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Steve Pitcher › Instructions for Updating Domino 9 to Interim Fix 3 on IBM i

September 16th, 2013 Comments off
I couldn't find any documentation on updating Domino to Interim Fix levels on IBM i anywhere, including the tech notes for Domino 9 IF1, IF2 and IF3 so I just assumed the Interim Fix update was a similar process as with installing fix packs in prior releases  This means loading and applying a PTF.   For the benefit of anyone trying to get up to the latest release, here's my instructions:

Download the QL604291.SAVF file from Fix Central.

Create a save file on IBM i...
CRTSAVF FILE(QGPL/QL604291)

FTP the downloaded file over to the save file you created on IBM i.

Shut down any Domino 9 servers.

Load the PTF...
LODPTF LICPGM(5733LD9) DEV(*SAVF) SELECT(L604291) SAVF(QL604291)

Then apply the PTF...
APYPTF LICPGM(5733LD9) SELECT(L604291)

Start your Domino 9 servers. 



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Steve Pitcher › Busy, Busy and Busy Still

July 10th, 2013 Comments off
It's been a while since I blogged anything.  I've been quite busy with a VOIP implementation and implementing IBM Connections on IBM i in my day job over the last few months.  Plus baseball season has started so I'm coaching two nights a week.  Prepping content for some fall conferences too. 

Most things I've written recently have come in the form of articles at MC Press Online so I'll point you there.  Just released today is an analysis of new features in IBM Notes 9.  Enjoy.

IBM Notes 9 is a Major League Release

DB2 BLU Acceleration: Who Wants to Go Fast?

IBM PureFlex Solution for IBM i Casts a Wider Net

Installing IBM Web Content Manager and Portal on IBM i

IBM i 7.1 Technology Refresh 6 Packs on More Muscle

PTFs: How to Manage Them and Why You Need To







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Steve Pitcher › EPA Migrates 25,000 Lotus Notes Mail Files to Office 365…Without 14 Years of Historical Data?

March 10th, 2013 Comments off

http://gcn.com/articles/2013/03/08/million-message-mailboxes-complicate-epa-move-office-365.aspx

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was a Lotus Notes shop for about 15 years until their very recent move to Office 365, facilitated by Microsoft and Lockheed Martin.  Lynn Singleton, director of environment services for Lockheed Martin is featured in the article and provides much insight into the rapid migration schedule along with some of the struggles and successes.

A couple of things stand out in this article.  I've highlighted text for effect.

"But an unexpected hurdle was the size of many of the mailboxes that needed to be transitioned, which forced EPA and Lockheed to rethink how to approach the migration midway through the project."

The EPA "'didn’t have a size limit on mailboxes to trigger purging or archiving of information. Some of the larger mailboxes had over a million objects in them. In all, the mailboxes contained a very large universe of information, representing about 90 terabytes of data,' Singleton said."

"Initially, EPA wanted to transition all of the mailboxes along with their information to the cloud. 'But the throughput requirements of that, just the physical constraints, were such that we could not do it,'

"If the team proceeded as planned there would have been network latency problems.  Plus, the team determined that they could not handle the quantity of information with the migration tool they had selected." 

How did they solve the problem?  Well, it looks like they only migrated some of the data.

"So the team weeded out mailboxes with large attachments and archived legacy information that was older than a year."

OK, so they've got one year of live data in the cloud?  If that's the case is the other fourteen years of data existing within Lotus Domino databases on EPA servers?  Do EPA employees use Lotus Notes clients to access their mail archives?  What about the custom Lotus applications they have?  They aren't mentioned in the article.  I ask because the EPA had, as of 2010, twelve Domino servers labeled as "Lotus Notes Application Server" in this document.  It would be nice to know if they have plans for those.

I've sent a note to the author for clarification.


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Steve Pitcher › Installing WebSphere Portal and IBM Web Content Manager

March 7th, 2013 Comments off
The installation instructions for WebSphere Portal on IBM i could be a little more clear.  I'll be submitting my suggestions to IBM to update them.  Here's what I did in order to install Portal and WCM on IBM i.  If you're not using IBM i, but want to do a silent installation using response files, you may still get some value out of this.

I downloaded the following images from IBM Passport Advantage.  All these images need to be consolidated in a single repository.  More on that below.

