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Availability and i: Hardware-Level and Logical Solutions

High Availability / Disaster Recovery
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There are a number of high availability solutions for IBM i-based systems, but they can be broken down into two broad classes: hardware-level and logical. Each has unique qualities.

 

Reliability has been a hallmark of the AS/400 since its inception. Careful design and integrated hardware and software gave it a reputation as a system that almost never crashed. Nonetheless, reliability does not equal availability. Databases must be backed up and reorganized. Operating systems must be upgraded. And disasters can happen. Any of these incidents can create system unavailability.

 

For many organizations, reliability is necessary but not sufficient. Depending on the nature of their business, downtime may be unthinkable.

 

A major factor in the increased sensitivity to downtime is the current dependence on IT. When companies first computerized, they maintained manual systems that they could revert to if necessary. That's often no longer the case. Now, a system stoppage typically creates a business stoppage. For a large company, this may mean that operations worth millions of dollars an hour come to a halt.

 

Plus, lengthy system outages can create a perception of an inept company in the eyes of customers, suppliers, and industry watchdogs. The resulting profitability and viability impacts may be far greater than the loss of sales attributed directly to a system downtime event.

 

For some companies, availability isn't an option. It's mandatory. An increasingly rigorous regulatory environment forces many organizations to address their data availability issues. This is particularly true in the financial services and healthcare sectors, as well as in publicly traded companies.

 

This article reviews some of the unique features of IBM i that influence data and application availability, examines options for increasing availability on IBM i, looks at the role of IBM HA Business Partners, and offers some suggestions for helping you choose the most appropriate HA solution for your organization.

Unique IBM i Platform Technologies

AS/400 has always been a unique platform. Despite the merging of what had been the System i and System p hardware platforms into Power Systems, that uniqueness remains.

 

This section will review some of the distinctive features of the platform, including the following:

  • Single-level store
  • Switchable Independent Auxiliary Storage Pools (IASPs)
  • OS-level remote and local journaling.

Single-Level Store

Single-level store, also referred to as single-level storage, was a founding technology in AS/400 and probably its most widely discussed unique feature. With a single-level store architecture, IBM i treats all storage—both main memory and attached disks—as a single large memory organized into a two-dimensional view of address spaces.

 

In many cases, this reduces the number of instructions that the operating system has to execute to access and manage storage. The result is improved application and operating system performance.

 

It is important to note that neither programmers nor users would suffer if they remained ignorant of the existence of the single-level store because data objects on IBM i are accessed by name, never by address. The single-level store is relevant only much closer to the machine level than any human typically sees.

 

Switchable IASPs

In IBM i-speak, an Auxiliary Storage Pool (ASP) is simply a software definition of a collection of disk storage units. An IASP is similar, the difference being that an IASP is a collection of storage that you can bring online or take offline independent of the rest of the storage on a system—hence the "I," which stands for "Independent."

 

IASPs can be either switchable or non-switchable. Switchable IASPs can be easily switched between different IBM i-based systems.

 

Clearly, all systems that will potentially use a switchable IASP must be able to address that storage. To facilitate this, switchable IASPs make use of the IBM i clustering framework to control the allocation of IASP address ranges. When an IASP is created, the entire assigned range of system addresses is reserved on all systems that can access the IASP.

 

OS-Level Journaling

Journaling is at the heart of most logical HA solutions, but it also plays a part in some hardware-level technologies. When an object is enrolled in the journal, any update to that object is written first to the journal and then to the database itself. While it might seem counterintuitive, the journal is thus more up-to-date than the database itself. As such, the journal is invaluable for HA.

 

In addition to local journaling, IBM i also offers remote journaling that writes transaction information to both the local journal and to journal receivers running on another system. This second system can be in the same room, or it might be on the other side of the globe. If the remote replica is in another location, it should be distant enough that it will not be affected by any disaster that may befall the primary server.

 

Remote journaling can operate in either synchronous or asynchronous mode. Synchronous remote journaling first sends transactions to the remote journal receivers. Those transactions are written to the local journals and the local database only after the local system receives an acknowledgement from the remote journal receivers indicating that they have successfully received the transactions.

