Icebox – Snapshot DB2 data

Anyone who has experienced the need for Db2 data from last week, last month or the company archive knows that this task can be technically challenging and time consuming. Since Db2 does not keep historical data for its catalog tables, it is impossible to conveniently restore copies of  Db2 databases or tables (i.e. structure and content) as they were at their time of creation. It is not uncommon for tables to have been dropped or substantially altered since they were saved. Hence the   data does not fit to the DDL. The previous DDL must be recreated. The task becomes even  more difficult when data must be restored to a different Db2 subsystem with different naming  conventions. If the target Db2 subsystem has been upgraded to a newer version, it might become necessary to convert the data prior to completing the restore process. BCV5 Icebox (IB) reduces the challenges mentioned above to a simple task and comes with an easy to use interface.

Restore Db2 data to where it’s needed
IB enables the use of backups to provide the data and  structures for other Db2 environments. Its restore function  supports renaming the saved objects and permits creating  a completely different environment with the same data.  IB fully automates the DDL generation, the creation of the target and the complete restore process. Simply specify the target name templates, activate the restore process and let IB do the work.

Lower Consumption of System Resources
IB’s backup process uses BCV5’s proven technology for speed and reliability. By working at the physical VSAM level for backup/restore processes and running multiple parallel threads, our customers are reporting savings  of up to 90% on their benchmarks for CPU usage, I/Os  and execution time. The often used UNLOAD/ LOAD  facility is not only much slower, but also requires a substantial amount of attention from the DBA to complete the  job. IB reduces the Db2 workload without impacting the performance of the Db2 subsystem.

Backup Structures
The backup functionality that comes with Db2 only  backs up data. In addition, an image copy contains only tablespace data. When the structure of a table is altered, the data of the image copy is no longer compatible with the table structure. It is difficult to recreate the original  table structure. Icebox generates and restores the DDL of  all backed up objects. It can also generate the DDL for a  chosen subset of objects. IB restores the DDL and the data, or only the DDL depending on the requirements.

Backup Indexes
By default, the backup process of IB copies the VSAM cluster of the Db2 tablespaces. Backing up the indexes is simply performed using a product switch. Even indexes that have been defined with “COPY=NO” parameter can be backed up by IB. Copying indexes is much faster than  rebuilding them. If the indexes were not backed up, IB  automatically rebuilds them during the restore process.

Additional Savings
Objects restored by IB are ready to use. IB backups the corresponding RUNSTATS  rows together with the objects and inserts them into the target Db2. This eliminates a lengthy and resource  consuming execution of the RUNSTATS utility.

Supports 24×7 business requirement
Many organizations require 24×7 enterprise availability, consequently; IT does not have the luxury to stop Db2 objects to make consistent backups. Image copies made with share level change do not have a consistent state. This doesn’t matter to Db2 because it can use the log  for recovery. To copy these backups to other Db2 subsystems it is desirable to have a consistent backup. IB  eliminates this problem. It is no longer necessary to stop the source objects in order to get a consistent data back up. The integrated log component automatically cleans  up the backup using the Db2 archive log.

Integrates Easily into Existing Backup Procedure
Most Db2 shops have existing backup procedures based on using image copies. These backups are performed on a regular basis to ensure recoverability of the Db2 objects.To avoid additional copies, Icebox can optionally integrate  these backups into its procedure. It searches the Db2  catalog for available image copies and registers them in its backup repository and it stores the DDL of each object. This guarantees that every generation of a backup set can be restored to an arbitrary target Db2.

Easy Backup Management
As more objects, databases, versions and backups are created, the work required to manage these increases  significantly. IB‘s user friendly ISPF interface alleviates this pain. It provides an overview of all the backup processes,  i.e. which objects were included and which backups were created. To restore objects from a backup, just select the backup version set and IB does the rest. It makes life easier. Need to restore objects into an environment that is different than the source? Simply select the renaming templates.