DB2/LUW Health Advisor

25 January 2010





Wow!  This is great and I do not say this with my typical snarky attitude!  The IBM DB2 team is offering a FREE (currently anyway) pilot program where you can forward them diagnostic information about your DB2 on Linux, UNIX and Windows systems and they reply with a report of recommendations to improve performance and availability of your system!  This is a great way to easily avoid preventable problems.  IBM will also keep an archive of this information that will allow us to compare it to future health advisor files that may be taken when you are having problems.  It works for both single-partition databases as well as DPF systems.  I highly recommend that you avail yourself of this pilot for  your databases immediately.  A limited number of systems will be allowed into the pilot, so if this is of interest to you, please sign up now.

To enroll, please send a note to dean@db2dean.com asking how you can participate.  I will then forward your note to the leader of this program who will contact you to help you get started.  As I said space is limited and we may not be able to accommodate everyone in the pilot. 


What does this program provide?


Health Check

First we will pass the information that you send through our analytic process that will do a health check and provide 20-60 page PDF report on the health of your system.  Categories of reported items include:




Prerequisite Check (OS, Java, etc)

Check for minimum and recommended software levels & Fix Packs

Tuning Check

General tuning based on configuration and Key Performance Indicators

End of Support

Warnings indicating end of standard support is near

Availability Optimization

Checks for known outage factors

Rules of Thumb

Optimal hardware ratio, etc.

Resource Utilization

Out of memory, disk full, paging rates, etc.

Comparison Feature

Comparison to previous scan or comparison to similar system

Log Analysis

Analysis of db2diag.log (not yet available)

OS Configuration

Checking of OS tuneables (not yet available)

TCO analysis

Checks for cost reduction best practices (not yet available)


A whole lot of information about past PMRs have been fed into the knowledge database that us used by the analysis engine that reviews your information to create this report.  As time goes on this will be improved even further. 


Healthy Profile on file for PMR Comparison

IBM will keep the system snapshot that you send us in an archive.  In the event that your system encounters an issue, we can compare the snapshot of a “healthy” system to your current state.  In many cases this can lead to significantly faster problem (PMR) resolution.  As you make changes to your system, you can send updated snapshots of the new view of a healthy system.   You could even send one monthly or quarterly for us to have on file that reflect slight changes in workload that occur over time.


Ongoing Notification

Once improvement being considered for a future release is to use the information on file to send you automated reports of newly discovered issues that may affect your system at its current OS and DBMS levels including security alerts, notification of newly discovered problems and deprecation alerts.  Deprecation of features means IBM will stop improving it and it will likely become unavailable in the future.  As the system evolves other notifications will be added.



Why do I care?


       You want to prevent outages along with the associated yelling and get more sleep.

       You want to know about improvements you can implement so that you have something to do when you get bored.

       Everyone loves it when you can say, “I have an official report from the database vendor that says we have a healthy system.”

       You want to be kept up to date about problems encountered by people with similar configurations.

       When things go wrong you want DB2 Support to be able to compare your current system with the captured information about it when it was working fine last month. 



This sounds great, so what happens if I choose to participate?


After you send dean@db2dean.com an e-mail requesting to be enrolled you will be contacted by a person on the health advisor team to discuss your participation.  If everyone agrees that it is a good idea to proceed you will receive a link for downloading the media for the “db2has” command.  You and the DB2 health advisor team will then perform the following steps:


1.    Download the db2has media file.

2.    Unzip the downloaded file and follow the instructions for installation contained in the README file.

3.    Run the db2has command according to the instructions. It will collect information about a DB2 instance, its databases, OS environment, usage and configuration.


db2has -icn <cust_no> -systype <type> -email <e-mail> -send <ftp_addr> -extended


a)      <cust_no>  The IBM customer number you use for opening PMRs

b)      <type> Tells IBM the use of the database.  Valid Values: “production”, “test”, “integration”, “QA”, “DR”.    Where QA=Quality Assurance and DR=Disaster Recovery.

c)      <e-mail> Provide an email address to which IBM will send the resulting PDF report.

d)     <ftp_addr>  Provide the ftp address given to you with the instructions where the output will automatically be uploaded.

e)      Use the optional –extended to enable “GET SNAPSHOT” commands to gather more information allowing the analysis engine to engage more scenarios.

f)       The tool will run for approximately 1 to 2 minutes.

4.    The tool will produce a compressed output file that is typically less than 10 MB in size.

5.    The tool is designed to be non-intrusive and is not expected to have a noticeable impact.

6.    Send the output file back to IBM to trigger the analytic service

a)    Email or FTP are both options (the file is fairly small so easy to manage).  The example above will automatically FTP the file.

b)   The contents of the file will be analyzed to provide a health check and to diagnose any problems for which the analytics are enabled.

7.    You will receive a PDF report with the findings from the analytics engine.  The PDF will be sent to the email address that was given as a parameter to db2has.




Please note that this program is in the pilot phase.  As we learn how to improve it significant changes and improvements are likely to be made, so hang on to your hat!  The program administrators will also very much appreciate your feedback, so please send any comments.  This article is only meant to give you an idea of what this program is about and how to participate.  If you e-mail me that you are interested and you are enrolled in the program, you will get a lot more information. 


Please contact me with any questions or concerns that you have.





HOME | Search