BCV5

Testers need to be able to refresh test data both periodically and on demand. DBAs need reliable processes that require minimum manual intervention even if table structures change over time. BCV5 fulfils both requirements by providing a fully automated, yet highly flexible way to copy DB2 data within a subsystem, between different subsystems, and even between different LPARs. Its fast copy engine uses parallel processing to achieve record speed, yet uses only a fraction of the CPU resources that traditional Unload/Load based copy processes require. For those DB2 shops that must provide 24×7 service, BCV5 allows consistent copies without affecting the availability of the source tables. Combined with features such as data reduction, data masking, and the ability to create backups of structures and data for later restore, BCV5 is much more than just a drop-in replacement for Unload/Load based copy processes: It is the perfect tool for test data provisioning on the DB2 for z/OS platform.

Corporations maintain large amounts of data in DB2 databases, and it is normal to find several DB2 subsystems for production, test and development. Refreshing testbeds from production systems is a vital part of the development, testing and quality assurance life cycle. Obtaining relevant test data requires copying from one DB2 subsystem to another. The window of opportunity for copying or migrating DB2 data is constantly decreasing as the demands from 24×7 operations are increasing. Limited resources and shrinking batch windows make data delivery to QA difficult.

BCV5 quickly and efficiently copies, refreshes and replicates DB2 objects. BCV5 copies DB2 databases or tables within the same or different DB2 systems. When measured against conventional copying methods, BCV5 saves around 90% on elapsed copy time and resources consumed (SSU, SRU). For one customer a ten-hour unload/load process was reduced to slightly over one hour. A BCV5 copy task integrates both, the physical data movement and the DDL related requirements. It copies DB2 data, i.e. databases or tables with or without auxiliary objects – indexes, views, triggers, procs and runstats. BCV5 automatically handles the OBID translation and the RBA adaptation. Copy jobs are completed in minutes rather than hours. DBAs are no longer forced to wait for weekend time slots and are able to run copying jobs on regular weekday shifts. Test data on demand is a dream come true for QA, development and test staff. BCV5 offers relief where the need is greatest. It significantly cuts down runtime and cost. It reduces CPU consumption by 90%+ and shortens the preparation lead time required by the staff.

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Automation Reduces Manual Effort and Keystroke Errors
BCV5 is a completely automated expert system. The integrated ISPF interface allows the copy process to be easily defined. Specifying the select/exclude patterns identifies the objects to be copied and the appropriate processing options. BCV5’s powerful renames mask facility makes adhering to naming conventions during the target DB2 system a simple and error free task. A BCV5 copy process executes either under the control of the product or an in-house scheduler. Once the copy process is started there is nothing else to do. BCV5 automatically generates the DDL for the selected objects/databases using the specified target names. It executes the DDL in the target DB2 environment, tailors the respective JCL and generates the required statements for the copy utility. What if the target objects already exist? BCV5 still automates everything. It is an expert system with a comprehensive check facility that ensures that the target DB2 objects match the source objects. Structural differences are detected and successful completion of the copy process is guaranteed.

Flexible Selection of Image Copies
BCV5 permits copying directly from tablespaces or a set of image copies. Its flexible selection facility allows choosing the image copy (set) to copy from. Using the latest, a specific generation or dated image copy is easy and straight forward. It identifies the right image copy datasets and pulls them into the copy process.

RUNSTATS Cost Time and Money
DB2‘s optimizer needs valid RUNSTATS data to find efficient access paths. The RUNSTATS utility is known as a long running CPU hog. BCV5 eliminates costly RUNSTATS executions. Its copy statistics feature extracts the current RUNSTATS from the source environment and loads them into the target in seconds. It is no longer necessary to wait for hours while Runstats finishes running.

Why is BCV5 so fast?
BCV5 copies the data at the page level using a proprietary high performance copy utilty. While the UNLOAD/LOAD process slowly extracts single rows one at a time, BCV5 copies the complete page over to the target and replaces the DB2-internal OBIDs with the respective target values. BCV5 also uses parallelism as a performance enhancement technique. It operates in a multi-thread mode and copies ten to eighteen tablespaces or tablespace partitions in parallel. This alone makes it up to ten times faster than DSN1COPY. One other performance enhancement feature involves copying indexspaces. Copying index-spaces is much faster than rebuilding them.

How can BCV5 save 90% CPU Time?
Row-wise processing consumes many more CPU cycles than VSAM copying. Clients report that only one-fifth to one-tenth of the service units used by Unload/Load are required to run BCV5. Add to these savings those resulting from avoiding index rebuilds and runstats executions. LOADs demand heavy DB2 subsystem resources. The load job’s CPU consumption is reported in the job listing, but the very high service units used by DB2 is no normally tallied. The immense amount of data, that corporations need to maintain, demands the use of efficient tools. It is not longer feasible to waste time and service units needlessly. There is an added bonus for users with really large tables. BCV5 does not require storage for unloaded data. BVC5 copies data directly from the source pageset to the target pageset.

Making the Copy Process Easy
A fast and efficient cloning tool is only part of the solution. The BCV5 user interface is intuitive and easily meets the needs of both experienced efficiency-minded experts and the less technical application level users. Those who prefer the PC environment can use BCV5’s graphical workstation. Detailed online help is always one click away.

Who needs BCV5?
Cost savings are obviously appreciated by those who have budget responsibility. Avoiding an expensive and onerous hardware upgrade can reduce the negative impact to an IT budget. The IBM and third party software upgrade fees associated with getting a bigger machine often dwarf the hardware cost. Application development teams, QA groups, technical support staff, auditors and, of course, end users need the data to get their jobs done. BCV5 reduces the amount of weekend and off-shift time usually required for the copy and refresh process. This allows more quality work to get completed during regular shift hours. Shops running with reduced or less experienced staff are among BCV5’s most vocal supporters. Getting the job done is, after all, the true mission of IT. When data is not available, the job does not get accomplished and the whole organization pays the price.

A Quick View of BCV5
BCV5 provides fast, efficient and manageable copying of DB2 data. It automatically generates and executes jobs to:

• extract object definitions from the DB2 catalog of the source system
• transfer the definitions to the target system, rename the objects as specified and apply them in the target DB2 system (CREATE, or DROP and CREATE)
• compare the source definitions with existing target objects for compatibility
• copy pagesets from source to Target DB2
• make target objects ready and start them

The product provides two user interfaces with identical functions. One is based on ISPF and the other on a workstation GUI.  To define a copy task, select and define:

• the DB2 subsystems, source and target which are identical if copying within a single subsystem
• the objects: databases or tables to be copied
• the renaming rules to the copy objects
• whether the indexes are to be copied
• whether the related RUNSTATS should be transferred to the target system catalog
• whether other related objects (GRANTS, BINDS, VIEWS) should also be transferred
• whether the source objects should be put in ‘read only’ mode during the copy
• whether BCV5 should be used to avoid impacting the source objects

Once a task is defined it may be executed at any time under BCV5’s control or under the shop’s scheduler or manually on a stage by stage basis.