 

The benefits and drawbacks of synchronous and asynchronous journaling are readily apparent.

 

When using synchronous journaling, because user transactions are not considered to be complete until they have been received by the remote journals, the remote journal is even more up-to-date than the local journals at any point in time. Thus, 100 percent of transaction data can be recovered if a disaster or other failure strikes the local system.

 

On the other hand, because user transactions are held in abeyance until the remote journal has received them and acknowledged their receipt, network bottlenecks may result in unacceptably slow user response times. For this reason, synchronous journaling is rarely used when great distances separate the primary and remote systems.

Hardware-Level HA

IBM i offers a variety of hardware-level HA facilities either inherent in the operating system or as optional components, including the following:

  • Switchable I/O pools
  • Switchable storage towers
  • LUN-level switching
  • XSM Geographic Mirroring
  • PPRC Metro Mirroring
  • PPRC Global Mirroring

 

The first four of these technologies maintain only a single store of your data that can then be switched between IBM i-based servers. As such, they do not, on their own, offer protection against data destruction.

 

The technologies discussed below make use of or can make use of IBM Cluster Resource Services to maintain cluster nodes, monitor node availability, and provide switchover/failover functionality.

 

Switchable I/O Pools

A switchable I/O pool is configured on a disk internal to an IBM i-based system. It can be switched between two or more LPARs within that system. This can be useful when, for example, installing a software upgrade in one partition. When the upgrade is complete, the I/O pool can be switched between the two partitions with little or no operational downtime.

 

Switchable Storage Towers

Switchable tower technology is similar to switchable I/O pools, but rather than being internal disk units, the storage is contained in a tower that has been assigned to a single IASP. An HSL cable loop connects the storage tower to two systems. The IASP can then be switched between those systems.

 

This may not be a feasible option in the future. Many organizations are replacing HSL cables with 12X cable technology because 12X offers a bandwidth advantage that can be as high as 50 percent. However, the 12X cable technology is not compatible with switchable tower technology.

 

LUN-Level Switching

IBM i 7.1 introduced LUN-level switching as an operating system option when using IBM System Storage DS6000 or DS8000. With LUN-level switching, two or more systems or partitions within a cluster can connect to the same storage unit within a SAN. The Logical Unit Numbers (LUNs) that define an IASP can then be switched between the systems as required.

 

Because this option, like switchable I/O pools and storage towers, facilitates the switching of only a single store of your data, LUN-level switching is typically used in conjunction with a disk mirroring or data replication technology to provide a disaster recovery option.

 

XSM Geographic Mirror

XSM Geographic Mirror uses functions within IBM i to maintain a copy of an IASP on a second system in a cluster. The IASP can be varied on to either system, but not both simultaneously.

 

Because XSM Geographic Mirror performs synchronous mirroring, it is not suitable for maintaining mirrors over great distances. Consequently, it does not protect data against a disaster that would affect an entire data center.

 

PPRC Metro Mirror

PPRC Metro Mirror works at the storage unit level within a SAN. It uses IBM TotalStorage functions to create a copy of an IASP on another SAN attached to a second system within a cluster. When the primary system becomes unavailable or needs to be taken offline for maintenance, the replica IASP can be varied on to the backup system, which will then assume the production role.

 

Like XSM Geographic Mirror, PPRC Metro Mirror is a synchronous technology that is not suitable for long-distance replication of data.

 

PPRC Metro Mirror is an IBM proprietary technology that operates only on IBM storage units. EMC has a similar technology called SRDF/S.

 

PPRC Global Mirror

PPRC Global Mirror is similar to Metro Mirror, but it functions asynchronously. As a result, the distance between production and backup IASPs will not affect user response times.

 

The lag between transactions being committed on the primary system and their being reflected on the backup IASP puts data at risk. To lessen this risk, PPRC uses multiple communication paths to reduce data latencies and it adds a point-in-time technology that maintains a consistent copy of the IASP by writing sectors in the same order as they occurred on the primary system.

 

EMC's version of asynchronous mirroring is called SDRF/A.

Logical HA Technologies

In this context, "logical" is not meant to be a synonym for rational, but rather that it is based in program logic that operates further above the hardware level than hardware-level technologies (although still below the user application level). These HA applications copy all data on a production server to storage units on a second server. The HA software then maintains the currency of the backup data by replicating production system changes as they happen.

