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Bringing Home Baby: Physical Planning for a New AS/400

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The physical aspects of planning for a new AS/400 are as important as the software you put on it. Take a little extra time up front to determine where your new AS/400 will be placed and how you will connect your users to it. This article will help you begin the planning process.

After months of financial and political maneuvering, you’ve just gotten word that you can place the order for a new AS/400. As you leisurely stroll back to your office, mentally congratulating yourself on a job well done, you wonder what you’re going to do with all those old Commodore 64s you had networked together, composing your previous computer system. “Oh well,” you think. “They’ll probably bring top dollar at an auction. It’ll at least free up some space on the user’s desktop.” Suddenly, you stop, slap yourself on the forehead, and exclaim, “Hey! Wait a second! Where am I going to put this new computer?!?”

OK, maybe that scenario is a bit dated. What’s more likely to happen is this: You get approval to add additional AS/400s to your current network, or your company is one that has been using nothing but PCs for years and has now decided to move to the more stable (and scalable) AS/400. Whatever the reason, whether you’re adding your first or your 15th AS/400 to your business, you need to think about the physical aspects of installing the hardware at your site.

It’s a New Ball Game

When you buy a new PC for your office, most of the planning consists of where to purchase it. Usually, you know why you’re buying it and who’s going to get it, so, other than that, there’s just not a whole lot of planning involved. The most you have to worry about is whether there’s a handy plug-in for the surge protector and whether the user likes the monitor on the left or the right side of the desk. Not too tough.

That’s not the way it is with IBM’s premier computing platform. When you buy a new AS/400, you find yourself in a whole new ball game. You can’t just run down to your

nearest electronics outlet store and grab one off the shelf. Even if you could, putting it onsite is a lot more involved than simply finding a handy wall outlet. With that in mind, this article takes a look at some of the more common considerations involved in planning for and installing a new AS/400 at your site.

There are four general steps you will take as you plan for a new AS/400: Investigation, Decision, Shipment, and Installation. Any or all of these steps may be performed by you, by IBM, or by a knowledgeable outside agency, such as your local IBM Business Partner. In this article, I’m going to look at only the first step, Investigation, because that’s the point at which you make all the important “physical” decisions.

The investigative phase of planning for a new AS/400 consists of determining such factors as which system model you want and what features you want with it, as well as the physical layout of the proposed site for your new AS/400. In addition, it is during this phase that you begin to think about power requirements, cabling, networks, and environmental factors, such as temperature and humidity.

Size Does Matter

I’m not going to spend much time talking about which system model and features you want. There are more factors that affect this decision than I can even begin to cover here. However, which model and which features you choose do make an impact on the physical planning for your new AS/400. As far as which model of AS/400 to choose, the most important thing you need to be concerned about is its physical size. In years past, size was an even more important issue than it is today because the rack(s) the AS/400 came in was (were) so large. This has become less of a problem in recent years as the size of the AS/400 has shrunk in height and width while its processing power has grown. Despite its more diminutive stature, however, the size still controls where the new box will find its final resting-place.

You should obtain the specifications for the AS/400 model you are purchasing as well as any additional components it may come with, such as additional DASD or external tape drives. The AS/400 ranges in size from as short as 24 inches for the model 170 to as tall as 62.1 inches for the model 650. Add to that the height and width of an expansion tower, and you can quickly run into space problems. Take a look at Figure 1 for the physical dimensions of a model 650 that also has a companion expansion rack. You can get an immediate idea of how much room you’re going to need for the AS/400 by looking at this figure. For a complete list of dimensions of the various system configurations, including external devices such as the expansion tower, refer to Chapter 2 of the IBM AS/400 Physical Planning Reference, “Physical Summary for System Model Towers and Devices”.

When you’re planning for the physical location of your new AS/400, you must also ask yourself the following questions:

1. Do you need a separate room for the AS/400 and its peripherals (e.g., system printer, console, etc.)?

2. Will the room where you store the AS/400 be used for anything else that might interfere with the machine’s operation? (For example, will your AS/400 be placed in a high-traffic area where its power switches, power cords, or communication lines could inadvertently be tampered with?)

