Pete Massiello

April 2022 Newsletter

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Well from reading Steve Will’s blog this month, we know the next release of IBM i is very, very close to being announced. That is great news for IBM i customers. There are a lot of really cool features that have been added to this next release, and I can’t wait to tell you all that I know on Announcement day. In fact, we will show you just how easy it is and everything you need to know to upgrade to the next release of IBM i as soon as it is announced. I think the other benefit for the whole community, is that the roadmap gets updated and we will still have at least 2 more releases of IBM i still to come out after the one this year. That pushes IBM i support probably out to around 2035ish by simple math applied to the current schedule.…

How Good Are Your Backups?

How Good Are Your Backups?

How good are your backups?

Wait, don’t answer too quickly.

Today March 31st is World Backup Day.  It’s probably a good day to review your backup strategy and your backup itself. If you haven’t done a backup in a while, set some time for either later today or this weekend to get a good backup.  Remember, your recovery is only as good as your backup.  If you have never tested your recovery, it’s probably a good time to look at that as well.  If you have been paying attention to the news this month, you heard that Russia invaded Ukraine, and then the US and its allies put some crippling sanctions on Russia. Well for every action, there is usually a corresponding reaction. The news is abuzz about cyber-attacks, ransomware, and other security-related issues that may be unleashed. We used to do backups just for recovery in case we lost our machine, which usually involved a hardware malfunction.  Now, the world has gone crazy, and backups serve as a great tool to recover your system from any type of cyber-attack as well.

Having what is referred to as the “Air-Gap” will help you from cyber-attacks, or any recovery where you need to put your system back together. Remember, you also need enough copies of your backup, going back far enough. So, now just one weeks’ worth. Now, cyber-attacks can lay idle and have infected your system for months, before they come to life. Do you have a backup of before the cyber-attack hit? When you make a backup to physical tape, or what is now more common Virtual Tape Libraries, you are creating a gap between the data on your machine, and the backup copy which is detached from your data on the machine, hence the phrase air-gap. Having knowledgeable people and good procedures are two important parts of recovery. Where are the backup tapes? Which tapes should we use? What gets saved on what backup? Where are the Disaster Recovery procedures? What order do we use the tapes in? If there are replicated systems, have you already performed a role swap? Where are their replicated systems? You know, I always laugh when people say to me, we don’t need backups because we have replication. Great, if your replication is working correctly, if someone clears a physical file, or puts ransomware on your machine, the replication software should …

March 2022 Newsletter

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March Madness is certainly going on here at iTech.   Let me tell you what I mean by that.

First, we have had a record number of POWER Systems and SAN Storage happen this month.  We have our team all over the US installing new Power Systems and SANs.  I can see it just looking at my team’s calendars, but also in all our project plans we do with each customer during the installation process.  Depending on the configuration, options, number of partitions, etc that checklist can be anywhere from 100 to 300 steps for an installation. Each installation has its own unique project plan.  So, it’s not just the installers, it’s the project managers and the rest of the technical team.

February 2022 Newsletter

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We received some great Valentine’s Day gifts from our IBM i’s all over the world, I think it was how we treated them, but is it because at iTech Solutions we know what to do, when to do it, and how to do it when it comes to IBM i? That is a good reason. Just so you know, our feelings are mutual, as we love our IBM i machines as well. Maybe it was our red shirts for valentine’s day?  In either case, you know when dealing with iTech Solutions your IBM i will be in good hands.…

January 2022 Newsletter

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Well, I thought by 2022, we would be back to normal life, but unfortunately, it doesn’t seem that the start of 2022 is any different than the start of 2021. By now it is clear that both 2020 & 2021 were unprecedented years, and 2022 has already been eventful. Let’s hope that with people getting vaccines and boosters, plus with everyone catching Omicron, getting back to normal is right around the corner.  I said this last year, “It is hard to say what will happen a month from now, much less a whole year!” boy was that ever true.…

December 2021 Newsletter

These last two years have been years like no other, yet we hope this finds you and your family safe from the virus that has uprooted our daily lives.  Who really knows what the New Year has in store for us all, but just know you will be able to count on us yet again. As 2021 comes to a close, we wish to thank you for allowing iTech Solutions to be part of your team. We hope that our IBM i newsletters, Blogs, Webinars, Sips & Tricks, iTip Videos, Two-Day iAdmin Conferences, iBasics seminars, Slack Channel, and Podcasts have been educational and informative for you and that you have learned from them. We encourage your feedback on what other things we can add to make them more helpful to our customers, and others who read them. Look for even more to come this year in 2022.

