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IBM Db2 Warehouse on Cloud OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

IBM Db2 Warehouse on Cloud is the #11 ranked solution in our list of top Cloud Data Warehouse tools. It is most often compared to Snowflake: IBM Db2 Warehouse on Cloud vs Snowflake

What is IBM Db2 Warehouse on Cloud?

IBM dashDB family offers private and public cloud database solutions for transactional and analytic workloads, with IBM fully managed or client managed options with a Common SQL engine across all deployment options.

IBM Db2 Warehouse on Cloud is also known as IBM dashDB .

Buyer's Guide

Download the Cloud Data Warehouse Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: September 2021

IBM Db2 Warehouse on Cloud Customers

Copenhagen Business School, BPM Northwest, GameStop

IBM Db2 Warehouse on Cloud Video

Archived IBM Db2 Warehouse on Cloud Reviews (more than two years old)

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FP
Business Unit technical Lead at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
The way that it scales will help a lot of customers, but tech support for it is awful.

Pros and Cons

  • "The way that it scales will help a lot of customers that are stuck with Netezza boxes that can't grow any larger.​"
  • "It will be MPP, so performance should improve."
  • "Containers get corrupted very easily. Restoring them using GPFS can result in a lot of issues."
  • "Right now, we are implementing on ESX VMware 6.0. Support for this platform is poor. Also, one of the backup/recovery options is broken and IBM is not addressing the issue."
  • "Tech support for dashDB is awful. We usually have tickets open for three to four weeks."

How has it helped my organization?

The warehouse DB/dashDB implementation scales a lot better that IBM BLU does. It will also be MPP, so performance should improve.

What is most valuable?

Ease of migration from Netezza DB. IBM ported over all Netezza's functionality and made the warehouse DB/dashDB the best of breed of the two. 

What needs improvement?

Right now, we are implementing on ESX VMware 6.0. Support for this platform is poor. Also, one of the backup/recovery options is broken and IBM is not addressing the issue.

For how long have I used the solution?

Still implementing.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Yes, containers get corrupted very easily. Restoring them using GPFS can result in a lot of issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No scalability issues. 

The way that it scales will help a lot of customers that are stuck with Netezza boxes that can't grow any larger.

How are customer service and technical support?

Tech support for dashDB is awful. We usually have tickets open for three to four weeks.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

This database will be a replacement of an IBM BLU database. We are migrating several TBs worth of data.

How was the initial setup?

We used ESX VMware 6.0. IBM does not really understand this product or the setup process for sharing disks.

What was our ROI?

Not sure yet.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

If your going to go with warehouse DB/dashDB, use the cloud or Sailfish version.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

No.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
MR Ted Johnson
Managing Consultant at Quaterne
Consultant
The "prefetch" feature anticipates needed data and keeps it available. BLU acceleration determines what data is unqualified for analysis and skips it.

What is most valuable?

IBM has taken a new approach to database technology.

One of the most amazing features of dashDB is how it uses compression to get results in lighting speed. dashDB uses advanced processing which doesn't require the entire dataset to fit in memory.

Prefetching of data: Has the ability to anticipate and "prefetch" data just before it's needed and to automatically adapt to keep necessary data in, or close, to the CPU.

No Decompression Required: dashDB preserves the order of data and performs a broad range of operations including joins and predicate evaluations on compressed data, without the need for decompression, drastically speeding the processing of data.

Data Skipping: dashDB's BLU acceleration automatically determines which data would not qualify for analysis within a particular query, enabling large chunks of data to be skipped.

How has it helped my organization?

I believe that many organizations need to look at how they are servicing their customers. dashDB doesn't necessarily replace your existing infrastructure. However, as an add-on, you can now expand your overall operations and performance goals.

What needs improvement?

Every product has room for improvement. This is one of the most important things that comes to mind about IBM and their mind set when it comes to managing customers using dashDB.

As a fully managed cloud service, the day-to-day backend of maintaining dashDB is taken care of for you. This is not only limited to whatever fix packs may or may not be applied (these actually become irrelevant because you never know that that they have occurred until you read the tech docs), but also the versioning.

