Simply i › SAVSECDTA timing?

October 23rd, 2014 Comments off
We are looking at how to manage the recovery of profiles and passwords in an environment where the profiles cannot be managed constantly. When using our HA4i product we have the ability to constantly maintain the user profiles and passwords … Continue reading


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Simply i › New Product Library Vault, Why?

October 20th, 2014 Comments off
We have just announced the availability of a new product, Library Vault for IBM i (LVLT4i) which is aimed primarily at the Managed Service Providers. The product allows the replication of data and objects from *SYSBAS on a clients system … Continue reading


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I Think - Therefore "IBM i" blogs › Recharging the English with podcasts

October 18th, 2014 Comments off
I used to live near here

I love living in the USA.

The weather is fantastic, people are friendly, I can see palms trees out the window, petrol gas is cheap and I can own a gun. Life is good.

Saying that... I've been here over five years now and I've definitely noticed that I'm picking up a few verbal american'isms. I find myself developing a transatlantic inflection on many of my speech patterns. I'm frequently asked either (a) "Are you Australian?" or (b) "My cousin lives in England - do you know him?". Luckily, the answer to both questions is "No"

I regularly recharge my English Accent Batteries by listening to podcasts from the BBC. A fun alternative to the incessant twang of country music geeetars on my local radio. If you haven't played with podcasts yet grab yourself a free podcast listener like Juice (or even iTunes if you have gone to the dark side) and click one of the links below.

Enjoy.

The big list of most excellent British Broadcasting Corporation Podcasts follows:

 

BBC Radio 4 Podcasts RSS FEED

What The Papers Say takes a look at how the broadsheets and red tops treat the week's news.


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I Think - Therefore "IBM i" blogs › VPN Happiness — how to fix Cisco “Unable to Manage Networking Component”

October 15th, 2014 Comments off
stop the Unable to Manage Networking Component

A week into my #WINDOWS10 Experience and I'm definitely more than pleased with the whole thing. Thumbs up Windows chaps and chapettes  :)

I just discovered a cure for my only other little VPN niggle.

Last week I had a problem getting Cisco AnycConnect to work, but a little registry tweak seemed to fix that problem. This week I had a similar problem installing another VPN client, in this case the older legacy CISCO VPN Client. So, just to be awkward I am running three VPN clients on my laptop and I am happy to report that all three are running happily together while I type this blog:

  1. Shrewsoft VPN
  2. Cisco AnnyConnect
  3. Cisco VPN (the older unsupported *legacy* version

Problem with the older CISCO VPN

Error 27850 Unable to Manage Networking Component - Cisco VPN

Initially, i had a problem with the CISCO VPN LEGACY installation giving me this error:

Error 27850 Unable to Manage Networking Component - Cisco VPN


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You and i › You and i Has Moved, Please Update Your Bookmarks

October 14th, 2014 Comments off
You and i has moved to http://www.ibmsystemsmag.com/Blogs/You-and-i/. Please update your bookmark. It’s the same great content but in a new location.


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i Can › i Can Has Moved, Please Update Your Bookmarks

October 14th, 2014 Comments off
i Can has moved to http://www.ibmsystemsmag.com/Blogs/i-Can/. Please update your bookmark. It’s the same great content but in a new location.


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iDevelop › iDevelop Has Moved, Please Update Your Bookmarks

October 14th, 2014 Comments off
iDevelop has moved to http://www.ibmsystemsmag.com/Blogs/iDevelop/. Please update your bookmark. It’s the same great content but in a new location.


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Bob Cancilla on IBM i › Power System sales decline continues in Q2 of 2014

October 11th, 2014 Comments off
I just realized that I had not read IBM"s Q2 results paper to see how sales of IBM HW had progressed through 2014 after a horrible 2013 year end and a rocky Q1.

Well it was worse than I thought!  As you know IBM has sold its xSeries server business to Lenovo, removing that drain on revenue and profits, but Q2 zSeries sales was down 11% over 2013 sales and the really important note to IBM i customers was a decline of 28% in Power System sales over 2013 sales.

Before you start saying that I am anti-IBM i or negative on RPG or whatever, read the article at: http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/44397.wss

This article is written by IBM and published on an IBM web site.

IBM is showing improved results in cloud and consulting.

I personally am working on a project moving a large DB2 zOS database implementation to DB2 LUW using Purescale on Linux Redhat intel based processors.  Read no-name Intel based clones.  We are looking at improved performance 24 x 7 availability with no downtime for system maintenance or upgrades (you can literally remove any system in the network at anytime) and you can replicate data across multiple locations...

