Bug Busters RSF 10.0 Brings Better HA Role Swaps, Automated Updates
April 15, 2014 Alex Woodie
IBM i shops that use Bug Busters Software Engineering‘s Remote Software Facility (RSF) for high availability protection will find improvements in the role swap process with the latest version 10 release. The company also bolstered the base RSF product with new automated update capabilities, which keeps the customer’s RSF implementation in lockstep with Bug Busters.
RSF’s new automated update functionality is right up the alley for the traditional use of this Bug Busters’ product. RSF’s original reason for being was to simplify the replication of application objects from one centralized AS/400 to multiple remote AS/400s used for development, test, and production. Many AS/400 software vendors, including JDA Software Group, LANSA, and Aldon (now part of Rocket Software) used RSF to push updates of their applications to thousands of end-user AS/400 shops, across all types of networks.
Now, Bug Busters is applying some of this RSF file-automation magic to its own software. The company says a new Retrieve RSF Update (RTVRSFUPD) command lets administrators download RSF updates directly to their IBM i machine via the Internet. When the file transfer is complete, the user decides what action to take. There is also a notification option that lets users know what updates are available, and a retrieve option that captures updates for installations at a later time. The RTVRSFUPD command can also be used within the customer’s own network of IBM i products.
RSF 10.0 also includes the new Submit Repeating Job (SBMRJOBRSF) and End Repeating Job (ENDRJOBRSF) commands. The new SBMRJOBRSF command not only lets users specify a command to run, but it allows users to specify a repeat interval (in hours, minutes or seconds) and a time window for it to run. “After each run, the job is placed back on the job queue where it efficiently waits until it’s time to run again,” the company says. Similarly, the ENDRJOBRSF command can be used to end one or more repeating jobs.
On the security front, Bug Busters has added new levels of control over who can submit a job. The company has always used serial numbers to restrict which IBM i machines can initiate a request to another IBM i machine. With version 10, the company is restricting which users on a remote machine can initiate a file or object transfer request.
While RSF has its roots in one-to-one and one-to-many file and object distribution, there’s also a high availability (HA) option that turns the product into a full-fledged HA product. As the IBM i HA software market heated up nearly 10 years ago, Bug Busters realized it had the makings of an HA product on its hands, so it introduced its $1,300 OS/400 mirroring solution back in 2006.
With RSF-HA version 10.0, the company has bolstered the role swap capability, which the company first added in 2008 with version 8.2. “Role swaps are now faster, easier, and more flexible,” the company says. “Several internal improvements have significantly increased role swaps speed. Many swaps now complete in as little as 15 minutes.” If a role swap is interrupted mid-swap, the software now includes restart options that let users continue where the swap left off, or restart at the previous or next step, the company says.
Bug Busters CEO Bruce Lesnick says business is good, and that RSF-HA is replacing name-brand HA offerings, although he declined to identify his customers. For more info, see www.bugbusters.net.