3. If you plan to put the AS/400 in a room that’s already being used for some other purpose, will there be enough physical space for routine maintenance? Keep in mind that, at some point, you or the IBM Customer Engineer (CE) will probably need to work from the back of the AS/400, so you need to make sure there is enough room to work comfortably. One way to accommodate this space crunch is to determine if the AS/400 box is small enough that you can easily pull it out far enough to get to the back of it. This is generally feasible with the smaller models, such as the 150 or the 600.

4. Will you have enough space around your AS/400 for all the attached cables and power cords?

5. Will you need an additional storage rack for such items as modems, a Multistation Access Unit (MAU), and Ethernet hubs?

6. Will the location you choose for your AS/400 have adequate all-around ventilation? You don’t want to stick it under a desk against a wall because, if you do, you run the risk of having the machine overheat and cause a fire.

7. Do you need special flooring that allows you to run all the cables underneath the floor? This type of flooring was common in computer rooms of the past but is not necessarily required today; however, a raised floor does allow for a tidier computer room.

More Power!

Once you’ve determined where your AS/400 will physically fit, you need to find out if you have the correct electrical connections in that location. Once again, you should refer to either the Physical Planning Reference manual or the specs provided to you by your IBM representative so you can determine the power requirements. Such a determination may not be as straightforward as you think. Consider these questions before you designate a permanent site for your AS/400:

1. Does your model of AS/400 use the standard 110-volt (household) current, or does it require a 220-volt connection?

2. Does this model of AS/400 come with a special lock plug or a standard three- prong ground plug?

3. You will need to purchase and install an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) as a battery backup for your AS/400. Do you have the proper wiring in place to handle the increased load?

4. Are you able to contract with an electrician to install the appropriate electrical hardware in time for your AS/400’s arrival?

Stormy Weather

Before you lock yourself into a location for your AS/400, you’d better get a weather report for the room. If the air is too damp, you may be able to install a dehumidifier to pull some of the moisture out of the air. If the dehumidifier doesn’t do the trick, you had better find a new location. Electronics and moisture are a volatile mix. On the other hand, if the air is too dry, you run the risk of exposing yourself and your equipment to static electricity, and this is a major no-no. The small, harmless shock you give to yourself or others when you scrape your feet across a rug can easily fry a circuit board when you inadvertently forget to ground yourself and touch sensitive computer equipment. Dry air can be deadly for your AS/400. You can counteract dry air by installing a humidifier. If you do, you want to monitor its use to ensure that you are not pumping too much moisture into the room.

Beyond that, you need to ensure that you have an adequate cooling system installed. The AS/400 and its peripherals generate a lot of heat. Ideally, you should maintain a consistent 70 degrees Fahrenheit in the room. This temperature is ideal for both the equipment and the humans who work with it.

While you’re checking out the humidity and air conditioning, you should also consider fire safety. It used to be common, especially with the larger mainframe shops that had a room devoted exclusively to computer equipment, to install an expensive Halon fire extinguishing system in the computer room. This elaborate system was ideal for smothering electrical fires without damaging sensitive electronic equipment or killing an occupant of the room who might become trapped. The Halon system accomplished this by producing a chemical that disrupted the ignition capability of fire, thereby causing a fire to extinguish itself. This system worked great, but there is one major drawback to it. It is now illegal to manufacture Halon in the United States and other industrialized nations because of Halon’s ozone-depleting characteristics, although there are many vendors who still sell and service Halon systems.

If you don’t want to damage the environment, don’t despair; alternatives to Halon are available. Most fire suppressant manufacturers, electrical supply shops, and even some

of the larger home improvement stores sell chemical fire suppressants designed to put out an electrical fire without harming the electronics. These fire extinguishing systems come in a variety of sizes, from as small as a handheld unit to systems large enough to handle fires anywhere in the building.

