• August 12, 2020

IBM Db2 Cloning Tool: Previewing a New Face for a Powerful Product

IBM Db2 Cloning Tool high-level description

The IBM Db2 Cloning Tool (Cloning Tool) moves Db2 for z/OS objects and data like an earthmover moves land, while performing some very precise and surgical checks and updates. If you are not familiar with the product, the highest-level descriptions would be to:

  • Create clones of entire Db2 subsystems/data sharing groups.
  • Create clones of a selected set of Db2 data-objects, optionally including their dependents.

These capabilities fulfill the requirements of:

  • Producing robust, production-like environments into alternative environments for enhanced testing.
  • Providing like-landscapes for the porting of workloads.
  • Fulfilling the provisioning requests from the Development community.
  • Capturing Db2 for z/OS objects for forensics and auditing.
  • Testing and benchmarking software version migrations before impacting production.

If you would like more information or details about the IBM Db2 Cloning Tool, please contact me.

What is changing?

For those that work with the product, you know that it takes hundreds of parameters to drive a successful, customized cloning operation to meet the various needs of customers. 

  • Will the cloning be done online? 
  • How will the target data be made consistent? 
  • What should be done if inconsistencies are discovered across the source and target? 

These are just a few of the higher-level questions which drive cloning operations, directed by these parameters. To date, the Cloning Tool surfaces most all parameters to the user, providing a high level of customization capability. This means that the tool is very flexible. It also means that it can be challenging to learn how to use the tool.

What is a preview?

This is why a new Cloning Tool user interface (UI) for Application (object-level) Cloning is being introduced. This new, task-based UI still needs your direction, however, the answers to the questions could customize several parameters in the background. At the same time, most parameters have been reviewed across the existing and new UIs. This is leading to the removal of some parameters that are not needed, and the deprecation of parameters that may not be in alignment with best practices. 

Starting with the Q4 2019 maintenance, these panels are being previewed. What does that mean? We do not recommend the use of these panels for your production cloning use cases at this time, but we do want your feedback. Existing profiles can be migrated to a copy which will be visible to the new UI. See the User’s Guide for more details. You can then explore and experiment without impacting your existing profiles. You can send feedback to your IBM/Rocket Cloning Tool SME. If you don’t know who that is, please send it to me. We look forward to your feedback.

Figure 1

See Figure 1. 

  • Use the new option 9, from the main product page, to access the existing UI and work with your production cloning use cases.
  • Use the task-based options to explore the preview.
  • Also, note that:
    • The control and repository data sets are now prominently displayed. This will be helpful to those that work with the export/import utilities.
    • Subsystem Cloning has not been changed by the new UI. It is accessible, via the existing UI, using option 9. Also, a direct path is available via the new option 6.

What about my existing use cases?

As noted above, existing profiles can be migrated, or new profiles can be created, which will leave your existing profiles intact.

Additionally, in the end, both UIs still generate the JCL needed for the cloning operations. If you have existing jobs in your scheduler, you may want to regenerate them to compare for differences, but the expectation is that they will run without change.

If you found this blog beneficial, please share or comment. Happy cloning!

Paul Bartak

Paul Bartak 7 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.

1 Comments

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    Joris Cornette Reply

    April 30, 2020 at 11:47 am

    Great work, Paul. The existing ISPF UI was frightening many new users because of the the large customization capabilities of the Db2 CT and I had asked for some kind of UI Light in the past. This is a promising evolution of the product.

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