July 2022 Newsletter

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Well to say July was the month of all months combined would be an understatement.  First, and foremost iTech Solutions was acquired by Service Express, a leader in global data center and infrastructure solutions, announced the acquisition on July 1st of managed services provider iTech Solutions Group and cloud hosting provider iInTheCloud.

The acquisitions bring expanded IBM-specific offerings and IBM Gold Business Partner status to Service Express customers in the U.S. This deal replicates the company’s existing IBM services, expertise, and IBM Gold Business Partner status in the U.K. to bring comprehensive solutions to customers internationally. Really they couldn’t have picked a better company in the industry than iTech, and likewise, I spent quite a lot of time interviewing prospective suitors, and Service Express was the best company by far to continue to grow the services we had begun 20+ years ago. I never put the company up for sale but had 7 companies interested in acquiring us. Service Express had the values that I thought were important for my customers and employees, and made the decision easier for me.  Everyone is staying, including me.  I have no plans to leave and will work here at Service Express until retirement.  The 2 or 3 weeks leading up to the sale were crazy. I was spending 80+ hours a week, providing details to Service Express, and at the same time managing and continuing to run the company. It was the quarter end, and my head was spinning like a top. Thank god we had the 4th of July holiday to recover.  Now, we are starting the transition phase, and it’s just as busy.  I expect this to last about 3 months before I can get back to just doing the technical side. This means more interaction with customers, more webinars, articles, speaking at conferences, and getting my hands dirty in IBM i technology.  The Fun Stuff !!

Power10 Sale-Out Servers

Of course, if that wasn’t enough, IBM announced POWER10 scale-out servers on July 12. We had been briefed about these new servers a while ago, and I was excited about the performance when I heard about them.  When IBM announced everything, there were some more details. I think this is a good addition to the Power product line for all IBM i customers. Now, customers do need to be on IBM i 7.3, 7.4, or 7.5 to run on Power10. I think you are best to be on 7.4 or 7.5 based upon hardware that you can only take advantage of with these releases on Power10. These Power10 machines have some great CPW per processor.  You can only get NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory express) for storage, and there are no spinning drives. Which is a good thing, and everyone who we have installed NVMe on POWER9 has loved, loved, loved them.

I think IBM should have given us more I/O slots in these machines, so some more complex configurations might have problems with all the I/O slots unless they are put in the second socket. IBM is expecting a customer with more than 2 or 3 partitions to be running VIOS in my opinion.  Hey, there is nothing wrong with VIOS. It just requires you to expand your knowledge base.  Don’t forget, when you put the second socket in, it also raises the software group. You won’t be able to fully populate the memory until November, but for 95% of IBM i customers, this won’t be an issue. I think one of the biggest issues facing the IBM i community is Fiber connectivity for tape drives.  If you don’t have a Fiber Switch, you aren’t going to connect a fiber tape drive. IBM needs to support the 5735 8GB fiber card for direct attach tape drives, or change their LTO6, LTO7, and LTO8 tape drives to support direct attach 16GB fiber adapters.

Save the Date

Like I said, nothing here is changing.  No one is leaving, and we are still going to do our iAdmin conferences.  Of course, it will be the same quality conference we have done in the past, it will be packed with information, provided by your IBM i team here at iTech (now a Service Express company) who know what to do, when to do it, and how to do it when it comes to IBM i.  You have heard me say it many times, we have the experience, the knowledge, and know-how.  So, why are you still with your business partner?  The dates for iAdmin Fall 2022 are November 2nd and 3rd, and we will be providing more details as things unfold.  This is a $1,500 conference and we are providing it free of charge. Yup, free to everyone. One of our customers told me after the Spring iAdmin conference, “You should just provide the conference free for customers, and charge everyone else $1,200”.  That was an interesting concept, but right now we are giving it away to everyone for free.  We want to give back to the community that helped us grow and prosper.  There is a limit of 1,000 people due to the webinar resources, so do register early.

There are many benefits to keeping your OS and hardware current…

and last month I presented a webinar “The Value of Staying Current”.  You can catch it on the replay as you can every other webinar we do. A few things I want you to be thinking about.  It’s time for you to be thinking to upgrade your IBM i to 7.4 or 7.5, start getting off of 7.3 before IBM removes support for it.  While they haven’t said a date, I am thinking that is 18 to 20 months away.  Get on a supported release, and remember those of you with a POWER8, you can’t upgrade to 7.5, so get up to 7.4 on your POWER8s so you can easily move to POWER10 when it’s time.

Here are our upcoming events:

View our full PDF August Calendar Here


To those who have been consuming our newsletters, blogs, podcasts, webinars, and seminars look for more to come in 2022. Make sure to check our upcoming events in our newsletters and on our website for more information.

From all of us at iTech, thank you.  Of course, we couldn’t have done any of this without the amazing employees here at iTech that I am so lucky to work with each and every day.  It is our people that make us the company that we are, and I thank each and everyone for their hard work. We aren’t going anywhere, nothing is changing.  Eventually, we probably won’t be wearing those sexy red shirts, but that is the only change I see coming.

Stay safe, enjoy your summer and I look forward to seeing you at future events.

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