April 2010 Newsletter
Well it is finally here, IBM i 7.1 (or i5/OS 7.1 or OS/400 7.1). No matter how you refer to this new release of the operating system it is here. I have been part of the beta team for the last 3 months, and I can tell you that this release has been rock solid for all the features and functions that we played with during our testing. We first discussed 7.1 in our October 2009 iTech Solutions Newsletter. So, I want to just discuss some of the new features and functions in more detail than I was allowed to disclose previously. Are you keeping up with the new features and functions that are available to you? Are you still on V5R2, V5R3, or V5R4? It’s time to move forward !!
IBM has stated that there will be a new release of IBM i every two years, and they are currently stating that the next version of IBM i will be 2012. I know from some of my meeting in Rochester on the requirements that they are currently looking at what is going into that next release (While I can’t disclose what is going in, I can say that IBM has been listening to all the requests that we have discussed and they are working on many of our requirements. That is exciting.) In addition, the stated life cycle for the new 7.1 version of IBM i is going to be supported through 2016. The current 6.1 version of IBM i is supported through 2014, so it would stand to reason that the next version of IBM i that is released in 2012 would then be supported until 2018.
Here is the interesting point, I am talking right now about 8 years from now, and I am sure there will be additional releases after the one in 2012. Yet, there are still people who are on V5R3 and V5R4. Those customers need to upgrade to 6.1 and 7.1. If you need help in upgrading your operating system, or you wish to use the iTech Solutions “no-worry upgrade”, then call us. Don’t stay on an old release, when the new releases have all this functionality.
iTech Solutions can help you improve performance, upgrade i5/OS, perform security audits, implement a High Availability solution, Health Checks, Systems Management, Remote Administration, PTF management, Blade installations, iSCSI Configurations, Backup/Recovery, upgrade an existing machine, or upgrade to a new machine. If you are thinking of LPAR or HMC, then think iTech Solutions. We have the skills to help you get the most out of your System i.
For more information on any of the articles below please visit us at on the web at iTech Solutions or email iTech Solutions. We would love for you to let us know any articles that you wish for the future, or if you enjoy any of the articles in the current newsletters.
|IBM i 7.1|
Let’s highlight some of the new features and functions that are coming out with 7.1. Then in subsequent months, I will go into detail about particulars.
DB2 for i XML Support
PowerHA SystemMirror for i – Provides High availability and Disaster Recovery.
Using Virtualization, and having IBM i host additional IBM i partitions, you will be able to easily setup multiple partitions at different releases to allow testing of the new release with your applications. The beauty of this is all you need is an HMC, and no additional hardware. We currently have set this up for some of our customers who wanted a separate development partition, without wanting to purchase any additional hardware.
IBM i workload optimization for Solid State Drives (SSD). We have installed SSDs in a few accounts, and they all have seen a tremendous performance improvement. This is certainly worth having a performance analysis of your system to determine if SSDs will be helpful in your environment.
Rational Open Access: RPG Edition – Some have said this is the coolest addition to the new release. The ability to split out from conventional RPG programs the 5250 data stream so that you can program new device types using the same RPG backend logic. If you are a programmer, this is an excellent feature to play with and extend the life of your existing applications.
Management Enhancements. New functions and features to make managing your environment easier.
Plus some additional miscellaneous features and functions:
There is so much more in this release, but what good is reading about these features if you can’t ever use them? If you are still back on V5R3 or V5R4, contact iTech Solutionsand let them upgrade your system for you. You will be glad that you did.
If you require any help or would like to learn more about how iTech Solutions can help you manage your environment and get more from your existing system, please contact
|Release levels and PTFs|
People are always asking me how often they should be performing PTF maintenance, and when is the right time to upgrade their operating system. I updated this article from last month with the current levels of PTFs. Let’s look at PTFs. First, PTFs are Program Temporary Fixes that are created by IBM to fix a problem that has occurred or to possibly prevent a problem from occurring. In addition, some times PTFs add new functionality, security, or improve performance. Therefore, I am always dumbfounded as to why customers do not perform PTF maintenance on their machine at least quarterly. If IBM has come out with a fix for your disk drives, why do you want to wait for your disk drive to fail with that problem, only to be told that there is a fix for that problem, and if you had applied the PTF beforehand, you would have averted the problem. Therefore, I think a quarterly PTF maintenance strategy is a smart move. Many of our customers are on our quarterly PTF maintenance program, and that provides them with the peace of mind of knowing their system is up to date on PTFs. Below is a table of the major group PTFs for the last few releases. This is what we are installing for our customers on iTech Solutions Quarterly Maintenance program.
6.1 V5R4 V5R3 V5R2
Cumul. Pack 10047 9321 8267 6080
Grp Hipers 59 124 169 189
DB Group 13 25 24 25
Java Group 12 23 23 27
Print Group 17 39 20 7
Backup/Recov. 13 31 33 31
Security Group 16 14 7 –
Blade/IXA/IXS 14 14 – –
Http 13 22 17 –
If you have an HMC, you should be running V7R7.1 If your HMC is a C03, then it should stay at V7R3.
For your Flexible Service Processor (FSP) that is inside your Power 5 or Power5+ (520, 515, 525, 550, 570), the code level of the FSP should be 01_SF240_382. Power 6 (940x M15, M25, & M50 machines, and 8203-E4A & 8204-E4A) customers should be running EL350_038. For Power6 (MMA, 560, and 570 machines) your FSP should be at EM350_038. If you have a Power6 595 (9119-FMA) then you should be on EH350_038. POWER7 the firmware level is AL710_043.
If you need help with upgrading your HMC or FSP just give us a call. We will be happy to perform the function for you or assist you in doing it. Contact Pete Massiello.