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May 23, 2015: Volume 17, Number 21|
May 16, 2015: Volume 17, Number 20
May 9, 2015: Volume 17, Number 19
May 2, 2015: Volume 17, Number 18
April 25, 2015: Volume 17, Number 17
April 18, 2015: Volume 17, Number 16
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The worlds of IBM i and Apache Hadoop appear to be diametrically opposed. One is a proprietary, RISC-based platform used primarily to run transactional systems. The other is an open source, X86-based platform used primarily for big data analytics. But as far apart as the two platforms seem to be, at least one IBM i software vendor, mrc, is aiming to find some common ground between them.
Shield Advanced Solutions is shipping a new release of its IBM i high availability software that weighs significantly less than previous releases, and should consume fewer resources as well, thereby boosting performance. The HA audit and role swap processes were also enhanced with HA4i version 7.2, and the user interface also saw some improvements.
IBM's midrange computers and the applications they run never seem to get the recognition they deserve when it comes to advanced technologies and methodologies. It's not exactly stealing intellectual property, but it is dishonest to represent "new" ideas as if they were freshly hatched. DevOps is a good example. It's a hot idea, but it also shares a lot of methodology with the IBM i and its predecessors, the iSeries and AS/400.
Data security isn't just nice to have--it's the law in most industries. One of the best ways to keep unauthorized users from snooping where their snouts don't belong is two-factor authentication (2FA), which requires users to have two pieces of identifying credentials before being granted entry. A new 2FA solution for IBM i was launched recently by Kisco Information Systems, which also updated its exit point monitoring program for IBM i.
Rounding out our IT Jungle coverage of the recent COMMON conference held at Disneyland last month, we bring you product news from three IBM i software companies focusing on Web development and modernization, hosted high availability and disaster recovery, and IBM i performance tuning.
As we reported in last week's issue, IBM has indeed launched the four-socket Power E850 server that has Power8 engines. They run AIX. And of course they run Linux. The have support for the PowerVM hypervisor and they do not require the PowerKVM hypervisor that only supports Linux. The one thing that they do not support is the IBM i operating system and integrated database.
When you talk to IBM about the IBM i-on-Power platform, the word "security" is used extensively, and appears frequently next to other power words like "reliability" and "availability." But when you talk to the security software vendor PowerTech about the state of IBM i security, you might be surprised to hear words like "wide open" and "breach fatigue." Then again, if you have been an IT Jungle reader for very long, you may not.
When a Technology Refresh gets rolled out, we find all sorts of things rolled in. Some of the items, like those picked by IBM execs Steve Will and Alison Butterill two weeks ago in an IT Jungle story, are the front runners for most valuable enhancements. But the list goes on and opinions vary. Tim Rowe puts the addition of mobile support for IBM i Access for the Web, SQL services, and new REST-based Web services at the top of the list.
GSI is an application and technology consulting company specializing in helping companies that run JD Edwards ERP software. As IBM i history buffs know, JD Edwards software solely ran on IBM midrange systems back in the day. An estimated 25 percent run on IBM i today, which still means hundreds of i shops find themselves caught between a rock (IBM) and a hard place (Oracle). And let's say GSI is a company trying to ease the pain.
Blast it! Another suite of custom code I have written and used over the years has recently been deprecated (or partially deprecated) by IBM. The good news is that regular expressions (abbreviated RegEx) are now a native part of DB2 featuring one new predicate (REGEXP_LIKE) and four new scalar functions: REGEXP_COUNT, REGEXP_INSTR, REGEXP_SUBSTR, and REGEXP_REPLACE.
In Joining On Ranges, I demonstrated that range tables are a practical replacement for attribute columns. As a rule, ranges should not overlap. (Perhaps there are exceptions.) Here's why, and also what to do to prevent overlapping values.
I see developers make one mistake way more often than any other. They assume that the job user name also represents the user profile under which a job is currently executing. This is, and always has been, an invalid assumption. The job user name only represents the userID under which the job was originally started. The user profile that a job is executing under at any given point in time (i.e., the current user) may or may not be the same as the job user. This may seem like a trivial and harmless mistake. But it often isn't.
IBM is hosting its Edge2015 Power and System z conference in Las Vegas this week, and with the System z13 mainframes already launched in January to help that ramp get underway and bolster the company's hardware sales, that leaves the final rounding out of the Power Systems line with Power8 processors as the star of the show. As expected, IBM is indeed launching its Power E850 four-socket midrange system, complementing the Power E880 high-end system that IBM let fly early (for some reason) ahead of the event. IBM is also including a new preconfigured cluster called the PurePower System, something that supports Linux today and will support IBM i down the road.
IBM just completed the best quarter for IBM i revenue in recent memory. While Big Blue no longer releases hard sales figures for the platform, the company did let it be known that the IBM i side of the house enjoyed double-digit revenue growth during the first quarter, which is great news for the platform. You might be wondering where that growth is coming from, and so are we.
The IBM i community has always looked to IBM for evidence that it is protecting its collective investment in the platform. Lately it seems the IBM i executives are playing up the investment angle more than usual. At the COMMON Annual Meeting and Exposition, Dave Nelson, director of IBM i development, and I talked about that topic. Nelson played a key role in the recent Power-SAP Summit in Rochester. The event was primarily for IBM i business partners and SAP end users and their interest was in roadmaps.
On a scale of one to 10, the expectations for business-focused mobile applications are somewhere in the teens. Business apps, mobile devices, and remote workers are on a steady climb. Although Appleand Android devices dominate the mobile landscape, LANSA just announced it has added Microsoft Windows to its write-once-deploy-many strategy for native application development. The long-time IBM i software vendor believes Windows will soon be an important mobile choice.