• April 9, 2020

Db2 Cloning Tool: What is Skeleton Cloning?

Unless you’ve seen a presentation on the Cloning Tool, you may not be aware of support for something called Skeleton Cloning. The only references to “skeleton” in the user guide are in the context of ISPF, and there’s no mention of it in the panels or profiles. 

Skeleton Cloning is a subset of Subsystem Cloning, where a portion of the subsystem is cloned (not the entire subsystem). This can be accomplished via volume-based cloning, or using the COPY-BY-DS command. There may be several use cases where Skeleton Cloning could be beneficial. One such use case is when migrating Db2 to a new release or catalog level (V12 & beyond). This use case is the primary story used to explain what Skeleton Cloning is and how to accomplish it. It can be found in a Redpaper that was published in November 2018 (REDP-5473). 

In this example, a clone of only the necessary components for migration, primarily the production Db2 catalog and directory, can be migrated away from the production environment to refine and prove your production migration processes and timing. Therefore, testing of the migration processes is done with a catalog and directory of the same size and pedigree of production, providing a higher degree of confidence that you are validating steps that will work in production. The example can be expanded to include application spaces, either via the Skeleton Cloning technique or with subsequent Application Cloning processes.

“DB2 Skeleton Cloning: Protecting Your Production Environment” is available for download here. At only 20 pages in length, it’s a quick read. Once you understand these concepts, you will have another cloning option at your disposal for the various requirements that come your way.

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Happy Cloning!

Paul Bartak

Paul Bartak 5 Posts

Paul Bartak has been working with IBM databases since 1985, including the first version of DB2 on MVS. As an IBM customer for 14 years Paul worked in Application Development, Database Administration, and DBA. He joined IBM in 1999 as an Information Management Technical Specialist, teaming with the Sales force to present, design, install, demonstrate, and evaluate IBM Information Management solutions in a pre-sales environment; gaining multiple certifications in Database Administration, Data Replication, Blockchain, and Cloud Computing. Paul developed the four generations of the DB2 Migration Planning Workshops from DB2 V8 for z/OS, to DB2 11 for z/OS; and enablement for Db2 for z/OS pureXML and Temporal features. Currently, as a Principal Solutions Architect with Rocket Software, Paul is focused on the tools used to maximize DB2 for z/OS value, with emphasis in database cloning and DevOps processes. He supports multiple Db2 User Groups, has been a speaker at several IDUG and Insight/Think conferences, is a Redbook/Redpaper author, and IBM Champion.

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