Mainframe Blog

Intelligent Automation is the Key to Your Digital Transformation – A BMC Webinar

2 minute read
Phil Grainger

In December BMC presented a webinar, in conjunction with IBM Systems Magazine, on Db2 automation. We looked at some of the pressures that are making day-to-day management of Db2 databases so tricky. Whether it’s skyrocketing volumes of data, or continual demands for always-on availability, life has never been so difficult.

It was subtitled “Will You Thrive or Merely Survive?” for reasons that I’ll cover later.

If you missed the webinar, a recording is available here

Will You Thrive or Merely Survive?

Carrying on with procedures that were developed 10 plus years ago is not going to deliver the responsiveness or reduction in costs that you are being challenged to deliver. In fact, if attitudes and procedures are not revised to meet these new demands, it’s unlikely that survival is even an option!

In today’s digital world, with the expectations that your customers have about service levels, you must aim high so that your business thrives.


We were happy to welcome Paul Kauza as a guest speaker on the webinar. Paul is a DBA at USBANK, and talked about how automation in general, and NGT in particular, has delivered positive results for USBANK. Paul shared a couple of benchmarks with us – for example, one table they looked at had just over 1 BILLION rows (92GB of compressed data). This took 3.5 hours to reorg with Db2s own on-line reorg, but only 1 hour and 10 minutes with NGT – completing in around 30% of the time (or looked at another way, saved 70% of the original elapsed time),

Intelligent Automation

The way to not only survive but to also thrive is to embrace automation. In the webinar we talked about what “intelligent automation” really means. It goes far beyond simply automating the generation of JCL for later submission. Whilst that does make the DBAs life a lot easier, it does not deliver true automation to the business.

What is needed is to grasp the possibilities provided by Db2s Real Time Statistics and to use those stats to drive automated housekeeping in real-time.


If you do that, you will also need to define some rules about how the automation is to be carried out. These policies are what give you back control of your current housekeeping strategy that is probably not under your control today – even though it might seem like it is. Automation policies allow not only the definition of when certain tasks should be triggered, but they also allow control over when these actions should (or should not) be undertaken.

This is the power behind the utilities with Next Generation Technology that BMC delivered as part of the v12.1 tools release. NGT provides the policy management to drive true automation as well as enabling high-speed reorganizing of data without causing application outages. NGT also uses the mainframe infrastructure to ensure that the processing is as efficient as possible.

In closing

Again, thanks to everyone who joined the webinar and thanks to Paul for sharing his experiences. Please look out for the next IBM Systems Magazine webinar from BMC Software.

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These postings are my own and do not necessarily represent BMC's position, strategies, or opinion.

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About the author

Phil Grainger

Phil has 30 years experience of Db2, starting work long ago in 1987 with Db2 Version 1.2. Since then he has worked with all versions, including Db2 12.

From his beginnings as a Db2 DBA for one of the largest users of Db2 at that time in the UK, through his time at PLATINUM technology, his almost 10 years as Senior Principal Product Manager at CA and through to his current position with BMC Software, Phil has always been a keen supporter of user groups and is a regular speaker at both vendor sponsored and independent events. His work with IDUG includes being a past member of the European IDUG Planning Committee, an inductee into the IDUG Volunteer Hall of Fame and now Board Liaison for BMC Software

Phil has been honoured by IBM as an Analytics Champion from 2009 to 2017

Phil is now Lead Product Manager at BMC Software working in support of their Db2 tools portfolio

In addition, Phil is a regular contributor to the IDUG sponsored
Db2-L discussion list