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Book Review: DB2 9.7 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows Database Administration (Exam 541)


This book, written by the creator of the certification exam, reveals exactly what you'll need to know to prep for the test.

Written by Kent Milligan

A couple of years ago, I had the pleasure of working with Roger Sanders on the creation of a couple of DB2 certification exams. During the exam creation process, I was impressed by the deep knowledge and thoroughness that Roger brought to the process. As I made my way through this certification book, I found the same qualities coming through the pages time and time again as Roger reviews the various aspects of database administration for the DB2 9.7 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows (LUW) product.

This book presents the certification study notes in a chart-based format because the materials are based on the slides used in the author's DBA certification preparation form. I think this format works well for someone studying for a certification exam because the key DB2 administration concepts and features are easy to pick out. Key pieces of information are highlighted in bullet form so that readers don't have to dig the information out of a long technical description. Readers who prefer to read verbose technical specifications might not connect as well with this study notes format.

The book is divided into eight parts to mirror the section composition of the Database Administration test. This organization, along with reminders on what percentage of the exam is devoted to a particular section, should help readers plan and organize their study time appropriately.

I found the following book sections to be the most useful because they contain information on the key improvements made to the DB2 for LUW product in Version 9.7:

  • Physical Design
  • Monitoring DB2 Activity
  • High Availability

The Physical Design section does a great job of reviewing the different data compression options available to DB2 LUW DBAs. In addition, it clearly explains the partitioning and the multidimensional clustering (MDC)—two topics that are difficult for some administrators to fully grasp. The Monitoring DB2 Activity section contains concise descriptions of the new DB2 monitoring table functions in 9.7 that can be directly accessible with SQL to enable administrators to more quickly and easily identify issues. The High Availability section provides a thorough overview of the DB2 features that can be used to keep your DB2 databases online and available in disaster recovery situations.

While this book doesn't contain practice questions to aid in your preparation for the database administration exam like Roger's books normally do, it will leave readers confident in their ability to pass the certification exam. Having been through the process of creating a DB2 certification exam myself, I completely agree with the author's assertion that his deep involvement with the certification exam process enables him to include all of the concepts and techniques that are tested by the exam. "Database administration" is a term that encompasses a wide range of topics, so it's a bonus to the reader that these certification study notes contain only the essential details on items being tested.

If securing certification for DB2 9.7 for LUW Database Administration is on your career development list, you're not going to find a better resource to get you prepared for the test.

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