First, I am happy to announce that IBM i 7.1 Technology Refresh 5 (TR5) will be available October 12. I’ve talked about TRs several times here, and many more times when I’ve been speaking over the past two years. To review, the TR mechanism allows IBM i to deliver important new enhancements in I/O, virtualization and processor technology without requiring a major release or a “point release.” We are producing these Technology Refreshes twice a year to add important new capabilities in between our major IBM i releases. By the way, to ensure that everyone understands what this means let me make it clear:
There will be more major releases of IBM i. IBM i 7.1 is the most recent major release, which became available in the spring of 2010. There will be other major releases. There are some enhancements which are simply too large and too pervasive for Technology Refreshes. In fact, our IBM i development team is working on two major releases after 7.1 already. But, in order to reduce the number of times our customers need to plan for and implement release upgrades, we created the TR concept to deliver key functions without releases.
In particular, this TR—IBM i 7.1 Technology Refresh 5—adds support for the new POWER7+ processors, as well as support for new USB-attached I/O, and allows IBM i partitions to be managed by IBM Systems Director VMControl as part of its “System Pools.”
You also need to know about the software enhancements which are being announced at the same time as TR5. There are many of them in a wide variety of areas. No matter how you use IBM i, you are likely to find something interesting in today’s announcements. Here are some highlights.
IBM Navigator for i: We’re delivering a major revision of the user interface with a dynamic navigation area, tab support, and added DB2 capabilities. Plus, with this browser based solution, initially released as part of IBM i 6.1, there’s no Windows client to manage. See Tim Rowe’s blog for more information.
DB2 capabilities: As usual, our DB2 development team has added new features for self-management, as well as improving performance. In addition, with the announcement of POWER7+ we are highlighting the Symmetric Multiprocessing (SMP) Option for DB2 for i, because this option can take significant advantage of the multi-core, multiple-threads per core available to improve throughput on index builds, index rebuilds SQL query execution and more. Starting today with the DB2 enhancements, Mike Cain’s blog will look at these topics in more detail.
Guardium support: Do you have a requirement to do secure auditing of your database use? The Guardium product is for you. And it’s even better now, because Guardium can monitor for SQL activity in DB2 for i. We’ve added extensive filters for allowing you to select the information you need. An excellent article on this new collaboration between IBM i and Guardium will be available soon on developerWorks.
BRMS Enterprise capabilities: For clients who have several systems, managing backups can be a chore. The new Enterprise features of BRMS, which are part of the BRMS Advanced feature, make it easier to do centralized management in these environments.
Meanwhile, be sure to look for details about your favorite new deliveries in the blogs and in developerWorks.