IBM announced IBM i 7.4 TR9 and IBM i 7.5 TR3 on October 10, 2023, set for release on November 17. As ever it is full of features, but which features stand out for IBM i System Administrators?
IBM i Services
As is customary in Technology Refreshes in recent years IBM i Services gets an overhaul with a number of notable additions.
This function provides insights into the status of journal resources within a commitment control context. The data it retrieves closely mirrors the information displayed by the Display Journal Status feature found in the WRKCMTDFN command.
It is now possible to display attribute changes (AU) collated by the Audit Journal (QAUDJRN).
It is now possible to display link, unlink, or look up directory entry data collated by the Audit Journal (QAUDJRN).
Designed to present a summary of information on completed jobs and is the modern-day equivalent of DSPLOG MSGID(CPF1164)
Provides the capability to rename an IFS file or directory.
Provides a summary of jobs sitting on a job queue, irrespective of status.
The equivalent of using the 5250 green screen commands PING or VFYTCPCNN command.
Presents detail as seen via the DSPPTFCVR command.
A further 12 IBM i Services have been enhanced.
The QSYS2.PROCESS_SYSTEM_LIMITS_ALERTS procedure can be used to check for any tracked limits that have exceeded their alerting level in the last 24 hours. It performs the same checks that are done by the system when it processes alerts. If a limit has reached its alerting level, message SQL7062 is sent to the QSYSOPR message queue.
IBM Access Client Solutions (ACS)
Version 22.214.171.124 of the popular ACS tool includes a selection of enhancements designed:
Within the Run SQL Scripts interface adding to the tabs that were previously introduced comes the ability to perform searches across all open tabs.
Management of the IFS is always challenging but has been made easier with the introduction of a user-defined default location (path). In addition, you are now able to specify a maximum number of concurrent uploads/downloads, particularly useful as these activities can be quite resource hungry on the client.
IBM Navigator for i
As an IBM i System Administrator, it's crucial to have efficient tools for managing and accessing your IBM i systems. The latest enhancements in the IBM Navigator for i interface bring a large array of improvements that cater to the needs of administrators.
Navigating and managing data is now more user-friendly with improved table filter options. You'll find that filters are now "remembered" when you switch between systems using the system tray, simplifying the process of maintaining your filter preferences. Additionally, you can save filter values as part of your favorite's registration, making it easier to apply specific filters when you need them.
When it comes to managing work, you'll find several improvements. You can create a new printer based on an existing entry, streamlining the process. The addition of the job name under the threads table in active subsystems makes it easier to track jobs. Active jobs are now ordered by run priority, with subsystem performance data conveniently displayed. With the addition of remote output queues, you have more options when it comes to printing tasks with the ability to end, hold, or create a remote output queue, making printing management more versatile.
The IFS, a critical part of the system is now easier to manage via Navigator for i. When you access the IFS, the initial view is sorted in ascending order by default. Additionally, in the locked files display, you now have the option to view usage details, providing valuable insights into file activity.
Managing your system's performance is now more convenient in Navigator for i, allowing you to adjust the ratio when copying to the System Monitor panel, ensuring that the data you see aligns with your preferences.
In the PTF Panel, space is used more efficiently when displaying cover letter details. Moreover, the new work hardware resources panel simplifies the ability to view and manage hardware resources on the system.
Security management is crucial for system administrators, and enhancements in IBM Navigator make it more straightforward. The alignment of system values and audit configuration simplifies the auditing and security configuration process. In addition, security configuration values are now displayed as 'Yes' or 'No,' making it easier to interpret audit information. System values for auditing now redirect to the audit configuration page for streamlined management.
Support for the Advanced Job Scheduler, now offered as a no-cost licensed program, has been improved by offering additional functions, allowing for more precise scheduling and automation of tasks via Navigator for i.
Digital Certificate Manager
Users on IBM i can now make digital certificates with multiple domain names and IP addresses (both IPv4 and IPv6 formats) in one certificate. This way, one certificate can work with multiple server resources and be trusted by the client application.
Db2 Mirror for i
Db2 Mirror for i, IBM’s continuous availability solution, is now enriched with a host of new features. These include the introduction of a dedicated "Health Center" section within the graphical user interface (GUI), providing administrators with fresh perspectives on the product's performance and status. Additionally, the updates encompass improved insights into the utilization of mirrored data queues and enhancements in the resynchronization process.
IBM PowerHA® SystemMirror® for i
In the upcoming release, 4.10.2, scheduled for launch in December 2023, IBM is set to introduce a crucial enhancement that directly addresses a common challenge faced by system administrators during server failures when it's paramount to identify quickly and accurately what was running on the system at the moment of failure. With this enhancement, administrators will have the ability to selectively pinpoint specific job queues, allowing them to focus on jobs that were actively running or recently active at the exact time of the server failure. This targeted approach not only simplifies the task but also accelerates system recovery, minimizing downtime and potential disruptions.
IBM has upgraded the BRMS user administration services with new SQL procedures. The first enhancement is specifically designed to empower administrators by providing a comprehensive view of user access and functional authority within BRMS. This means you can now easily track and manage the functional authority usage of specified users across different BRMS functional areas. This granular insight helps you maintain control and security, ensuring that your backup and recovery operations are aligned with your organization's access policies. The second delivers a method of utilizing reporting capabilities to merge the backups from two servers into a single report, simplifying backups and therefore, recovery.
Note: IBM i 7.4 TR9 is supported on Power8, Power9, and Power10 while IBM i 7.5 TR3 is supported on Power9 and Power10.