IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - March/April 2017 - 13
settle a claim or prove compliance, its integrity is important.
Procedures designed to prevent this scenario from happening exist, but traditional LOB
data management practices are
difficult, disruptive, expensive
and seldom used. As a result,
employees and customers may
find problems accessing the data
before the IT staff is aware. LOB
issues don't occur frequently,
but when they're discovered, it's
often too late to recover the data.
Because LOBs aren't regularly accessed and traditional
management best practices are
difficult to implement, some
organizations are left wondering
if it's necessary to spend time
performing regular maintenance
on them. Yes, it absolutely is.
To understand why a new
strategy is required, we must
look at the structure of LOBs.
LOBs are stored and maintained
differently from traditional
This means that the traditional DB2 database maintenance practices running daily in
your environment aren't ensuring the integrity of your LOB
data like they do for your normal
row and column tabular data.
Some database professionals
incorrectly assume that a standard DB2 reorganization of their
LOBs will detect these integrity
issues, but this isn't the case.
LOBs require more attention,
including extra steps to check
structure and data integrity by
running three utilities:
1. Check index
2. Check data
3. Check LOB
These must be run frequently
enough to capture any problems
while a valid image copy is
available. Once they are done,
run regular reorganizations.
These processes have their own
challenges of resource consumption and application availability.
organization cope? LOBs
require frequent integrity
checks. However, the standard integrity checking tools
require extensive resources
and time, which can impact
the availability of the data
to the applications. Organizations must turn to modern
tools or determine what
additional people and compute resources are needed
to manage the ever-growing
Mitigating the Risk
knew how many
LOBs they had,
integrity of them
Organizations need better
visibility into LOBs. Based on
a survey, only 26 percent of
respondents said they know
how many LOBs they have
and over 80 percent said they
weren't regularly checking the
integrity of them.1
For unstructured data use to
be successful, organizations
need an effective strategy to
manage LOBs-whether this
involves using existing tools or a
modern solution that can manage structured and unstructured
data automatically and intelligently. Developing a strategy is
important for three key reasons:
1. Corrupted LOB data can be
lost forever if not properly
must be able to validate data
integrity at all times. In a
recent survey1, more than
50 percent of DBAs interviewed said they couldn't
confidently prove their data
2. Traditional data management methods don't apply to
LOBs. LOB integrity must be
regularly managed to avoid
loss that can be disruptive
or even catastrophic to a
business. It doesn't matter
how infrequently LOB data is
accessed, it must be maintained regularly.
3. The manual maintenance
procedures for LOBs will
introduce a significant
increase in workload and
complexity. How will your
Companies must make the
regular management and validation of LOB data a priority.
Modern tools can ensure that
indexes, data and LOBs are constantly and frequently validated
as part of a daily automated
maintenance process with no
additional work required.
But first, creating a strategy is
imperative. Begin by performing
a data management assessment
that includes your current state
and long-term objectives.
Typical questions to explore
validated and reorganized?
to complete all of the manual LOB housekeeping?
Unstructured data will only grow,
and you must be prepared. Now
is the time to develop your LOB
strategy and ensure you have the
tools and processes to manage
them. Don't let unmanaged LOBs
disrupt your business.
1. IDUG EMEA LOBs Survey Report, BMC
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