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The iTech Newsletter

Posted on July 30, 2020

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First, I hope you and your families are healthy, safe, and secure as the virus creates a new “normal” in our daily lives. I liked the old normal much better, but inside every black cloud is a silver lining.  It’s up to all of us to search and reach out to find that.  You know the saying from lemons we make lemonade.  May you enjoy your lemonade as we all get used to changes in our lives.

I had my first flight in 5 months, the airport was empty, and the flight was certainly different.  Different parts of the country are handling this differently, and the wearing of masks exemplified this. Here in Connecticut, almost 100% of the people are wearing masks, but this wasn’t the case in other states that I had visited.

IBM Releases New POWER9 Models

Well, July was a big month for IBM i and Power Systems, as IBM delivered a new small low-end POWER9 based machine, a refresh of the 914/924 models, finally straighten out the Technology Refresh confusion, and more NVMe options.  Let’s start with these.

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Posted on June 25, 2020

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First, I hope you and your families are healthy, safe, and secure as the virus creates a new “normal” in our daily lives. My normal routines have certainly changed. This will be my first full week back in the office since early March and I’m making adjustments, as is everyone else. We have been busier in the last 6 weeks than I can ever remember.  We weren’t able to do physical installs in April and May, but have resumed being able to go onsite and do installations, now we are working off the backlog.

In addition to doing our Sips-n-Tricks, Webinars, and iTech iTips videos, we’re bringing new customers on-board, configuring new systems, and helping existing customers. Everyone here is running at full throttle.  We were discussing and planning for this extra workload in mid-April, so it really isn’t a surprise. That is the advantage of having a large team, we can help each other out and spread the load.

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Posted on April 29, 2020

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How are you making out?  I hope this newsletter finds you and your family safe and well.  I am glad to report that everyone at iTech is doing well.  Not saying that we aren’t all going stir-crazy, but that is better than the alternatives. We are adjusting to the new paradigm of the world, just as many of you are right now.  I was telling someone the other night (over the phone of course), that just because we are working from home doesn’t mean we are working less, we are probably working more.  For those of us not used to working from home, which I am certainly one of, it is not as easy as just throwing your laptop down on the table and starting to work.  That is why we started doing our work from home series, entitled Sips and Tricks.

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Posted on March 24, 2020

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A month ago, we were talking about the end of support for IBM i 7.2, and now today the only topic on everyone’s mind is COVID-19, and justifiably so. The world has changed, how we interact with each other has changed, how and where we work has changed, and hopefully how we treat one another going forward will improve. Here at iTech Solutions, we’ve been closely monitoring the evolving situation with COVID-19. It has brought uncertainly and disruption to everyone and the unknown is a scary entity. I have taken the necessary steps to ensure we can continue to work in light of the pandemic, by enabling everyone to be able to work from home, restricting travel, and having us adhere to the recommended safety procedures. As well as purchased and implemented additional infrastructure to keep us functioning.

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Posted on February 26, 2020

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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.

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Posted on January 21, 2020

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2019 went by as fast as a blink of the eye (no pun intended), but what will 2020 bring for IBM i? First, 2019 was a good year for IBM i.  Solid sales performance of POWER hardware attributed to IBM i is always a good thing, so the numbers that were reported for IBM i and POWER Systems were very impressive and consistent.

Then in June, we had the release of IBM i 7.4 with all the new features and functions that a new release brings with it. Coupled with that was the initial rollout of DB2 Mirror for i, a continuous availability option to propel IBM i into that market. Remember, it doesn’t replace the need for replication and high availability, it works as another leg in your availability strategy. (more…)

Posted on December 19, 2019

As 2019 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, Webinars, Customer Slack Channel, and Podcasts have been educational and informative for you, and that you have learned from them.  We encourage and like to get 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 2020.

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.
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Posted on November 20, 2019

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With Thanksgiving fast approaching and then Christmas right around the corner, the year seems to have flown by. Where did 2019 go?  We were on the go quite a lot this year installing new POWER9s, SANs, performing upgrades, and being at conferences.  Travel always seems to make the year go by quicker, and we had the opportunity to visit many customers this year.

It’s been another amazing year here at iTech Solutions! I certainly am lucky to work with some of the smartest and nicest people in the industry.  I always thought that IBM i was my superpower, but perhaps it is selecting great co-workers. I might be the face of iTech, but my staff is the foundation and cornerstone of the great service that we provide.

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Posted on October 25, 2019

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    • Where has the year gone? I can’t believe the summer is over, and it is November next week. Quite a few things have been going on, first I enjoyed being a speaker at IBM’s Technical University 2 weeks ago in Las Vegas, meeting and talking with so many IBM i professionals is always a highlight of any conference. I spoke on 5 different IBM i System Administration topics, from OS upgrades, performance, HMC, backup/recovery, and IBM i virtualization partitions.

    • Secondly, IBM i 7.3 Technology Refresh 6 (TR6) and IBM i 7.4 Technology Refresh 1 (TR1) were announced the same week as TechU and will be available on November 16, 2019. This refresh includes many enhancements to improve further the reliability, availability and security of your IBM i environment. Some of the major enhancements are focused on DB2 Mirror for IBM i, modernization, increased security, and support for new hardware. Laurie has some more details in an article in this month’s newsletter.

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Posted on September 24, 2019

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Posted on August 26, 2019

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Summer seems to have gone so fast as Labor Day weekend approaches.  Where did it go?  How come winter doesn’t seem to go as fast as summer?  I hope you were able to take some vacation, recharge your batteries, relax with family and friends, or visit some great locations. My summer was busy but I also had a chance to enjoy it.

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Posted on July 30, 2019

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I am writing this as I sit in my hotel room in northern California, my 2nd of 3 trips to California over the course of 4 weeks. The team and I have been flying around the country installing new POWER9 systems.

Alaska, California, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Michigan, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, Maine, and Virginia.  That is a lot of flying, a lot of trips, and a lot of CPWs getting installed.  So, I can report that we had a great second quarter, and with all the traveling for installing POWER9 machines, you can see why.
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Posted on June 27, 2019

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Well, June has been another action-packed month. Where did it go?  It seemed like it flew by, but we have been so busy on so many fronts, I can see why.  Certainly, June 21st was a big day in the IBM i world. First, it was the day that IBM i 7.4 became available to the general public.  Then, of course, we all know that June 21 was the 31st birthday of the AS/400. IBM i 7.4 has been full of new features and functions and having played with it now for over 3 months, I can tell you it has also been rock solid. 

We did a webinar on June 5th, How to successfully upgrade to IBM i 7.4, which was packed to the maximum that our webinar could hold. 

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Posted on May 30, 2019

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