iTech October 2022 Newsletter

October 2022 Newsletter

This newsletter includes:

It’s Autumn in Connecticut, and there is no place prettier with the rolling hills of orange, yellow, and burnt red leaves as far as the eye can see, but underneath that beautiful landscape is the changes that will take place as we head into winter. There are lots of changes, and one that you might have seen with our integration into Service Express is the changing of our email addresses.

Only the domain name has changed from itechsol.com to serviceexpress.com, it is still our first initial followed by our last name. Our old email addresses are currently being forwarded to our new email addresses.  Other than that, you shouldn’t have noticed anything else changing in the services that we provide, or the support you have been used to all these years.  And that is a good thing and what I would have expected.   Of course, we now have additional offerings, and soon a few more people.  If there is something that you aren’t happy with the integration, let me know so that I can look into it and get it resolved.

iAdmin Fall 2022

Our iAdmin Fall 2022 is just days away, are you registered yet?  There is still time. This will be the same quality conference we have done in the past, and it will be packed with information, provided by your IBM i team here at iTech (now a Service Express company) who know what to do, when to do it, and how to do it when it comes to IBM i. You have heard me say it many times, we have the experience, the knowledge, and the know-how. So, why are you still with your business partner?

The dates for iAdmin Fall 2022 are November 2nd and 3rd, and as you can see from the agenda, this is an event you won’t want to miss.

This is a $1,500 conference and we are providing it free of charge. Yup, free to everyone. One of our customers told me after the Spring iAdmin conference, “You should just provide the conference free for customers, and charge everyone else $1,200”. That was an interesting concept, but right now we are giving it away to everyone for free. We want to give back to the community that helped us grow and prosper. There is a limit of 1,000 people due to the webinar resources, so the time to register is right now.  By the way, this won’t be our last one either, we will be continuing to offer these conferences going forward, and have already locked in the dates for 2023.

Conferences.

It was great to see so many customers earlier this month at the COMMON Navigate in St. Louis.  For some of you, it’s been a while but it was good to just talk IBM i with so many of you that stopped by our booth or were in our sessions.  I had a great time interacting with everyone. We plan to be in Denver for COMMON’s Power-up in April, Wisconsin for WMCPA in March, and Massachusetts for NEUGC in May.  I think there might be a few more on our calendar, but those are the ones I know we are definitely attending.  Please stop by and introduce yourself, and let’s talk about what you need to leverage your investment in Power Systems, Storage, and IBM i. I am sure we can help you out.

Technology Refreshes

Every Spring and Fall, IBM delivers new features, functions, and enhancements via Technology refreshes.  This October 11, was no different with IBM hitting a home run with TR1 for IBM I 7.5.  Here is an overview of what was announced:

IBM i Operating System

Compression – IBM i Main Store Dumps incorporate the use of the ZLIB algorithm to compress dumps to a smaller result than previously available options and does so with better performance when running on an IBM Power10 processor.

Clustering – A set of usability enhancements makes it easier to administer a cluster. The DSPASPSTS command is enhanced to draw attention to inquiry messages that require a response when monitoring the progress of IASP vary operations. Additional attributes for user profiles are now monitored for synchronization. Job submission processing is enhanced to avoid some unusual timing situations when deleting monitored resources.

IBM Navigator for i – IBM is pleased to deliver new tasks and features in this technology refresh that provide administrators with additional information not available in previous versions. Additionally, IBM has added more features similar to those previously found in IBM i Heritage Navigator.

IBM i Integrated Web Services Server – The IBM i Integrated Web Services Server, Integrated Rest API engine adopts the latest in industry standards and functions to provide Rest capabilities that meet the many diverse needs of IBM i application developers.

HTTP Server – The IBM HTTP Server (Powered by Apache) has been updated in this technology refresh.

IBM i Common Cryptographic Architecture Cryptographic Service Provider (CCA CSP)– IBM i CCA CSP, delivered as IBM i Option 35, supports the IBM 4769 Cryptographic Coprocessor with release 7.3.x for CCA.

IBM i Access Client Solutions (5770-XJ1) -The Access Application Package Family has been updated to provide secure connections for all platforms connecting with the ODBC interface.

IBM Db2® for i Db2 for i, the integrated database for IBM i, is enhanced to include new and enhanced capabilities for SQL application developers, database engineers, and anyone interested in modern and advanced systems and security management techniques.

IBM i Services – IBM i Services, the SQL alternative to APIs and CL commands, is a focal point for enhancements, providing enhanced productivity and insight to all IBM i users.

Open source IBM investment in open source technologies is focused on ease-of-use, interoperability with other technologies, and application development.