 

The two servers may be any of the following:

  • Partitions on a single system
  • Partitions on separate systems located in the same facility
  • Standalone servers located at the same facility
  • Servers (partitions on separate systems or standalone servers) considerably distant from each other

 

When the primary and backup servers are located in the same facility, the solution still provides high availability in the sense that it can prevent or reduce downtime from events such as scheduled maintenance or single-system failure. However, it does not prevent downtime that results from disasters that knock out an entire facility.

 

In contrast, when the primary and backup servers are geographically remote from each other, at least one of the facilities is likely to survive any disaster. Thus, if the primary server goes down, users can be switched to the backup.

 

Logical HA products usually provide facilities for automating the switchover process. In addition, they may include functionality that monitors the availability of the primary system from the backup. When the primary system is unavailable, the software may then be able to automatically initiate a switchover, although it is usually referred to as a "failover" in these cases.

 

The failover facility, if it exists in the product you buy, can usually be turned off if you prefer to retain control over when a switchover is initiated.

 

In the IBM i world, logical HA technologies use journaling—including both user and system journals—to capture changes made on the primary system. Remote journaling is usually, but not always, the transport mechanism for replication to the backup system.

 

Some vendors include an option for using a proprietary transport mechanism. This allows them to add functionality to the process, although possibly at a slight performance cost.

 

Regardless of how the solution transmits the changed data between the two systems, the HA software is responsible for moving the data out of the journal (or other data store if remote journaling is not used) on the backup machine and into the appropriate databases or files. This is necessary to ensure that the system remains a hot-standby replica server that is ready to take over operations whenever necessary.

 

Logical HA technologies typically operate asynchronously, thereby virtually eliminating the impact on user application performance. However, when they employ remote journaling as the change capture and transmission mechanism, you can use synchronous mode if you have zero tolerance for lost data. Synchronous remote journaling is subject to the same user response time issues as synchronous hardware-level disk mirroring.

 

Because hardware-level HA technologies are tied to the hardware, they are available only from the hardware vendor. Logical HA solutions, on the other hand are available from both IBM and independent software vendors.

 

Continuous Data Protection

Traditional HA technologies do not offer complete protection for your data. Most data losses are not of a catastrophic nature. Instead, they result from more common occurrences, such as the accidental deletion of a file or the corruption of one or a few data items.

 

Traditional HA technologies cannot help in the remediation of these problems as they replicate data changes in real-time or near real-time. Thus, even if the problem is discovered within minutes of it occurring, the accidental deletion or corruption will probably already be reflected on the backup server, meaning that it no longer provides a source for data recovery.

 

A newer technology, Continuous Data Protection (CDP), can fill this gap. Like the replication process of traditional HA technologies, CDP captures changes applied to the production system and transmits them to a backup server. Unlike HA technologies, those changes are not applied to operational files and databases. Instead, CDP stores information about each update.

 

When some data is corrupted or mistakenly deleted, the CDP software can use the information it stored about each update to restore the data to its state at a particular point in time.

 

CDP comes in two flavors. True CDP transmits changes to the backup server as they occur, allowing data to be restored to its state at any point in time. Near CDP accumulates updates and transmits them in a batch only at certain intervals, possibly when a file is closed. With near CDP, data can be restored only to its state at one of the batch boundaries.

 

CDP does not necessarily require a second IBM i-based system. Instead, it typically stores backup data in a cross-platform file format. Therefore, CDP may make use of IBM i, Windows, Linux, AIX, or a UNIX system as the backup server.

Making Choices

Hardware-level and logical HA technologies each have unique benefits and drawbacks. To choose the one that's best for your organization, you must understand these differences, assess your organization's requirements, and then choose the solution that best serves your needs.

 

The following discussion briefly reviews some of the more important differences between hardware-level and logical replication.

 

Inter-System Bandwidth: User Response Time and Data Latency Issues

Because the HA technology must transmit all updates from the primary server to the backup, bandwidth between the two systems may be an issue. When using asynchronous replication, the critical consideration is the volume of data that might be awaiting replication at the time of a primary system failure. In general, the more constrained the bandwidth is and the higher the transaction volume, the greater this data latency will be. Depending on the nature of a failure, all of this data may be irretrievably lost.

