Ventyx, Australia

DB2 LUW to Oracle on Linux

Ventyx, Australia

Bill Lloyd

Senior DBA

October 9, 2013

To whom it may concern,
My name is Bill Lloyd and I work as a Senior DBA for Ventyx, a leading software company supplying software products primarily to the mining and utilities industries. One such product is Axis (for an overview of this product see description at end of this document).

The software was developed and hosted on windows servers using the IBM DB2 Version 8.2 database engine. This database engine had some issues particularly around the area of locking. Backups for instance would lock large tables for too long resulting in customer complaints. To avoid these issues data was moved from live tables to history tables on a regular schedule to ensure the live tables remained small enough to manage the locking issues.

A project was initiated in 2011 to migrate the databases from DB2 to Oracle on Linux.

The original direction to perform this task was to use Oracle supplied software which was readily available at no cost. The Oracle SQL developer tool incorporates a migration wizard to perform data migration from various database engines to Oracle including DB2. This project lost momentum due to other priorities within the company until late 2012 when it was kicked off again.

Over the coming months the migration process using Oracle SQL developer proved to become more and more difficult and more hands on to manipulate the data outside of the tool itself. Note, this document’s purpose is not to rubbish the Oracle tool used as one can only expect so much from free software.

Early 2013 the direction of migration came to a halt when it was discovered Oracle SQL developer had not included logic for large object conversion. This was a show stopper as one of the Axis software’s major components is the manipulation of large objects (in the form of word documents, PDF’s ETC).

So at this time an alternative solution to perform the migration was required. Oracle was approached and their offering was the Goldengate software, however licensing for this product was a hurdle.

I then decided to investigate what else was out there to perform this migration. Around April 2012 my interaction with Ispirer and the SQLways product began. We evaluated the tool and its cost and decided to go with it.

By the nature of the migration, hurdles were likely to occur. What was required was the migration of data from an old database engine to a new database engine including large objects (BLOB data) and also converting to a different character set to handle multi lingual data on top of that.

At times the issues seemed overwhelming, but working closely with Ispirer all hurdles were overcome and confidence that the migration could be done grew. Issues were raised and addressed in a very timely manner considering the project was located in Australia and Ispirer is on the other side of the world.

The conversion occurred on the last weekend of August 2013. The conversion took a long time due to the large amount of data being converted and the need to move the data over the network. The application went live on Oracle on the Monday with a few issues which were resolved over the coming week.

Some statistics:
5 databases were converted – 2 small test databases and 3 production databases ranging from 20 gigabytes to 80 gigabytes. Approximately 150 tables in each database ranging from a few rows to many with over 50 million rows.

Ispirer SQLways is a very cost effective tool for conversion from one database engine to another. In my case it allowed me, a single DBA to migrate a major high profile application to a new database engine where the alternative was either a larger cost for proprietary software or many man hours of in house application code to be written to perform the task. The cost of the SQLways license was astoundingly cheap considering the scope of the project and the support I received.

Axis Product Description:
Integrating business processes across organisations using Internet has become the way of doing business, with business-to-business (B2B) capability to support system to system, electronic document exchange now standard practice for many leading organisations.
Collaborating electronically with customers, suppliers, e-marketplaces and service providers offers businesses a faster, more accurate and cost-effective way of sharing information. While B2B integration has rapidly become part of the business fabric, the challenge for many organisations lies in developing and sustaining the underlying infrastructure.
B2B integration can be costly, complex, high risk and involve long lead times before a return on investment is realised. Investing directly in building and operating an in-house B2B integration solution requires a high level of technical sophistication, effort and investment, and is not a cost-effective option for most organisations.
Mincom Axis is a hosted B2B integration solution that is deployed as an organisation’s private e-Hub to provide integration from internal ERPs/Business Systems directly to trading partners, e-marketplaces, or other intermediaries. Because it is delivered as a hosted (outsourced) solution, Mincom Axis eliminates the need to invest in costly and complex in-house B2B integration infrastructure or to use expensive transaction fee based intermediaries. Mincom Axis is hosted by Mincom’s Managed Services division in the Mincom Data Centre.
Mincom Axis is an innovative solution, providing any organisation a deep, single point of integration from all internal business systems to trading partners while also providing the flexibility for the organisation to maintain control of all trading relationships. Mincom Axis is a complete, enterprise level solution that facilitates the exchange of any information, reliably and securely, via a wide range of Internet standards and protocols and in a variety of message standards, formats and industry standards.

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