We have continued our growth this year adding additional employees to improve our services as well as the breadth of our IBM i offerings. We hope that you have a happy holiday season, with good health, happiness, and prosperity in the New Year.  All of us at iTech thank you for your business, and for the confidence you have placed with us over the years.  We look forward to working together in the coming year, and we will continue to strive to exceed your expectations. Whenever we don’t, please reach out directly to me.…

November 2021 Newsletter

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When you live in the northeast United States, each season has its own charm and is totally unique. Although, nothing beats a New England fall. The leaves turn from green to golden yellow, sunburnt orange, and raspberry reds appear all over the gentle hills and the cool crisp air reminds you that snow isn’t too far away. Fall’s transformation reminds us of the constant change in our lives and the ability we have to create change for others, as well as improve our customer’s IBM i environments. It’s empowering and yet humbling.…

October 2021 Newsletter

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October for me is always the start of the second conference season of the year, with a multitude of conferences happening in October.  Unfortunately, two of my favorite the COMMON Fall Conference and IBM Technical University both are virtual events due to COVID. I am so sick of the pandemic, I want to see all my IBM i friends who I see at conferences.  Sometimes, it’s not necessarily the sessions you learn the most at, it is at the informal discussions and networking where you learn the most.…

September 2021 Newsletter

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With Summer almost in our rear-view mirror, signs of fall are fast approaching. Everyone was expecting a new Technology Refresh for IBM i due later this Fall, but IBM released it earlier with the announcement of the POWER10 Enterprise server. The scale-out servers are coming “sometime” next year is what was announced. This means the POWER9 machines for most of the community are still the bell-weather state of the art, server to migrate to.…

August 2021 Newsletter

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Last weekend was a weekend of preparation and planning as Hurricane Henri made a direct path towards Danbury, CT.  The storm shifted directions quite a few times, and in the end, we were very lucky as it moved east and all we got here was a lot of rain.  I mean a lot of rain, but that was ok. I would rather be prepared, and the hurricane misses us than unprepared and it hits us.  Would you be ready if you had a natural disaster strike your company?…

COMMON Survey

As many of you know, I have long been a big supporter of COMMON, the IBM Power Systems Users Group, having served on its board for a few terms, as well as having the honor to be President of COMMON for 3 terms. I believe that the COMMON organization has the best in-person education in the world. No matter if you are going to COMMON North America, or COMMON Europe, they both help educate the IBM I community.

As with every organization, they have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The organization is trying to gather information to know how to best serve the IBM i community, and if you could answer a few questions, that would be extremely helpful. It would be helpful to COMMON, but could also help you in that COMMON can create education that would satisfy your needs.  If you have heard me speak, you will have known that I believe that our own education is something we all have to manage ourselves and be responsible for. That means knowing where you can get the education to advance your career and skillsets, what to consume, and how does this makes you more valuable to your current company, and any future employer.

Please spend 5 minutes on this survey.  Thanks for your time.

[Take Survey Here]

More from this month:

June 2021 Newsletter

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Happy Birthday IBM i (AS/400, and iSeries).  This Monday was 33 years strong, and still going.  The customers who made the decision to get on board this train have been very lucky through the years, and from future roadmaps, I think there is still a very, very good future in what lies ahead. From spending time in Rochester (prior to the pandemic), and having virtual meetings lately, I can tell you that Steve Will and his team have been hard at work bringing new features and functions to the next release of the operating system. While the next release is “officially” referred to as iNext, numerous IBM Executives have referred to it as IBM i 7.5.…

May 2021 Newsletter

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As you read this newsletter, we will have done our first in-person conference in over 18 months: COMMON’s NAViGATE in Columbus, Ohio.  I am sure looking forward to getting back to the new normal, and meeting customers, prospects, individuals, and — well, just everyone. I’ve been cooped up way too long, and now that I am fully vaccinated, I am ready to get back to life.  It will be interesting, and Laurie and I plan to do a podcast and video clips on the conference to show you what the conference is like. While I understand the in-person is on the lighter side (as we would have expected), the virtual conference has quite a few attendees.…

April 2021 Newsletter

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The results are in and the iTech Spring iAdmin educational event held April 20th & 21st was a huge success. We had over 700 people at the event, representing 48 US States, and 58 Countries. We packed the two days with IBM i education, breakout sessions, happy hours, live Q&A, and much more.  Wow, there was so much effort by the iTech team to pull this off, and we received so many thank you notes from attendees.  It was a full company event, and I am so thankful to the iTech team for doing such a great job.  Did you know we have done 112 webinar-styled events since January 2020, and already 30 webinar events in 2021?  Who else is helping you this much with your IBM i?  Oh, by the way, if you missed the event, you can catch the replays of each session here.

 

If you are reading this, it is probably because you are familiar with iTech at some level.  First, if iTech is your current IBM i business partner, we want to thank you for your trust in us. Some of you may know us at a limited level.  Maybe you read our informative technical blogs written by our IBM Champions, or tune in to our no-charge educational webinars.  Maybe you have contracted with iTech for our best in the industry technical support and services to help make IBM products that you purchased from another organization work more effectively.  We would like to thank you for showing this level of interest and confidence.

 

IBM i 7.1 on selected Power S922 and E980 servers

Prior to November 2020, IBM i 7.1 has not been available on servers with IBM POWER9 technology-based processors.  Now an IBM i 7.1 Activation is available on the following servers with these specific configurations:

  • Power Systems S922 (9009-22A) requires a Virtual I/O Server (VIOS), and the IBM i partitions must be set to restricted I/O mode. The Power Systems S922 (9009-22A) with 4-core processor is not supported with IBM i.
  • Power Systems S922 (9009-22G) requires VIOS, and the IBM i partitions must be set to restricted I/O mode. The Power Systems S922 (9009-22G) with 4-core processor is not supported with IBM i. The Power Systems S922 (9009-22G) with 1-core processor will not support the IBM i 7.1 activation.
  • Power Systems E980 (9080-M9S) requires VIOS, and the IBM i 7.1 partitions must be set to restricted I/O mode.