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IBM did not just buy public cloud SoftLayer last year because it needed to acquire a customer base and revenue stream to bolster its efforts to sell cloud-based infrastructure and software services. Big Blue bought SoftLayer to get a unique set of skills and operational experience in running clouds, which is distinct from the system and application outsourcing business in which IBM is already an expert. Perhaps the expert.
It's been about three years since SAP unveiled HANA to the world. And while the in-memory database platform currently only runs on X64 commodity hardware and not IBM's Power processor, SAP's extensive IBM i customer base is starting to explore ways that HANA might fit into an SAP implementations running on Power Systems and IBM i.
Trends in technologies that affect IBM midrange shops sometimes makes it feel like you are trying to cross an ocean in a rowboat. . . with one oar, a loaf of bread, and a jar of peanut butter. Part of the technology dilemma is finding the time to sort through the possibilities and their associated costs. You might need some help. One of your best options, if you are a Power Systems shop, is to talk with other Power Systems shops.
Copper Valley Telecom, a small telephone company that serves the city of Valdez, Alaska, has left behind the hassles of tape and embraced the simplicity of disk-to-disk backups. Since adopting the LaserVault Universal Backup Device (UBD) to backup its production IBM i server, the company is enjoying significantly faster and more automated backups. And thanks to LaserVault UBD's Web interface, IT staffers no longer fumble around with tapes when the company needs to build a test environment.
IBM last week unveiled a new pay-as-you-go pricing scheme for its high-end XIV storage systems, which supports IBM i and other server platforms. The deal prevents customers from paying the full price of their XIV array until they've used a certain amount of the storage capacity. And when the first array fills up, IBM will ship a second XIV for an incredibly low--and incredibly un-IBM--price.
Google last month acquired SlickLogin, an Israeli security startup that developed an innovative login process that authenticates individuals by using a smartphone to capture sound waves generated by a requesting app. The technology has the potential to eliminate reliance on passwords, which everybody can agree is a good thing. But is the technology ready for primetime? Security expert Patrick Townsend chimes in.
Several weeks ago, IBM started a round of layoffs that it hopes to have completed by the end of the first quarter and from which it will book approximately $1 billion in charges. The next round of layoffs were expected to start on February 26, last Wednesday, but the rumors are that CEO Ginni Rometty was giving a big speech at the Mobile World Congress to talk about creating mobile Watson applications and the PR machine did not want to step on that story. So layoffs started in the United States and Canada on February 27.
Halcyon Software last week rolled out MQ Manager, a new piece of software designed to help IBM i shops manage their IBM WebSphere MQ environments. The new product sports a Web-based user interface, and is designed to alert administrators to any potential problems that might pop up in their production MQ systems.
Let me start by saying that I did not create the language that is used in the computer business, particularly in the server racket, with a few exceptions. I don't like the terms "proprietary," and I don't like the terms "industry standard" as if all of the customers and vendors got together and created a non-proprietary machine. Best I can figure, the X86 architecture is still pretty much ruled by Intel and Windows was still the dominant operating system on X86 machines.
IBM last week shipped a new release of its Rational Team Concert (RTC) product that should help to streamline and automate the fast pace of today's DevOps environments--in particular those aiming for continuous delivery. Among the IBM i-functionality, improvements in the product's dependency build and promotion capabilities top the list. In addition to RTC 4.06, Big Blue also gave us new releases of Rational Requirements Composer and Rational Quality Manager products.
The IT industry is an ever-changing beast. As a business owner who values information but is baffled by information technology, it's not unusual to feel like you are up IT creek without a paddle. Even IT pros, the guys with the paddles, are sweating the IT tsunami. Who would have thought a decade ago (or two or three decades ago in the case of many IBM midrange professionals) that IT could change so rapidly and skills would become so disposable? If you are hanging on to old skills, that makes you disposable, too.
I love using user-defined functions (UDFs) in DB2 for i. They encapsulate business logic, provide for code modularity and improve code reusability. But they can also flush performance down the drain. So in this tip, I'd like to use a sample UDF to analyze how it can affect the performance of an SQL statement.
Zend Technology last week issued emergency hotfixes for the latest PHP runtimes for IBM i, Windows, and Linux to fix a high-risk security vulnerability in PHP that could enable an attacker to execute arbitrary code on affected systems.
Troubleshooting communications problems is akin to dealing with teenagers. There's plenty of room for blame and finger-pointing, and resolving a problem sometimes seems impossible. I don't have anything to help you with teenagers, but I can recommend a free tool for communications problems. It's called Wireshark, and here's how to use it with IBM i communications traces.
RJS Software Systems last week announced that the latest release of its DeliverNow report-delivery tool has passed all QA tests and is ready for adoption by IBM i customers.
On an IBM i partition, you may need to route IP traffic for a particular server over a specific IP address. You could be doing this to segment network traffic or because you can only reach a host server through a specific interface (say an interface that has access to a firewall). Here's the drill for modifying your IBM i TCP/IP routing entries to set up host routing.