The iSeries Blog

October 3, 2007  12:33 PM

Raz-Lee announces SSL support

Adam Trujillo Profile: Atrujillo

System i security vendor Raz-Lee Security Inc. announced Monday support for SSL enforcement in iSecurity Firewall, a move Raz-Lee says constitutes a major improvement in Firewall. Although many sites allow Telnet access without SSL, they often insist that ODBC access use SSL capabilities. Often times though, different types of equipment in company’s branch offices include differing levels of SSL support, giving rise to the need for security tools.

Shmuel Zailer, CEO of Raz-Lee Security said that previously “the only way to implement user to port rules was to use the OS/400 Port Restriction capabilities [which often] resulted in unacceptable performance degradation.”

Additionally, Zailer said that ” OS/400 Port Restriction does not have simulation capabilities and its logging file is not part of the standard log files provided by OS/400.” The activity log file produced is part of iSecurity Firewall’s standard log file and simulation mode is available prior to “live” implementation, preventing what may be serious networking errors.

October 3, 2007  7:55 AM

Systems integrator says i reorganization is overdue

Mark Fontecchio Mark Fontecchio Profile: Mark Fontecchio

Chris Maxcer interviewed Kevin Fratzke, vice president of MSI Systems Integrator, about IBM’s decision to split the System i division into two halves. Fratzke actually says it was an overdue move:

For several years, we have been wondering when IBM would make a change like this. The customers are different from several perspectives — smaller customers tend to stick with ISV packaged solutions with less customization around them. Also, the technical skills and investments required to sell to these two customer bases, from an IBM Business Partner’s perspective, are very different.

As is often the case with System i related blogs, the comments are just as interesting — if not more so — than the original post. Make sure you set aside time to read through them, as it may take a little while.

October 3, 2007  7:42 AM

A little history lesson on punch cards and RPG

Mark Fontecchio Mark Fontecchio Profile: Mark Fontecchio

Jon Paris over at iDevelop, a blog of the IBM Systems Magazine Web site, gives a little history lesson regarding RPG and punch cards.

The impetus was a little back-and-forth at a recent Common user group event that had Paris thinking that a lot of people in IT don’t know the background and history of the technology that they’re using. Paris goes into some detail about how RPG today reflects the use of punch cards in the past (for example, in the use of the word “zone” in RPG). He also makes an interesting calculation regarding punch cards and digital music files. Check it out.

September 27, 2007  2:22 PM

New System i high availability resource

Adam Trujillo Profile: Atrujillo

High availability and disaster recovery for IBM System i provider, Vision Solutions, announced a new online HA and DR blog today. Leading Vision’s blogging effort, which has been christened UPTIMES, is Alan Arnold,the company’s CTO. His first post is an example of how HA is important to the online banking industry.

A brief search for other System i HA blogs yielded few results, though there are definitely many resources available for general System i information (see The iSeries Blog blogroll).

September 26, 2007  8:03 AM

iSociety chat about i5/OS V6R1

Mark Fontecchio Mark Fontecchio Profile: Mark Fontecchio

We’ve talked a lot on this blog about the iSociety, that MySpace-like page for System i fan(atic)s. Every once in a while, the iSociety hosts a “fireside chat,” which is basically the same as an online chat except….well, there are no differences except that iSociety calls it a “fireside chat.”

Still, they’re very cool. Mark Shearer did one when he used to be part of the System i division, when there used to be a definitive System i division. Other ones have focused on VoIP, MySQL and PHP.

Well, the most recent one last week focused on i5/OS V6R1, the newest iteration of the System i5/OS operating system. The chat focused on converting to V6R1 rather than the feature list of the operating system version. If you missed it, no worries. The iSociety chat’s transcript is online.

September 25, 2007  5:45 PM

IBM System i making splash with Infor, Siemens

Mark Fontecchio Mark Fontecchio Profile: Mark Fontecchio

IBM continues to make partnerships that strengthen the System i platform, Lee Kroon writes in an article about IBM, Infor and Siemens.

Kroon references two recent conferences, Inforum and VoiceCon. At Inforum, Infor and IBM announced a partnership to target smaller businesses with Infor’s ERP software on IBM’s hardware, including Linux on System i.

Meanwhile, at VoiceCon, IBM and Siemens announced an agreement to work on IP telephony products, also called Voice over IP or VoIP, together. This has been a big push from IBM this year — trying to get companies to move their telecommunications business over to the i.

September 25, 2007  5:19 PM

Common Focus closing in

Mark Fontecchio Mark Fontecchio Profile: Mark Fontecchio

Common, the System i users group, will be holding its second conference this year. Called Common Focus, it is part of the group’s refocusing of its efforts to have one main show in the spring and then a more developer-focused show in the fall.

This year, the fall conference is in Columbus, Ohio and runs Oct. 14-17. Even though we’ve been told that reporters aren’t allowed at this one (sour grapes!), we still recommend you check it out. Common conferences are a good way for System i people to connect and learn.

September 20, 2007  7:55 PM

Websydian announces CA Plex web development tool

Adam Trujillo Profile: Atrujillo

Programmers will have new model-based development options when Websydian Web Developer+, the web client for CA Plex, becomes available in December, says co-developer ADC Austin.

According to ADC Austin, this “new development tool enables CA Plex development shops to make direct HTML deployment of existing applications without development, as well as deployment of new applications in a standard J2EE Web server environment.”

Websydian Web Developer+ is currently in a limited beta phase, but will become generally available in December through Websydian, ADC Austin and a network of Websydian and CA partners.

September 18, 2007  9:24 PM

IBM the SMB follower with Shorty now out

Mark Fontecchio Mark Fontecchio Profile: Mark Fontecchio

Timothy Prickett Morgan at IT Jungle has a great column reviewing Hewlett-Packard’s release of the BladeSystem c3000, nicknamed “Shorty.” The new HP chassis can hold eight blades, sits 10.5 inches high and draws from a regular 120-volt wall outlet.

Morgan said this is exactly what IBM should be doing with its blades, and it should have done that — and offered i5/OS in the blade format — a long time ago. Morgan argues that HP is making a better pitch than IBM to the small and medium businesses (SMBs) that are looking to fill their small data centers or server closets with compact hardware that doesn’t throw off a lot of heat.

September 18, 2007  9:00 PM

The iSeries mainframe

Mark Fontecchio Mark Fontecchio Profile: Mark Fontecchio

Check out this quote from a local story in the Dodge City Daily Globe, which serves southwest Kansas. The quote refers to some purchases the local government recently made (bold type is my emphasis):

Approved the purchase of a 2000 Bluebird LTC40 motor coach bus for $140,000, as well as an iSeries mainframe computer for $69,658.

Now on its face, it doesn’t seem like much, right? Just a typo from the reporter, maybe. But the thing is that the reporter probably got that language from the town, which probably got it from one of its IT workers, who obviously seems to feel that the iSeries is a mainframe, or at the very least, is like a smaller mainframe.

Maybe I’m making too much out of this, but I think a lot of people out there probably think of the System i as a mini-mainframe. It’s reliable, it’s secure, etc. On the downside, if you want to call it that, is people may be thinking of the System i as a legacy architecture, just like the mainframe. I don’t know if that’s necessarily a bad thing; I’m just throwing it out there.

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