Alexander Levy available

Alexander Levy

Independent DB2 Consultant at Sustainable Software Ltd

Profileimage by Alexander Levy Independent DB2 Consultant at Sustainable Software Ltd from AshburtonDevonUK
  • TQ13 7BA Ashburton, Devon UK Freelancer in
  • Graduation: not provided
  • Hourly-/Daily rates: 65 £/hour 550 £/day
    Negotiable depending on location and duration.
  • Languages: English (Native or Bilingual)
  • Last update: 14.12.2015
Profileimage by Alexander Levy Independent DB2 Consultant at Sustainable Software Ltd from AshburtonDevonUK
DB2, Data Warehousing, SQL, Korn shell, Unix Shell Scripting, Linux, DB2, Unix, AIX, Stored Procedures, Replication, Erwin, Data Modeling, Database Design, SQL Tuning, Database Administration, Shell Scripting, Relational Databases, Performance Tuning, Disaster Recovery, Enterprise Architecture, Solution Architecture, Cluster, High Availability, Data Migration, ETL, Oracle, IBM AIX
Sustainable Software Ltd
Independent DB2 Consultant
10.2014 - today
Available for short and part time DB2 LUW consultancy and tightly focussed pieces of short term work in administration, architecture and development. Recent and current clients this year include Dunelm (DB2 HADR consultancy); Verhoef Training (giving occasional DB2 LUW courses); and TeckCheck International Knowledge Masters (DB2 LUW technical authorship).

Please note I am not a body shop and do not want to become part of your furniture. I will be ideal for situations where you require specific pieces of complex technical work or advice carried out to a high standard in good time but your own staff are otherwise committed. Preference given to remote working with minimal time onsiite.Examples: model rework, indexing exercises, bespoke deployment suites, stored procedure development, shell scripting, technical authorship, training.

Lloyds Banking Group
Project DB2 DBA
12 2014 to 12 2015

Support preparation and rework of core systems and projects for upgrade to DB2 10.5 ESE on AIX and Linux platforms and generally ensure production readiness. Also the DB2 SME for server build automation of OLTP and DB2 Connect servers using HP’s HPSA and DMA toolsets.

A largely Database Architect role attending to 8.2/9.5 10.5 upgrades and rework of:
filesystem and mount point design; introduction of automatic storage tablespaces and storage groups;  bufferpool redesign;  backup, maintenance and housekeeping rewrites (runtime reductions of over 70%); review of server, instance and database configuration.
Wrote a performance history capture suite. Reviewed and modified ITCAMS7.1  DB2 monitoring, identifying redundant checks and writing some custom SQL scripts to plug the gaps in coverage.

Document, introduce and enable new features such as the lightweight lock monitor; extensive updates of project technical  documentation on Sharepoint intranet. 

Barclays Technology Centre
Senior DB2 LUW DBA (Freelance)
06.2014 - 10.2014
Worked with the Chief Data Steward and a senior logical data modeller as the DB2 technical authority for several projects. We implemented a common data model for a number of continuous improvement streams, using IBM's Business Process Manager (BPM). This included driving through database improvements in both a technical and quasi-managerial role. We also retro-fitted DB2 best practice into existing transactional databases and into the bank’s retail and business banking data warehouse. There was also performance tuning the databases for BPM 7.5 database components; and providing DB2 and SQL governance and support to BPM development and Informatica ETL teams, external contractors from IBM and Cognizent as well as Barclays internal teams. Until recently I was the only UK-based DBA on the project and coordinated with DBA teams and managers in Pune and New York

Resting Between Contracts
DB2 Virtuoso
04.2014 - 05.2014
Core competencies in DB2 (LUW) database design, architecture, modelling, development and operational running. Something of a SQL and shell expert. Have laptop, can travel.

Hurry, Hurry while stocks of Alex last!

Senior DB2 DBA (Freelance)
01.2012 - 03.2014
Prepared for operational readiness and support of a number of DB2 9.7 transactional databases and put the project live in November 2012. There were multiple environments, some cloud-based and some hosted in-house on Linux RHEL 5.8. Overall the development was quite challenging, combining an iterative, continuous integration approach with open source software and commodity hardware wherever possible.

