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New features in IDS 11.50.xC6

Cosmo has sent me a fantastic write up, outlining all the new features in IDS 11.50.xC6. I thought I'd share some of it with you:

Using an RSS Server to Take a Backup

It is now possible to make an archive of an instance from an RSS server. This will help reduce the I/O load on the primary server. The backup is no different to one made on the primary and can be restored to any node within the cluster.

This feature is documented in the IBM Informix Dynamic Server Administrator's Reference, the IBM Informix Backup and Restore Guide, and the IBM Informix Dynamic Server Administrator's Guide.

Transaction Rollback Estimates

When you monitor a transaction using onstat -x you will see an estimate for the expected time that the rollback will require to complete.

IBM Informix Dynamic Server Version 11.50.FC6 -- On-Line -- Up 21:11:43 -- 394784 Kbytes
Transactions
                                                                         est.
address    flags userthread locks  begin_logpos  current logpos  isol    rb_time  retrys
558e4028   A---- 558a1028   0      -             -               COMMIT  -        0
558e4340   A---- 558a1878   0      -             -               COMMIT  -        0
558e4658   A---- 558a20c8   0      -             -               COMMIT  -        0
558e4970   A---- 558a2918   0      -             -               COMMIT  -        0
558e6860   A---- 558a73e8   0      -             -               COMMIT  -        0
558e6e90   A-B-- 558a8cd8   411395 553:0x205018  556:0x8504bc    COMMIT  0:10     0 

As the transaction progresses normally, the estimated time will increase. If it has to rollback then the time will progressively decrease, as will the current log position.

The onstat -x command is documented in the IBM Informix Dynamic Server Administrator's Reference.

Dynamic Listener Threads

You can now dynamically start, stop, or restart an existing listener thread for a SOCTCP or TLITCP network protocol without interrupting existing connections. Use the new onmode -P commands or the new SQL administration API admin() or task() functions.

For example, once the correct information has been added to the sqlhosts file, a new listener thread can be added from the command line with onmode -P start new_ixol. You will see a confirmation message in the log file.

15:29:12 Starting listen thread for sqlhosts server new_ixol
15:29:12 Listen thread init SUCCESS

Or, using the SQL API to stop the thread:

EXECUTE FUNCTION task ('stop listen', 'new_ixol');

There is also a corresponding closing message in the log.

16:09:13 Stopping listen thread for sqlhosts server new_ixol
16:09:14 Listen thread shutdown SUCCESS

This information is documented in the IBM Informix Dynamic Server Administrator's Reference and the IBM Informix Dynamic Server Administrator's Guide.

Viewing Event Alarms

Event alarms get stored in the ph_alert table in the sysadmin database. There is also a view called ph_alerts which includes additional text that describes the task. You can query the ph_alert table or ph_alerts view on a local or remote server to see the recent event alarms for that server.

> SELECT * FROM ph_alerts WHERE alert_object_type = 'ALARM';
alert_id           59
run_id             83
task_id            15
task_name          post_alarm_message
task_description   System function to post alerts
alert_type         WARNING
alert_color        YELLOW
alert_time         2010-01-12 01:00:56
alert_state        NEW
alert_object_type  ALARM
alert_object_name  44
alert_message      WARNING: DBspace rootdbs is full
alert_action_dbs   sysadmin
alert_action

This feature is documented in the IBM Informix Dynamic Server Administrator's Reference.

Basic Text Search Enhancement

The Basic Text Search feature was previously restricted to only 1 VP for query processing. This would become a bottleneck in a system where many concurrent sessions were using Basic Text Search. The 11.50.xC6 release removes this restriction, allowing multiple concurrent sessions to use the text search feature. To increase permanently the number of available BTS VPs, you should add a VPCLASS value to the $ONCONFIG file.

VPCLASS bts,num=2,noyield

This can also be done dynamically on the command line using onmode -p +1 bts to add 1 more VP.

The BTS feature is documented in the IBM Informix Database Extensions User's Guide.

IDS Install on Linux using RPM

You can install IBM Informix products by using RPM Package Manager (RPM) on some Linux® operating systems (see the Machine Notes for the list of operating systems). RPM simplifies installation by installing the product from a single package, and tracks the packages that are installed on a system. By default, this method installs IDS in the /opt/IBM/informix directory but this can be changed by using the --relocate option to RPM.

This information is documented in the IBM Informix Dynamic Server Installation Guide for UNIX, Linux, and Mac OS X.

Deployment Utility

You can use the deployment utility ifxdeploy to rapidly deploy a configured IDS instance to multiple computers, avoiding the need to configure manually instances on each computer and wait for each instance to initialise. By setting configuration parameters, essential environment variables, and SQLHOST connectivity information in a deployment utility configuration template file ifxdeploy.conf, you can reuse the configuration file to deploy the instance multiple times. You can call the utility programmatically or from a script as part of an application installation that embeds IDS. The utility automatically extracts tar files that have been compressed with gzip.

This feature is documented in the IBM Informix Dynamic Server Installation Guide for UNIX, Linux, and Mac OS X.

Dynamic dbspace Relocation when Deploying Snapshots

On the Windows platform, you can dynamically reconfigure the chunk paths of a snapshot by using the -relocate option of the deployment utility. The -relocate option initialises the dbspaces required for deploying the template instance without a separate step for disk
space initialisation.

The feature is documented in the IBM Informix Dynamic Server Installation Guide for Windows.

These are just a few of the new features in xC6 - I'll be talking about others tomorrow!

Re: New features in IDS 11.50.xC6

This is an excellent summary of the xC6 features. Thank you for providing it, Spokey !

However I wonder if the External Backup on an RSS Node is really that beneficial. Most customers that use EBR (External Backup Restore) have an underlaying SAN environment. So taking an External Backup on a Primary Node is normally only a matter of seconds where the instance needs to be blocked in order to split the mirrors.

Being able to perform a real backup on a RSS- or HDR-Node would be much more beneficial in terms of saving I/O on the Primary.

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