February 2019 Newsletter

A Word from iTech Solutions President, Pete Massiello.

Greetings iTech Fan!

pete_massielloAs 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). We are having a webinar on What End of Support means to you and why you need to start acting now, on March 20th .

register for webinar


Webinars

Speaking of Webinars, we did two POWER9 Question and Answer Webinars, the first in January and the second in February. Each webinar was almost to the capacity of the service, so there is quite a lot of questions and interest about POWER9. There were so many questions submitted, we had questions we sent back answers to because we didn’t have enough time to answer them between the two webinars. If you are on an older server, it is time to look at what a POWER9 server can do for you. In the end, POWER9 is faster, cheaper, and better. Not a bad combination.

The webinars were recorded, so if you weren’t able to attend them, you can watch the replays.

We have been installing these POWER9 servers all over the United States and Canada, and they are just amazing. I always love to see the smile on the customers faces when they run their work on the new machine, and they say to me “It’s done already, how can that be”. I just smile and say “POWER9”.

We will be doing more webinars throughout the year, as we reach out to the IBM i community in new ways to help you leverage your investment in Power Systems and IBM i. Stay tuned for the topics. Wait a minute, your existing Business Partner isn’t doing the same thing? Perhaps you have the wrong IBM Business Partner. Come over to the iTech side. Read the next paragraph and you will understand why many IBM i customers have chosen iTech Solutions, and more importantly — why they stay.

Customer Feedback

Customer satisfaction is very important to us here at iTech Solutions and is high among our customers. To measure customer satisfaction, Heather and Vanessa have been using the Net Promotor Score (NPS) method. For those of you who haven’t heard about it, or aren’t entirely sure what it is, Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a management tool that can be used to gauge the loyalty of a firm’s customer relationships. NPS has been widely adopted with more than two thirds of Fortune 1000 companies using the metric. The tool aims to measure the loyalty that exists between a provider and a consumer. This measures how likely a customer is to recommend your services on a scale from -100 to 100. Given the NPS range of -100 to +100, a “positive” score or NPS above 0 is considered “good”, +50 is “Excellent,” and above 70 is considered “world class.”

I am ecstatic to report that our current NPS score is a 96. We appreciate our customer’s feedback and will continue to exceed expectations. If we aren’t exceeding your expectations each and every time, contact medirectly.

Conference Season is Upon Us

It’s the start of “Conference Season” in the IBM i world, and this year is no different than any other year. I was at the IBM Think conference last week in San Francisco with 30,000 others. It was an amazing week, attending sessions on new technology, listening how others are succeeding with existing technology, hearing about technology that is coming, and interacting with other speakers, vendors, IBM’ers, and attendees.

IBM Power System Champions Think 2019It was very eye opening, and also allowed me to think about the technology and skills we will need to bring in over the next 5 years so that we can help you leverage your investment in your IBM i. We will be here working with you on how we make you reach your goals. We are here for you now, and we will be here for you in the future.

Back to upcoming conferences, we will be speaking and/or exhibiting in the next few months:

It will be a busy season, and we look forward to seeing and meeting you at these conferences. Check out more details in our event section.

I know I spoke about this last month, but it is worth repeating. 2019 also brings iTech Solutions 3 IBM Champions. Richie Palma, Steve Pitcher, and myself. iTech is honored to have 3 IBM Power Systems champions, and I know as the first Lifetime Power Systems Champion, that it is a very high honor to be in that small group of individuals that IBM has named.

The champions are members of the IBM i community that have a passion for the platform, a desire to help others in the community, and go above and beyond their jobs for the community. It’s an honor that I am very proud of, as well as to be a member of the group. We are so proud and happy that both Steve and Richie joined us the last few years, but quite honestly when I talk with our customers they are even happier.

In this newsletter, you’ll find the following:

Power Hardware Age Calculator

Let us know the make/model of your system, and we’ll calculate the following:

Age of current server
IBM Announcement Date
IBM General Availability Date
IBM Marketing Withdrawal Date
IBM Service Discontinuation Date
IBM i (First supported release)
IBM i (Last supported release)
Most Current IBM i Release
[Calculate Now]
calculate my server age

On-Demand Webinar

Anatomy of a Security Failure
by Steve Pitcher

After the dust settles after a security breach, the next logical questions are: “What happened and how can we prevent it from happening again?” We will deconstruct a number of security failures that will provide lessons that you can take home and put to use immediately. Watch any time.

Watch the Webinar

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Featured Blog:
Five Things to Consider When Looking for a Cloud Provider

Laurie_LeBlancDeciding 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.

[READ MORE]

IBM i Support Section

Questions to Ask Yourself When It Comes to Backup and Recovery

steve_pitcherWhen 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.

[CONTINUE READING]

Moving a Physical Adapter via HMC using Classic GUI vs. Enhanced+ GUI or HMC V8R8.7.0 and higher version

Manually Moving the PCI Fiber Channel Adapter/IOA from Partition B to Partition AChris_Flick

Note:  Not shown in this process/steps,  you will need to check and vary off, if needed, the resource using the physical adapter on Partition B, (i.e., tape library, tape drive), and then vary on the resource that will use the physical adapter on Partition A.