Immediate challenges were scripting a database deployment suite, for later integration with Jenkins, Puppet, Capistrano and Liquibase; high availability testing; preparing backup and recovery through Simpana Commvault; servicing WPS applications; writing DB2 availability and health plugins for the Nagios monitor; and writing system documentation. This documentation included a review of existing reporting through SAP/BODS and design proposals for a new DB2 9.7 data warehouse from the ground up.

Also provided a lot of hands-on SQL tailoring and tuition; HADR investigation and trialling; an Oracle to DB2 migration ‘how to’; and re-engineering of a SAP/BODS batch refresh suite.
Have also coded and implemented a complete DB2 ESE 9.7 Maintenance & Housekeeping suite, based on earlier work from my website. This was the first BBC project to use DB2, so I also wrote the site DB2 development and SQL standards in the absence of any internal DB2 architects.

In May 2013 the BBC announced cessation of further development on the DMI project, though the FABRIC databases themselves will remain. Since then I have implemented remaining planned software releases, investigated upgrade to DB2 ESE 10.1 and trialled new DB2 10.1 features, helped clear technical backlogs and carried out knowledge transfer to a third party (IBM India).

DB2 Consultant (Freelance)
02.2011 - 12.2011
Stand in until a permanent member of staff is recruited.
- Support of 2 very large DB2 UDB 9.5 data warehouse environments on RHEL 5 Linux;
- Development of physical data models and DDL;
- Responsible for troubleshooting, performance monitoring, tuning, backup/recovery, script development, and analysis of new technologies including Optim Performance Manager;
- Work with a multi-disciplinary team on horizontal scaling proof of concept tests for SMP and MPP systems using IBM and HP loan equipment ( IBM P-Series and HP DL980/380 servers, respectively on AIX 6.1 and SLES 11) and provide analysis of performance metrics.

Visa Europe
Development DBA (freelance)
08.2010 - 01.2011
Back by popular demand! to join a newly formed Development DBA Team covering new projects (DPF and single partition) across DB2 versions 9.1, 9.5 and 9.7.
Project work so far has included
- development of a cross-project multi-schema DB2 deployment suite, using ksh93 and a rich UNIX function library based on earluier work available from my website.
- troubleshooting problem SQL and MQT design for the ATM Profiling project (tracks suspect credit card cash withdrawals across the European ATM network);
- logical and physical model design in Erwin for Mobile Gateway (a project that creates a backbone for credit card transactions using mobile phones)
- produce and implement logical and physical generic subscription and key management models for Member Services
- Design, development and scripting in ksh93 of a DB2 deployment suite for multi-schema Tier 2 projects.

Morgan Stanley
Senior DB2 Consultant (Freelance), Enterprise Data Group
04.2010 - 07.2010
Advise, model and supply physical design for a DB2 V9.7 DWE ‘Know Your Customer’ Data Warehouse with approx. 2.5 Tb incoming raw data per month. The warehouse will eventually capture every login, API call and stored procedure execution across thousands of databases and dozens of platforms; it will provide Morgan Stanley with the ability to plan maintenance and upgrades, notify interested parties of outages and identify unused logins and database objects.

Inevitably there were many interfaces to existing systems and I also worked closely with the Development Team, who wrote their own bespoke Perl application for ETL and reporting. In the earlier stages I acted as DDL author, mentor, standards setter and gatekeeper for all DB2/SQL code promotion for the team, before handing over to a permanent DBA. I also supplied a number of stored procedure primitives and infrastructure shells to query and update the database in a consistent manner.

Implemented the first two project phases by end June 2010.

Visa Europe Regional Clearing & Settlement Service
DB2 Consultant/ Project DBA
02.2007 - 04.2010
I helped progress this complex and ambitious project to go-live. It is the European payments backbone for this system (short video clip):
The project uses Apache DOA and OJB for a Java middle tier hosted on Websphere; the DB2 back-end uses HACMP and SRDF/A replication across multiple servers and environments, and I support 100+ developers and testers.
Semi-architectural role, responsible for: initial production database design and configuration; mount point and filesystem design; database sizing and capacity planning; aspects of WAS setup; HACMP and DB2 client setup and configuration. Also:

- Maintain the physical data model in Erwin; produce DDL patches in response to change requests; secure using IBM Rational ClearCase for version control.
- Write, maintain and enhance a very complex database deployment suite across multiple servers and schemata. The suite handles environment differences; DDL application and data load; referential integrity; identity column maintenance; database authorities and permissions amongst others; and enables incremental builds and backouts. All of this is integrated with the Rational change management toolset.
- Investigate and implement appropriate new DB2 V9.1 features like range-partitioning and STMM.
- Code and implement a V9.1 Housekeeping and database maintenance suite based on earlier work at IBM.
- Suggest and implement a Websphere Homogenous Federation solution for one change request
- Support to other DBAs and developers; most developers do not have a DB2 background so I've had to be something of a mentor, assisting with SQL rewrites, explaining basic principles of query design, improving requests for DDL changes and suggesting better ways of doing things.
- Query and performance tuning
- General troubleshooting, including contact with IBM Support.
- Disaster Recovery and failover testing of HA and SRDF/A components.

