Consider direct distributed connections to DB2 and trading up to DB2 Connect Unlimited Edition  by Pallavi Priyadarshini


Top banks, financial services, retail and telecom companies store their mission critical data on  DB2 for z/OS, DB2 LUW and DB2 for i. Distributed workloads accessing DB2 data have proliferated due to the ubiquity of Web and Mobile applications. DB2 Connect provides a portfolio of database drivers offering distributed access to DB2 data through standard interfaces such as JDBC, SQLJ, OLE DB, ADO, ADO.NET, CLI, embedded SQL and scripting Languages such as PhP, Python, Ruby and Perl.

For distributed access to data stored on DB2 for z/OS and DB2 for i, license entitlement to DB2 Connect must be purchased. DB2 Connect is offered in several editions (Enterprise Edition, Application Server Edition, Unlimited Edition). Introduction of Unlimited Edition for both DB2 for z/OS and DB2 for i offers flexibility for direct connections to DB2 servers (without the DB2 Connect Server or Gateway) and transparently handles growth in number of users and applications. More customers anticipate the need for more users accessing DB2 data from Web, Mobile and Cloud anytime, anywhere. DB2 Connect Unlimited Edition license charges are not based on number of users or application servers, rather it is based off the processing capacity of zSeries and iSeries servers. This allows any number of distributed users, applications and workstations to connect. It also allows server side install of DB2 Connect license, instead of replicating the license on potentially hundreds of client workstations or application servers.

We are seeing a pattern whereby the decision to trade up to DB2 Connect Unlimited Edition is taken when customers adopt direct connectivity to DB2 servers (without the DB2 Connect Server or Gateway component). With the advancements in DB2 Connect client drivers around connection management, failover and workload management, more customers are adopting direct distributed connectivity to DB2 instead of going through the DB2 Connect Server or Gateway component. Direct connections to DB2 offers several advantages -

1) Simplification of distributed connectivity by reduction of one layer.
2)  Reduced resource consumption since no resources for DB2 Connect Server machines  (hardware, software) needed. No installation, maintenance, migration of this extra component.
3) Improved availability as point of failure is removed.     

4)  Improved response time of distributed applications (especially OLTP applications) due to elimination of extra hop.
We encourage you to evaluate simplification of DB2 Connect environment by going direct to DB2 (without Gateway) and upgrading to Unlimited Edition. You will not have to worry about growing number of users and applications who become instantly available without any prior notice from different channels such as Web, Mobile and Cloud.

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  • Hi Pallavi, thanks. The motivation to check on the server-side is more organisational/commercial than technical.  Lots of mainframe DBAs have no idea how and from where people connect to their subsystems, but they are now being asked for this info from management in order to evaluate the best licensing solution across multiple subsystems/Lpars.  If they could monitor accesses by type of license and/or specific license key it would make it very easy. Thanks once again. Adrian.

  • Adrian,

    Yes it would make sense to license Production for Unlimited and Test for Enterprise/AppServer Edition etc. if distributed access is low and predictable.


    Unfortunately, there is no way to check on the server the license type client is coming from. I have heard from customers who want to establish the level of DB2 Connect on the server for Client connections, however, I have not heard about the need to distinguish between difference license types on the server. What is the motivation?




  • Hi Pallavi, I have 2 questions about the licensing: 1) we have a situation where we have many DB2 Subsystems across several LPARs...Unlimited Edition would definitely be the way to go for our production LPARs, but not for our test environments where we typically have very few distributed acesses. So is it possible to only license Unlimited Edition for the production LPARs and use a different version for the other LPARs? Do you think this would make sense?

    2) Is there a way to check on the server-side(i.e. DB2 z/OS) what license connections are using? For example I know that we have some accesses using DB2 Connect Personal Edition and some using Enterprise Edition but from the server-side I can't see any difference.

    Thank you.


  • This is so true! This is really the way to go for all DB2 applications.

    In my opinion, gateways should only be used if you have vast amounts of applications that need to be bundled or when you want to provide direct end user / IT support access to DB2 thus limiting the impact of incidental connections.

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