 

This is not a problem with synchronous replication because the remote journal currency is never behind the primary system. However, this introduces another problem. If bandwidths are severely constrained, users may find their systems locked for unacceptable lengths of time while the journaling function waits for an acknowledgment to return from the remote system. In this case, response times increase depending on how overburdened the pipes between the two systems are.

 

Logical HA technologies typically offer some advantages in this area as they generally send less data across the wires. Logical replication transmits only changed data. In addition, it can be tuned to replicate only those items that are needed for recovery.

 

In addition, the remote journaling at the heart of logical HA technologies provides features that can reduce the bandwidth requirement even further. For example, it can bundle journal entries and send them in more efficient batches when a backlog forms. Remote journaling can also make use of IBM i Data Port Services to press multiple communication lines into play if necessary. And because remote journaling operates at the operating system level, it has priority access to system resources.

 

Hardware-level HA, on the other hand, typically transmits blocks of data even if much of that block has not changed. For example, XSM Geographic Mirror transmits copies of whole memory pages from the source to the target. Each page is 4KB or, for some OS processes running on newer versions of IBM i, 64KB. XSM Geographic Mirror uses IBM i Data Port Services to transmit data over up to four communication lines simultaneously.

 

Technically, PPRC Metro Mirror and PPRC Global Mirror copy sectors, not pages, of data that change on the primary SAN. However, in practical terms, that amounts to the same thing. On Power Systems for IBM i, each memory page that is written to disk results in all sectors being rewritten. The bandwidth available between IBM TotalStorage SAN units depends on the number of fiber-channel cards installed.

 

Recovery Time Implications

Hardware-level and logical HA technologies both rely on journaling to provide for system recovery. The difference is that logical HA immediately applies the received journal entries to the databases and files on the backup system as soon as they are received. As a result, the backup system is always a ready-to-run replica of the primary system.

 

In contrast, a hardware-level solution employs the remote journal to recover damaged and lost data and objects after a system failure. However, these recovery operations begin only after the failure has occurred. Consequently, recovery times may be longer for hardware-level HA technologies than for logical HA.

 

In addition, using hardware-level mirroring, the mirror IASP must be varied on to the backup system before it can take over operations. The vary-on process is an operating system–level operation that includes more than 30 sequential steps, which further lengthens recovery times.

 

Flexibility Issues

The need to vary on the backup IASP mirror before it can be used for any purposes other than mirroring limits the flexibility of hardware-level HA solutions. Logical HA technologies maintain a fully functioning replica server. Thus, the backup can be used for read-only operations such as tape-backup jobs, queries, and report generation. Transferring these read-only operations to the backup system will reduce the workload on the primary system, thereby improving user response times on that system.

 

In contrast, because the backup IASP in a hardware-level HA environment cannot be used for operational purposes until it is varied on, it ceases to serve as a mirror target because the mirror must be attached to the primary system.

 

It is possible to detach the target IASP and vary it on to the backup system in order to perform read-only functions. When you do so, changes made on the primary system are buffered and mirrored when the mirror IASP is reattached to the primary system. However, buffer sizes then become an issue.

 

Thus, it is not practical to use this method to perform lengthy operations on the backup system, particularly during times when transaction volumes are high.

 

In addition to limiting the flexibility to use the backup system for other purposes, hardware-level HA also limits your storage hardware choices. As the name implies, hardware-level HA is hardware-dependent. You can typically mirror only storage devices from the same vendor. You can't, for example, use IBM storage devices on the primary system and mirror them to EMC devices on the backup.

 

In contrast, logical HA operates at the data level. It is neither aware of nor cares what make of storage units you use on either the primary or backup system as long as they are addressable by your IBM i system.

IBM and HA Business Partners

In the beginning, AS/400 did very little to address availability issues that weren't related to reliability. As the technology progressed through new releases of OS/400 and then i5/OS on AS/400, iSeries, System i, and now IBM i on Power Systems, IBM added availability functionality either inherent in the operating system or as add-on features. Nonetheless, IBM has always relied on HA Business Partners to fill in the gaps in availability coverage.

