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The iTech Newsletter

Posted on April 2, 2019

This newsletter includes:

One of the best parts of my job is visiting and helping customers.  Recently, one of the salespeople brought me on a sales call to a new prospects office.  The prospect was basically interviewing us. I will summarize our meeting with just a few of his questions. 

He asked what separates us apart from other IBM Business Partners, since we all sell the same IBM hardware. 

Without hesitation, I answered our IBM i knowledge, experience, and know how when it comes to your system.  Our team of experienced technical engineers has a wealth of experience, and we are able to use that knowledge to make sure the projects we are doing for you go smoothly and correctly. 

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Posted on February 20, 2019

This Newsletter Includes:

As time marches on, sometimes you look back and think “Wow, that didn’t seem that long ago”. Well, that is my thought about Power6 and Power7 servers which are going End of Life this year. Yeah, the POWER6 has been out quite a long time, and when you look at the specifications compared to a POWER9, it is a slow old machine. POWER6 machines will go end of Life on March 31, 2019, followed by the POWER7 (not POWER7 Plus) servers end of September. What does this mean for you? More expensive maintenance, a slower machine than what is currently on the market, and unsupported hardware. POWER6 can’t run the current version of IBM i, nor will POWER7 be able to run the next release of IBM i (yet to be named) that is due out this year (IBM has issued a Statement of Direction, that iNext won’t run on POWER7 hardware).

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Posted on January 30, 2019

This newsletter includes:

2018 went by very quickly, but what will 2019 bring for IBM i? I think that 2019 is going to be one of the best years ever for the IBM i community. (Read more about my predictions here.)

That’s certainly a bold statement, but I have seen the future on trips to Rochester, and I can tell you the development team has been working their butts off on bringing out the next release of IBM i. From the charts that IBM publishes, we can see that the next release is due out this year, and it has some very cool features. It’s more impressive than anything I have ever seen released by IBM for IBM i. The release is currently called iNext, but will get a real name once IBM comes out with the details of the release. Stay tuned, we will keep you informed of information as soon as we can. (more…)

Posted on December 24, 2018

As 2018 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 have been educational and informative for you, and that you have learned from them.  We encourage and like to get feed-back on what other things we can add to make them more helpful to our customers, and others who read them.

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. (more…)

Posted on December 4, 2018

In this month’s newsletter, you’ll find the following:

Thanksgiving has passed, and now Christmas is right around the corner. The year seems to have flown by. Where did 2018 go?

It’s been another amazing year here at iTech Solutions! We increased our IBM i services and offerings, added significant staff, many new customers, and are continuing to assist our existing customers. We are actually on track to perform over 400 IBM i OS upgrades this year. There is so much to be thankful for, especially the opportunity to work with you. We won’t let you down. If there is anything that we do that doesn’t exceed your expectations, please contact me directly. I hope with the holidays approaching, you are able to spend it with your family and friends, and that you have much to be thankful for as well. (more…)

Posted on October 5, 2018

This newsletter includes:

As Halloween is approaching us, and we are thinking of scary things, trick or treats, and grave yards, I thought that would be the perfect way to start my article.

So, one scary thing that we have come across lately is customers who aren’t doing a full backup of their machines, and could never restore their system. Steve will have an article below on a recent scenario where we had to help a customer out with restoring their system to the cloud because their old system just died. When was the last time you tried to do a restore? If you don’t have the extra hardware to do this, we can help you with the entire process. Contact us for more details. (more…)

Posted on September 27, 2018

This newsletter includes:

A Word from iTech Solutions President, Pete Massiello.

I told someone the other day that it was “raining POWER9s”. They said, “What do you mean by that?”. It seems like we are installing a few new POWER9 systems a week at this point, and we have quite a few that we are in the process of helping customers order.

These machines are fast, and a great replacement from any previous machine. We recently had a customer who was running a POWER6 at a P20 software tier, and we were able to give him a machine with twice the CPW, 4 times the memory, and a good amount of more disk for less money than he was paying in just software maintenance costs, as he went from a P20 tier to a P10. (more…)

Posted on August 21, 2018

This newsletter includes:

The summer went by way too fast, I hope you were able to enjoy it. I could have had a few more months of summer. I am not sure that I have a favorite season, as I like them all, but summer on the lake is certainly right up there.

