Informing the IBM Community

New Software Enhancements for POWER Systems

(0) talked to Brandon Pederson earlier this month about the Software Enhancements for POWER System. (PW):      Hello Brandon, it’s nice to talk to you again, the last time we spoke back in April, Covid-19 was disrupting all our plans, cancelling all our conferences, and making us work from home. Not a lot has changed unfortunately on that front, but I understand IBM have been busy and have software Enhancements to announce?

 Brandon Pederson (BP):       Yes, IBM is continuing to invest in our clients’ success by delivering solutions to help them produce exceptional user experiences within hybrid cloud environments, ideal in the current circumstances where companies have their workforce working from home. On the 6th October IBM announced enhancements to our software stack as well as the latest IBM i Technology Refresh and AIX Technology Level that will be available later this year.

These enhancements are engineered to help our clients get the most out of their existing infrastructure while also preparing for the future by adopting hybrid cloud environments.

PW: –     How do you know what your clients require?

BP:-        We listen to closely to what our users need through various client and Business Partner advisory councils and deliver enhancements based on their input.

PW: –     That’s great, so User Groups and IBM champions in particular, not only help their members/followers, but enable you (IBM i) to hear what they require or would like on their POWER systems, so it’s a win-win situation!

So what have users being asking for?

BP:         Well, firstly there is;

                Hybrid cloud innovation

                With the latest release of IBM PowerVC, we will increase the scalability of virtual machines for greater flexibility within hybrid cloud environments. Deployment of cloned workloads will also be automated to help save time for operations and IT teams. For AIX and IBM I, we will introduce new Ansidble modules and open source packages to extend the use of a consistent skill set across more workloads. This can help clients further reduce the skills gap and increase innovation as they adopt hybrid cloud environments.

PW:        Ideal, as I refer to again that most people in the UK are working from home if they can, so this innovation seems right for the ‘times’. And again you are allowing Open Source to be used, something we spoke about back in October 2019, and great to see/hear that its being deployed.

BP:         Secondly,

Enhanced security

Security is baked into our entire Power Systems hardware and software portfolio, and we make security enhancements with every new release, and this announcement is no different. Multi-factor authentication will be built into PowerVC 2.0, and Power SC MFA Edition will be able to run on IBM i in addition to AIX and Linux. Users will be able to manage the security of AIX, IBM I and Linux environments from a single dashboard. New security features and capabilities are also included with the IBM I Technology Refresh (TR) and in the latest Technology Level of AIX 7.2.

PW:        Yep, security is always a major worry, whether it’s Cloud or On-Premis’ to be honest. Nice to hear you are making it simpler to use between different environments.

BP:         Thirdly,

                Business continuity

                Recently we have seen business continuity become more important than ever before. The last thing clients need is an unexpected outage when teams are working remotely and away from the date centre and the office. With the latest release of IBM Power HA SystemMirror, high availability and disaster recovery will be simplified and streamlined for clients. Users will be able to manage HA and DR from a single user interface, and fewer commands will be needed to deploy HA environments. At-a-glance systems health monitoring is designed to make life easier for systems administrators who are most likely still working at home and away from the data centre.

PW:        You have been busy and happy to know you have been listening to your clients request.

BP:         Indeed, feedback from our clients and IBM Champions is invaluable.

                What we have seen since the beginning of the pandemic is the uptake in the use of DB2 Web Query, and proving that  IBM i is the best for remote development and allowing business’ to continue during these difficult times, even allowing them to keep ahead of their competitors!

For example, an IBM i Champion for Power Systems,  Steve Bradshaw of Rowton IT, has been helping one of his and IBM’s clients, Albert Jagger, to continue their business running as normal while their employees are working remotely from home, using IBM systems.

PW:        I’ve heard of Steve (giggle!), TBH, I know Steve very well, he’s a regular contributor to and also the Technical Director of i-UG. What has he been doing for Albert Jagger?

BP:         Albert Jagger are just one of our IBM i Customer Stories that can be read on our website, but in-short IBM i and Rowton IT, made it possible for Albert Jagger to quickly adapt their operations so their teams could work remotely from home and stay safe, while keeping the business going, there was no disruption to their IT system.  Using Client Access Solutions, team members of Albert Jagger could connect their laptops to the Power Systems environment back at the office and proceed as usual, and because of this they were able to return to work 2-4 weeks earlier than expected.

PW;        Please send me the link to that story, I for one would like to read all about it as I’m sure our readers will too!

                Brandon, time has caught up with us as usual, it’s been a pleasure to talk to you again and hearing about the enhancements. I look forward to talking to you again in 2021.

Further details about Albert Jaggers story can be seen here:

Full details about IBM i enhancements can be found here: –

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