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December 8, 2013: Volume 15, Number 49|
November 30, 2013: Volume 15, Number 48
November 23, 2013: Volume 15, Number 47
November 16, 2013: Volume 15, Number 46
November 9, 2013: Volume 15, Number 45
November 2, 2013: Volume 15, Number 44
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If the IBM i-Power Systems platform was up for an award for longevity, it would actually have to be given two awards. One trophy would be for persevering as the last platform standing from the Minicomputer Revolution back in the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s. And the second medal would be for machines that stay in the field for an incredibly, almost unbelievably, long time.
In the last several years, a whole new spectrum of possibilities has opened up for disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) in the midrange. The combination of inexpensive virtual tape libraries (VTLs), online backup to the cloud, and the managed service provider (MSP) business model puts in place the building blocks for vendors in the IBM i market to offer fully integrated DRaaS with 24-hour recovery time objectives (RTOs) for prices starting at $1,000 per month.
The IT director of an IBM i shop somewhere in the Midwest was walking down the street wondering about where he was going to get several programmers with modern RPG skills along with Web and mobile skills. He walks by an employment agency with a sign in the window that says "brains for sale." So he goes inside. The first thing he sees is another sign that says "CEO brains $8 per pound." Next to that what he sees . . .
CM First Group is looking to make it easier for IBM i shops to create compelling mobile apps with the latest release of its CM WebClient add-on for CA Plex tools. With support for the latest OSes from Microsoft and Blackberry, the latest iOS themes from Apple, and native device integration with Apache Cordova, generating mobile front-ends for backend IBM i apps is less scary than ever.
Have you noticed IBM i executives are everywhere you look these days? I haven't seen any of them on magazine covers at the grocery store checkout area, but it won't surprise me when it happens. Steve Will, Alison Butterill, Tim Rowe, Barbara Morris and others seem to be more actively evangelizing. Conferences and local user group meetings are benefiting, many of them are blogging, but where it has picked up even more is their participation in vendor webinars.
Surround Technologies last week unveiled Accelerator for .NET Version 4.3, the latest release of its .NET-based application framework that for rapidly developing Web, Windows, and mobile front-ends for new or existing applications running on IBM i. Surround Tech bolstered its wizard and code-generation capabilities with this release, and also unveiled a beta of a new query tool.
The figures are out for server shipments and revenues for the third quarter from Gartner, and they shed a little more light on what is going on in the IBM customer base and in the market at large. A number of different factors are making it tough on Big Blue and these have short-term and long-term ramifications for IBM i shops and indeed any customers who are deploying Power-based systems.
As a high-powered business executive, you expect to access the same application from multiple devices without any issues. However, requiring developers to maintain multiple versions of an application for PCs, Web browsers, smartphones, and tablets would be a giant waste of your awesome powers. With the latest release of its m-Power application development tool, mrc adopted the concept of responsive design, enabling the same GUI to automatically adapt to all of your varied devices.
IBM last month unveiled a refresh of its high-end DS8870 SAN disk array that features the latest Power7+ processors, which Big Blue says will deliver a 15 percent increase in data throughput for transactional workloads. The refreshed SAN also features a pair of new hard drive options, new security features, and new optimizations for Flash drives.
IBM last week announced that is brainiacs in research have come up with new cloud storage software that provides a simple way to migrate data across multiple clouds, while keeping it confidential and secure.
IBM has promised Wall Street that it will have a $7 billion cloud business by the end of 2015, and it has gotten out the checkbook once again to help it along its way to that goal.
I hope 2013 was a good year for you. It was my best year in a while. I left a dysfunctional bureaucracy for a company where I can make a difference. I renewed several old acquaintances. And I found out from LinkedIn that I know someone who knows someone who knows Haynes Brooke, the guy who plays the sun in the Jimmy Dean sausage commercials. Let's close out the year with some of the feedback you've been kind enough to send to me.
When it comes to powering e-commerce Web sites on the IBM i platform, there are a handful of options that will set you back hundreds of thousands of dollars. For those looking to take the open source route, there is Magento, a PHP-based ecommerce framework that's owned by EBay.
Louisa May Alcott said, "I like good strong words that mean something." So do I, especially when they're good strong SQL words. It gives me great pleasure today to share three powerful SQL words with you.
The inability to afford many of the new information technologies and lacking the skills to implement those they can afford is a tightening rope around the neck of many small to midsize companies. It certainly contributes to the lack of application modernization projects that are discussed in two other articles I've written in this issue.
I'm currently working with a client to migrate three IBM i partitions to new Power 7+ machines located in two data centers in different states. While there are several ways to approach migration, over the next two issues I'll discuss four specific techniques for moving an IBM i partition to a new location and the different tasks you have to perform for each technique.