i5/OS V6R1 Ships, And Shops Begin to Move
March 24, 2008 Timothy Prickett Morgan
As we go to press with this issue of The Four Hundred, IBM has just begun, on March 21, shipping i5/OS V6R1 operating system for its System i server line and for a relatively minor number of System p shops that run AIX and i5/OS side by side in logical partitions. And if history is any guide, it has probably been a long weekend for a number of intrepid iSeries and System i shops who spent the weekend doing an upgrade to the new operating system.
Of course, it is not just end users who need to get their hands on V6R1. Perhaps equally important, the techies in the reseller channel (which is responsible for the majority of System i shipments and maybe half of system revenues in any given year) have spent months getting ready for last Friday, general availability day. On Friday, I made a bunch of phone calls to business partners who are usually first in the loop when it comes to installing a new version or release of OS/400 or i5/OS, and they either had not installed it yet or were not available to answer phone calls. It is probably no accident that IBM planned the availability of V6R1 on Good Friday, which is not officially a business holiday in most companies, but it surely is a slow time for business in general and it is not likely to be a weekend when many companies will schedule a system software upgrade.
But last weekend is also the weekend before the COMMON midrange user group meeting gets under way down in Nashville, Tennessee, and IBM undoubtedly wanted to get i5/OS V6R1 shipping before the show started so it could have Al Barsa stand up at the event’s sound off session and (if history is any guide) tell us all what a stable release V6R1 is. Let’s hope that is what Al says, anyway. He was not available for comment last week as I was putting this story together, so we will have to wait a few days to see what his assessment for the code is.
As IBM always does, the V6R1 materials include a memorandum to users, which has a lot more detail in it about new features than the announcement letters or company presentations typically have. If you want to delve into the details, I will save you the trouble of hunting around for this document, which you can view here. A kind business partner getting ready to move some customers to the new operating system sent it to me on your behalf. The IBM support systems allow you to subscribe to this memorandum letter, which is updated as fixes come out, issues arise, or features are added to a version and release of i5/OS. One business partner told me that this is the single most critical document for any operating system release from IBM Rochester.
Those OS/400 and i5/OS shops that are looking to move to V6R1 and that also have Lotus Domino have some extra reading to do. Domino 7.0.3 for i5/OS (5733-LD7) and Domino 8.0.1 for System i (5733-LD8) work with V6R1, but Lotus Sametime, Enterprise Integrator, Quickr, and other Domino/Notes programs affiliated with the System i platform have to be converted to the new V6R1 microcode and might also require certain i5/OS PTFs or Domino hot fixes. You best read up at IBM’s i5/OS V6R1 upgrade roadmap for Lotus Domino and related products site.
Have fun, and if you are doing an upgrade to V6R1, hit that Contact button up there at the top of the page and let me know how it went. Thanks.