You and i – IBM i 7.4 TR5 Power10 Announced
Today, September 8 2021, we have some big IBM i-related announcements, so it’s time for another blog!
While there are many new things to talk about – as there are with every announcement – I’m afraid this time, there are two Big Deals and then a bunch of “also THESE!” enhancements. Just remember, the thing YOU wanted us to do most might be in that third group – so keep reading, and follow the links to the details.
Big Deal #1: Power10
Yes! Finally! Last year at the Hot Chips conference, IBM made a splash describing the technology we’re using to build the latest generation of Power processors – Power10. It seems like I’ve been getting asked daily “OK, so WHEN do we get systems with Power10 in them?”
Today, IBM’s announcing the first of the Power10 systems – the first large system configuration called the Power System E1080.
There’s a webcast describing the system in great detail: http://ibm.biz/ThePowerof10 I recommend it for those of you who want to understand the configuration.
As always with a new family of Power, we cannot make every system available at the same time, so those of you who use the scale-out (low-end) systems will have to wait a bit, but rest assured, those systems are coming.
And, as always, IBM i supports the new Power10 systems with Technology Refreshes for the two most recent releases. So, if you’re one of the lucky companies which will acquire a new E1080, you will want to get IBM i 7.4 TR5 or IBM i 7.3 TR11. Here’s the “Systems Supported” table with just the parts of the table pertinent to the recent releases, now that Power10 is announced.
Big Deal #2: “New Nav” – the Re-invented Navigator for i
This is big. And it’s time.
While many computer technologies move quickly, there may be none as predictable in their need of refresh as web technology. Once we started using web technology (and moved away from “PC” client-based technology) for tasks such as system management, we knew we were setting ourselves up for future required refreshes. Tim Rowe, IBM i Business Architect for Systems Management, reminds us that the old PC client technology from 1995 had to be replaced with 2007 web technology, which then had to be replaced with the current 2013-era web technology used by Navigator for i.
IBM i made Navigator our strategic direction (in tandem with Access Client Solutions) and put a plan in place to reimplement the “plumbing” of Navigator – and it’s finally arrived. Because we knew we were heading in this direction, the team has been examining all the Requests for Enhancement (RFEs) which we’ve received about systems management, and about Navigator in particular, and working with a set of trusted advisors (non-IBMers, and IBMers) to ensure that the re-invented Navigator would not only look better, not only be built on the latest, greatest, fastest, most stable underlying web technology, but would also address the biggest strategic requests from our clients.
Where the “old” Navigator was intended for managing a single node, for example, the “NewNav” can manage one, or it can easily manage multiples. Where monitoring was minimal in “OldNav” (some might say “less than minimal”), monitoring is a key function of “NewNav” and will grow over time.
New Navigator for i is built using “Angular” and also on IBM Services. As you are no doubt aware, we have put a great deal of effort into making IBM Services (once known as “SQL Services”) the primary “API” into managing IBM i. We’re “eating our own cooking” by building NewNav on those services, and we’re using Angular to provide the kind of performance and stability we’ll need for the future.
How will you get the New Navigator for i? It’s shipped as part of SS1 Option 3, so you’ll need the latest HTTP PTF Group and the latest Db2 PTF Group. Details can be found here:
IBM i 7.4 TR5 and IBM i 7.3 TR11 – Also THESE!
As you’d expect, other teams have delivered new capabilities for the TRs, as well. Access Client Solutions’ SQL Assist has help for knowing when you’re in the middle of an uncommitted transaction. We have a couple of new RPG functions (%MAXARR and %MINARR, plus support for using more than one subfield when sorting), support for the Cryptographic Coprocessor 4769, updates to some IBM i Services and a way to interact with web services from SQL without needing Java. People who are using Cloud Storage Solutions for i have new options. There’s a pretty big list.
The starting page(s) for a description all of those, and more:
The Announcement letters for the US are here:
7.4 TR5 https://www.ibm.com/common/ssi/ShowDoc.wss?docURL=/common/ssi/rep_ca/9/897/ENUS221-149/index.html&request_locale=en
7.3 TR11 https://www.ibm.com/common/ssi/ShowDoc.wss?docURL=/common/ssi/rep_ca/0/897/ENUS221-150/index.html&request_locale=en
As a reminder, I’ve reposted all of the announcement overviews going back to the IBM i 7.3 Major Release announcement, and I’ve gathered the links for these re-posted entries into a single “anchor” entry. That entry will have a link to this post, and the link to the “anchor” is:
Until Next Time
I have recorded a webcast with Dan Sundt and Tim Rowe covering these announcements. Here is a link to it:
Meanwhile, the team is working hard on a bunch of other great things. We’re all excited about what we’ve delivered now, and can’t wait to tell you about the things we have coming later this year and in 2022!
So until next time - be well, and do great things!