September 2021 Newsletter

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With Summer almost in our rear-view mirror, signs of fall are fast approaching. Everyone was expecting a new Technology Refresh for IBM i due later this Fall, but IBM released it earlier with the announcement of the POWER10 Enterprise server. The scale-out servers are coming “sometime” next year is what was announced. This means the POWER9 machines for most of the community are still the bell-weather state of the art, server to migrate to.

IBM has talked about the Power10 chip for about 18 months, and we knew it was coming. From some of the initial performance metrics, it looks like we are going to see a 1.5 to 1.6 performance improvement in these enterprise E1080 servers, over the same E980 (Power 9 based) servers.

We can see how the roadmap of the IBM Power processor has evolved over the years. I have seen other charts with Power11 processors stated for the future. Which is great news for the IBM i community, as well as the entire POWER family of operating systems.

The E1080 machine is VERY impressive, with:

  • Persistent security – This protects apps and data with end-to-end encryption and the most secure workload isolation.
  • Scalable, sustainable compute – More software in fewer systems and smaller carbon footprint.
  • Industry-leading reliability – Make the most reliable infrastructure even better with memory, processor, and cabling enhancements.
  • AI at the point of data – Reduce costs, complexity, and risks running AI where operational data resides.

Unfortunately, only the enterprise class server was announced. While most IBM i shops won’t need all that power, the ones that do will just eat this up. Below are some of the features of the machine, I hope when the low end of the family is announced in 2022, that we can get that cool new cabinet door.

Of course, the new Power10 Servers will only support IBM i 7.3 and 7.4 as it stands right now. Below is a good chart showing you which releases are supported on which hardware. When doing a migration it is always easiest to migrate from the same OS release on the old box to the same release on the new box.  Therefore, I always recommend getting up to the latest OS release that your machine can support.  It will make the migration easier, and less complicated.

Click here for a downloadable/printable chart.

While the hardware people in Austin were busy at work, the software team in Rochester was working just as hard.  IBM has released TR5 for IBM i 7.4, and TR11 for 7.3. Interesting bit of history here, we have never had a Technology Release higher than 11, will this be the last one for 7.3? I guess we will find out next spring when IBM comes out with their next TR.

In addition, there is a new release of Navigator for i, it’s the System Management interface that we all use. We had 3 people on the beta team for this, and Tim Rowe and the team have done an excellent job with the new interface. Someone asked me what I thought of the new Navigator for i, and my comments were:

“When I first saw the new Navigator for i interface/GUI I was very impressed with the visual aspect of it.  Once I was started to play with the features and functions underneath I was even more impressed.  This new GUI is easy to use, loaded with enhancements, and quick.  I do believe that this will greatly reduce the time for new IBM i System Administrators to learn how to manage their environments, and even experienced Administrators will fall in love with the GUI and functionality.  There is so much “stuff” in here, that it is like Christmas morning for IBM i Administrators, you don’t know what to play with first. This sets the new standard for managing your IBM i environment. “

This new version will be available around September 29th, and I would encourage people to download and install it.

You get the update by downloading the latest HTTP Group PTF. For 7.4 that is SF99662 level 13 or above, and for 7.3 that is SF99722 level 32 or above. We did a webinar on the new Navigator for i on Friday, September 10th, so that people could see all the new features, functions, and the GUI. Make sure you register for iAdmin as I will be doing an update to this session.

Here is a chart that I got from Tim, showing the evolution of the GUI.

Here is the new Navigator for i:

 

Baseball and iTech. 

We missed last year due to the pandemic, and we were waiting to do some games this year as soon as more people got vaccinated. We had planned for two games remaining this year but the New Hampshire FisherCats had to cancel the game at just about the last minute. We hope to get up there next year!

We did get to attend the Worcester Massachusetts WooSox on Wednesday, September 22nd. The rain delay didn’t stop us from having a good time! It was great to get together and see people in person. We had a small presentation with the IBM Storage team before the game, and everyone seemed to be really excited about the new FlashSystem 5200.

 

POWERUp 2021:

I hope that you will be able to attend COMMON’s POWERUp 2021 conference next month. The event will now be held virtually from October 4th-October 7th. We are excited to share that in addition to being a Gold Sponsor of the event, the iTech team will be presenting 18+ sessions.

I say this often that there is tremendous value in attending these events. It’s not just great education but networking and relationship building with those in our industry.

If you have not yet registered, you can do so here.  Make sure to stop by our virtual booth and chat with members of the iTech team!

 

It is likely that you are familiar with iTech’s second to none technical capabilities for IBMi. 

We have provided our technical services to many of the world’s leading companies. But today we are asking you to honestly consider the following business proposition: Should your organization utilize iTech for your entire IBMi digital strategy; Hardware, Management, Backup/Recovery, Planning, Cloud, PTFs, Replication, Performance, and other System Management issues?

First, we want you to consider why a closer business partnership can be good for your core business which ultimately means the financial well-being and mission success of your organization. Over 95% of IBMi systems are used for mission-critical applications. The IBMi’s availability is paramount and its functionality critical.  With the growing amount and complexity of data and variety of usage growing each year, any amount of downtime, lack of data availability, significant outage, or delayed availability can cost revenue of five or six figures – or more! At its simplest, having iTech analyze, design, and implement improved systems could provide value starting at 5 figures and going upward. It’s time to look at switching to iTech Solutions as your IBM Business Partner and reap the benefits.

 

I love hearing from new customers, “we never had an upgrade go so smooth”, or “The migration to the new machine was so easy and effortless that our users only realized it because the new machine is faster”. That’s the value of working with iTech Solutions. It’s our experience, know-how, and expertise, which make us different from other business partners. But don’t just take our word for it, see what our customers have to say.

Events: 

Speaking of our know-how and expertise, we are doing another iAdmin Fall 2-day conference on Tuesday, November 9th – Wednesday, November 10th. The agenda is being formalized now and sessions are going to be announced any day now. All iTech customers have received now an email with a link to early registration. General registration will open on Friday, October 1st. You can sign up here to be the first to know as soon as registration is live and as new sessions are announced. I know there will be some great education, and yes again it will be free.

Make sure to register before October 22nd so we can mail you the At Home Guide and conference kit, full of all kinds of goodies. We are only mailing the At Home Guide to the first 500 US registrants (international registrations will receive a digital kit), so you want to make sure to register as soon as possible as we depleted our stock quickly in the Spring!.

Lastly, I hope you are enjoying our weekly iBasics, Sips and Tricks with iTech, and our full 1 hour technical sessions. Let’s not forget our Podcasts, or our video library of iTips and techniques. We are offering a lot to the community, and it’s funny people keep asking me, “is this really all free”? Yes, it is.  We are sharing our knowledge to help the community. While you are attending our sessions, you will realize that we have the most knowledgeable IBM i staff on the planet.

Here are our upcoming webinars:

View our full PDF October 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 look forward to seeing everyone soon at the many conferences we will be attending.

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