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IBM finally went and did it and not only sold off its X86 server line so it could focus on Power Systems and System z mainframes, but it went the next logical step and got itself out of the chip making business. Both decisions were the inevitable consequences of deals long since done, and their consequences will be felt in the decade hence.
The folks at Midrange Performance Group have a well-deserved reputation in the IBM i community as performance experts. When it comes to capacity planning exercises and sizing new boxes, its Performance Navigator product is considered top-notch. But how does the company keep PerfNav relevant when the majority of IBM i customers' workloads can comfortably fit on a relatively small machine? Here, it's the little things that count.
There was not a lot of good news with IBM's third quarter financial results when they came out early next week, but one of the few bright spots was that the Power Systems business was at the least showing some sequential growth as the Power8 systems ramp begins in earnest. But the Power Systems division is still down year-on-year, and it is very likely that the declines will continue at least into early 2015.
Shield Advanced Solutions is gearing up to launch Library Vault for IBM i, a new data vaulting solution aimed at larger IBM i shops and managed service providers. LVLT4i uses an interesting mix of remote journaling, object replication, and independent auxiliary storage pool (IASP) technologies, which Shield says provide the data protection of a full high availability solution but without the cost and complexity.
IBM's investment in flash technology, which was pegged at $1 billion when it was announced in April 2013, has led to a number one market position in enterprise flash-based storage. It's not a large market. Even the grandest estimates have it at less than 10 percent of the enterprise storage business. It is undoubtedly growing though, particularly as primary storage, or what is called Tier 1 storage, in the lingo.
IBM i shops have many options when it comes to selecting a virtual tape library (VTL) provider, including a software-based solution that runs on the Power Systems server itself. While you may not be familiar with the name Cybernetics, the storage device manufacturer is quite familiar with the IBM i line of servers, and has provided VTLs, SANs, and tape backup solutions to many IBM i clients over the past 25 years.
Organizations will be able to implement more complex data replication and protection schemes thanks to the new Multiple Target Peer-to-Peer Remote Copy (MT-PPRC) capabilities that IBM will be making available in DS8870 storage arrays. The capability to mirror data from a production environment to two target systems with MT-PPRC will give customers more flexibility in how they prepare for, and respond to, disasters. The company also bolstered its FlashCopy mechanism, and made various other enhancements to the DS8870s.
When Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web more than 20 years ago, he couldn't have known it would turn into the Wild Wild West, a place where people are forced to take pains to protect themselves from malicious marauders, lest they lose precious data and money. Today's cybercriminals are experts at taking advantage of weakness, including using malware to exploit vulnerabilities in corporate IT systems, including IBM i.
It's frustrating at the very least. And aggravating, too. People talk about aligning business objectives and IT capabilities, but the distance between talking and doing seldom leads to the same destination. There's clearly more than one common denominator that steers these projects into the ditch. But inadequate project management is many times the villain. Most attack this as a people problem. That's certainly a good place to start looking around, but it can also be a lack of tools issue. That's worth a closer look as well.
On Friday IBM will begin deliveries of the TS1150, the fifth generation of the IBM 3592 enterprise tape drive. The new high-end drive will move data at rates up to 360 MB per second and support cartridges that store up to 10 TB of uncompressed data. And later this fall, the TS1150 will also borrow a neat trick from its LTO sibling.
Baker College has transitioned all of its IBM i-related courses from the classrooms of its multiple campuses to online. The Michigan-based school offers courses in RPG, CL, database, and enterprise architecture, among others that are Power Systems related such as Linux and AIX. The online classes are open to anyone, whether they are enrolled at Baker College in a degree program or are interested in a single class.
What if I told you that you may have some potential powerful SQL functions on your system that you are not aware of? What if I told you that I have no idea what those SQL functions are named? What if I told you that you could easily use existing RPG routines in SQL queries? Would you be interested?
If you are looking to get a shiny new Power Systems machine running the current or most recent past generation of Power processors and supporting IBM i, AIX, or Linux workloads, then the Global Financing unit of IBM has a deal for you. It is a simple 24-month, zero percent financing deal that an elementary school student can understand.
I would like to share with you one of the techniques I use for paging large lists when using embedded SQL in RPG. This method came about when I needed to write a routine which could be used in both an interactive (green screen) and web environment. There were two main challenges:
The conversion of fixed-format RPG to free-format RPG has created a great deal of interest in the IBM i community since support was added in Technology Refresh 7 of IBM i 7.1 late in 2013. Barbara Morris, a member of the RPG compiler development team at IBM's Toronto lab has been the IBM spokesperson on the topic, drawing crowds to technical sessions online and at local user groups and technical conferences.
Help! My IBM i credit card software stopped talking to our outside credit card processor. One minute it was working, and the next minute it crashed. When I restart the package, it immediately ends. What's going on? We can't process our orders.