CI7N3ML     IBM WebSphere Portal and Web Content Manager Install V8.0 (1 of 5) Multiplatform Multilingual
CI7N4ML     IBM WebSphere Portal and Web Content Manager Install V8.0 (2 of 5) Multiplatform Multilingual
CI7N5ML     IBM WebSphere Portal and Web Content Manager Install V8.0 (3 of 5) Multiplatform Multilingual
CI7N6ML     IBM WebSphere Portal and Web Content Manager Install V8.0 (4 of 5) Multiplatform Multilingual
CI7N7ML     IBM WebSphere Portal and Web Content Manager Install V8.0 (5 of 5) Multiplatform Multilingual

In actuality, once downloaded these zip files are labeled as 1 of 7, 2 of 7 so there's some confusion there.  I spent some time wondering where the two I missed were.  I didn't.  There's only 5.

Then these two:
CI7VIML     IBM Web Content Manager Setup V8.0 (1 of 2) Multiplatform Multilingual
CI7VJML     IBM Web Content Manager Setup V8.0 (2 of 2) Multiplatform Multilingual

Then these three:
CI7N8ML     IBM WebSphere Application Server Network Deployment V8.0.0.3 (1 of 3) Multiplaform Multilingual
CI7N9ML     IBM WebSphere Application Server Network Deployment V8.0.0.3 (2 of 3) Multiplaform Multilingual
CI7NAML     IBM WebSphere Application Server Network Deployment V8.0.0.3 (3 of 3) Multiplaform Multilingual

Under CI7N3ML and CI7N4ML there are a Setup folders (containing one for Installation Manager, and WASFixes).  Also, under CI7VIML there is a Setup folder, that's for the WCM.

I created a Portal8 folder comprised of the different packages.  This is probably my biggest issue with the installation.  There is no documentation showing what the final installable directory should look like, so you may be left with a bit of trial and error, especially since you may be hesitant to combine directories.  Ideally, IBM could package these images in a nice and tidy format to minimize both confusion and customer effort.  Here's how I built my directory.




InstallableDirectory Source Media
Portal8/Portal/disk1 CI7N5ML
Portal8/Portal/disk2 CI7N6ML
Portal8/Portal/disk3 CI7N7ML
Portal8/WAS/disk1 CI7N8ML
Portal8/WAS/disk2 CI7N9ML
Portal8/WAS/disk3 CI7NAML
Portal8/WCM CI7VJML
Portal8/Setup/IIM CI7N3ML
Portal8/Setup/WASFixes     CI7N4ML and CI7VIML
Portal8/Setup/Components CI7VIML
Portal8/Setup/eimage CI7VIML
Portal8/Setup/IBMPU CI7VIML
Portal8/Setup/launchpad CI7VIML
Portal8/Setup/quickstart CI7VIML
Portal8/Setup/repository CI7VIML
Portal8/Setup/autorun.inf CI7VIML
Portal8/Setup/setup64.exe CI7VIML
Portal8/Setup/setup64.ini CI7VIML
Portal8/Setup/setup.exe CI7VIML
Portal8/Setup/setup.ini CI7VIML
Portal8/Setup/setup.sh CI7VIML
Portal8/Setup/responsefiles CI7VIML


Then, I created a folder on the IFS called InstallPortal, shared it via NetServer and pushed the customized Portal8 folder to it via drag/drop in Windows.

I then installed Installation Manager via the following steps.

Sign onto a 5250 session.
Start Qshell by typing Qsh on a command line and press enter.
Change working directory to the Installation Manager install directory:
cd /InstallPortal/Portal8/Setup/IIM/os400
Run the Installation Manager installer:
installc -acceptLicense

While in Qshell, change your working directory to the newly created Installation Manager directory and encrypt your wpadmin password.  Copy the password when the command finishes.

cd /qibm/proddata/InstallationManager/eclipse/tools 
imutilsc encryptString insertpasswordhere

Then I changed the response file /InstallPortal/Portal8/Setup/responsefiles/iseries/wcm_standalone_full.xml repository location parameters to point at /InstallPortal/Portal8/Setup/eimage/repository.config and /InstallPortal/Portal8/Setup/WASFixes/8.0.0.3-WS-WAS-i5OSPPC-IFPM59405.zip.