 

From a personal perspective, I first became interested in HA systems more than a quarter century ago when I was asked to serve on an IBM Corporate task force on HA. The purpose of this task force was to set the direction for HA on all future IBM systems. The initial focus was on the mainframe, because few System/36 or System/38 customers needed HA. That changed when we announced the AS/400.

 

Shortly after the AS/400 was announced, it became very clear to IBM that many of our customers, especially those in the financial and healthcare industries, needed HA solutions. Unfortunately, there was not enough time or budget inside of IBM to develop our own HA solution for the AS/400.

 

I knew of a few Business Partners and System/38 customers that had written HA packages for their own use. I visited several of these firms and determined that some of these packages with modifications could be used for the AS/400. This was the beginning of IBM's reliance on Business Partners for HA solutions. 

 

Over time, new HA partners appeared, and several of the original partners merged into larger worldwide partners. IBM continues to work closely with these partners to define what new availability functions are needed. At almost every release, IBM adds some new or enhanced availability functions into the operating system or as add-on features.

 

So Many Choices…

No organization can afford to ignore issues concerning the availability of its data and application. Downtime tolerance varies depending on the nature and volume of the business, but few, if any, modern enterprises could continue to exist indefinitely without access to their systems.

 

Yet, threats to availability are real and unavoidable. Even if you never suffer a disaster (somewhat possible; disasters are rare) or never experience a hardware, software, or power failure (less likely; these issues are more common), you will still have to shut your systems down for regular maintenance.

 

There are a number of technologies that can, to one extent or another, address these availability issues in the IBM i sphere. Each of these technologies has different costs (both acquisition costs and operating costs) and different availability capabilities associated with it.

 

It is not possible to prescribe an HA solution for you here because the technology that is most appropriate for your organization depends on your unique needs.

as/400, os/400, iseries, system i, i5/os, ibm i, power systems, 6.1, 7.1, V7,

Frank Soltis

Dr. Soltis is regarded throughout the world as one of the most significant computer scientists of the 20th century. Based on his doctoral dissertation research, Soltis created a revolutionary computer architecture, which led to a completely new breed of computers. During the last decade, he led the effort to define the architecture of the 64-bit PowerPC processors used in IBM's Power System servers. Before retirement from IBM as its Chief Scientist, Soltis defined directions for IBM systems and the IBM Development Laboratory in Rochester, Minnesota, USA. He currently travels the world speaking about IT trends and technology advancements. Dr. Soltis is a member of the Vision Solutions Technology Advisory Board (VTAB).

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    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericIt’s time to develop a strategy that will help you meet your informational challenges head-on. Watch the webinar to learn how to set your IT department up for business intelligence success. You’ll learn how the right data access tool will help you:

    • Access IBM i data faster
    • Deliver useful information to executives and business users
    • Empower users with secure data access

    Ready to make your game plan and finally keep up with your data access requests?

     

  • Controlling Insider Threats on IBM i

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericLet’s face facts: servers don’t hack other servers. Despite the avalanche of regulations, news headlines remain chock full of stories about data breaches, all initiated by insiders or intruders masquerading as insiders.
    User profiles are often duplicated or restored and are rarely reviewed for the appropriateness of their current configuration. This increases the risk of the profile being able to access data without the intended authority or having privileges that should be reserved for administrators.
    Watch security expert Robin Tatam as he discusses a new approach for onboarding new users on IBM i and best-practices techniques for managing and monitoring activities after they sign on.

  • Don't Just Settle for Query/400...

