DB2 Clones Made Simple With BCV4
Implementing BCV4 is a simple project for datacenters. BCV4 is user friendly and efficiently supports both production and test environments. Creating a fresh full production Golden Copy or cloning a complex DB2 based SAP/3 (or PeopleSoft or home grown) system running under z/OS with over 70,000 datasets is reduced to a few clicks. BCV4 is used by a wide variety of customers, each with specific needs. These customers range from the modest and simple to the very large and complex.
A modest public utility company with a single z/OS machine and a solitary systems programmer makes excellent use of BCV4. The technician is able to clone three systems a month and always keeps the test systems up to date and available. It was previously impossible to produce Homogeneous System Copies with any pretense of regularity. BCV4′s structured mode of operation supports implementing a fully automated procedure for making copies. In less than an hour, a 300 GB system can be cloned. BCV4 uses volume copies created with Snapshot at this site.
A larger insurance company datacenter using six large system-z hosts with 96 terabytes of data is typical of upper end customers. During a long term merger project and in conjunction with HDS Shadowimage ®, SAP R/3 systems are produced in an “assembly line” manner. The size of these systems vary from 170 GB to 4 TB. The largest system is a data sharing DB2 with 6 members. “In former times we had not even considered cloning that 4 TB system”, project team member told us. He further commented, “and I guess we should have had to work for weeks on that”. Today this huge system is cloned from start to fully functional DB2 subsystem in only 8 hours.
The leading home improvement company in the United States is using BCV4 to create a network of staged clones. First from a six-way DB2 data sharing, 42TB production system a Golden Master Copy is created on a quarterly basis. BCV4 enables this in-flight production clone to be created without any impacts on the source environment. From the Golden Master Copy application specific subset clones are produced at convenient intervals. These provide data for unit, integration, regression, parallel, and stress testing to QA and application teams. Each one comprises the full 42 TB database, but all of them have been converted to two-way data sharing systems. The test environment creation process is further simplified by using BCV5. This product allows refreshing only the data that need to be re-initialized. It avoids having to refresh 42TB of data when only a small fraction of that needs to be reset for repeating test runs. Like BCV4 it is a fully automated tool that handles the start to finish process with minimal review requirements from the technical staff.
BCV4 and Backup Solutions
Some SAP customers use BCV4 to create Homogeneous System Copies for backup purposes. During the night Snapshot ® is used to make a duplicate of the production system. This allows production to be up again in a few minutes with the copy serving as a backup.
When an SAP system copy is needed (approximately once a month), the backup copy is duplicated again with Snapshot ® and then processed with BCV4. Before having BCV4, the copying was done at the dataset level. This process used to consume 6 hours to make the copy and led to a 6 hours of production downtime. Another 6 hours of staff time went into making the needed manual DB2 modifications. BCV4 has reduced to one hour the time required to produce a usable target R/3.
A public utility company without a fast copy facility runs a “home grown” small scale DB2 system. They use BCV4 to reduce a previous 3 hour procedure to 20 minutes.
Another company duplicates volumes with Flashcopy ® and makes them useable via the ICF catalog by using BCV4′s Catalog facility. The backup procedures run using the duplicated volumes and allow the production environment to work normally and without any impact. If a recovery is required, the user has the option to either restore single datasets or to “flash” back the entire environment once the renames have been reset with BCV4.
BCV4 Leverages Volume Backups
A well known multinational recently needed to transfer a large SAP/3 system from a United States site to a sister installation in Germany. The system was duplicated with Flashcopy ® onto a tape which was sent to Germany where it was to be deployed under another name. BCV4 restored the tapes to disk volumes and then proceeded to use an optimal parallel process to implement more than 600 volumes in 20 minutes. All VTOC updates and re-cataloging operations for the 70,000 datasets on more than 600 volumes were quickly completed with no errors or exceptions. A similar performance was experienced with the DB2 internal updates. The target system started up without any issues. Three days after being put on tape in the United States the system was up and running in Germany under a new name and identity.