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Over the past five years, some remarkable changes have happened in the systems business. IBM's Power Systems business has dropped from around $5 billion down to around $3 billion and Cisco Systems has built a converged system business that has gone from zero to $3 billion. Cisco has gotten more than its fair share of the blade server market with green-field applications like private clouds and virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), and now it is looking both low and high to expand its business further.
As an IBM i administrator, one surefire way to ruin your day is to apply the wrong program temporary fix (PTF) fix on your system. If you fail to read the fine print in the PTF cover letter, you might just kiss your finely honed IBM i configuration goodbye. But thanks to a free Web-based product from IBM called the Fix Level Recommendation Tool (FLRT), IBM i admins can now get automated guidance into the best course of action.
We are on the verge of an expanded Power8 system line from IBM and rival Intel has launched its next-generation "Haswell" Xeon E5-2600 v3 processors. But the performance specs that compare the Power8 iron to X86 and other alternatives in the midrange are only just starting to trickle out of Big Blue. So now is a good time to take a look and then brace ourselves for more comparisons in the coming months.
If you're an IBM i developer who works in the Rational Developer for i (RDi) or WebSphere Developer Studio Client (WDSc) environments, you may want to check out a plug-in called iSphere. The free and open source software speeds and simplifies a number of common tasks in the Eclipse-based IDE, including searching and editing files, binding directories, and viewing spooled files. User reviews so far have been extremely positive.
Simplicity used to be one of the hallmarks of the AS/400. You plug in the wires, fire up the applications, and the thing just runs forever. But in today's world, virtualization reigns supreme. Along with that virtualization comes a level of complexity that can turn once-simple tasks into difficult projects. Now, there are indications that a growing wariness of virtualization technologies--not just VIOS but "i on i" virtualization, too--is driving us back to a simpler world of direct-attached disks.
Infor used its annual user conference last week to unveil Xi, a new cloud-based platform designed to provide a common technological underpinning for advancing its collection of enterprise applications, specifically in the areas of mobility, cloud computing, and big data analytics. Infor says that none of its IBM i applications will run directly on the Xi platform, but they may benefit in a tangential manner.
The IBM i 6.1.1 release of the midrange operating system that this newsletter is dedicated to was, like many prior releases of the OS/400 and its progeny, a stop-gap release to add support for Virtual I/O Server and was pretty thin as releases go. As we reported several weeks ago, IBM is set to withdraw IBM i 6.1 from marketing on December 9 and stop supporting it on September 30, 2015. But there was not perfect clarity on what would happen to its tweaked follow-on, IBM i 6.1.1.
Your excursion into mobile application development can be a lot easier than what you've been led to believe. And a lot less expensive, too. A pre-packaged mobile app that allows system administrators and application developers to automatically send mobile device notifications from modern IBM midrange servers or from applications running on those boxes could be the mobile momentum you need. The app, which delivers notifications to iOS and Android mobile devices, was released last week by SystemObjects.
If you are shopping for disk arrays for your IBM i systems, IBM has a deal for you on adjunct software functions for its Storwize V3700 storage. And the company is also making promises about adding some advanced functions to the FlashSystem flash-based arrays as well.
When you work in a complex supply chain, maintaining data and application integration points among multiple parties can be challenging. Make a change to one system, and it can have unforeseen impacts down the line. This is the sort of situation that EXTOL is looking to alleviate with the addition of "intelligent developer" features in the latest release of EXTOL Business Integrator (EBI).
The city of Sterling, Colorado, has depended on IBM midrange systems for many years. Its one-person IT department is a self-proclaimed advocate for the system. New World Systems, an IBM i ISV, provides the software Sterling uses for the city's financial records and the police department's records and computer-aided dispatch system. The police have a separate AS/400 server and the city financials run a second AS/400. In a city council meeting last month, the migration to a Windows-based system entered the discussion.
As of October 2013 Ruby is supported on IBM i via PowerRuby. This is good news as Ruby has become a very popular programming language for producing web applications because of its simplicity, flexibility, and vast community. In this article we will be introducing you to tools that aid in learning Ruby on IBM i.
Everyone knows the name Frank Soltis. He's an IBM certified legend and even though he retired in 2008, his footprints have not faded away. For years after his retirement, the one-time chief scientist remained a highly visible world traveler and platform advocate. He was a keynote speaker at IBM i conferences, including the RPG & DB2 Summit in 2011 and the series of iBelieve events sponsored by looksoftware during 2012 and 2013. More recently, his IBM stump speech campaign has slowed.
This gem of a BIF was introduced with the V7.1 release and so was not available some five years ago when I wrote my original Bevy series of tips. Now that more people have V7.1 in their shops, I decided it was time to revisit the series and add it to the collection. It is probably my all-time favorite BIF . . . at least so far.
Bytware is shipping version 8.1 of its message management products, MessengerConsole and MessengerPlus. The new release is aimed at ensuring that the various monitoring jobs and schedules are kept in sync across complex environments.
Working on IBM i and its predecessor machines for 30 years, I sometimes have to modify or redo advice that I've relied on for years. Case in point: how full does your disk space have to be before you put your IBM i partition in danger?