Application Integration

Windows DB2 with VMWare Best Practices

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Occasional Advisor

Windows DB2 with VMWare Best Practices

I'm looking for any insight into best practices for running DB2 in a VMWare 5.5 environment with regards to snapshots and data protection. Everything I've read from IBM states that we should not be using SAN snapshots on DB2 databases, and that DB2 does not support Microsoft VSS - backups should only be done using the IBM commands either online or offline.

I'm currently in the process of testing/moving my physical DB2 server into vmware 5.5 and I've configured 3 volumes; OS, DATA, and LOGS which will represent 3 logical drives in Windows.

I currently have a volume collection of all 3 mentioned volumes, but will I end up with corrupt DB2 backups? Does it even make sense to create a volume collection for this if the snap won't be application consistent?

Of course, I haven't tested anything yet. I'm just getting started and will have a copy of my live database to test on there within the week.

Honored Contributor

Re: Windows DB2 with VMWare Best Practices

Hello Andrew,

As you mention - DB2 is not supported under Microsoft VSS. This means that Nimble cannot create database consistent snapshots either via the Microsoft VSS framework or through vCenter's snapshot mechanism (the latter uses VMtools & VSS within the Virtual Machine). Without utilising these frameworks, your snapshots will be what's called "crash consistent".

You can absolutely take crash consistent snapshots by utilising Nimble Snapshots & Collections. This will have no impact on your production database itself, but the databases themselves will be akin to having the database crash - ie some transactions may not be complete.

I personally recommend that all my customers (regardless of running Oracle, SQL, DB2 etc etc) to take crash-consistent snapshots throughout the day - reason being that application consistent requires the database (or VMs) to be paused to flush logs; meaning it could take seconds or minutes of time. You can still use those snapshots to clone and restore your databases very easily. In fact, Oracle fully support using crash consistent snapshots to restore back databases.

I hope the above helps. Let us know if you have any more questions.

Nick Dyer
twitter: @nick_dyer_
Occasional Advisor

Re: Windows DB2 with VMWare Best Practices

Thanks for the reply and details.

I'll utilize Nimble snaps and will have to brush up on my crash consistent recovery skills just in case.