicle between all project members. Task characteristics that need to go into the plan are:
- Task description.
- Responsible individual.
- Identification of pre-requisite, post-requisite tasks.
- Determination of cornerstone tasks and mandatory completion dates.
- Task duration/person hours. These items often can only be crudely estimated, and should include time for the unexpected, with a clear communication that they're only approximations.
- Footnotes or other additional task information (such as references to supporting documentation).
Here are some additional items to incorporate into the initial project plan so they don't get forgotten:
- Third Party product installations should begin ASAP; they should be moved to production before DB2 since they're often pre-requisites, and can comprise half or more of the total upgrade effort.
- The upgrade should be "vanilla". No unnecessary changes should be made in concert with the upgrade.
- Make sure the plan includes both procedures to upgrade to the new DB2 release, and to fall back to the old release if there are problems with the new release.
- Assume some things will go wrong and allow time for that.
- If multiple LPARs will be upgraded, create a high level task for each system.
- Stage upgrades by system, starting with test and low impact systems.
- Allow time for project management.
Establish Project Management
A project plan is only as good as the project management behind it. The following will help manage the upgrade:
- Identify a project manager to run status meetings/calls and have responsibility for the project plan.
- Identify a project secretary, who will keep minutes of status meetings/calls.
- Identify one or 2 IT or user managers who will participate in the meeting, communicate progress to the rest of the business, and communicate applications or user requirements to the project team. Set up formal communications to the rest of your organization through these individuals, and use it!
- Set up weekly status meetings/calls, with the expectation that all project team members will participate unless excused. During this meeting (1) the project plan should be reviewed, discussed, and updated from the prior week, (2) review prior meeting minutes and follow-ups, and (3) new business.
Survey Third Party Product Vendors
Each Third Party product vendor should be contacted to identify what product release/maintenance level is required to run with either DB2 V6 or V7; necessary upgrades become major tasks in the project plan. Build a spreadsheet with columns such as: (1) product name, (2) vendor name, (3) Site ID, (4) vendor phone, (5) current product level, (6) required product level, (7) latest product level, and (8) comments. Columns 1 through 5 can be filled out before contacting vendors.
Order the Software Products
As soon as the DB2 release and Third Party products needing upgrades are known, they should be ordered. Installation can begin as soon as the products arrive.
Researching the Upgrade
One area that must be researched is DB2 product changes, removal of function, enhancements, migration tasks, installation tasks, application and operations impact, and other aspects -- all must be researched and understood prior to undertaking the upgrade. This information should then be folded into the project plan as tasks.
Listed below is a variety of DB2 sites/manuals where you can obtain information useful in planning your migration. They are listed in approximate order of value they provide to the project planning process:
Information such as prior DB2 upgrade plans, files from past upgrades, installation diaries, old "control" data sets (containing customized installation jobs, etc.), comments in JCL, source, etc., and the input of past upgrade participants all provide invaluable information that should be used in building your project plan.
Also, research your systems. Browse user exit source, scan through DSNZPARM, review Startup Procs and related JCL, verify data set naming and placement, SMP/E setup, etc.; fold anything relevant into the plan. The better you know your system, the better the upgrade will go.
Here's a quick list of the most common upgrade tasks to add to your project plan:
- Review and upgrade DSNZPARM.
- Convert Type 1 indexes to Type 2 indexes.
- Remove passwords from all indexes and table spaces, convert to security subsystem.
- Convert shared read-only databases to data sharing or distributed data, or drop them.
- Ensure all host variables include a preceding colon. This had been optional, but now is required.
- RECOVER INDEX has been renamed to REBUILD INDEX.
- Review the DB2 V6 Installation Guide to identify migration tasks and add them to the project plan.
- Back up existing systems and determine upgrade and fallback procedures.
- Perform all migration tasks that are required for DB2 V6.
- Install APAR PQ34467, which provides coexistence/fallback support with DB2 V5 or V6.
- Review the DB2 V7 Installation Guide to identify migration tasks and add them to the project plan.
Assuming the prior steps have been thoroughly performed, you now have a comprehensive project plan for upgrading your operating system. While a few problems will still arise, completion of the upgrade at this point becomes a matter of executing your plan. Good luck!
The opinions in this article are solely those of the author, and the information herein is to be taken "as-is".
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