One thing that will help is going to DB2 version 9 and turn on compression. The size of the backup will then decrease (by up to 70-80% on table level) which should shorten the backup time. Of course, if your database is continuosly growing you’ll soon run into problems again, but then data archiving might be the thing for you.
Before looking at third party tools, which I doubt would help too much, I would consider a few optimizations.
1) Have you used REORG on your tables and indexes? This would compact the information and minimize the amount of pages used;
2) If you can, backup on multiple disks at the same time. This can easily be achieved by running
db2 backup db mydb /mnt/disk1 /mnt/disk2 /mnt/disk3 ...
3) DB2 should do a good job at fine tuning itself, but you can always experiment with the
WITH num_buffers BUFFERS,
BUFFER buffer-size and
PARALLELISM n options. But again, usually DB2 does a better job on its own;
4) Consider performing daily incremental backups, and a full backup once on Saturdays or Sundays;
UTIL_IMPACT_LIM let you throttle the backup process so that it doesn’t affect your regular workload too much. This is useful if your main concern is not the time per se, but rather the performance of your datasever while you backup;
6) DB2 9’s data compression can truly do wonders when it comes to reducing the dimensions of the data that needs to be backed up. I have seen very impressive results and would highly recommend it if you can migrate to version 9.1 or, even better, 9.5.
There really are only two ways to make backup, and more important recovery, run faster:
1. backup less data and/or
2. have a bigger pipe to the backup media
I think you got a lot of suggestions on how to reduce the amount of data that you back up. Basically, you should be creating a backup strategy that relies on relatively infrequent full backup and much more frequent backups of changed (since last full backup) data. I encourage you to take a look at the “Configure Automatic Maintenance” wizard in the DB2 Control Center. It will help you with creating automatic backups and with other utilities like REORG that Antonio suggested. Things like compression obviously can help as the amount of data is much lower. However, not all DB2 editions offer compression. For example, DB2 Express-C does not. Frankly, doing compression on a 200GB database may not be worth while anyway and that is precisely why free DBMS like DB2 Express-C don’t offer compression.
As far as openign a bigger pipe for your backup you first have to decide if you are going to backup to disk or to tape. There is a big difference in speed (obviously disk is a lot faster). Second, DB2 can paralelize backups. So, if you have multiple devices to back to, it will backup to all of them at the same time i.e. your elapsed time will be a lot less depending how many devices you have to throw at the problem. Again, DB2 Control Center can help you have it set up.