IBM i 7.2 OS Upgrades

IBM_i_OS_UpgradeIf an upgrade to your current IBM i (OS/400 or i5/OS) operating system is something you’ve been putting off for quite some time, then the time has certainly come.

With IBM’s latest release of IBM i version 7.2, this release is packed with some really cool things. How long can you afford to keep waiting?  First, let me say that we have been a beta site for IBM i 7.2 over the last 3 to 4 months, and this release has been rock solid.  Very impressive when you see on announcement day the really cool features that IBM has added to this release.

Upgrades, updates, PTFs, enhancements are nothing new to the IBM i community.  IBM has heavily invested in what was OS/400 up to what we now call IBM i during the last 26 years. While they have certainly changed the methodology of delivering new features and functions in 7.1 with Technology Refreshes, the new enhancements were what we needed.

Technology Refreshes have been coming out every 6 months over the last 4 years for 7.1, and you should have been taken advantage of these to quickly and easily get the new enhancements.  Of course, if you weren’t on 7.1 you couldn’t take advantage of these as 6.1 didn’t have them, and V5R4 is ancient.

IBM i 7.2 is overflowing with enhancements.

Some of the changes are major and provide some DB2 security functionality that has quite honestly been missing is now here.  One of the few short comings of IBM i has been in order to give security to another user, you had to have rights to the object you were giving security on.

A great example is the System Administrator who has to have all rights to the payroll master file in order to give the payroll users access to this file.  This has been enhanced with 7.2, so that the System Administrator doesn’t need to have access to give access, and you can prevent someone with *ALLOBJ authority from viewing the contents of a file.  One of the many cool new features and functions of IBM i 7.2.

If you are still on V5R4 you need to get serious about upgrading. 

The features of V5R4 when compared to 7.2, is like the features of 1972 Ford Pinto, compared to a fully loaded 2014 Lamborghini.  Once you have upgraded past V5R4 to either 6.1 or 7.1, then the upgrade to 7.2 is rather easy.  Like any upgrade, there are changes that you must be aware of in the new release, there are PTFs that must be installed on the current release for a smooth upgrade, and there are pre-requisites that must be checked before the upgrade.

If you want to take advantage of the new Power8 machines, IBM has already stated these machines will only run 7.1 or 7.2.  I think that is certainly fair, as IBM i 7.1 has been released now for over 4 years, and it is an extremely mature and stable operating system.

Each month our iTech Solutions newsletters have tips and techniques about new features and functions that have been incorporated into either a Technology Refresh or a new release of IBM i.  You can be assured that we will be uncovering more and more 7.2 goodies over the next few months. Click here to sign-up for our newsletter.  

The new Power8 machines, while they are only on the low end will provide amazing performance for many customers. 

While IBM has yet to roll out the entire line, or discuss external card draws, what they have announced will run circles around most system in the market place.  I really like this new S814 machine, as it has amazing power, great amount of disk space internally in the CEC, and a machine that can truly perform lots of I/O Operations per second with the beefy disk controllers.

I will be presenting a how to successfully perform upgrades to IBM I 7.2 at COMMON next week, but a few items that you might want to start reviewing.

  • If you are still on V5R4 then upgrading directly to 7.1 is the way to go, as you won’t be able to upgrade directly to 7.2 from V5R4.
  • Missing out on the next generation of hardware, as IBM has already stated that Power8 will require 7.1 or 7.2 of IBM i, so time to start the process.
  • Your load source drive needs to be 70GB before upgrading to IBM i 7.2.
  • If the IBM i partition is using disks with 512-byte sectors, for example a partition hosted by IBM i or IBM i on storage that is attached by Virtual SCSI, the storage that is allocated for the load source needs to be approximately 80 GB to allow the IBM i partition to see the required 70 GB.
  • Before upgrading your system to IBM i 7.2, additional space needs to be allocated on your load source for the licensed internal code.
  • If you are using Java, Java 1.4.2 (option 13) and Java 5.0 (option 8 and 9) are no longer supported, you will need to upgrade your applications beforehand.
  • If you are running WebSphere Application Server, then before upgrading to IBM i 7.2, make sure you are at the minimum required level: for V8.0 need to be on 8.0.0.8 and for V8.5 need to  be at 8.5.5.2
  • If you are running Power5 generation hardware, then you won’t be able to upgrade to 7.2.  Contact iTech Solutions to help with your hardware upgrade as well.

The good news is that both 6.1 and 7.1 upgrades are primed and ready.

IBM is certainly nudging IBM i users in that direction with their latest Technology Refresh. In addition, 7.2 has been an extremely stable release during beta testing, and we will be recommending to our customers to upgrade and take advantage of all the cool new things that it has to offer.

More good news: iTech Solutions can handle your system upgrade without putting a major dent in your budget or workflow.

Our plan will enable you to upgrade to 6.1, 7.1, or 7.2 seamlessly, affordably, and painlessly. Moreover, we can handle the entire upgrade process—from investigation, planning, and implementation—within the six month timeframe. In addition, if you would like to run your applications on another machine at 6.1, 7.1, or 7.2 to further test before your actual upgrade, we can provide you with a machine in the cloud or a loaner machine.

IBM i 7.2 is ready for Production, now it’s your turn to get your OS upgraded. Schedule a complimentary Technology Assessment with one of our experts. 

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