With dashDB, IBM engineers and developers are continuously building new functionality, compatibility and integrations into the product and for you; this happens automatically

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using dashDB for about two years now. I have seen the progression of the software and service and it has been amazing to see.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We did have stability issues. Of course, I believe that all of the issues were self-induced. IBM support was able to advise, as well as modify, my instance of dashDB in order for maximum performance.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have not had scalability issues. I tried to anticipate this. However, IBM has you covered in this respect as it is dedicated.

How are customer service and technical support?

I would rate the level of dashDB support 3.5/5. While they are very knowledgeable in many areas, you can still struggle to get the correct resolution.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I have used multiple legacy databases, such as MS SQL Server, Oracle, and DB2. While there is still, and will be, a need for the traditional RDBMS, there is a new breed of database technology erupting in the market place. dashDB is a logical choice for any consumer.

How was the initial setup?

The setup of dashDB is very straightforward. To be honest, you can have an instance of the database up and running in less than 10 minutes.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Do your research before signing up. There are many options when it comes to dashDB and you should try to anticipate growth. However, with compression, I find most can leverage the 1TB dedicated environment.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I didn't look at alternatives. I have been blue washed!

What other advice do I have?

My advice is to find a good partner of IBM's in order to help implement. There can be many unknowns and you want to make sure you research prior to any implementation.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: I am a partner of IBM. I am also an ex-IBMer.
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it_user576447
Senior Business Intelligence Consultant / Engagement Manager at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
It has enabled us to offer cloud data warehouse solutions on a 100% IBM stack.

What is most valuable?

The cloud DBMS solution is most valuable to us.

How has it helped my organization?

Since my company is an IBM partner, it has enabled us to offer cloud data warehouse solutions on a 100% IBM stack.

What needs improvement?

The support channels need to improve. Also the documentation is a bit light.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used this solution for around nine months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

In the very beginning, we had some stability issues but that was more due to a misunderstanding on the licensing side than due to the platform itself. Since then, it's been up 99.9% of the times.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have not had to deal with this yet. My client has bought the smallest option, i.e., 1TB. We understand that this is scalable but my first client is unlikely to need anything more than this.

How are customer service and technical support?

I would rate the technical support a 7/10.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Previously, we haven't used any other solution. This is a net new solution for my client. They were managing all BI on-premises but with our move to an enterprise data warehouse build, cloud was chosen due to ease of management and no additional headcount required to manage the platform or infrastructure.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was very easy, once the licensing issues were cleared up. It took one initial technical support call to get all the needed information. The rest of the tools and documentation are all on a single site co-resident with the basic SQL browser and database management console.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I was not involved in the licensing but I'd advise doing your best comparison with similar platforms. If you are looking to go 100% IBM (IBM Cognos and other IBM tools as well as cloud database and analytics), it should be easier from the support and contractual standpoint.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did not evaluate other cloud options. We just looked at other on-premises databases like Microsoft SQL Server and the Oracle solution.

What other advice do I have?

Take advantage of the 30 day trial and do a PoC with your real use cases.

Benchmark performance for loads but keep in mind that fast reads are what this platform excels at. There are also extensions and built-in statistical tools like the R that you may want to experiment with.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are an IBM premier partner, but we are not an exclusive IBM shop since we support other analytics tools.
it_user581835
Client Engagement Manager at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
It offers SMP as well as MPP instances for big data storage and analysis.

What is most valuable?

IBM dashDB’s availability on the cloud and integration with IBM Bluemix gives universal access to our teams that are spread over different geolocations. It’s a high-performance columnar database and stores data at 10x compression in comparison to traditional RDMBS systems.

For us, we have large volumes of data to store and analyze, i.e., around 2-10 GB daily data in flat file formats and with high compression ratio; thus we save a lot of space on the cloud.

IBM dashDB comes with some unique features like integrated RStudio, a full scale database management studio (IBM Data Studio) and web-based management console that makes using this product easy.

It also offers SMP as well as MPP instances where MPP is a 3-or-more node cluster for big data storage and analysis.

How has it helped my organization?

Our analytics teams really like the integrated RStudio feature with which they can instantly connect to structured data and do their analysis. Traditionally, our analytics team would ask for data in flat files. They had to write the codes in order to clean and import the files and only then could they start the analysis part.

