• Home
  • Staffing
  • Insights
  • About Us
  • Contact Us

Informix Upgrade – Tips & Tricks and Challenges

Author: Raju Chidambaram

Share this article

Similar to Sybase, Oracle & Ingres, Informix was founded in the eighties and later acquired by IBM in 2001. To anyone’s surprise Informix is still being used by many fortune 500 companies, mostly in their Point-of-sale software systems. Currently, IBM outsources Informix software management to HCL.

The latest version of Informix, both from IBM and HCL, is Informix 14.10. Here is the link to the document on the ongoing support arrangement between IBM and HCL here.

According to IBM the new release is “Stronger, faster and flexible”.

informix

What's new in IBM Informix version 14.10.

The version 14.10 introduced several key features that enhance its capabilities:

 

Performance:

  • Significant performance improvement in transaction log replay in secondary (RSS, SDS, HDR) instances.
  • New command to automate setting up the enterprise replication between Informix servers.
  • Improvements are made to end to end ER performance to improve replication throughput and reduce latency.
  • Database object partitioning allow for distributing data across multiple servers in a cluster for better handling of large datasets
  • Built-in index compression and integration of JSON collections with support for MongoDB JSON drivers

Administration:

  • Informix HQ is a new web-based tool useful for monitoring, alerting, and administering Informix database servers in a modernized web console.
  • It is now possible to take archives and log backups on a Remote Secondary Server (RSS) node using onbar or ontape.
  • New parameters are introduced for better performance and new commands are introduced to get accurate information which leads to better administration.
  • Informix 14.10 offers the ability to store and retrieve backups directly to cloud storage providers like Amazon S3.

Security:

  • Integrated Encryption: Informix backup and restore utilities now have the capability to internally encrypt and decrypt the data.
  • Remote Key Store for EAR: The encryption-at-rest (EAR) feature now supports the storage of encryption keys in an Amazon Web Services (AWS) account. Automatic encryption/decryption of backups.

Why do you need to upgrade to IBM Informix version 14.10 from the lower versions?

  • Introduction of new features and the enhancements that drastically improved the performance, functionality, and security of the database server.
  • Administration of Informix version 14.10 becomes easier due to the introduction of newer commands, enhancement of existing commands, simplified.
  • replication methods and the introduction of the web-based administration tool Informix HQ.
  • IBM Informix versions lower than 12.10 are currently out of support and after the introduction of Informix version 15, the out of support timeline for version 12.10 is expected to be sooner.

 

Latest fix pack release:

IBM Informix version 14.10.xC10W1.

Informix server 14.10xC10W1 supports Windows 2022 and the subsequent releases of Informix server 14.10 will support Windows 2022.

Limitations of version14.10:

  • IBM Informix 14.10 cannot be installed on RHEL6 or lower version.
  • Also Informix 14.10 cannot support Solaris 9 or lower versions.

Pros & Cons

How to upgrade Informix database instances from version 12.10 or older to version 14.10

This document covers step by step instructions to upgrade your Informix instance from version 12.10 or lower to latest version 14.10

There are two methods to upgrade your Informix version,

  1. In-place upgrade (upgrading to Informix version v14 in the same host server)
  2. Installing Informix 14.10 in new host server and migrating the database from the existing to the new host server.

 

Method 1: In-place upgrade (upgrading to Informix version v14.10 in the same host server)

step 1: Download Informix version 14.10 software from IBM site.

step 2: Untar Informix 14.10 software bundle in a separate directory.

step 3: Run the ids_install binaries and install Informix 14.10 in that directory.

step 4: Configure the Informix configuration file onconfig and connectivity file sqlhosts of version 14.10.

step 5: Shutdown the currently running Informix instance.

step 6: Create a link file named “Informix” to Informix 14.10 installed directory.

step 7: Export the Informix variables for Informix 14.10 version.

step 8: Make sure the INFORMIXDIR variable shows the Informix 14.10 installed directory name.

Use Informix command “oninit -V” verify it is showing Informix 14.10 version.

step 9: Now the start the Informix instance.

step 10: Once the instance is up and verify it’s up and running in Informix 14.10 and verify the error log for any errors.

 

Method 2: Installing Informix 14.10 in new host server and migrating the database.

 

step 1: Download Informix version 14.10 software from IBM site.

step 2: Untar Informix 14.10 software bundle in a separate directory.

step 3: Run the ids_install binaries and install Informix 14.10 in new directory.

step 4: Export the data for the databases from the running instance of lower version.

step 5: Configure the Informix configuration file onconfig and connectivity file sqlhosts of version 14.10.

step 6: Create a link file named “Informix” to Informix 14.10 installed directory.

step 7: Export the Informix variables for Informix 14.10 version.

step 8: Initialize the Informix instance.

step 9: Create the chunk files for the dbspaces.

step 10: Create the separate dbspaces for logical log,physical log, temporary tables and for data.

step 11: Import the data into databases in Informix 14.10 instance.

Post Migration Steps:

  • For ON-Bar, copy the sm_versions file.
  • Finish preparing earlier versions of 12.10 databases for JSON compatibility.
  • It may be necessary to rebuild indexes after the version 14.10 upgrade.
  • Optionally run UPDATE STATISTICS on your tables and on UDRs that perform queries if you have performance problems after migrating to the new version of Informix.
  • Update statistics on some system catalog tables after migrating.
  • Review client applications and registry keys.
  • Verify the integrity of migrated data.
  • Open each database with DB-Access and use oncheck to verify that data was not corrupted during the migration process.
  • Back up Informix after migrating to the new version.
  • Tune the new version for performance and adjust queries.
  • Register DataBlade modules.
  • You must register any DataBlade modules that you installed.

About Us

RalanTech is a one stop IT consulting and managed IT services organization. We have completed hundreds of successful Informix database upgrades. We have a large team of database administrators helping customers with everything from consulting to managed database services supporting various RDBMS technologies including Sybase, Oracle, SQL Server, Postgresql, MongoDB, MySQL, and Informix.

Conclusion

Our team here at RalanTech have performed numerous database upgrades successfully with minimal downtime to the production systems. Reach out to us info@ralantech.com if you have any questions.

 

 

 

References: 

Informix User Group

Migrating and Upgrading Informix

Recent Blogs

OCI and IoT Integration
Blog
Overcoming Challenges: Integrating OCI with IoT for Enhanced Business Value
Enhancing Healthcare with OCI and IoT
Blog
Enhancing Healthcare with OCI and IoT
Smart Manufacturing with OCI and IoT
Blog
How Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) and IoT are Changing the Game in Manufacturing

Sign up for our Newsletter