If you are still running an IBM i with local software, you need to carefully assess what you are doing and why.  Are you dependent on RPG programmers and the language?  It is time to start looking at alternatives.  You don't have to pull the plug on your IBM i based box, but it is most definitely time to say goodbye to RPG and iBM i specific facilities and position yourself so that your system can be easily moved to a new platform not if but when the time arises.

 


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DB2 for i › Trust, but Verify

October 8th, 2014 Comments off
I am often asked about the risk of migrating to a new version/release of IBM i; "should we go to 7.1 or 7.2"?

The same can be said about moving to the latest technology refresh (7.1 TR9 and 7.2 TR1 were just announced by the way).

I prefer to talk about the rewards of keeping up with the advances in technology - keep the tool belt fully stocked so to speak.

So, should you install the latest and greatest?  My usual answer is "yes, and...".

Whether you are configuring new hardware, putting on a new set of group PTFs, installing the latest TR or migrating to IBM i 7.2, my sincere advice is based on an old Russian proverb:

Trust, but Verify

What this really means is, YOU should be testing the new hardware, testing the group PTFs, verifying the TR code or the latest version of IBM i.  And I don't mean give it a spin for a few days on the development system.  I'm talking about proper and adequate testing; a real verification of the features and functions. Find out for yourself, do they behave as advertised?

Now here is the issue...  proper and adequate testing must be based on science, and some art.

SCIENCE, as in, using the scientific method:

  • Purpose or Question
  • Research
  • Hypothesis
  • Experiment
  • Analysis
  • Conclusion

And ART, as in - you have to be clever about how, when and where you apply the science.  If you are not testing the business processes that produce the transactions occurring in the production environment, you are not actually verifying anything, nor are you mitigating any risk. You are just fooling yourself.  And if you cannot pin down the variables and repeat the process consistently, the experiment will be inconclusive, and a waste of time.  I don't know how many times I have been in awkward conversations that go something like this:

DB2 user: "we just upgraded, my queries don't run fast anymore"

Mike: "I'm sorry to hear this... do you have any information captured about how the queries were running prior to the upgrade"?

DB2 user: "no"

Mike: "can you tell me how the queries were running prior to the upgrade"?

DB2 user: "yes, fast"

Mike: *heavy sigh*



When it comes to DB2 data integrity and data processing, three fundamental things need to be tested and verified:

  1. Correct results
  2. Performance
  3. Scalability

Correct results is obvious - did my request or process produce the expected answer or result?

Performance gets a lot of attention - did my request or process complete in the time expected?

Scalability is much more difficult to understand - did my request or process complete in the time expected when running with the full data set and under the stress of all the normal production activity?

My recommendation is that you get in a position to test (and verify!) that the new hardware and/or software meets your requirements BEFORE implementing anything in the production environment.  And with that said, verify your rollback strategy if something does slip by.

When it comes to testing and verifying DB2 for i, the point person should be your database engineer. If you don't have one, now is a good time to establish the position, install the candidates, and provide training and support. Don't forget to give them clear responsibility and authority to do the job.

If you don't have, or don't want to invest in a full fledged testing environment, or you want the subject matter experts to look over your shoulder, make a visit to IBM Rochester, Minnesota and embark on a performance and scalability engagement.

If you would like to discuss the science and art of verifying DB2 for i, please contact me.  We are here to help you be successful, and to mitigate risk.


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I Think - Therefore "IBM i" blogs › RPG Technology Releases for IBM i 7.1 and 7.2

October 7th, 2014 Comments off
this is a real TR7 not the IBM RPG sort of TR7

IBM has announced it's latest round of "technology Refreshes" (aka PTF's or service packs) for the IBM i operating system. A couple of nice tweaks to RPG are included in TR9 for IBM i 7.1 and TR1 for IBM i 7.2. For RPG, we will have enhanced ALIAS keyword support, and a streamlined DataStructure I/O support making tihngs just a bit easier for us coders:

Extended ALIAS support for files

The ALIAS keyword can now be specified for any externally-described file.



If the ALIAS keyword is specified for a global file that is not qualified, the alternate names of the fields will be available for use in the RPG program.



In the following example, the field REQALC in the file MYFILE has the alternate name REQUIRED_ALLOCATION. The ALIAS keyword indicates that the name for this field within the RPG program will be REQUIRED_ALLOCATION.

dcl-f myfile ALIAS;



read myfile;

if required_allocation <> 0

and size > 0;

  ...

Relaxed rules for data structures for I/O operations

An externally-described data structure or LIKEREC data structure defined with type *ALL can be used as the result data structure for any I/O operation.


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