Now, the ETL team takes care of importing the data to dashDB and our data science team can focus on building the models. Once the model is developed, our modeling team can save the results in dashDB, which can be instantly used by our presentation apps. This is much easier and faster to work with instead of using the CSV files in all steps of data sharing.

What needs improvement?

One of the biggest advantage of cloud computing is Auto-scaling. AWS Redshift allows you to add more storage and CPUs/instances without any significant downtime.

With dashDB, scalability and uptime need more improvement. dashDB is not auto-scalable as of now. For any addition of space or computing power, we have to raise a request and there is a downtime to upgrade the instance.

The pay-as-you-go model is missing. You must buy a minimum instance of CPU and storage to begin with.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used this solution for more than two years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

Deployment was smooth and easy. IBM's enterprise support is excellent in taking down the requirements, suggesting the right solution and planning the deployment as per your needs.

After our initial setup of single instance of dashDB with basic storage and computing, we moved to higher storage and also created multiple environments for Dev and Production. In each case, the planning, execution and support on dashDB services was very good.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

In the first year, we had multiple issues with stability of the service. We started with a cloud-based shared instance with limited data space. Once our PoC was done, we moved to a dedicated instance with high availability and better SLAs.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We did encounter issues with scalability. Even with a MPP instance, scalability is not transparent.

To add a node, we need to raise a request and there is downtime associated with it.

How are customer service and technical support?

For a dedicated instance, the technical support is extremely good. There’s a dedicated team to address any of the reported issues and usually the response time is under few minutes.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We had data in MySQL and Oracle on AWS. We switched as we were looking for a long-term solution and also for data privacy issues.

Most of our clients have concerns for data privacy in the cloud. With dashDB dedicated instances in IBM SoftLayer infra, we can assure our clients of physical separation of their data.

Dedicated instances also offer dashDB in bare-metal servers. This gives us much higher performance in data computation and at a lower cost in comparison to virtual CPUs.

How was the initial setup?

It was very straightforward. You need to create a free account on Bluemix and start exploring dashDB along with the other services. Once we finalized dashDB, IBM took only two or three days to setup our dedicated instance.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

If you know your data is large to begin with and will grow quickly, dashDB pricing is in comparison to the other service providers in the market.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated a couple of other options. NoSQL databases and free databases such as MySQL and PostgreSQL. However, NoSQL did not work at all for us.

Our data was structured and relational; we needed something with the traditional cursor kind of behavior for our apps.

What other advice do I have?

If your need is for an integrated development environment such as RStudio, Spark, app development and other services as offered on Bluemix, then you can plan your data scalability well in advance.

dashDB is a good product to work with. The extra cost you spend on performance, technical support and tools to work with is worth it.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We were the early adopters of dashDB. Today, we are partners in dashDB product development and provide critical feedback in product design.
it_user583374
Consultant at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
You can store data in the cloud and use the database as a MPP server.

What is most valuable?

I like that the dashDB solution is built on DB2 technology. This means that you can use all the features of a DB2 database, but outsource all the hardware and software maintenance. Cloud solutions/services are the big thing for the future. IBM has provided users with the ability to store data in the cloud with the option to use the database as a MPP server.

How has it helped my organization?

The organization (a customer of ours) has used it to create a sort of data hub to use as a foundation for other business applications, such as self-service BI and online web services.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see improvements in backup and authentication.

It needs the ability to increase the number of retained backups to more than 2 days. This is a limitation. Also, the ability to connect an AD namespace to the login of dashDB is a missing feature.

For how long have I used the solution?

I’ve used dashDB for approximately 8 months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

At the start of the project, the customer had difficulty with connecting to the dashDB instance. After IBM recreated the dashDB instance, it worked fine.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We did not encounter any scalability issues during the project.

How are customer service and technical support?

I rate technical support a 3.5/5 or average.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Implementing dashDB was a requirement from the customer.

How was the initial setup?

IBM did the initial setup, so we weren't involved in this process.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated Microsoft and Amazon cloud services.

What other advice do I have?

Look closely at the limitations of the product (cloud is never the same as on-premise solutions) and align them with the requirements of the project. If this is acceptable, then switch.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We have a partnership with IBM.