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IBM i Tech Tips

Posted on July 31, 2019

Steve Pitcher, iTech Solutions

We get asked this question all the time: “how can I protect IBM i against ransomware?”

Ransomware is a hot button topic. It should be. The average ransom that companies paid in Q1 2019 rose to $12,762 from $6,733 the previous quarter. In some instances, ransoms are in the six-figure range or higher for large organizations with a low tolerance for downtime.

So, how do you protect the data on your IBM i partitions from being held hostage?

  1. The first step is to acknowledge that your IBM i may be vulnerable

For many years our community has touted the security features of IBM i. None of that changes, of course. It’s highly securable. The problem is most people think it comes secured by default. It does not.


Posted on July 30, 2019

On July 2, 2019, IBM announced that 15K RPM hard disk drives would no longer be available for new orders of its Storwize V5000 and V7000 storage systems, US announcement letter 119-048.  Why did IBM make this announcement and what does it mean for IBM i customers?

Posted on
Laurie LeBlanc, iTech
By Laurie LeBlanc

It’s that time of year again, hurricanes, tornadoes and severe thunderstorms are back again.  Which means you’re at risk, especially if you haven’t done a recovery test of your backups recently.  What are you waiting for, a natural disaster?

Store Backups offsite

While it may be common sense that you need to keep a copy of your backups offsite for recoverability, we encounter many companies who are not religious about removing tapes from the drive. It’s imperative that you store your backups offsite in case of a disaster.  It doesn’t matter if you use physical tapes or virtual tapes, you need to make sure there is a copy in a second location.

Posted on May 30, 2019

Pete Massiello

Well, it has been a hell of a week, which seemed to start even on the way to the airport with getting in a few last minute calls. 

So, how was my week at COMMON’s premier event, POWERUp 2019?

Probably the hardest place is where to start.  It seems like we have been here for a lifetime, and at the same time the days went by so quickly.  Certainly, the highlight for me was seeing so many friends, customers, meeting new people, and spending time with the other iTech employees: Laurie, Rick, Richie, Steve, and Yvonne.  We don’t all work in Danbury, so every chance to see them is a treat for me. There was much to do together, from booth setup, meetings, working the booth, common sessions we attended, speaking, and then social events. This conference, other conferences, our customer meetings, as well as meetings in Danbury allow us to bridge the distance of not working in the same office each day.

Posted on May 28, 2019

On April 23rd, 2019, IBM announced the newest release of the operating system IBM i 7.4. The announcement contained hundreds of updates to the OS and licensed programs. 

One new licensed program, DB2 Mirror for i was also announced. It provides continuous availability for IBM i applications. “Continuous Availability” is a new term, which previously we had High Availability

  • How is Continuous Availability different than High Availability?
  • What are the software and hardware requirements for Db2 Mirror for i? 
  • Does DB2 Mirror for i replace all the Data Replication products? 
  • When should I consider using DB2 Mirror for i? 

For the answers to these questions, and more, keep reading.

Posted on

Now that I have your attention, I want to discuss a serious topic; disaster recovery.  In the event of an actual disaster, you want to be able to recover as quickly as possible to reduce the number of transactions that you lose, and the business you will lose as a result. 

The real question is: Have you ever tested your disaster recovery process?

If the answer is, “no” or “not in a few years”, then your DR system might be nothing more than a boat anchor.

What You Need to Know About IBM i 7.4
Posted on April 23, 2019

If you remember in a statement about my predictions for 2019, I said that the next release of IBM i would contain some of the biggest enhancements ever put out by IBM for OS/400 or IBM i. 

Well, it is now announced and being unwrapped today, and IBM i 7.4 (formally known as iNext) comes out with Db2 Mirror for IBM i, Synchronous Replication for Continuous Availability as the biggest enhancement.  This is a very very cool technology, not just cool, even better than very cool, this is crazy cool technology.  It’s not the only thing being delivered, but certainly the biggest part of 7.4. While the announcements are today, April 23, 2019, the software currently has a General Availability of Friday, June 21.

BM Offers Hardware Support Extension
Posted on April 17, 2019

POWER6 machines reached end of support on 3/31/2019, with the end of support for many POWER7 models following in September.  Many companies are still running these models, and they are looking for options. 

