The iSeries Blog

November 9, 2007  11:27 AM

The i5/OS blade: Confusion, then resolution

Mark Fontecchio Mark Fontecchio Profile: Mark Fontecchio

As I said in a previous post, the i5/OS blade isn’t coming until next year. That is still the case, despite some confusion borne by an IBM press release.

I found out about the press release from Chris Maxcer over at the System i Network, who wrote that System i blades were coming on Nov. 30 of this year. Maxcer said he was looking around IBM’s Project Big Green, which eventually led him to another press release about IBM and data center energy efficiency. Near the end of that release is this paragraph:

POWER6 processor-based Blade systems for AIX and Linux on POWER are scheduled to be available on BladeCenter H and BladeCenter HT chassis beginning November 30. A JS22 Express configuration, including 4 GB memory, a 73GB hard disk drive and BladeCenter H chassis is priced at $10,363.

There is that Nov. 30 date. Although there is a footnote tied to the date basically saying, “Don’t hold us to this date,” I was surprised that this date would be thrown out in a press release the same week that an IBM executive in the IBM Power Systems group told me they wouldn’t be out until the first half of next year.

So I followed through to figure out which was correct, and received this email from a third-party IBM PR rep: “The i5/OS won’t be available on the JS22 until the first half of next year; November 30th was a typo. I apologize for the confusion.”

Hey, no problem. As long as we got it right (then or eventually), it’s all good.

November 7, 2007  3:55 PM

i5/OS on blade server not coming until next year

Mark Fontecchio Mark Fontecchio Profile: Mark Fontecchio

There was plenty of talk earlier this year that a server blade running i5/OS might be ready by the end of this year, but in conversations I had this week from IBM’s Power systems group, that’s not going to happen.

Scott Handy, a marketing VP in the group, said i5/OS will be available on the Power6 blade in the first half of next year, presumably around the same time Power6 System i rack servers will be ready as well. He told me that “i5/OS isn’t ready yet.”

There’s another thing. A feature of the Power6 chip is Live Partition Mobility, which allows users to move an entire hard partition from one physical server to another without any downtime. Right now it’s available on AIX and Linux. Obviously it’s not available on i5/OS yet because there isn’t a Power6-based server running i5/OS yet, but Handy wouldn’t commit to me about whether it would be available for i5/OS, only saying that IBM is “working on it.”

November 6, 2007  4:29 PM

Vision Solutions’ Lakeview acquisition apparently paying off

Adam Trujillo Profile: Atrujillo

High availability and disaster recovery software provider Vision Solutions Inc. recently announced a significant increase in sales volume following the acquisition of Lakeview Technology.

According to the Irvine, Calif.-based company, Vision Solutions “closed more than 1,000 new sales of high availability, disaster recovery, and data management software,” more than 40% of which are to new customers. That’s good news for investors, but what about the people who actually use Vision’s products?

In an IM conversation with‘s John Brandt, sales is all Vision seems to be talking about. “My impression is that they are simply pushing for more sales,” Brandt said. He also added that the media has not said “a word about better functionality or better service” concerning Vision post-acquisition.

Does anybody else share this opinion? Send me your rants or raves or leave us a comment here.

November 6, 2007  8:51 AM

Web development software seeks cross-platform connections

Mark Fontecchio Mark Fontecchio Profile: Mark Fontecchio

A piece of System i web development software now has the ability to create programs that connect to Microsoft SQL Server databases and to MySQL databases on Windows, Linux and Unix platforms.

Business Computer Design International, Inc.’s WebSmart ILE v6.6 also has a new HTML editor to help programmers create applications and templates to create HTML, JavaScript and CSS files.

October 31, 2007  8:46 AM

i5/OS V6R1: joy or annoy?

Mark Fontecchio Mark Fontecchio Profile: Mark Fontecchio

You just have to love this sub-headline from MC Press Online’s article about the upcoming i5/OS V6R1: Will it be the Joy of Six (V6, that is) or the Annoy of Six?

October 31, 2007  8:45 AM

System i hardware upgrade calculator

Mark Fontecchio Mark Fontecchio Profile: Mark Fontecchio

Timothy Prickett Morgan at IT Jungle has put together a great resource for older AS/400 and iSeries shops that are thinking about upgrading to a System i model. Heck, the resource is great for those who aren’t thinking about upgrading, simply because it’s always good to consider options that you didn’t know you had.

And it’s no surprise that IBM is trying hard to sell new hardware; judging by revenue numbers over the past two years, IBM hasn’t done so well when it comes to System i hardware. At least part of that problem is the hardiness of the platform itself. We’ve all heard stories of System i machines sitting in corners, running for years without a hiccup. While it’s a blessing for the shops where that is the case, it can be a curse for IBM: Its customers are hesitant to fix what they don’t consider broken.

And so IBM has assembled a way to compare AS/400 and iSeries boxes with what it views as the ideal System i hardware upgrade. The site looks at processor performance, hardware and software maintenance, and power costs. To simplify it for you, Morgan put it in this awesome System i comparison table. Check it out. Bookmark it.

October 31, 2007  8:39 AM

RPG’s backward compatibility a mixed bag

Mark Fontecchio Mark Fontecchio Profile: Mark Fontecchio

RPG expert Paul Tuohy says the longtime programming language — whose history dates back to the days of punchcards — is anything but ancient and insists that IBM won’t let it die off.

But there are problems, he said. One of them is backward compatibility. What? Being able to run an RPG program from 30 years ago on today’s System i machine without having to recompile is a problem? Well, yes. Because it works, people are slow to adopt change, and are therefore not taking advantage of the new developments IBM has done with RPG.

Tuohy added that newer technologies like Java should be working in concert with RPG on the System i, not as a replacement. Tuohy suggests using Java to tweak the interface but keeping RPG to handle all the business logic, which he said it’s so good at.

October 30, 2007  2:13 PM

Database change mangement software gets upgrade

Mark Fontecchio Mark Fontecchio Profile: Mark Fontecchio

Excel Program Inventions has upgraded its Database Assistant software for the System i to include Control Language (CL) support and a feature to generate SQL for changed files.

Version 2.2 of EPI’s database change management software, called Database Assistant, is available now. Its goal is to reduce the manual programming effort needed to make changes to database files and RPG applications on the System i.

October 26, 2007  11:10 AM

Book auction to support FreeBSD

Adam Trujillo Profile: Atrujillo

Do you use open source software on your System i? Here is an opportunity to give back to the open source community.

Tech book publisher No Starch Press is auctioning a copy of its new pub, Absolutely FreeBSD by Michael W. Lucas, to raise money for the FreeBSD Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the Unix-like FreeBSD platform. The winner of the auction receives a signed copy of “Absolute FreeBSD” and a certificate of authenticity.

The ongoing auction runs through Nov. 2, 2007. The FreeBSD Foundation is using eBay’s charitable MissionFish service to provide this auction at a reduced rate.

October 24, 2007  10:00 AM

Lawson brings 64-bit support to Unix, not i5/OS

Mark Fontecchio Mark Fontecchio Profile: Mark Fontecchio

Lawson Software is bringing 64-bit support to HP-UX and AIX on its S3 ERP software, but i5/OS folks are going to have to wait.

Lawson has quite a few S3 software users on the System i platform, and yet it’s unclear when 64-bit support for i5/OS will be coming. The marketing director for Lawson told IT Jungle that it would come but didn’t specify when. Lawson also plans to have 64-bit support on S3 ERP software for Windows and Solaris.

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