March 2021 Newsletter

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I hope that you and your families have been safe and healthy over the last year. It’s been just over a year now that the pandemic forced an abrupt, radical work-from-home experiment upon the entire world. One way or another, we figured out the irksome logistics with laptops propped on stacks of books, office phones forwarded to cell phones, GoTo Meeting calls, kids and pets in the background of our videos, and bedrooms becoming makeshift home offices. Most companies retreated and were looking inwardly.

At iTech Solutions, we increased our virtual educational offerings to help the IBM i community with work from home sessions. These then evolved into iBasics, Sips and Tricks, iAdmin two-day conferences, IBM i System Admin virtual hangouts, and other virtual events.

A year later, we are still expanding our offerings to help out the IBM i community leverage their investment in IBM Power Systems, IBM i, and IBM Storage.  I hope we get a chance to meet one another again at conferences by the fall. With more people getting vaccinations each day, I am looking forward to getting back to normal.  Whatever the new normal becomes, you can count on iTech Solutions to be by your side.

The year has flown by and only seems to be now moving faster. We’ve been busy selling and installing new POWER9 systems, installing NVMe for improved performance, welcoming new Managed Services customers, Performing OS Upgrades, Cloud Services, and doing one-off projects like never before.  Of course, doing installs this past year was a challenge. We can do everything remotely pretty easily now but installs still need to be on-site.  Although, during the height of the pandemic, we did a few installs with customers being our on-site hands, and us instructing them what to do with facetime and videos.  I am glad we are back to doing on-site installations. While busy is an understatement, I don’t think we would have it any other way. We truly love what we do and consistently put that into all of the services we provide. Our commitment to the IBM i platform continues to stay strong and will not waver. Our team is experienced and is always striving to learn more.

Mike Darcy, iTech Solutions

In February, Mike Darcy joined our team as a 20+ year experienced IBM i System Administrator. We will be adding an additional resource in the next few weeks. We are growing because more and more customers are trusting us with managing and administrating their systems. As IBM i evolves, we will evolve with it, staying on top of new enhancements and features with a proactive outlook on the road ahead. I am looking forward to the future and many, many, more years of growth-focused entirely on IBM i.

 

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Our iAdmin Spring 2021 two-day virtual conference will be Tuesday, April 20th, and Wednesday, April 21st. It’s now open for registration with a great lineup of speakers and sessions.  You will want to check out all that we are offering, and I hope that you take advantage of this virtual conference, unlike any other being offered.

 

Our sessions include:

 

  • Tips and Tricks to Saving Disk Space and Improving Performance
  • Full System FlashCopy – You can have it all
  • Cool Tricks to Use Authority Collection
  • System Administers Survival Guide: Commands to Know
  • Get the Most out of your high Availability Environment
  • Access Client Solutions from Start to Finish
  • The Real Effects of Malware
  • Access Client Solutions Advanced Setup
  • Enhancing IFS Save Performance
  • Moving from Classic HMC GUI to Enhanced HMC GUI
  • The Virtual I/O Server Game Plan
  • Hardening Encryption on your IBM i
  • What to know when Moving to the Cloud

We have some very specific Breakout Lunchtime sessions being done concurrently so that you can pick one which best matches your interest. On Tuesday they are:

 

  • Data Analysis of VERIFi Security Advisor
  • Selecting the Right Disaster Recovery Approach
  • The Well Rounded IBM i Professional
  • Extended Support for IBM I 7.2 and What it will Cost your Business

The Wednesday Lunchtime breakout sessions are:

 

  • Basics of Compliance
  • Security Testing
  • IBM I and External Storage
  • Installing ACS on a MAC

On Tuesday afternoon at 4:15 EDT, join us for Virtual Drinks and Happy Hour.  These “meetups” are a birds of a feather sessions that are open for discussion and interaction.  This is a great way to meet and hang out with members of iTech Solutions as well as your peers.

 

The rooms are devoted to these topics:

 

 

  • IBM i Security
  • Power Systems Hardware and Virtual Tape Libraries
  • Cloud
  • General IBM i System Admin

We are wrapping up the entire conference with the last session on Wednesday being a Q&A with all the iTech speakers. This is your chance to ask any remaining questions that you might have.

WOW, that is going to be an action-packed 2 full days, with a lot of great IBM i education, and at no cost to you. If you’re in the United States and registered by the deadline, we’ll even mail you an iAdmin at-home kit to follow along throughout the day.  If you miss the early deadline to get the kit mailed to you, or are outside the US, then you will be sent the kit digitally via email.  In any case, you will not want to wait to register for this event as we have a hard limit of 1,000 persons.

 

iBasics: IBM i Education for the Beginner System Administrator

 

Wait, we have even more going on. I want to make sure you take advantage of our IBM i Admin Basics, which we refer to as iBasics. We started this in November, and it was originally a 14-week series, but we expanded this to be weekly through at least June. These weekly sessions will cover the basics of IBM i, helping new people be able to learn about IBM i System Admin. If you have someone in your company who would benefit from these, you can register for both upcoming and on-demand sessions at info.itechsol.com/ibasics. These will take place at 11 AM EST on Wednesdays each week, except for the Holiday weeks.

 

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We’ve heard a lot of comments and feedback from some of our seasoned IBM i attendees, including: “I didn’t know that there was a way to do that”, “Well, that was a lot simpler than I was doing it”, and my favorite, “I had no idea, you could even do that with IBM i”.  So, it seems even though the title has iBasics in it, there is education for everyone.

We plan on continuing to be there for you this year and beyond, eventually in-person, but until then virtually. When you see what we know, you see our experience, knowledge, and know-how you will want to make the switch to us as your Business Partner.   Is your business partner just sitting there eating donuts? Because I used to say he/she would come by with donuts every three years, but most people aren’t doing in-person meetings right now.  So, what exactly are they doing for you?  Come to the iTech side, just make the switch. It’s as easy as making a call or sending an email. It’s easy to switch.

 

End of Support for IBM i 7.2 is April 30th, 2021.

 

 

IBM i 7.2, goes out of support April 30th, 2021.  It’s time to upgrade. We can help you upgrade your OS, or we can get you into a new POWER9 with twice the performance than what you are paying for a few years of maintenance, which is a no-brainer.  For less than the cost of one year of Extended Support for 7.2, we can do an OS Upgrade to either 7.3 or 7.4.  Why are you waiting? People always ask me which release I should upgrade to.  IBM will always tell you to go to the latest, and I agree that is where you should strive to be, but in reality, you want to get on a supported release. So, if you can get to 7.3, but not 7.4, then by all means upgrade to 7.3 and be on a supported release.

 

Here’s a video we created talking about the importance of moving off of IBM i 7.2:

 

 

IBM i OS Upgrade Resource Page

 

We’ve also created an entire IBM i OS Upgrade Resource Page equipped with eBooks, blogs, podcast episodes, and videos to help with your IBM i OS Upgrade journey, no matter where you are in the process. Check out the page here.

 

Here are our upcoming webinars: 

 

View our full PDF April Calendar Here

 

Stay safe, wash your hands, wear that annoying mask, and take care of one another.  Hopefully, we will get our vaccinations soon and life will return to normal.  I got my first shot already and my second shot this week, so I look forward to seeing everyone when this is all over at the many conferences we will be attending.

 

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