April 2019 Newsletter

This Newsletter includes:

Last Tuesday morning I wrote in a tweet “It’s a good day to be an IBM i customer”.

Someone replied, “Isn’t every day a great day to be an IBM i customer?”  I can’t argue with that. But last Tuesday was IBM announcement day, and who doesn’t love announcements? Especially new releases of IBM i.

Three years is certainly a long time coming, but I think the wait was well worth it, especially when you hear what IBM i 7.4 contained.

Internally, we have been calling this iNext for the longest time, and it is great to be able to call it by its real name and not have to remember to use “iNext” as we couldn’t say 7.4 until announcement day. This release is packed with lots of cool new features and functions, the biggest is certainly Db2 Mirror for i, a synchronous replication for continuous availability for customers who can’t afford any downtime at all.

Basically, we have two IBM i partitions (preferably on different Power machines in the same computer room), connect these two systems with very high-speed Ethernet connection called RoCE, and then the two systems appear as one database spread across the two systems. This is an active-active configuration, where the database operations happen synchronously across the two systems. Updates can follow in either direction, and this appears as one database being hosted on two different machines. 

I won’t go into all the details here about the new release, as I wrote a blog with many of the details you will need to know, and we provided a video which you can watch to get a good overview of many of the new features and enhancements. As I play with 7.4, I am finding new things every day.   There are two additional releases currently being planned after 7.4, and I know from my trips to Rochester they are actively working on iNext already. You can now see the expected release dates, and the support roadmap below. 

Support for IBM i is going out past 2031!!!!  Tell me one other operating system with a roadmap that long?

In all the announcements about 7.4, I think everyone overlooked that IBM delivered a technology refresh for 7.3, TR6, truly a big announcement, but pale in comparison to 7.4.  There is so much to uncover with 7.4. We plan to continue to provide education on 7.4 with videos, newsletters, podcasts, in-person events, and webinars. 

Upcoming Webinars

On May 9th, at 1PM ET I will present 7.4 Things you need to know about 7.4.

I will cover:

  • What machines support 7.4
  • Which Consoles are supported on 7.4
  • Increasing License Internal Code Space – how to get ready
  • Preparation PTFs that would be needed on 7.2 & 7.3 to upgrade your machine
  • NetServer file share issues to be aware of
  • Changes to SSL & TLS to start thinking about
  • What supported versions work with 7.4


Then on June 5th at 1 PM ET we will have another live webinar on What you need to know to successfully upgrade to IBM i 7.4. 


I am doing this session at IBM Technical University in Atlanta from April 28 to May 3, and COMMON in Anaheim from May 19 to 22. 

Speaking of great Webinars, Steve Pitcher did another live webinar on April 24, Rapid Fire Admin: 150 tips in 60 minutes.  That was excellent, and Steve received a lot of compliments on a job very well done.

Wait, is your business partner not providing you with education?  Look at all the technical education we are providing not just our customers, but the entire IBM i community. How is your Business Partner helping you leverage your investment in IBM i? What are they good at?  Bringing donuts to meetings doesn’t count. 

If you want to work with an IBM Business Partner who knows and understands IBM i, then I think it is time to switch to iTech Solutions.  We might not always bring donuts to your meetings, but we certainly do help you with your IBM i & Power Systems issues. 

[Learn About Our IBM i Super POWERs]

The spring is always conference season, and we just got back from WMCPA in Wisconsin, The Infor InPower conference in Orlando, the NEUGC Conference in Framingham, and we are going to IBM Technical University in Atlanta, COMMON in Anaheim, LISUG in Long Island, MiTech in Michigan, and OCEAN in California, that is so great to meet and see customers at all of these events.  If you are planning on being at an upcoming event, please stop by our booth, or see us in our speaking sessions, we always enjoy seeing everyone.

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