Each year, I speak with thousands of our customers. I always like to hear how they configure their unique computing environment. Hearing about the number of IBM i partitions or Windows servers that organizations are using might seem boring to some, but it really gives me a view into what has been happening with IBM i customers in the past.
It’s probably no surprise to any of you that the server most frequently used alongside IBM i is Windows. There are two main reasons why:
- Reporting and storing data
- Email / printing / web
I say “in the past” because it’s possible our customers and other IBM i users didn’t know about Sequel Data Warehouse. Highly integrated with the IBM i operating system, Sequel Data Warehouse offers secure, efficient, and simple implementation, outperforming all other extract, transform, and load (ETL) tools and bringing data reporting and storage back to the i.
Why IBM i for Data Warehousing?
1. IBM i is secure.
Hackers typically do not target this server as it is less known and simply free of viruses in the area where Db2 lies. Certainly, IBM i can store a virus in the IFS, but these are objects that would impact a Windows server, not IBM i. You do need to secure your data files, but this can be done with object security and a great firewall product like our PowerTech Exit Point Manager for IBM i. Your data warehouse can be very secure with appropriate measures.
2. IBM i is scalable.
You can host terabytes of data on a single IBM i partition. I’ve spoken to customers with 120 terabytes of data on one partition (VM)! Think about how many Windows servers you could gobble up with just this one partition. This eliminates power consumption, physical space, and overall staffing headaches in your data center.
3. IBM i supports redundancy.
IBM i has three major options in this area:
- Software replication, which takes advantage of Db2 journaling like our Robot HA product
- PowerHA, which implements hardware replication within IBM technology
- Db2 Mirror for i that is high availability in the same data center
4. IBM i is fast.
When you can host your data warehouse partition on the same server as your production data, and ETL the data between partitions at a high rate, it eliminates latency in refreshing the data. Another impact is the speed of Db2 Database Engine on IBM i and the potential to put your data in flash technology in the SAN—now you can really fly on accessing the data! If you really need it, speed of access can be achieved, eliminating the issue of latency. Your data is fresh and your server is always available.
5. IBM i has HelpSystems.
You can pair Sequel Data Warehouse with Sequel Data Access from HelpSystems to build a highly secure, scalable, and reliable business intelligence environment on the platform you know and trust. Our Robot Schedule product could also be used to automate the background reporting and data ETL processes, so the entire operation can run lights out and error-free. Robot HA can be used to provide redundancy of your data warehouse data.
Now, that’s a reliable and scalable solution that most CFOs and CEOs can live with.