Also in there, I had to update two other parameters.  The first is the web address of the server.  Before changing this I created a new IP interface on IBM i, assigned a host table entry for www-2.scotsburn.com to it. If you have other web servers on your IBM i partition running HTTP/HTTPS then it's a good idea to give each web service a dedicated IP address so that you won't run into port conflicts.

The documentation also tells you to "ping yourserver.yourcompany.com" 
On IBM i, you actually ping rmtsys('yourserver.yourcompany.com') or ping 'yourserver.yourcompany.com' so you need to either qualify the parameter name by using the rmtsys parameter or just use single quotes to signify there's a parameter being sent to the PING program in IBM i.

Either way, once you have a pingable host, change the following parameter with that host address:
data key="user.wp.hostname,com.ibm.websphere.PORTAL.SERVER.v80" value="www-2.scotsburn.com" />

The 2nd parameter is for the encrypted password we created earlier.


Save the file.  Now we're ready to install Portal and WCM.

Back in Qshell, your directory should still be /qibm/proddata/InstallationManager/eclipse/tools so you can run the installation procedure from there:
imcl -acceptLicense input /InstallPortal/Portal8/Setup/responsefiles/iseries/wcm_standalone_full.xml -log /portal8install            

The install log will be a generated as the stream file /portal8install.  Kick back and grab some lunch because it may take a while to install all this stuff.

Good luck!


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Steve Pitcher › A Lotus Domino Server Installed/Patched In 57 Seconds

February 15th, 2013 Comments off
I had to load a new Domino server this afternoon for a new product we've purchased.  Once I hit the Enter key to set the server installer program into action I got up, walked twenty feet and refilled my cup with black coffee.  I had a quick look out the window and walked back to my laptop with the server ready to rock n' roll.

That was pretty fast...so I did another installation test and timed it at 76 seconds.

I traded tweets with Keith Brooks who interestingly did a upgrade time trial on Windows a few years ago.  Three minutes is pretty darn good for an upgrade, especially for a couple of years ago.

I decided to record a test installation and a test upgrade tonight on my Power Systems hardware and IBM i operating environment.  To be fair, I knew I could do better than my own 76 second test because it was in the middle of the business day with a few hundred users on the system hitting our ERP to Domino to Sametime and everything in between.

So tonight I installed an 8.5.1 server with Fix Pack 5.  First, how is that possible?  On this particular IBM i partition I have versions 8.5.0, 8.5.1, 8.5.2, 8.5.3 and 9 installed with a fix pack assigned to most of them.  The 8.5.1 licensed program has been "augmented" with FP5 which means any new or upgraded-to 8.5.1 server is by default at 8.5.1 FP5.  Any new or upgraded-to 8.5.2 server is at 8.5.2 FP2, etc.  This is just how Domino on IBM i works.  A Fix Pack patches all existing or future Domino servers for it's corresponding release.

This installation took 57 seconds.  Not half bad.



The upgrade from 8.5.1 FP5 to 8.5.3 took 1 minute and 50 seconds:
20 seconds to shut the server down.
70 seconds to update it to 8.5.3.
20 seconds to start the server back up, upgrade the NAB and load all tasks.  Note that a server reboot (IPL) is never required for this type of activity. 



I would really like to see someone do this with some serious iron.  Not that mine is anything to laugh at, but I'd want to see how fast you can do this on a higher end Power Systems server like a 770 or 795.  I'm running IBM i 7.1 TR5 on a lower end 6-way IBM Power Systems 8202-E4B (Power 720 Express) with 96 GB RAM.  The auxilliary storage pool Domino runs in has 2.5 TB disk on 20 drives.  How fast can a Domino install or upgrade really get?  If you can shave more seconds off then I'd love to hear about it.




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Steve Pitcher › Chocolate Chip Cookies

January 20th, 2013 Comments off


OK, this post is far from technical but I wanted to share it because I'm a big food guy.

I do a lot of the cooking in our house.  In the last few months I've been trying my hand at baking sweets, cookies, breads, etc.  I may even start a different blog for that type of content. 

I've made some decent chocolate chip cookies in the last little while but they turned out flat like a normal homemade cookie.  I wanted to get more "fluff" so I began playing around with cream cheese as a partial butter substitute.  They ended up really good. Almost like little fluffy chocolate chip cookie cakes but still retaining the "chewy" texture.