Send It by Western Union

Once you’ve ironed out all the problems with the location for your new AS/400 (space, environment, safety), you need to think about how you are going to get the data from the hardware to the users. If you are installing a new system in a new building, you may have to install a completely new cable infrastructure. If this is the case, you should consider installing a fiber optic network. Such an installation would allow you to take advantage of the high bandwidth and speed available to you with fiber optics while at the same time positioning you to be ready for any new technology coming down the road. As of this writing, fiber optics provides the cleanest, fastest data transfer capability of any cabling system. The downside is that fiber optics is expensive.

If it’s not in your budget to go for the very best, you can compromise with the next to best: Category 5 (Cat5) wiring. Cat5 is a series of wires, twisted and shielded in such a way as to provide you with fast, reliable data transmission. While Cat5 cable cannot reach the speeds or bandwidth of fiber optics, it is capable of meeting the needs of most installations. Cat5 wiring can typically transmit data reliably at speeds of 100 megabits per second (Mbps). It also has the advantage of being relatively inexpensive. Cat5 wire is shielded from electrical interference, which makes it suitable for installation in most areas.

If you’re looking for an even less expensive alternative, there’s always twisted-pair wiring. Twisted-pair wiring is used in standard telephone wire. It contains four individual sets of wires within its unshielded casing. Twisted-pair is very inexpensive, but because it is unshielded, it is susceptible to outside electrical interference. Outside electrical interference can be something as simple as an exit sign installed too close to the wiring or as complex as your electric company’s nearby power substation, and it can cause data transmissions to degrade and become unusable.

Your last wiring alternative is to use twinaxial cable. Twinaxial cable consists of two heavy, tightly twisted copper wires that run parallel to each other inside a heavily shielded wrapping. The entire complex then sits inside a heavy, pliable rubber casing. Twinaxial cable used to be the only way to attach devices to the AS/400 or its ancestors. With the advent of twisted-pair and the other cabling alternatives, though, twinax has taken a bit of a back seat. However, IBM has recently announced improvements in the AS/400’s support of twinax, boosting data transmission speeds to 2 Mbps. This may be an acceptable alternative for certain device locations in your shop. You’ll need to examine the proposed uses of those devices that could potentially use the twinax cable to see if this choice would be a good fit.

Before you decide on a cable solution, get the specs on it from your cabling vendor. You need to decide where you will have devices hardwired to your AS/400 and know the physical distance from those devices to the CPU. There are limits to how far the data can be transmitted to and from the AS/400 before it needs to be “boosted.” In addition, for some cabling solutions (such as twinax), after you reach a certain distance, you’ve passed the point of diminishing returns, where the data can no longer be reliably boosted to its destination. Plan the layout of your users and talk with your vendor before you choose a cabling solution. What will most likely happen is that you end up with a mixture of two or more of the available cable possibilities.

Workstations

OK, you’ve found a place to put your AS/400, and you’ve come up with a way to wire your workstations. The only thing left is to decide what type of workstations you are going to let your users have. At least three types of workstations are available to you: dumb terminals, thin clients, and personal computers. Which one you use depends on the needs of your company and your users. When you are planning for a new AS/400, you should

also inventory your available workstations so you can get an idea of how many can be used with the AS/400 and how many new workstations you will have to purchase. This point in your planning is also a great time to locate a supplier.

Dumb Terminals

Dumb terminals, or 5250 Display Stations, are those old, reliable green-screen terminals you’ve seen everywhere over the last twenty years. In fact, as far as functionality goes, they really haven’t changed much in twenty years, either. Oh sure, you can get them to display in color instead of in plain old green or amber, but, other than that, there’s not much new going on. The best thing about the dumb terminal is that it is both reliable and relatively easy to install, configure, and use. It seldom requires additional software to be loaded onto the terminal itself, which is a big plus when you have to support it on a daily basis. