For only the second time in DB2’s short, 27-year history, skip-level migration will once again be a DB2 upgrade option. DB2 10 will allow either the traditional upgrade path from DB2 9 NFM or skip-level migration from DB2 V8 NFM. Most customers have a good handle on what it takes to successfully upgrade one release, but many may not understand the differences and trade-offs involved with a skip-level migration. For example, there could be new DB2 10 functionality that will satisfy or enhance an important business process or possibly you’re just arriving on DB2 V8 and see DB2 10 skip-level migration as a way to realize the benefits of DB2 10 in a slightly shorter time. However, that means features introduced in DB2 9, especially those not available until DB2 9 NFM, won’t be available until migration to DB2 10 is complete. This could be a longer period of time before taking advantage of some significant DB2 9 features than if you had migrated directly to DB2 9.
Customers should expect a skip-level migration project to take about one and a half times as long as a single version migration. The list of migration considerations and prerequisites that need to be reviewed before starting an upgrade must cover DB2 9 and DB2 10. Ensuring you’re following best practices and staying current with your service levels is even more important with skip-level migration. Once you’ve started your migration from V8 to DB2 10, you will no longer be able to migrate to DB2 9 should a fallback to V8 occur, so the pre-planning migration steps are critical to making the right call for your specific business needs.
Whether you go from V8 to DB2 9 or directly to DB2 10, taking the time to build a proper plan, including a comprehensive test strategy, will help ensure the smoothest migration. Talk with IBM to ensure you completely understand the impacts, the potential challenges and the overall process, and take advantage of IBM’s DB2 Migration Planning Workshops (MPW).