Today is announce day for several items that might be of interest to many of you, and one thing that will certainly affect almost all of you at some point.
Today, IBM is announcing the content of Technology Refresh 4 for IBM i 7.1. (That’s the “one thing.” You’ll all be on 7.1 soon, right? And when you are, you will want the latest TR, so you’ll get TR4.)
Many clients have been waiting for this announcement, anticipating the delivery of one major function enabled by TR4; the one known as “Live Partition Mobility” (LPM).
I actually referred to this function obliquely back in October. I included a roadmap for function that was required in IBM i so that it can be used to provide a PowerVM-based cloud. In October, there was one final step to be completed. It is now complete.
For those of you who might be a little unclear about the concept of Live Partition Mobility, it is simply this: You have a partition running on system A; you tell it to move to system B; it moves – while it's still running! It might take a minute, and often only a few seconds, to move from A to B, but it will move, and there will be no disruption in the running workloads. A few seconds pause to users who are interacting with it, but nothing more. IBM i and PowerVM just pause the work taking place on one system, move it to another, and start it up again.
Customers will use this function in many ways. They can balance work among servers to get the most efficient use of their resources. Or perhaps they need to take one machine down for maintenance – they can move the workload that's running on it to another system for a while, then move it back when the system is ready to go again. And very importantly, clients who want to implement clouds of Power Systems in their organizations will be able to do so, with IBM i participating fully in those clouds.
This is all made possible when you use the Virtual I/O Server to host the I/O for your IBM i partition. There are other technical requirements - POWER7, 7.1 TR4 or beyond, and more, you can find details here www.ibm.com/developerworks/ibmi/techupdates/hw/ilpm.
Oh, and if you are an ISV, and would like to test your solution in an environment with LPM, the IBM Innovation Centers are available for you.
Still, while the most anticipated feature of the announcement might be LPM, there is much more in the announcement. Java 7 is now available on IBM i 7.1. This has actually been available for a while now, but today’s announcement highlights it, so if you want to ensure you have the PTFs which enable Java 7, go to the developerWorks page for “Java on IBM i” and click either the “News” link or the PTF Groups link. There are also several key DB2 enhancements, as well as a Technology Preview of a new member of the IBM i Access products, which removes the dependence on preinstalled code.
This brings me to a couple of other points I want to mention today.
First, I need to re-emphasize how important it is for the IBM i community to make use of developerWorks (dW) on a regular basis. It is on these dW pages we put details about the newest enhancements and how to get them. You can start at the dW IBM i home page -- https://www.ibm.com/developerworks/ibmi/ -- and browse for great information. Or you can go to specific pages, such as the Java pages linked above, and subscribe to them so that you get an e-mail each time they are updated.
Second, I want to make sure you understand that some of the enhancements announced at the same time as a Technology Refresh are not actually delivered as part of the TR PTF Group. This is the case with Java, and it’s the case with all of the DB2 enhancements as well. Technology Refreshes, at their most accurate and basic level, are only used to provide function entirely below the Machine Interface, and almost always implement changes in Virtualization (such as LPM), I/O (such as new DASD options) or Processor/Firmware capabilities. When the first TR was shipped, my guest bloggers described TRs in detail, so you might want to re-read the TR Introduction blog. Perhaps even better, the main IBM i Technology Refresh page is very helpful. And if you want to see the content of each of the TRs that have been announced, there is a dW page that links you to that information.
This entry is getting a bit long, so let me give you some pointers to other important places with information about things announced today:
- Dawn May’s “i Can” blog talks about the details of implementing LPM. http://ibmsystemsmag.blogs.com/i_can/2012/04/move-my-i.html
- The DB2 for i enhancements are too numerous to enumerate, but include XMLTABLE support and extensions to three-part name support. Suffice it to say that there should be something of interest to all you database fans out there. Go here for the scoop: www.ibm.com/developerworks/ibmi/techupdates/db2
- Speaking of DB2, Mike Cain writes a blog called “DB2 for i” and his blog will have some interesting tidbits about today’s announced function, too. http://db2fori.blogspot.com/
- IBM Software Group support for pricing based on Workload Groups is part of today’s IBM i announcement, but I described it back in February.
- A new product is available from Rational, called the Application Management Toolset for i (AMTS), which contains limited versions of two of the most basic tools – PDM and SEU. The description of this new product is in the Rational Announcement letters. I’ll try to post a link in the comments section when I get it.
- Finally, for those of you who are implementing Linux in your environments, IBM Power Linux has a big announcement today, and you will definitely want to check it out before deciding to buy any other hardware platform for Linux workloads. (Again, look in the comments section. If someone finds the link before I do, feel free to post it! I’ll be on webcasts and planes quite a bit over the next couple of days.)
All told, today’s announcements include significant enhancements to your IBM i installations. I hope you will be able to take the time to read about the new ways we are delivering value on this integrated operating environment on Power Systems.
Twitter: #ibmi, @Steve_Will_IBMi