Using the Classic GUI

  • Sign into the HMC V7
    • Sign in

OR

  • Sign into the HMC V8 (V8R8.3.0 through V8R8.6.0)
    • Check Classic (V8R8.6.0 final support for Classic GUI)
    • Sign In
  • In the Navigation pane, in the left portion of the window, open: Systems Management > Custom Groups > All Partitions
    • In the Work pane, check the box under Select, for the H partition – options on the bottom will appear
  • On the bottom, select: Dynamic partitioning > Physical Adapters > Move or Remove.

[CONTINUE READING]

Replication Role switch/swaps vs Virtual

amy_uptonI have performed many swaps or switches for replication software for the IBM i and a question I hear often is “What is the difference between a swap/switches and a Virtual one?” 

The feature of the virtual role switch/swap is a very useful tool. This allows you to switch your environment and allows validation testing on your target environment without impacting any of your users on your source system. There is no downtime and you can validate your data without having to update your network.

You may have applications you cannot test during a virtual swap but there’s still a good way to test your data and find issues. During a virtual swap, the only replication is ended. Mimix/ iTera keeps track of all changes that were made on the target during the virtual swap and once you swap back, you will undo any changes made to the target.

Upcoming Events

WMCPA Spring Technical Conference
March 12 – 14

WMCPA Conference
Tuesday, March 12 – Thursday, March 14.  Join us for WMCPA’s 34th Annual Spring Conference in Delavan, WI.

Speakers Include:

Pete Massiello

  • Tips and Tricks to Saving disk space and Improving Performance
  • What you need to know to successfully upgrade to IBM i 7.3

Yvonne Enselman:

  • Enhancing, Improving, and Growing your IBM i Team
  • Basics of Testing for Programmers

Richie Palma:

  • Articulating the business value of IBM i

REGISTER HERE

iCAN User Group – Halifax and Moncton
March 27 and March 28

iCAN_registration

Join us for a complimentary day of IBM i Education. Sessions include information on IBM i, Power Systems, Security, and System Management. Breakfast and lunch will be provided.

Sessions include:

9 Things You Need to Know About POWER9
Pete Massiello

Cool Things in Navigator to be a Rockstar System Administrator
Pete Massiello

Rapid Fire Admin
Steve Pitcher

IBM i and Our False Sense of Security
Steve Pitcher

What You Need to Know to Successfully Upgrade to 7.3,7.2, and 7.1
Pete Massiello

[REGISTER HERE]

inPOWER 2019
March 31 – April 2

inPower  2019

March 31-April 2, Hilton Lake Buena Vista.  Visit the iTech Booth at inPOWER 2019.

REGISTRATION

Northeast User Group Conference
April 8-10

NEUGC

Visit the iTech Solutions booth in the Expo and learn how we can help you get the most out of your Power Systems running IBM i.

In addition, hear Pete Massiello speak on:

  • Cool things in Navigator to be a RockStar System administrator
  • What you need to upgrade to IBM i 7.3 & 7.2
  • HMC, IBM i, Firmware, & FSP: Putting all the pieces together
  • Tip and Tricks to improve System Performance and Save disk space.

Hear Steve Pitcher speak on:

  • Rapid Fire Admin
  • Anatomy of a Bad Password
  • IBM i and our False Sense of Security
  • Anatomy of a Security Failure

[REGISTER HERE]

Release Levels and PTFs

Release levels and PTFs

Nathan_WilliamsPeople 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.

7.3 7.2 7.1 6.1 V5R4
Cumul Pack 18242 18249 17192 15063 12094
Tech. Refresh  5 9 11
Grp Hipers 78 141 239 210 204
DB Group 12 24 43 33 33
Java Group 11 19 34 41 34

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IBM i predictions blog

Pete Massiello featured in IT Jungle’s 2019 IBM i Predictions Article

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.

Read the Blog

iTech IBM Champions

Pete Massiello, Richie Palma, and Steve Pitcher Named 2019 IBM Champions

It’s a time to celebrate for the iTech Solutions team. Pete Massiello, Richie Palma, and Steve Pitcher have been selected as IBM Power Champions for 2019.

Read the Blog

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6 Steps to Execute an IBM i Security Project

Many companies want to improve the state of their IBM i security, but they often don’t know where to start. They also might not understand the long-term impact of recommended changes.

Read the Blog

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Moving IBM i to POWER9

It’s always exciting when IBM announces new hardware and today is no exception! We have been hearing about the new POWER9 Chip for several months.

Read the Blog

iTech Tip Videos
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Using TRCINT to find detailed encrypted connection information

Here you’ll find a detailed method to determining the strength of each encrypted connection to your IBM ipartition. Commands used: TRCINT SET(*ON) TRCTBL(‘All-encrypted’) TRCTYPE(*SCKSSL) SLTTRCPNT((17000 17004)). TRCINT SET(*OFF) TRCTBL(‘All-encrypted’…[Read More]

Watch Video >

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Set up a LIC macro for summarizing encrypted information

If you’re currently using any type of network encryption and want to understand the protocols in use, you can easily do this with a LIC macro. This is quite handy especially if you’re looking at turning off a less secure protocol like TLS 1.0….[Read More]
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Using Run SQL Scripts to get a high level user profile security summary

Need a way to get a high level understanding of your user profile security? Look no further. This simple script will allow you to summarize key aspects of your user profile security, from special authorities to group profiles with passwords. [Read More]

Watch Video >

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Determining Who Responded to QSYSOPR Messages

Ever want to see who responded to a message on the QSYSOPR message queue? There are two easy ways to do it.

Watch Video >

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