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericWhile introducing Sequel Data Access, we’ll address common frustrations with Query/400, discuss major data access, distribution trends, and more advanced query tools. Plus, you’ll learn how a tool like Sequel lightens IT’s load by:

    - Accessing real-time data, so you can make real-time decisions
    - Providing run-time prompts, so users can help themselves
    - Delivering instant results in Microsoft Excel and PDF, without the wait
    - Automating the query process with on-demand data, dashboards, and scheduled jobs

  • How to Manage Documents the Easy Way

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericWhat happens when your company depends on an outdated document management strategy?
    Everything is harder.
    You don’t need to stick with status quo anymore.
    Watch the webinar to learn how to put effective document management into practice and:

    • Capture documents faster, instead of wasting everyone’s time
    • Manage documents easily, so you can always find them
    • Distribute documents automatically, and move on to the next task

     

  • Lessons Learned from the AS/400 Breach

    SB_PowerTech_WC_GenericGet actionable info to avoid becoming the next cyberattack victim.
    In “Data breach digest—Scenarios from the field,” Verizon documented an AS/400 security breach. Whether you call it AS/400, iSeries, or IBM i, you now have proof that the system has been breached.
    Watch IBM i security expert Robin Tatam give an insightful discussion of the issues surrounding this specific scenario.
    Robin will also draw on his extensive cybersecurity experience to discuss policies, processes, and configuration details that you can implement to help reduce the risk of your system being the next victim of an attack.

  • Overwhelmed by Operating Systems?

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericIn this 30-minute recorded webinar, our experts demonstrate how you can:

    • Manage multiple platforms from a central location
    • View monitoring results in a single pane of glass on your desktop or mobile device
    • Take advantage of best practice, plug-and-play monitoring templates
    • Create rules to automate daily checks across your entire infrastructure
    • Receive notification if something is wrong or about to go wrong

    This presentation includes a live demo of Network Server Suite.

     

  • Real-Time Disk Monitoring with Robot Monitor

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericYou need to know when IBM i disk space starts to disappear and where it has gone before system performance and productivity start to suffer. Our experts will show you how Robot Monitor can help you pinpoint exactly when your auxiliary storage starts to disappear and why, so you can start taking a proactive approach to disk monitoring and analysis. You’ll also get insight into:

    • The main sources of disk consumption
    • How to monitor temporary storage and QTEMP objects in real time
    • How to monitor objects and libraries in real time and near-real time
    • How to track long-term disk trends

     

     

  • Stop Re-keying Data Between IBM I and Other Applications

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericMany business still depend on RPG for their daily business processes and report generation.Wouldn’t it be nice if you could stop re-keying data between IBM i and other applications? Or if you could stop replicating data and start processing orders faster? Or what if you could automatically extract data from existing reports instead of re-keying? It’s all possible. Watch this webinar to learn about:

    • The data dilemma
    • 3 ways to stop re-keying data
    • Data automation in practice

    Plus, see how HelpSystems data automation software will help you stop re-keying data.

     

  • The Top Five RPG Open Access Myths....BUSTED!

    SB_Profound_WC_GenericWhen it comes to IBM Rational Open Access: RPG Edition, there are still many misconceptions - especially where application modernization is concerned!

    In this Webinar, we'll address some of the biggest myths about RPG Open Access, including:

    • Modernizing with RPG OA requires significant changes to the source code
    • The RPG language is outdated and impractical for modernizing applications
    • Modernizing with RPG OA is the equivalent to "screen scraping"

     

  • Time to Remove the Paper from Your Desk and Become More Efficient

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericToo much paper is wasted. Attempts to locate documents in endless filing cabinets.And distributing documents is expensive and takes up far too much time.
    These are just three common reasons why it might be time for your company to implement a paperless document management system.
    Watch the webinar to learn more and discover how easy it can be to:

    • Capture
    • Manage
    • And distribute documents digitally

     

  • IBM i: It’s Not Just AS/400

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic

    IBM’s Steve Will talks AS/400, POWER9, cognitive systems, and everything in between

    Are there still companies that use AS400? Of course!

    IBM i was built on the same foundation.
    Watch this recorded webinar with IBM i Chief Architect Steve Will and IBM Power Champion Tom Huntington to gain a unique perspective on the direction of this platform, including:

    • IBM i development strategies in progress at IBM
    • Ways that Watson will shake hands with IBM i
    • Key takeaways from the AS/400 days

     

  • Ask the RDi Experts

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericWatch this recording where Jim Buck, Susan Gantner, and Charlie Guarino answered your questions, including:

    • What are the “hidden gems” in RDi that can make me more productive?
    • What makes RDi Debug better than the STRDBG green screen debugger?
    • How can RDi help me find out if I’ve tested all lines of a program?
    • What’s the best way to transition from PDM to RDi?
    • How do I convince my long-term developers to use RDi?

