At this time, many Db2 for z/OS-using organizations have already completed their migration to Db2 12. Others are still in the process of accomplishing that migration, or are finalizing migration plans. Especially at sites at which migration to Db2 12 is not yet a fait accompli, I have seen that there is often some degree of confusion pertaining to "extended" RBA and LRSN values, particularly with regard to what needs to be accomplished prior to migrating from Db2 11 to Db2 12, and what actions should be taken in which order. Through this blog entry I hope to bring a measure of clarity to the topic.
As is typical for a database management system, Db2 for z/OS records information about database changes in its log. This is done to enable things like recovery of objects in a database, and rollback of data changes made by a transaction that terminates abnormally. While Db2's log exists physically in some number of active and archive log data sets, logically it is essentially a single large (maybe VERY large) file. In that single logical log file, Db2 records the location of individual records by their position in the log - a position known as the relative byte address, or RBA. That is literally the number of bytes into the (potentially very large) single logical log file at which a record can be found.
For years and years, log RBA values were stored in a six-byte field. Six bytes allowed for 256 TB of data to be recorded in the Db2 log, and way back around 1983, when Db2 for z/OS (then called Db2 for MVS) came to market, that seemed like plenty of capacity. Db2 ended up being used for a lot of very large databases that were characterized by very large volumes of data-change activity, and it eventually became clear that the Db2 log needed more than 256 TB of space for records - a LOT more. Db2 11 addressed that need by enabling a transition from 6-byte to 10-byte RBA and LRSN values (LRSN values pertain to Db2 data sharing groups - more on that in a moment). A 10-byte RBA value provides 1 yottabyte of log capacity (2 to the 80th power). Log space problem solved, once you transition to the 10-byte values.
And how do you make that transition? There are two aspects of the task - what you might call a system aspect and a database aspect. The system aspect involves getting a Db2 subsystem to use 10-byte RBA values in the records it writes to the log. That is done by running a Db2-provided utility, called DSNJCNVT, that converts the Db2 bootstrap data set, or BSDS, to accommodate 10-byte RBA (and LRSN) values (the BSDS contains, among other things, information about a Db2 subsystem's log). This BSDS conversion utility can be executed any time after the associated Db2 11 subsystem is in new-function mode (NFM). Here we come to an important point, and to a clarification I want to communicate: the BSDS must be converted to accommodate 10-byte RBA (and LRSN) values before you migrate a Db2 11 subsystem to Db2 12, and that is the only action pertaining to extended RBA (and LRSN) values that must be completed prior to migrating to Db2 12. In other words, the system part of getting to 10-byte RBA (and LRSN) values must be taken care of prior to migrating from Db2 11 to Db2 12, but the database part of transition to extended RBA (and LRSN) values can be addressed following migration to Db2 12.
Why I mentioned "clarification" in the preceding paragraph: I've found that a number of Db2 people think that both the system and database parts of extended RBA (and LRSN) transition have to be accomplished prior to migrating a Db2 11 subsystem to Db2 12. NOT TRUE - it's just the system part (BSDS conversion) that has to be done before you can migrate to Db2 12 from Db2 11.
OK, so that should make things pretty straightforward, right? You get your BSDS converted to accommodate 10-byte RBA (and LRSN) values, and then you can tackle the database part of extended RBA (and LRSN) transition at a time of your choosing, either before or after migrating to Db2 12, right? Well, maybe not so fast there. There is an important consideration regarding the timing of BSDS conversion versus database conversion that is relevant in a standalone Db2 environment and not relevant in a Db2 data sharing environment. I'll explain this critical distinction below.
The database part of extended RBA (and LRSN) transition, and the data sharing difference
First, what is this "database part" of extended RBA (and LRSN) transition to which I've been referring? Simple: in every page of every database object (table space or index), Db2 records the point in the log at which data in the page was last updated (among other things, that page-level information is used by Db2 for lock avoidance purposes). The particular field in a table space or index page in which this information is recorded is called the PGLOGRBA field. Even if Db2 is using 10-byte RBA (and LRSN) values in records it writes to the log, if the PGLOGRBA field is using 6-byte values, and we reach the limit of those 6-byte values, the data in the database objects can't be updated. Not good. That means that we have to change the database objects so that the PGLOGRBA field can contain 10-byte values. That change is generally accomplished via online REORGs of table spaces and indexes (it can also be accomplished by other utilities that involve creation of new data sets to replace the old, such as LOAD REPLACE and REBUILD INDEX). Db2 provides a job, DSNTIJCV, that will convert the catalog and directory objects to accommodate 10-byte PGLOGRBA values, and you can get this done for user and application table spaces and indexes by executing online REORG (or LOAD REPLACE or REBUILD INDEX) with the RBALRSN_CONVERSION EXTENDED option (or with the ZPARM parameter UTILITY_OBJECT_CONVERSION set to EXTENDED or NOBASIC). Note that if you want to "keep score," with respect to progress made in converting table spaces and indexes to accommodate 10-byte PGLOGRBA values, you can do that via the RBA_FORMAT column of the SYSTABLEPART and SYSINDEXPART tables in the Db2 catalog.
So, what about that "timing" thing I mentioned previously? That has to do with converting the BSDS to accommodate 10-byte RBA (and LRSN) values (the "system" part of transition to 10-byte RBA/LRSN values) and converting database objects to accommodate 10-byte values in the PGLOGRBA field in table space and index pages (the "database" part of transition to extended values). Which should you tackle first? Well, the system part, right, because that's required prior to migration to Db2 12, while the database part can be taken care of either before or after migration to Db2 12 (or some before and some after migration), right? In fact, the proper way to proceed, with regard to the order in which you address the system and database parts of transition to extended RBA/LRSN values, depends in large part on whether the Db2 subsystem in question is operating in standalone mode or as a member of a Db2 data sharing group.
What does Db2 data sharing have to with this? Here is the key distinction: in a Db2 data sharing environment, RBA values are NOT stored in the PGLOGRBA field of a table space or index page; instead, LRSN values are stored in that field. LRSN stands for log record sequence number. It's a timestamp-based value, and we need to use that for log record location in a Db2 data sharing system because in such an environment it is very common for a given database object to be updated concurrently by processes running on different members of the data sharing group. Each Db2 group member writes records to its log data sets that pertain to database changes made by processes running on that member, and each member is still writing RBA values to its log, but different members of the data sharing group will have different (often WAY different) RBA values, and what's needed is a COMMON expression of a log point, and LRSN values provide that consistency of log point references across members of the data sharing group; thus, in a data sharing group a Db2 member will write LRSN values as well as RBA values to its log, whereas the PGLOGRBA field in table space and index pages in a data sharing environment will contain LRSN values instead of RBA values. Make sure that you understand this: in a Db2 data sharing environment, log RBA values are NOT found in the pages of database objects, whereas in a standalone Db2 system log RBA values ARE recorded in the PGLOGRBA field of table space and index pages.
With that established, here's the implication for Db2 systems operating in standalone mode: when the BSDS is converted to use 10-byte RBA values, the pace at which the RBA value advances will accelerate. Why? Because the RBA values being written to the log are now 4 bytes longer than they were previously. Will the change in the pace of increase for RBA values be pretty small, or fairly large? That depends on the nature of the log records. If data-change activity in a Db2 system primarily involves inserts, and if inserted rows are rather long, the addition to the length of the typical log record due to the extra 4 bytes of the RBA value will be relatively small. If, on the other hand, data change activity in the system is primarily related to updates, and if the associated log records are pretty short (Db2 might be logging just the change of a single column caused by an update), the increase in the size of the log records caused by the extra 4 bytes of the RBA value can be quite significant.
Alright, so the pace of RBA value-increase quickens after conversion of the BSDS. Is that something about which you should be concerned, assuming that you're running Db2 in standalone versus data sharing mode? Yes, if your system's RBA value is getting pretty close to the 6-byte limit. You can check the latest log RBA value on your system via the Db2 command -DISPLAY LOG, and if the high-order value of the 6-byte RBA field is 'C' or less (hexadecimal format), you likely have a good bit of headroom. If, on the other hand, you see that the high-order value of the 6-byte RBA field is 'D' or higher, you'd best get cracking on avoiding problems related to hitting the 6-byte limit. In that situation, converting database objects to accommodate 10-byte values in the PGLOGRBA field (the database part of transition to extended values) BEFORE converting the BSDS could be a good idea, because you'll maximize the time available to you to accomplish the conversion of database objects (because you haven't sped up the advance in RBA values by converting the BSDS). If your system's 6-byte RBA value is a good ways off from the limit, you could convert the BSDS prior to converting table spaces and indexes, because you're not looking at a crunch-time situation.
In a data sharing environment, go ahead and convert the BSDS first. Yes, that will cause the advancement of RBA values for the Db2 member subsystem to accelerate, but so what? RBA values are not recorded in the PGLOGRBA field of table space and index pages (LRSN values are there, instead), and the conversion to 10-byte RBA values means that the system's logging capacity has been enormously increased.
Even if you are running Db2 in data-sharing mode, or even if (in a standalone Db2 environment) you're a long way from hitting the 6-byte RBA limit, you should get the database part of the transition to 10-byte RBA/LRSN values done within a reasonable time frame - like, maybe within the next year or so. Why? Because eventually that will have to get done, and you don't want the task to be put on the back burner and subsequently forgotten. Get catalog and directory objects converted (using the Db2-supplied job to which I referred above), and use online REORG (or LOAD REPLACE or REBUILD INDEX) to convert user and application table spaces, and track progress (as previously noted) via the RBA_FORMAT column of the SYSTABLEPART and SYSINDEXPART catalog tables. Once you're done, you'll never have to worry about this again - and that would be a good thing.
I hope that the information I've provided in this blog entry will be useful for you. For more information on extended RBA and LRSN values, and on the transition to same, see the excellent and comprehensive write-up in section 3.1 of the IBM rebook titled, IBM DB2 11 for z/OS Technical Overview (download-able from http://www.redbooks.ibm.com/abstracts/sg248180.html?Open).