Summer hasn’t been all relaxing either. We have been busy with POWER9s and OS Upgrades. Quite honestly, I thought when IBM i 7.1 reached end of life, upgrades would have really stopped. We aren’t doing 10 upgrades a week anymore as we were from December to May, but we are still doing 4 to 6 OS upgrades every week.

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Posted on July 17, 2018

This newsletter includes:

  • HMC Remote Console Settings (and Remote Control Panel, too !!).
  • Frequently we are asked “What are Managed Services?”
  • How much Does a POWER9 Server cost?
  • SQL for IBM i System Admins.

Thirty years and still going strong, with a bright future ahead.  Yup, the AS/400, iSeries, IBM i is now 30 years old and they are just getting started bringing even more cool features and functions to this dynamic platform.  For years, I have been hearing that the AS/400 is old technology, well we have been the IBM i for the last 10 years, and if you haven’t looked at all the new technology being introduced with IBM i 7.2 & 7.3, then you are really doing a disservice to your company.  Couple that with POWER9, and you have a dynamic solution that can be the base infrastructure to propel your company into the future. Plus, last month I had the pleasure of spending 3 days at the IBM Rochester plant, being briefed by the IBM i development staff.  What they are bringing to the next release of IBM i will spin your head, I left very excited and with my opinion confirmed that the future is very bright for IBM i.

If you are on older hardware, check out the third article in the newsletter how you can get 4 times the performance of older hardware for less money than you are currently spending.  This is a no-brainer.

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Posted on July 10, 2018

This newsletter includes:

  • Access Client Solutions after upgrading to Windows 10
  • Using Access Client Solutions instead of STRSQL
  • Hurricane season is upon us. Have you done anything since last year?
  • Release Levels and PTFs

I hope you are enjoying the summer, nothing better than Sun, Beach, Vacations, Baseball, and POWER9s. Wait a minute, how did POWER9 get into that list. POWER9 is here in many ways, upcoming announcements, lots of installs, and iTech Solution’s presentations about POWER9 at Baseball games.  It looks from all indications that there is going to be another Power Systems announcement soon, which will be very exciting. Details will be forthcoming, as they are announced. We have been installing many POWER9 scale-out machines, which is the S914, over the last few months.

Last week it was 3 new systems,  as we are growing, I don’t get out as much as I used to, as we have so many more people who are in the field, but I still talk to the customers, as much as possible. They all pretty much say the same thing, “It’s lightning fast, and the migration was so easy, you guys made the migration look so easy”. POWER9 makes it fast, iTech Solutions makes is it an easy migration.  That is what I love hearing. Next, let me explain about bringing Baseball to POWER9.

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Posted on May 15, 2018

This newsletter includes:

  • Differences between POWER7+, POWER8, and POWER9.
  • Old Hardware Comes Back to Haunt Company With 3rd Party Hardware Maintenance
  • Security high level principles
  • 7 Things to do when you get back from PowerUP18 or really any conference.
  • Release Levels and PTFs

The May newsletter is a little late this month we have been swamped with helping new and existing customers that we just couldn’t get this out before Memorial Day.  Add to that, iTech (Pete, Richie, Steve, & Yvonne) was doing 21 sessions 2 weeks ago at the COMMON Powerup18 conference in San Antonio, and I was speaking at the IBM Technical University conference in Orlando at the beginning of the month, you can see why.  But, the bright side to all that is it’s always great to see our growing customer base at these conferences.

What seems like a reoccurring theme in every month’s newsletter this year, is that we are continuing to grow, and have added additional people.  May was no exception.  We added a third IBM Champion to our sales staff, Richie Palma.  Richie is a dynamic sales executive and he has a deep technical knowledge of IBM i.  He will be covering the Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio areas. Our team continues to grow for one reason and one reason alone, our ability to help solve our customer’s IBM i needs. If you need help, just let us know we look forward to working with you.  I am so proud to work with everyone here at iTech, it’s a great group of individuals.