    This is a unique, online opportunity to hear how you can get more out of RDi.

     

  • Node.js on IBM i Webinar Series Pt. 2: Setting Up Your Development Tools

    Profound Logic Software, Inc.Have you been wondering about Node.js? Our free Node.js Webinar Series takes you from total beginner to creating a fully-functional IBM i Node.js business application. In Part 2, Brian May teaches you the different tooling options available for writing code, debugging, and using Git for version control. Attend this webinar to learn:

    • Different tools to develop Node.js applications on IBM i
    • Debugging Node.js
    • The basics of Git and tools to help those new to it
    • Using NodeRun.com as a pre-built development environment

     

     

  • Inside the Integrated File System (IFS)

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericDuring this webinar, you’ll learn basic tips, helpful tools, and integrated file system commands—including WRKLNK—for managing your IFS directories and Access Client Solutions (ACS). We’ll answer your most pressing IFS questions, including:

    • What is stored inside my IFS directories?
    • How do I monitor the IFS?
    • How do I replicate the IFS or back it up?
    • How do I secure the IFS?

    Understanding what the integrated file system is and how to work with it must be a critical part of your systems management plans for IBM i.

     

  • Expert Tips for IBM i Security: Beyond the Basics

    SB PowerTech WC GenericIn this session, IBM i security expert Robin Tatam provides a quick recap of IBM i security basics and guides you through some advanced cybersecurity techniques that can help you take data protection to the next level. Robin will cover:

    • Reducing the risk posed by special authorities
    • Establishing object-level security
    • Overseeing user actions and data access

    Don't miss this chance to take your knowledge of IBM i security beyond the basics.

     

     

  • 5 IBM i Security Quick Wins

    SB PowerTech WC GenericIn today’s threat landscape, upper management is laser-focused on cybersecurity. You need to make progress in securing your systems—and make it fast.
    There’s no shortage of actions you could take, but what tactics will actually deliver the results you need? And how can you find a security strategy that fits your budget and time constraints?
    Join top IBM i security expert Robin Tatam as he outlines the five fastest and most impactful changes you can make to strengthen IBM i security this year.
    Your system didn’t become unsecure overnight and you won’t be able to turn it around overnight either. But quick wins are possible with IBM i security, and Robin Tatam will show you how to achieve them.

  • How to Meet the Newest Encryption Requirements on IBM i

    SB PowerTech WC GenericA growing number of compliance mandates require sensitive data to be encrypted. But what kind of encryption solution will satisfy an auditor and how can you implement encryption on IBM i? Watch this on-demand webinar to find out how to meet today’s most common encryption requirements on IBM i. You’ll also learn:

    • Why disk encryption isn’t enough
    • What sets strong encryption apart from other solutions
    • Important considerations before implementing encryption

     

     

  • Security Bulletin: Malware Infection Discovered on IBM i Server!

    SB PowerTech WC GenericMalicious programs can bring entire businesses to their knees—and IBM i shops are not immune. It’s critical to grasp the true impact malware can have on IBM i and the network that connects to it. Attend this webinar to gain a thorough understanding of the relationships between:

    • Viruses, native objects, and the integrated file system (IFS)
    • Power Systems and Windows-based viruses and malware
    • PC-based anti-virus scanning versus native IBM i scanning

    There are a number of ways you can minimize your exposure to viruses. IBM i security expert Sandi Moore explains the facts, including how to ensure you're fully protected and compliant with regulations such as PCI.

     

     

  • Fight Cyber Threats with IBM i Encryption

    SB PowerTech WC GenericCyber attacks often target mission-critical servers, and those attack strategies are constantly changing. To stay on top of these threats, your cybersecurity strategies must evolve, too. In this session, IBM i security expert Robin Tatam provides a quick recap of IBM i security basics and guides you through some advanced cybersecurity techniques that can help you take data protection to the next level. Robin will cover:

    • Reducing the risk posed by special authorities
    • Establishing object-level security
    • Overseeing user actions and data access

     

     

     

  • 10 Practical IBM i Security Tips for Surviving Covid-19 and Working From Home

    SB PowerTech WC GenericNow that many organizations have moved to a work from home model, security concerns have risen.

