IBM i 7.5: What’s New in IBM i System Administration – Software Engineering of America

IBM i October 12, 2022

With IBM i 7.5, IBM introduced several significant system administration changes to the operating system.

Today, let’s look at what’s new with IBM i 7.5 system administration, and where it can affect the average shop.

Some of the key changes introduced with IBM i 7.5 system administration include:

General system administration enhancements
New Integrated File System Exit Points for Opening & Closing IFS Objects
IBM Access Client Solutions (ACS) V 1.1.9 enhancements
Audit Journal Support Available in IBM Navigator for i
Default IBM Navigator for i Access Immediately Changed to *DENIED
IBM Job Scheduler Now Runs Yearly Jobs
Holding the IBM i Job Scheduler While Jobs are Running
IBM i compression with ZLIB algorithm
New base year support for two-digit year date formats
Where can I find the IBM i 7.5 announcement?
What IBM Power hardware do I need to run IBM i 7.5?

This is the second in a series of blog posts covering the enhanced capabilities introduced in IBM i 7.5.

Today’s post covers major IBM i 7.5 system administration changes. Click here to see the security changes introduced in i 7.5.

i 7.5 included these general enhancements for system administration.

IBM i 7.5 supports a maximum of 48 processors per partition in SMT8 mode. If you’re interested in using even more processors, IBM states that SMT8 mode can scale up to 240 processors per partition with a Lab Services engagement.
Service tools has been modified to display detailed information about any Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) devices on the system. NVMe support was added to i 7.4.
i 7.5 reduced the number of operator panel functions and simplified the operator panel sequence for servers that aren’t managed by a hardware management console (HMC) or another management interface. Check IBM’s documentation for more information.
IBM reduced the amount of time needed for a Cluster Resource Group (CRG) switchover

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New Integrated File System Exit Points for Opening & Closing IFS Objects

i 7.5 provides two new exit points for performing additional processing whenever a file system object is opened or closed. The new exit points are:

Integrated File System Open Exit Program (QIBM_QP0L_OBJ_OPEN): Provides additional processing when an IFS object is opened
Integrated File System Close Exit Program (QIBM_QP0L_OBJ_CLOSE): Provides additional processing when an IFS object is closed.

These exit points can be used to provide additional processing for objects in the root (/), QOpenSys, user-defined and QDLS file systems, which can be helpful in enhancing security and battling viruses and ransomware. These exit programs can only exist in a basic user ASP or system ASP. They cannot exist in an independent ASP.

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New Access Client capabilities include being able to group systems into logical groupings (groups). ACS’s Run SQL Scripts capability has also been enhanced to support Tabs, allowing users to have separate SQL scripts open and being modified at the same time.

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New Audit Journal support is now available in IBM Navigator for i. Navigator will allow you to view audit journal entry type counts on a daily or weekly basis. This new support also includes a detailed view for specific audit journal types in a table format, accessible from the daily or weekly views.

IBM Navigator Audit Journal support is also available in i 7.4 and i 7.3 with specific PTF groups installed. However, i 7.5 covers more entry types than the earlier releases.

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In i 7.5, IBM changed the default setting for IBM Navigator access to *DENIED, as specified in QIBM_NAV_ALL_FUNCTION. Loading i 7.5 (or PTF groups for i 7.4 & 7.3) will automatically restrict access to IBM Navigator functions for many users. *SECOFR-enabled and *ALLOBJ-enabled users will still retain access to all IBM Navigator functionality.

Access to the new IBM Navigator for i interface will be controlled by using Function Usage IDs, which provides user access to different IBM Navigator high-level categories. This will allow user profiles to have access to only the Navigator functions they are specifically allowed to use.

More information on this change can be found in the IBM Navigator for I – Function Usage IDs page.

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IBM added a new *YEARLY value to the Frequency (FRQ) parameter of the Add Job Schedule Entry (ADDJOBSCDE) parameter. *YEARLY job entries allow you to create jobs that will run once per year. This will be useful for end of year processing and other yearly processing.

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The IBM i Job Scheduler itself can now be held with no new jobs submitted, by using two new values on the Hold Job Scheduler Entry (HLDJOBSCDE) and the Release Job Scheduler Entry (RLSJOBSCDE) commands. Adding the *JOBSCDE value to the Job name (JOB) parameter on the HLDJOBSCDE stops the Job Scheduler from submitting new jobs. Adding *JOBSCDE to the JOB parameter on the RLSJOBSCDE command notifies the Job Scheduler that it can start releasing new jobs again. See IBM’s Job Scheduler Enhancements page for more details.

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The new OS includes another option for data compression: the ZLIB algorithm. IBM states that ZLIB is faster than previous algorithms and may produce a smaller result, depending on your data’s compressibility. When running on a Power10 processor, the ZLIB algorithm automatically uses the on-chip Nest Accelerator (NX) GZIP, which may also result in faster and less-CPU intensive compression than using other options.

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In all IBM i versions, the i OS default method for processing dates entered with a two-digit year format (YY) as belonging to either the 20th (19YY) or 21st century (20YY), uses these criteria for determining the date’s century.

Years 40 to 99 correspond to 1940 through 1999 (20th century)
Years 00 to 39 correspond to 2000 through 2039 (21st century)

IBM i 7.5 keeps these default assumptions. But i 7.5 also adds a new QIBM_BASEYEAR environment variable that provides limited support for changing the base date range to January 1, 1970, through December 31, 2069. The QIBM_BASEYEAR variable can be specified for all new jobs in the system, or it can be set for individual jobs only.

When QIBM_BASEYEAR is not set, the system will default to the old default base year date listed above. Also be aware that this is limited support. Check IBM’s documentation for additional limitations or steps to take in implementing the new 1970 base year support.

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You can read IBM’s entire announcement by clicking here. However, some additional changes listed here can also be found in the IBM i 7.5 base enhancements page.

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IBM i 7.5 is only supported on select IBM Power9 and Power10 systems. To understand what IBM i OS version will run on your Power processors, consult IBM’s system to IBM i mapping Web site. If you’re running IBM i in the cloud or at an MSP, consult your provider to see if you’re eligible to upgrade your IBM i systems to i 7.5.

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