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Posted on March 6, 2018

This newsletter includes:

  • POWER8 or POWER9 for IBM i
  • After Upgrading from IBM i 7.1 to 7.3, PC users weren’t able to connect to file shares on IBM i.
  • What does PowerVM Enterprise Edition Bring to the Table?
  • Release Levels and PTFs

The March newsletter is a little late this month not because we have been watching the NCAA Basketball Finals, but because we are averaging about 10 upgrades a week. The entire technical team has been going at a whirlwind pace, and it just seems that everyone wants to have their OS upgraded from IBM i 7.1 before the last day of regular support which ends on April 30, 2018. Now, that’s a good thing to upgrade from 7.1, the bad thing was waiting until the last minute. If you need help with your upgrade, turn to the business partner that everyone else is turning to for upgrades, www.itechsol.com

In February IBM introduced the POWER9 family of scale-out servers, which are targeted towards most of the IBM i community. A very exciting announcement on hardware that should support the IBM i community for the next 3 or 4 years. This new lineup of POWER9 servers have just started to ship, if you would like more information please contact our sales team. Our first article examines some of the differences between POWER8 and POWER9.

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Posted on February 5, 2018

This newsletter includes:

  • Moving IBM i to POWER9
  • Where did all my free disk space go? Perhaps you need to check what’s in your IFS.
  • What SST/DST Userids are on your system.
  • Plan for your Operations LAN Console installation or upgrade before your upgrade to IBM i 7.3
  • Release levels and PTFs

The Winter Olympics, is always an exciting time for everyone. I enjoy watching the athletes compete – the thrills, the excitement, achievements, and sometimes the disappointments. The athletes compete not so much with one another, but they compete with themselves to do their absolute best. These men and women have trained sometimes their entire lives to compete in an event, and they are competing with the best in the world. When competing the difference between athletes is so close, sometimes within a hundredth of a second. It’s fun to root for the athletes from your country. How is the Olympics any different than multiple Business Partners competing for your business? Well, maybe there is more differentiation than a few hundredths of a second between them.

Just like the Olympics, you don’t see the individual athletes competing in Cross-country Skiing, Hockey, Curling, and figure skating. These fine-tuned athletes pick a sport and excel at it. Just like iTech Solutions, we specialize in Power Systems running IBM i, and only IBM i. We don’t do every type of computer, we do IBM i and we have the skills, the knowledge, and know how to excel. Like the Olympic athletes, our team are all gold medal winners. Which business partner do you want on your team? A specialist, or a generalist? When you want the best IBM i business partner, it’s time to contact iTech by email, or call us at 203-744-7854.

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Posted on January 5, 2018

This newsletter includes:

  • iTech Solutions Introduces New IBM i Security Framework and Monitoring Service at the regional Seminar Series.  
  • Spectre and Meltdown – What Do You Do?
  • 2018 Deadlines for PCI DSS Compliance and how iTech Solutions can help you.
  • GDPR: What American business’s Need to Know.
  • Release levels and PTFs

It’s the new year, with all new possibilities.  We wish you a very Happy New Year. I think everyone in the world decided that they wanted to get off of IBM i 7.1 before April 30, 2018 when support ends, and called us. We have been doing about 10 OS upgrades a week now for some time, and the schedule doesn’t look like that will slow down anytime soon. The good news is we are continuing to add to our staff, to be able to support our customers.

If you are still on IBM i 7.1 you might want to reach out to us to upgrade you to 7.2 or 7.3 before April 30, 2018 so you don’t have to pay the extra Software Maintenance (SWMA) fee that you will encounter.  Figure it this way, for what you will be paying in additional SWMA if you stay on 7.1, we can do the OS upgrade so it is essentially a savings.  That’s right, having iTech upgrade you from 7.1 to 7.2 or 7.3, would be cheaper than paying the additional charge for IBM i 7.1 SWMA.  Plus you have at your fingertips all the new features and functions that have been added in recent releases. What are you waiting for?

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Posted on December 5, 2017

As 2017 comes to a close, we wish to thank you for allowing iTech Solutions to be part of your team.  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.  Remember the Christmas jingle:

The weather outside is frightful,

but working together with iTech Solutions can be so delightful.

Let it be IBM i, IBM i, IBM i.

Let us help you with all your IBM i needs next year.  Now, sit back and chuckle as you read about how iTech Solutions helped Santa this Christmas :).  We will be back in January with our normal IBM i System Administrator Technical Tips and Techniques.

All the best to you, your family, and your organization.

From all of us at iTech Solutions.

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