DB2 UDB Specialist [freelance], Internal Treasury Systems
04.2006 - 12.2006
- Full range of DBA work on IBM’s internal treasury and Global Web Architecture systems, operating in a SARBOX regulatory environment and making extensive use of SQL Replication.- Preparation and execution of Disaster Recovery tests.- DB2 Consultancy, server upgrades and health checks for blue-chip external customers (e.g. Royal Sun Alliance). Internal customer support and troubleshooting. - BRIO configuration and optimisation for DB2.

Debenhams plc
Senior DBA
03.2004 - 03.2006
The role included:
- development and project support for several large initiatives, including Customer Relation Management, Trading Reporting (below) and Forecasting and Trading; many of these use the Information Integrator product.
- the original DBA role (2 posts down).
- plus technical team leadership for a junior DBA, and mentoring for developers.

I was generally much more involved in projects from the outset, for example in standards setting, data modelling and system specification reviews; and had a greater architectural involvement.
I pioneered unique and elegant solutions for data protection and automated table REORGs; and managed the transition from DB2 V5 to V7 and again through to V8.1 to V8.2, carrying out large data and system migration between MPP and SMP AIX platforms on a mix of DPF and single partition databases. A significant part of the work remained Data Warehouse DB2 maintenance and monitoring, problem management, resolving operational issues and working with IBM technical support.

Project work included installation and deployment of IBM's Query Patroller and Recovery Expert products; and investigation of SVC Flashcopy for advanced availability and recovery.

Development DBA, Trading Report project

Debenhams plc
03.2002 - 03.2004
Data Warehouse DBA. Development and project support for several large initiatives, including CRM and satellite transactional systems; technical team leadership for a junior DBA, and mentoring for developers and contractors. General involvement in projects from the outset, for example in standards setting, data modelling and system specification reviews, with significant architectural involvement. I pioneered unique and elegant solutions for data protection and automated table REORGs; transition from DB2 V5 to V7 and through to V8.1 to V8.2, carrying out large data and system migration between MPP and SMP AIX platforms on a mix of DPF and single partition databases. Installation and deployment of IBM’s Query Patroller and Information Integrator. Extensive Korn Shell scripting.

Debenhams plc
Data Warehouse Developer
03.2000 - 03.2002
The role was to implement a number of projects on the DW from system design specification to operational running, working from requirements specs., and with close involvement with business users. These projects can be thought of as mini data marts and include areas such as Wedding List, Personal Shopper and Bra Fitting services; transactional behaviour and tender analysis.
I also acted as the development team's test manager and wrote the test standards, and extensively updated the team's Development Guide.

I was able to use my experience from mainframe DB2 and attendance at up to date training courses to pioneer a number of infrastructure innovations such as automatic job restart; clustering indexes; scheduled table reorgs; global temporary tables; a Euro user defined type; compound SQL and stored procedures.

The DW team originally consisted of only 2 experienced developers and myself in an otherwise AS400 dominated environment. We only had one production database, recently migrated from DB2 Parallel Edition, and were therefore 'multitaskers'. Rapid expansion of projects, databases and team numbers on the DB2/AIX platform meant the opportunity arose for me to specialise as a DBA.

Various Companies
DB2/COBOL Freelancer
04.1995 - 12.1999
DB2/COBOL analysis, design and programming on DB2 mainframe Data Migration projects at 3 clients (SWEB, Clarks Shoes and NatWest Bank).

British Telecom
COBOL and DB2 Analyst/Programmer
01.1988 - 01.1995

We live on Dartmoor, in a remote corner of South West England with poor transport links.
Preference is therefore for freelance with at least some element of remote working after initial familiarisation on site.
I appreciate this may not always be possible but will reject locations that are just too difficult, time-cosuming or expensive to reach.

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