Analysis / Commentary


In the Wheelhouse: Why You Need to Be at COMMON PDF Print E-mail
Analysis - Commentary
Written by Steve Pitcher   
Monday, 20 April 2015 00:00

The value of the premier Power Systems user group is not to be missed.

steve pitcherWritten by Steve Pitcher

By the time you read this, there will be less than one week before the COMMON User Group Annual Meeting and Exposition starts in Anaheim, California. Ideally, you are already registered, have your hotel and flight booked, and are making short-term arrangements with the office to ensure things go as smoothly as they can whilst you're away. If you're like me, you've been half-heartedly plotting secretly with yourself to buy a cheap car in California to drive down to Mexico and rent jet skis for a living, never to return to the snowy Northeast. I may even send for the wife and kids.

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Last Updated on Monday, 20 April 2015 00:00
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In the Wheelhouse: Adventures in Modernization PDF Print E-mail
Analysis - Commentary
Written by Steve Pitcher   
Monday, 16 March 2015 00:00

Modernization is a journey, not a destination.

steve pitcherWritten by Steve Pitcher

This topic has been on my company's radar for a little while now. A few months ago, we started the implementation process to migrate to a new ERP package, which fell in line with a POWER8 upgrade. This is quite a major overhaul of core systems and will continue well into the year. I'm sure I'll have tales of ERP project pitfalls and successes over the coming months, so stay tuned for that.

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Last Updated on Monday, 16 March 2015 00:00
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In the Wheelhouse: Thoughts After My POWER8 Upgrade PDF Print E-mail
Analysis - Commentary
Written by Steve Pitcher   
Monday, 02 March 2015 00:00

After an upgrade, it's important to reflect on the change and compare your new environment with the old.

steve pitcherWritten by Steve Pitcher

SSDs and HMCs are my new must-have.

 

We migrated from a pair of Power Systems 720s to new Power Systems S814s in January. For this upgrade, we altered our environment a few different ways from how we traditionally set it up.

 

The biggest change that affected mindset was the addition of a Hardware Management Console (HMC).

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Last Updated on Monday, 02 March 2015 00:00
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In the Wheelhouse: Is That the New AS/400? PDF Print E-mail
Analysis - Commentary
Written by Steve Pitcher   
Monday, 19 January 2015 00:00

We are now in an age where the AS/400 green-screen application interface has become counter-productive. And the name plays a part.

steve pitcherWritten by Steve Pitcher

Sorry. It's not the new AS/400. It's not the new iSeries. It's not the new System i.

 

I now possess two IBM Power S814 servers. As the delivery company was rolling them down the halls and putting them darn near horizontal to get them under the door frames, I heard someone exclaim, "Wow! Is that the new AS/400?"

 

Absolutely not!

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Last Updated on Monday, 19 January 2015 00:00
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In the Wheelhouse: Money for Nothing PDF Print E-mail
Analysis - Commentary
Written by Steve Pitcher   
Monday, 05 January 2015 00:00

A question for software companies that charge an unreasonable fee when you simply change your hardware: what the heck is wrong with you?

steve pitcherWritten by Steve Pitcher

I have two new six-core IBM Power Systems S814 boxes on the way to my data center as I write this. These machines will replace our two existing six-core Power Systems 720s that are getting a little long in the tooth. We put them in place in 2010 and got a good four-plus years out of them. With all six cache batteries having been replaced and about six disk drives replaced, she's starting to show her age. Plus we're about ready to move onto a new vendor-supported ERP, replacing our homegrown systems we've built and customized ourselves for the last 40 years or so. Exciting times and a lot of hard work ahead.

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Last Updated on Monday, 05 January 2015 00:00
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In the Wheelhouse: The Real POWER of COMMON PDF Print E-mail
Analysis - Commentary
Written by Steve Pitcher   
Monday, 15 December 2014 00:00

The value of a user group is usually gauged by the collaboration within it's members. Let me tell you why COMMON does one better.

steve pitcherWritten by Steve Pitcher

The first weekend of each December is when this brave columnist and his fellow Common Americas Advisory Council (CAAC) members brave the cold and travel to Rochester, Minnesota, to meet with IBM for two days of meetings where we represent the collective community of the COMMON Americas User Group. While I can't discuss in specific detail what we talk about, I will tell you that there is a tremendous amount of collaboration between the CAAC and IBM. This benefits independent software vendors (ISVs), IBM Business Partners, and most certainly Power Systems customers. The CAAC has a counterpart organization affiliated with COMMON Europe that gives IBM a perspective from the European Power Systems community as well.

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Last Updated on Monday, 05 January 2015 09:15
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In the Wheelhouse: Green-Screen Management Is Dead PDF Print E-mail
Analysis - Commentary
Written by Steve Pitcher   
Monday, 17 November 2014 00:00

Our community deserves so much better than to languish about managing our systems via the green-screen.

steve pitcherWritten by Steve Pitcher

I was at the COMMON User Group Fall Conference and Expo a few weeks ago, where I presented a session called "Modernizing Systems Management with IBM Navigator for i." The overall turnout for the conference was pretty good, considering it was a fall conference and Indianapolis isn't the warmest place on Earth at the tail end of October.

 

I had a number of purposes for this session. The first was to update perceptions of IBM i administrators. While there is a time and place for the command line, the idea of managing a modern system exclusively through a text-based interface is old school.

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Last Updated on Monday, 17 November 2014 00:00
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In the Wheelhouse: The Question of Hiring IBM i Talent PDF Print E-mail
Analysis - Commentary
Written by Steve Pitcher   
Monday, 15 September 2014 00:00

Hiring new people may not be as complicated as we make it out to be.

steve pitcherWritten by Steve Pitcher

My task this spring was to hire a developer. We knew which way the business wanted to grow and needed some additional full-time development help to begin with. We had some "legacy" IBM Domino applications that desperately needed a refresh in terms of functionality and web enablement, plus we needed to be more flexible in doing custom development to augment the primary ERP systems. Also, the ability for new apps to be built with a responsive design was a must-have, given our growing demand for mobile computing.

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Last Updated on Friday, 12 September 2014 11:07
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