Day: January 14, 2013

IBM i End of Support

January 2013 Newsletter


i can do anything with iTech Solutions


First, everyone at iTech Solutions would like to wish you a Happy, Healthy, and Prosperous New Year.

This coming February 5th, IBM will be making some major announcements for the Power Systems community, and you should plan on attending. You can register via this link. I always hear from customers asking me about IBM’s commitment to the IBM i operating system, and I keep telling them that it is strong.  Well, in last months newsletter, I wrote about IBM i support going out until 2026 on a chart that I had been presented while in Rochester, MN in November. I tweeted (By the way, my twitter id is Petem59) about this support, and it seemed to cause quite a stir in the community with everyone wanting to get their hands on the chart.   Here is the chart.

IBM is certainly investing and supporting future releases of IBM i, but if you are still stuck on V5R4, it is time to upgrade!  Support ends on Sept 30, 2013. If you are still on V5R4, send Pete an email and he can help you upgrade to 6.1 or 7.1. With more upgrades than anyone else to 6.1/7.1 done to date you know iTech Solutions has the expertise and know how. Get the best team working for you.

Each month our newsletter brings you IBM i tips and techniques that help many System Administrators in their job, as well as help IT managers know what is happening in the IBM i world.  In November, we introduced the iTech Solutions Blog.

The number of iTech Solutions customers is growing each month, and that is due to our commitment to our customers, our services, and the support that we provide.  Find out for yourself what it is like to work with a business partner who cares about you and your success.

This issue of our newsletter has six articles. In the first article, Bringing new functionality and features to IBM Navigator for i. The second article is about the new iTech Solutions monthly blog.  The third article discusses issues that some customers are having with Telnet. The fourth article lists some of the upcoming events in which iTech Solutions will be participating. The fifth article is on disk protection: Raid5 vs Raid6.  The last article is for your reference with updated PTF information.

Cloud-Based Backups: Ideal Replacement for Tapes?

It’s amazing – and a little scary – how often we see it happen:

A CIO of a small or midsized company puts a well-designed backup strategy in place. He or she assigns one of the IT staff to spearhead backups from now on. And then the CIO assumes the backups are happening on schedule, and basically forgets about the tape backupwhole issue. Little does the CIO know that the data-filled backup tapes are just stacking up in the computer room, rather than being moved offsite regularly.

This goes on for 10 years – during which time the system and what needs to be backed up is changing.

The problem, of course, is that data backups generally require human involvement. People forget things, neglect important tasks, and make mistakes. Those factors can combine to introduce a wide range of potential problems.

Common Problems with Tape Backups

The typical data backup process is fraught with issues such as:

  • Poorly stored tapes. Companies that store their own backup tapes often find them left on top of the tape drive. Stacked on top of computers. Or shoved in rickety file cabinets. How safe will these tapes be in the event of a disaster? And isn’t there a good chance they’ll be misplaced or accidentally discarded?
  • Unencrypted data. The vast majority of companies don’t encrypt the data they’re writing to their storage tapes. They probably figure there’s no need to do so because the tapes won’t be leaving their facilities. But all of that changes when a tape is stolen or lost. Suddenly, vast amounts of customer credit card data, client medical data, or employee personal data will be available for the criminal’s illicit purposes.
  • Incomplete backups. More often than not, companies take a “set it and forget it” policy with their backups. But as the months and years roll by, a company’s backup needs will change as it acquires competitors, grows its staff, fleshes out its product line, or even adds new locations. Eventually, a backup that was configured three or five years ago will become so outdated, it doesn’t even contain enough data to help the company resume operations after a natural disaster or major technology problem.

Avoiding the Pitfalls of Data Backups

Now, how can you make sure your company isn’t susceptible to these pitfalls?

It’s easy enough to see if you’re storing backup tapes properly, and to ask IT whether they’re …