Month: February 2021

Steve Pitcher, Account Executive

Steve has been involved with IBM i since 2001 primarily in the manufacturing and distribution industries. Over that period he’s been a systems administrator, developer, IT Manager and IT Director. He joined iTech Solutions in 2017 in a combined sales/technical role, bringing additional expertise in security, IBM Lotus Domino and WebSphere.

A longtime IBM Champion, first as part of the inaugural group for IBM Collaboration Solutions (2011) and then as an IBM Champion for Power Systems (2016-present), you’ll find Steve speaking at events around the world about IBM i administration, modernization and security. He’s been a community advocate on the COMMON Americas Advisory Council since 2012 and is currently serving on the COMMON Board of Directors.

The Importance of Having an IBM i Security Risk Assessment

With the increasing number of cybersecurity attacks, it is crucial to conduct regular IBM i Security Risk Assessments to protect your organization from intruders, attackers, and cybercriminals. Cybersecurity is all about understanding, managing, controlling, and mitigating risk to your organization’s critical assets.

What is a Security Risk Assessment?

A Security Risk Assessment is the process of evaluating risks that could be affected by cyberattacks. You identify both internal and external threats, evaluate their impact, and estimate the value of cybersecurity incidents. With this information, you can define your cybersecurity and data protection controls to match your organization’s risk.…

February 2021 Newsletter

This newsletter includes:

Everyone at iTech Solutions seems to be firing on all cylinders right now, and I am extremely proud of them and to be part of the team. Sure, it is different and at times a little more difficult than it was 2 years ago, but we are continuing to lead the IBM i community not just with words, but by our actions and results. It’s almost a year since we first learned of COVID, and our lives were all turned upside down overnight. I hope you and your families are safe and sound. We have continued to work hard for our customers, and they in turn have rewarded us with their business.  We cherish those relationships and will work hard to continue to exceed expectations.…

Protecting Your IBM i from Power Outages or Power Surges

If my IBM i could talk, it might ask: Am I protected from power outages or power surges?

If I have a UPS connected:

  • How old is it?
  • How old are the batteries?
  • Is it under warranty or service contract?
  • How long is the UPS uptime?
  • Is there any type of remote monitoring or automatic server shutdown?

With all the changes, what is UPS capacity? And what % of total capacity is UPS? Do I have the needed capacity?…

Security Testing and the Approaches for Malicious Code Insertion

The need for proper security on IBM i systems is increasingly well understood. Equally important is proving out the hardening is sufficient via comprehensive testing. As is true for all IT infrastructure, no single type of testing will ensure your system is stable, so we need to incorporate security QA in multiple ways.

What is security testing?

It is a component of Reliability Testing which is how the system is configured for its intended use. This is an area that thinks about what the environment needs to do, how it needs to be done, and what variables are known as requirements. Testing types will include:

  • Black Box is input and output based on the system responding to specific criteria without visibility to what is happening via the process.
  • White Box is the opposite, one has access to the programming and/or database procedures and sees how the system is responding at a level invisible to the users.

Controlling the Outbound IP Address Used with a Virtual IP Address

We recently installed a new POWER9 system at a customer site and migrated their old system to it, and the customer wanted to take advantage of multiple network switches in their data center to provide some level of network connectivity redundancy for their new system to protect against a network switch failure.

The simple solution was to use a virtual IP address implementation where we created a virtual IP TCP/IP interface that sits on top of two physical interfaces that are used to handle the network traffic (in a recent newsletter I described the exact steps on how to do this, very easy to do!).  What we did was create a virtual IP interface that was the same address as the IP address of the old system (e.g. and two real (physical) TCP/IP interfaces (e.g. and that were defined to the virtual IP interface as “preferred interfaces” with each physical interface plugged into a different network switch, this is the norm for a typical virtual IP address configuration.…

RNMTCPHTE (Changing host table entry IP without having to remove and add back)

Host table entries on IBM i are something that every system administrator touches. At the very least, you should always have an entry in there that resolves the hostname of your system to the correct IP address. There are many services (like SSH and Navigator for i) that will run much faster if his host table entry is in place and correct.

In this world, the only thing constant is change, and when changes start happening, IP addresses tend to start changing. When IP addresses change, you have to change those host table entries that have remained the same on your system for a long time. If you take the usual command-line route to changing them, you will hop to the Configure TCP/IP menu (CFGTCP) and then take option 10 – Work with TCP/IP host table entries.…

Richie Palma, Tech Solutions Consultant

Richie has spent most of his professional time working with clients running IBM i on IBM Power Systems. With a background and passion for lean manufacturing, his mind is wired to seek the most efficient means toward producing the desired result. Lean principles are as applicable in the data center as they are on the shop floor.  When he was introduced to the IBM i architecture in 2012, he found a technology that lives by lean principles.  IBM i is built for large-scale efficiency, not sprawling server farms that require Band-Aids, duct-tape and lots of attention (people).

Richie has been recognized as an IBM Champion for Power (2017-2018), IBM Fresh Face of IBM i (October 2017), Member of the Common S.E.T. (Strategic Education Team), founder of the “Midrange Meetup” in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on the steering committee for YIP’s (Young i Professionals), and on the board for SEMIUG (South East Michigan IBM i User Group).

IBM i Futures Conference – Presented by IBM i

IBM i Futures Conference
March 16th – March 17th

Power Systems and IBM i education from the convenience of your desk – for FREE.

Tuesday, March 16: 8:00 AM – 5:00 pm CT
Wednesday, March 17: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm CT

2020, the COVID-19 pandemic, and new technologies have businesses wondering what the future will look like for their companies and IT operations. Join IBM and COMMON March 16th-17th to learn what the future holds for IBM i and your business in the “new normal”. Hear from IBM Distinguished Engineers and Master Inventors, IBM Champions and other members of the IBM i community about new technologies like AI, Quantum and IoT. Listen to real-life customer stories of businesses who have not only adapted, but thrived in the “new normal” by running on IBM i.
Get inspired. Learn how to innovate with these new technologies.

[ Register Now ]