Day: February 26, 2020

Should I upgrade to IBM i 7.3 or IBM i 7.4?

One of the most frequently asked questions we receive regarding the IBM i OS is, should I upgrade to 7.3 or 7.4? The answer is: it depends.  When it comes to deciding whether you should go to 7.3 or 7.4 you have to take dependencies, features and life expectancy into consideration.

Identify which versions of IBM i your hardware can support

Before you decide, you need to verify which IBM i versions your hardware can support. There are dependencies between the hardware you are running and what OS level it can support.  If you are limited by your hardware, then you don’t have much choice in the matter.  We suggest you upgrade to the highest OS level that is compatible with your Power System.


POWER7 and POWER7+ servers support IBM i 6.1, 7.1, 7.2 and 7.3, there are a few caveats on some models so be sure to check your specific model.  POWER8 can support 7.1, 7.2, 7.3 and 7.4, which means you have more choices with this hardware. POWER9 can support 7.2, 7.3, 7.4, and will support iNext.

You also should consider that IBM supports upgrades that skip one release.  For example, upgrading from 6.1 to 7.2 or from 7.1 to 7.3.  If you have to skip more than one release and you do not perform multiple upgrades you could find yourself in hot water.  There are ways to upgrade multiple releases without encountering issues, but this is not the IBM supported method.

Investigate compatibility between business applications and IBM i

Beyond hardware dependencies, there are software dependencies to take into consideration.  It’s critical to verify which IBM i versions your critical business applications can support. By now, any vendor applications should be ready to support 7.4.  You may need to upgrade to a new version of your applications, so be sure to check this too.

You also have look at the software dependencies of your applications with ancillary solutions like Java, and WebSphere.  Both of these applications need to be at the right version to support 7.3 and 7.4. Pete wrote several articles on upgrading to 7.3 and 7.4 which detail more about compatibility with Java and WebSphere.

iTech President Pete Massiello wrote a series of articles on upgrading to 7.3 and 7.4, which go into more detail about the things you need to plan for when upgrading.  You can access that article below, as well as an

Open Source on IBM i is Now Oh So YUMmy…

Many of you are familiar with the PASE runtime environment that IBM i has had for many years, if you have licensed program 5770-SS1 option #33 (Portable App Solutions Environment) installed then you have It running on your system.  The PASE environment is the secret sauce that enables AIX/Linux apps to run on your IBM i.  One very common misconception is that PASE on IBM i is an AIX/Linux “emulation” environment, but, it is not.  PASE supplies a collection of AIX shared libraries that run directly on the same IBM Power processor that IBM i runs on.  Because it is a true AIX/Linux environment interacting directly with the Power-based processors and not an emulated one, PASE on IBM i runs apps at the same performance level as if they were running natively on an AIX/Linux system.  PASE on IBM i is significant in that it opens-up the IBM i to the vast world of free Open Source applications that are out there now in the mainstream.…

Everything Your IBM Business Partner Should Be Doing for You

System Down with No Coverage


It was 9 PM on a Sunday night about a year ago when I received a call on my cell phone from a local IBM i customer. For the purposes of this article, we’ll call him…Gary. I reached out to Gary a couple of times before to introduce myself but never had any return communication until then. Turns out, Gary had a down system. His staff did an IPL and the system just wouldn’t come back online. He did what we all would do and called IBM support. Unfortunately, they told him that he had no software maintenance contract. He then called his then-partner. No answer.


I immediately sent a GoToMeeting to the customer and texted iTech Solutions’ President Pete Massiello to have him on alert that I may need some backup. Pete, being Pete, was on the GoToMeeting faster than the customer.


February 2020 Newsletter

This newsletter includes:

End of Marketing and End of Support for IBM i 7.2

As time marches on, sometimes you look back and think “Wow, that didn’t seem that long ago”. But it was, as IBM i 7.2 was announced on April 28. 2014. The new OS became generally available on May 2, 2014. IBM announced in September the end of marketing support as April 30, 2020, and end of program support is April 30, 2021.…