July 2020 Newsletter

This newsletter includes:

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.

There is a refresh of the Power9 systems, with a 9009-41G.  The G models have the same processors as the 41A models, the difference is the PCIe Gen3 PEX switch to the chip has been replaced with a PCIe Gen4 switch.  Gen4 is twice the speed as Gen3, so data from the adapters to the processor will get there faster.

This also allows us to have move NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory expansion) adapters.  NVMe will be the replacement technology for Spinning disks and even SSDs going forward.  You get much better performance with NVMe, and usually better pricing.

You can have up to 7 NVMe adapters now in a 41G (that doesn’t leave much room for many other cards).  Those NVMe adapter cards are PCIe Gen3.  Also announced is NVMe U.2 which has a form factor looking like a disk drive, and you can insert 4 into a special disk enclosure. When you use the U.2 disk plane, you can’t add any other SSDs or spinning disks into the CEC.  The U.2 NVMe, are capable of 1000K Read IOPS for the 1.6TB NVMe, and 1500K Read IOPS for the 3.2TB and 6.4TB NVMe U.2 form factors.  That is very very impressive.

For reference, the 1.6TB Gen3 NVMe adapters are 700K Read IOPS, and 910K Read IOPs for the 3.2TB Gen3 NVMe adapters.  Again, those are still much faster than SSDs. IBM also announced a 1-core S922 that will run IBM i natively (no VIOS required like the other S922 models), but this is limited to 8 disk drives, 25 users, and 64GB of memory.  In a P05 software tier.  Lastly, the Technology Refresh levels have been updated to support these new G models.  Note that the G model can run IBM i 7.2, 7.3, and 7.4.   The NVMe adapters require 7.4, they will not work at a lower OS level.

Tomorrow, Friday July 31st, is System Admin Day, a day to celebrate everything that our Admins do for us as it relates to computers.  Without Admins our machines would run amuck. Nothing would be backed up, userids without passwords, users running jobs taking 110% of the system, capacitors and resistors being charged in the wrong direction. System Admins bring peace and quiet to the crazy hectic world of computers.  To celebrate we are doing our first IBM i System Admin Hangout.  This is where we are going to have an informal hangout just talking and discussing IBM i Admin issues.  You can liken this to a conference, where a group of admins meet in the hotel bar over a beer and just discuss the issues of their jobs.  I find this one of the most valuable aspects of an in-person conference, and where I learn so much.  Looking forward to this afternoon.

In addition, we are proud to announce iAdmin Fall 2020! October 20 & 21. This event will include:

  • Live sessions focused on IBM i and IBM Power Systems
  • Break-out lunch boutique sessions
  • A virtual happy hour including a chance to win prizes, trivia, and more
  • A mailed iADMIN at-home kit to help make the event as interactive as possible.

Sessions are still being finalized but we are opening up registration today. You can register at:  info.itechsol.com/iadmin.

This will be some of the best IBM i Admin sessions in the world, free of charge to anyone needing some great IBM i education.  I want to ask you three questions.  Is your business partner doing anything like this? Do they have the knowledge, expertise, and experience like we do? Why aren’t you switching to have iTech Solutions as your business partner? I think it is time that you make the switch, look at everything we do.  Education, Webinars, Sips & Tricks, Virtual Conferences, Blogs, newsletters, YouTube channel with our iTips videos, Podcasts, etc. And your business partner is just bringing donuts to a meeting? Seriously? What value are they bringing to the table? Wouldn’t you like to do business with the best IBM i business partner? It’s time to make the switch.

Here are our upcoming webinars:

Tuesday, August 4th, 3:00 – 3:30 PM ET
Best Practices for Using OpenSSH
Steve Pitcher
Register ]

Friday, August 7th, 11:00 – 11:30 AM ET
What are Exit Points and How Do They Work
Marc Vadeboncoeur
[ Register ]

Tuesday, August 11th, 3:00 – 3:30 PM ET
Migrating to IBM i Access Client Solutions
Nathan Williams
[ Register ]

Friday, August 14th, 11:00 – 11:30 AM ET
DDM: What Do the Pieces Have to Do With One Another?
Steven McIver
Register ]

Tuesday, August 18th, 3:00 – 3:30 PM ET
Reasons to Move to the Cloud
Marc Vadeboncoeur
Register ]

Friday, August 21st, 11:00 – 11:30 AM ET
How to Manage Your Journal Receiver in MIMIX
Amy Upton
Register ]

Tuesday, August 25th, 3:00 – 3:30 PM ET
Advanced BRMS
Steven McIver
Registration Coming Soon

View full events listing here.

This is a chart that Richie put together of all the educational sessions that we have done for 2020.  I was pretty impressed and hadn’t realized we did so many.

Stay safe, wash your hands, and take care of one another.   I look forward to seeing everyone when this is all over at the many conferences we will be attending.

This month’s newsletter includes:

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