In the past, IBM has not offered extended hardware support, but things have changed, and there is a new option available for those of you who won’t be able to move off old hardware before the end of support dates.

Why do I need to upgrade my IBM i?
Posted on April 3, 2019

“My system is working fine. Why do I need to upgrade the OS?”

I get asked this all the time.

Well, there are certainly a few reasons, and without getting too technical let’s explore a few of them. 

1. Why risk it?

Why would you risk putting your company at risk of running on an operating system that isn’t supported by IBM any longer?  If you are on an older unsupported release, and if something breaks you won’t be able to get a fix for this unless one has already been developed.  Yes, you can have extended support, but do you realize that the cost for one year of extended support is more than what it would cost to upgrade to a supported release.

Making the IBM i Bubble Bigger
Posted on March 27, 2019

This article is originally published from MC Press Online. To see the original article, visit their post here.

Steve Pitcher

Yes, high-praise press is good. So build on it.

One of the most interesting developments to come out of IBM Think this year was an eWeekarticle entitled “IBM i: The Most Amazing IBM Product You’ve Never Heard Of.” What? The platform had a flag-waving endorsement from outside our community? In eWeek? The Rob Enderle article started off like this:

“Occasionally, I run into a product that just has me sitting back wondering if I stepped into some kind of alternative universe. One of the first products that gave me this impression was the old AS400 from IBM. It was kind of like if you took an Abrams Tank and created a server with similar survivability. The stories of these things were legendary. 

COMMON CONNECT: Cognitive Compurting & AI
Posted on March 7, 2019

Pete Massiello and Richie Palma have articles published within the February 2019 COMMON Connect Newsletter with a focus on cognitive computing.

Massiello’s article, “Your Company Will Likely Go Out of Business” covers the advantage of cognitive computing, its relation to IBM i and the importance of using your data.

iTech Solutions COMMON 2018 Fall Conference Speaker Awards
Posted on March 1, 2019

iTech Solutions’ Pete Massiello, Yvonne Enselman, Richie Palma, and Steve Pitcher have been recognized for their sessions at Fall 2018 COMMON conference.

COMMON speaker awards are designed to recognize speaker excellence. After each session at the COMMON conference, attendees are given a feedback form to rate their sessions on content and delivery. You can read more about the details of the awards here.

Questions to Ask Yourself When It Comes to Backup and Recovery
Posted on February 26, 2019
Steve Pitcher

When people talk to us about backup and recovery, one of the most common questions is “how often should I be doing a full system save?”

Given we’re about to install PTFs or upgrade the OS, my response is always, “when was your last full system save?” What I do next is show them the QSAVSYS data area to at least find out exactly when the last SAVSYS (Save System, or Go Save option 22) was done. Now, this isn’t proof positive that a Go Save option 21 was taken because a SAVSYS is a part of a backup using Go Save option 21. But in terms of a recovery, a SAVSYS will allow you to at least help get your Licensed Internal Code and operating system going from a bare metal recovery.

Check your last SAVSYS by reviewing the QSAVSYS data area with the following command, then review the Save Date/Time value of the object.

Five Things to Consider When Selecting a Cloud Provider
Posted on February 22, 2019
By Laurie LeBlanc

Deciding to move to the cloud is often a decision made by the business; the idea is to reduce overhead and costs.  With so many companies offering cloud-based services, it can be difficult to determine which one is the best fit.  The truth is that not all cloud providers are created equal, and it’s important to consider several things when selecting your cloud provider.

The key is that you have to protect your business. Which means you have to find a partner who can deliver the solution you need, and ensure that your data is protected and available. 

Below are five areas you should consider when selecting a cloud provider.

2019 is going to be one of the best years ever for the IBM i community
Posted on January 23, 2019

With 2019 upon us, it’s natural for one to wonder what’s in store for IBM i in the upcoming year. According to iTech President, Pete Massiello, the outlook for IBM i is looking good for this year.

How good?

“2019 is going to be one of the best years ever for the IBM i community,” Massiello writes. 

“IBM has publicly stated (see chart below), that the next version of IBM i, currently called iNext, is coming out sometime this year. I have seen what is in this release, and in my opinion this release will have the most amazing features and functions that have ever been part of an OS release. I know that is a lot to say, but I had numerous demonstrations, and I was very impressed.”