    During this session Carol Woodbury will discuss the issues that the world is currently seeing such as increased malware attacks and then provide practical actions you can take to both monitor and protect your IBM i during this challenging time.

     

  • How to Transfer IBM i Data to Microsoft Excel

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic3 easy ways to get IBM i data into Excel every time
    There’s an easy, more reliable way to import your IBM i data to Excel? It’s called Sequel. During this webinar, our data access experts demonstrate how you can simplify the process of getting data from multiple sources—including Db2 for i—into Excel. Watch to learn how to:

    • Download your IBM i data to Excel in a single step
    • Deliver data to business users in Excel via email or a scheduled job
    • Access IBM i data directly using the Excel add-in in Sequel

    Make 2020 the year you finally see your data clearly, quickly, and securely. Start by giving business users the ability to access crucial business data from IBM i the way they want it—in Microsoft Excel.

     

     

  • HA Alternatives: MIMIX Is Not Your Only Option on IBM i

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericIn this recorded webinar, our experts introduce you to the new HA transition technology available with our Robot HA software. You’ll learn how to:

    • Transition your rules from MIMIX (if you’re happy with them)
    • Simplify your day-to-day activities around high availability
    • Gain back time in your work week
    • Make your CEO happy about reducing IT costs

    Don’t stick with a legacy high availability solution that makes you uncomfortable when transitioning to something better can be simple, safe, and cost-effective.

     

     

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  • Backup and Recovery on IBM i: Your Strategy for the Unexpected

    SB HelpSystems SC 5413Robot automates the routine tasks of iSeries backup and recovery, saving you time and money and making the process safer and more reliable. Automate your backups with the Robot Backup and Recovery Solution. Key features include:
    - Simplified backup procedures
    - Easy data encryption
    - Save media management
    - Guided restoration
    - Seamless product integration
    Make sure your data survives when catastrophe hits. Try the Robot Backup and Recovery Solution FREE for 30 days.

  • Manage IBM i Messages by Exception with Robot

    SB HelpSystems SC 5413Managing messages on your IBM i can be more than a full-time job if you have to do it manually. How can you be sure you won’t miss important system events?
    Automate your message center with the Robot Message Management Solution. Key features include:
    - Automated message management
    - Tailored notifications and automatic escalation
    - System-wide control of your IBM i partitions
    - Two-way system notifications from your mobile device
    - Seamless product integration
    Try the Robot Message Management Solution FREE for 30 days.

  • Easiest Way to Save Money? Stop Printing IBM i Reports

    SB HelpSystems SC 5413Robot automates report bursting, distribution, bundling, and archiving, and offers secure, selective online report viewing.
    Manage your reports with the Robot Report Management Solution. Key features include:

    - Automated report distribution
    - View online without delay
    - Browser interface to make notes
    - Custom retention capabilities
    - Seamless product integration
    Rerun another report? Never again. Try the Robot Report Management Solution FREE for 30 days.

  • Hassle-Free IBM i Operations around the Clock

    SB HelpSystems SC 5413For over 30 years, Robot has been a leader in systems management for IBM i.
    Manage your job schedule with the Robot Job Scheduling Solution. Key features include:
    - Automated batch, interactive, and cross-platform scheduling
    - Event-driven dependency processing
    - Centralized monitoring and reporting
    - Audit log and ready-to-use reports
    - Seamless product integration
    Scale your software, not your staff. Try the Robot Job Scheduling Solution FREE for 30 days.

  • ACO MONITOR Manages your IBM i 24/7 and Notifies You When Your IBM i Needs Assistance!

    SB DDL Systems 5429More than a paging system - ACO MONITOR is a complete systems management solution for your Power Systems running IBM i. ACO MONITOR manages your Power System 24/7, uses advanced technology (like two-way messaging) to notify on-duty support personnel, and responds to complex problems before they reach critical status.

    ACO MONITOR is proven technology and is capable of processing thousands of mission-critical events daily. The software is pre-configured, easy to install, scalable, and greatly improves data center efficiency.