IBM Data and AI Ideas Portal for Clients

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Enable cron within the containers and/or allow web console to schedule custom user jobs or scripts

Users and DBAs frequently use cron to schedule jobs to run off hours. For a federated data warehouse, where there are many teams, tables, and schemas, users and DBAs are expected to monitor their own tables, loads, runstats, and other maintenance and monitoring jobs. As each team runs independently, they need the ability to schedule and run their own jobs according to their team's business needs. As well, many historical customers have previously written scripts and jobs that should easily transfer to any appliance.

One attempted workaround was to introduce another server to run cron jobs. This idea proved to be very difficult as a remote server requires a password to connect to the database. Due to security, the passwords cannot be stored unencrypted. As a result, the only viable option appears to be to change AUTHENTICATION to CLIENT. However, this too is not a recommended best practice for any security mechanism.

Another possible workaround is to use db2 scheduling. Again this is not pratical to rewrite the many cron jobs that already exist. This is an overwhelming and expensive amount of rework for something that has been working for years as is without security or maintenance overhead.

Last, for some activities like RUNSTATS or other maintenance routines, AUTO MAINT routines were investigated. But this option does not prevent scheduling problems when "EXTERNAL TABLES" or CREATE TABLE AS SELECT" are attempting to run and lock system catalogs. As well, AUTO MAINT throttles the maintenance making it hard to estimate how long the commands will run with different workloads on many different tables.

  • Guest
  • Nov 5 2020
  • Submitted
Who would benefit from this IDEA? All customers and users that need to schedule jobs. So all users of the appliance are impacted.
How should it work?

Reenable cron jobs. It is unclear how or why this was disabled but typically all Linux and UNIX users are allowed to run crontab -e to create files in /var/spool/cron directory. All users can (and frequetly do) create crontab entries to schedule jobs. In a containized environment, the /var/spool/cron directory should be saved and restored for an upgrade or link /var/spool/cron to a persistent location that all users can access. If the option is to copy the directory before an upgrade, then the directory should be automatically restored post upgrade. If a link to a persistent directory is utilized, the data should be untouched during an upgrade.

Idea Priority High
Priority Justification This impacts many users. It is expensive to rewrite what is already working. This needs to be corrected for next Gen of Db2 appliance
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