In time-honored tradition, IBM has announced technology refreshes for IBM i 7.5 (TR1) and 7.4 (TR7), and with them an array of features, of which there are a number of useful elements for System Administrators.
As ever, SQL Services continue to be an area of growth and this technology refresh is no exception with more than 30 new services added along with a number of enhancements to existing services. The majority of the new services are in two distinct areas: NVMe where password protection policies can now be applied to physical disks and managed, and Db2 Mirror for i where submitted job tracking has been implemented to allow administrators to check the status of a job submitted on a node, even if the originating node is unavailable. There have also been some improvements in error logging. Remember these services are best run via Access Client Solutions.
Navigator for i
Another heavily enhanced area is Navigator for i where many items have been improved. The management of the IBM i Audit Journal (QAUDJRN) has traditionally been a green screen task, but with the technology refresh that is no longer the case. From Navigator for i you can choose to view, obtain details, and chart data having it filtered by user. A real game-changer when compared to 5250 limitations.
Everybody’s go-to command WRKACTJOB has had an equivalent in Navigator for some time, but the technology refresh sees the introduction of different modes. In basic mode, which is the default and ideal for most, the speed has been dramatically improved. Other settings provided are ‘ALL’ which is somewhat slower as it returns every column of data and ‘WORK’ which is in between ‘ALL’ and ‘BASIC’ in providing data for some key work management elements. When drilling into an active job you can now delve into the SQL details if applicable.
Several monitoring items have been improved: When viewing the QSYSOPR message queue you can optionally see just messages requiring a reply, for storage checking both SYSBAS and IASPs can now be seen, and Systems Monitors have been enhanced now providing a mechanism for you to right-click to visualize the data being monitored.
With the Performance Tools licensed program no longer a chargeable product, IBM has enabled the use of both job watcher and disk watcher within Navigator.
The area of Intruder Detection has been introduced providing the capability to define rules designed to notify should possible intrusions be detected.
Within Db2 Mirror for i you no longer require PowerHA for IFS handling in certain configurations.
Power Virtual Server now provides hardware-based replication within the cloud with the announcement of Global Replication Services (GRS).
A new version (2.4.0) of Db2 Web Query was announced
Not specifically linked to the technology refreshes or IBM i specifically but worthy of a mention, all the same, is the fact that IBM documentation can now be used offline. Head to https://www.ibm.com/docs/en and after signing in you’ll be able to download technical documentation to a Windows PC (Mac is coming soon).
It should also be noted that in May 2022 a subscription offering for IBM i was announced.