Licensed Program Products

IBM Rational® Development Studio for i (5770-WDS) – (Rational Development Studio) RDS is adding capabilities consistent with the requirements from the user community to meet the needs of RPG and COBOL application programmers.

IBM Rational Developer for i -The newest version of Rational Developer for I (RDi) focuses on delivering capabilities in programmer productivity and ease-of-use features.

IBM i Modernization Engine for Lifecycle Integration (Merlin) – IBM i Modernization Engine for Lifecycle Integration is a container-based ecosystem for developing IBM i applications with modern tools and methodologies. IBM is providing new functions in direct response to requests from IBM i application developers.

IBM Db2 Mirror for i (5770-DBM) – IBM Db2 Mirror for i is adding two new features in this technology refresh: support for replicating the state of a submitted JOB and usability enhancements when managing integrated file systems.

IBM PowerHA® SystemMirror® for i (5770-HAS) – IBM PowerHA SystemMirror for i 7.5 delivers several enhancements to the PowerHA portfolio, including:

  • A new, modern web-based interface for monitoring PowerHA environments
  • Enhanced administrative domain integration with support for synchronizing user auditing (CHGUSRAUD) and maximum sign-on attempts (MAXSIGN) profile attributes for user profiles across the environment
  • IBM FlashSystem® and Spectrum Virtualize FlashCopy® enhancements, including additional automation and simplification of IASP-based FlashCopy

IBM Backup and Recovery Media Services for i (BRMS) (5770-BR1) – IBM BRMS provides new updates each quarter. Highlights of the September updates include the addition of SQL Services to provide improved performance and ease-of-use improvements.

IBM Web Enablement for i (5733-WE3) – IBM i 7.5 clients who need the WebSphere® Application Server products delivered with Web Enablement for i (5733-WE3) should order the Web Enablement for i product.

Hardware and firmware interfaces

Password protection for NVMe devices – The ability to password-protect the data on an NVMe device is now available. This can provide better protection to the data in various situations, including loss of power to the device or accidental assignment to a different partition. This new capability protects the confidentiality of stored business data should the device leave the business owner’s control.

IBM i exploits VIOS NPIV multiple queues for Virtual Fibre Channel – IBM i 7.5 TR1 exploits VIOS NPIV multiple queues for virtual Fibre Channel adapters to improve I/O throughput, reduce latency, and achieve more I/O requests per second.

Disable automatic attempts for disk path recovery – Existing LIC recovery algorithms that value redundancy for disk paths are designed to automatically recover from incidental errors. However, if those errors are frequent, performance is affected by the repeated automatic attempts at recovery. System administrators who have enough redundant functional paths and who value performance over redundancy can now manually disable a frequently failing disk path as they wait for repairs.

Power® offerings optimized – IBM i exploits selected offerings from Power to ensure clients have the hardware and virtualization capabilities they need to run their businesses.

The planned availability for this is December 2, 2022, except for PowerHA System Mirror, which is 2 weeks later.

For detailed descriptions of this, see:
https://www.ibm.com/common/ssi/ShowDoc.wss?docURL=/common/ssi/rep_ca/3/897/ENUS222-283/index.html&lang=en&request_locale=en

Security is top of mind for businesses today.

Security is at the top of everyone’s mind these days, as it should be. To help you learn what you need to know to defend your IBM i, we hosted Tactical Security Day on Wednesday, September 21, 2022. This was a one-day virtual event dedicated to IBM i Security. We had several sessions focused on helping you to defend your IBM i from unauthorized access. The event was a real hit from all the people that attended.  I was in all of the sessions, and read the feedback afterward.  It seems people really learned quite a lot and realized just how exposed they are.  As a community, I think we really need to take our heads out of the sand and start to bolster the security of our machines.  Those running on IBM i, should also be aware of the potential security exposures that are on their machines if left to the defaults.  If you didn’t attend, you can watch the recordings here.

Don’t Let this be you. Watch the Tactical Security Day replay and learn how to secure your environment: https://info.itechsol.com/tactical-security

To those who have been consuming our newsletters, blogs, podcasts, webinars, and seminars look for more to come in 2022. Make sure to check our upcoming events in our newsletters and on our website for more information.

From all of us at iTech, thank you.  Of course, we couldn’t have done any of this without the amazing employees here at iTech that I am so lucky to work with each and every day.  It is our people that make us the company that we are, and I thank each and everyone for their hard work. We aren’t going anywhere, nothing is changing.  Eventually, we probably won’t be wearing those sexy red shirts, but that is the only change I see coming.

Stay safe, enjoy the start to your Fall,  and I look forward to seeing you at future events.

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