Ingredients:

    2 & 1/2 cups white flour
    1 cup sugar
    1 cup packed brown sugar
    2 eggs
    1 & 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    a dash of salt to taste
    8 ounces (around 250g) cream cheese
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    1 cup chocolate chips
    1/2 cup butter

Soften the butter and cream cheese.  Mix them together...it will start to look like cottage cheese at this point.  Add the sugar, brown sugar and vanilla and mix into a paste.  Add the eggs and mix.

Whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder.  Then add it slowly to the wet ingredient bowl stirring gradually.  The key is not to mix it too much.  Stir in the chocolate chips.

I scoop the cookies using a 1/4 cup measuring spoon.  I probably fit 11 or 12 onto a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. 

Bake for 15 minutes on 350 degrees.  Note that these won't brown up as normal cookies will so they'll look undone.  Take them out of the oven and cool on the pan for 1 minute.  Then transfer to a wire baking rack. 

You can adjust the amount of cream cheese to taste.  If it's too sharp tasting, then use 4 ounces instead of 8, and add 1 cup of butter instead of 1/2.



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Steve Pitcher › Business Agility and Efficiency with Consolidation

January 14th, 2013 Comments off
At IBM Connect, Tim Rowe, Roxanne Reynolds-Lair and I will review how business value can be achieved with the state-of-the-art collaboration solutions running on Power Systems while keeping a simplified, agile and efficient IT environment.

http://www.vivastream.com/events/connect2013/sessions/CUST112


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Steve Pitcher › Goodbye Active Directory?

December 29th, 2012 Comments off
For me, just maybe.  I'm going to at least give this a solid look.

We have a loose migration plan for all of our x64-based Microsoft Windows servers to IBM Power Systems.  All except our Active Directory servers.  We use those for Group Policy, Domain authentication, Domino web authentication, DNS and a few other familiar functions.

As per ZDNet, the release of Samba 4 appears to be a viable alternative to Active Directory.  More to come once I dig a bit more information about it.  I wonder if I can run it on IBM i?   :)

http://www.zdnet.com/samba-4-released-brings-free-alternative-to-active-directory-7000008654/



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Steve Pitcher › Selling the Metal!

December 17th, 2012 Comments off
Here's a piece I wrote for MC Press Online.  Check it out.

In the Wheelhouse: Selling the Metal

Let's dissect two studies that put IBM i at the top of the list for lowest total cost of ownership, total cost of acquisition, and total amounts of awesome! You want justification? You got it.

ITG Studies to Help You Sell the Metal


International Technology Group (ITG) recently published two studies that talk about total cost of ownership, total cost of acquisition, risk exposure, cost of downtime, and security/malware considerations for the IBM i. The contents, in general, are things we know already: IBM i on Power Systems is the best platform to run our businesses on because of the cost reductions, consolidation, integration, security, simplicity, and the operating environment's virus resistance. Although some of this is old news, there are some great facts in here, so we need to dissect it a little bit. Why? Have you ever had to justify IBM i to a decision-maker? Wouldn't you love to have some key published information at your disposal? Absolutely. Those platform features I mentioned are a tall order to fill on most systems and may even sound like a bunch of hot air to those outside the IBM i community. Think about it. If you were a Windows administrator and lived only in the Windows world, what would you think if I told you that I could sell you a widely deployed operating system that had no known viruses? You probably wouldn't believe me.

Read the full article here.


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Steve Pitcher › We’re Speaking At IBM Connect 2013!

December 14th, 2012 Comments off
Yes!  Now the real work begins!  All sessions are listed here
 
Session Business Agility and Efficiency with Consolidation
Program Lotusphere - For IT Practitioners
Track Track 08: Customer Case Studies (from an IT perspective)
Activity Type Lecture
Speaker(s) Tim Rowe, IBM; Steve Pitcher, Scotsburn Dairy Group; Roxanne Reynolds-Lair, Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising
Abstract In today’s flat world, successful businesses have their staff, customers and business partners connected. Critical collaboration technologies include: email, instant messaging, internet meetings, mobile access and social networking. This enables better and smarter decisions to be made quickly. Collaboration can mean IT environments are getting more complex forcing companies to spend time managing their environments and not their businesses. Steve Pitcher of Scotsburn Dairy and Roxanne Reynolds-Lair CIO of Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising will review how business value can be achieved with the state-of-the-art Collaboration Solutions running on Power Systems while keeping a simplified, agile and efficient IT environment.












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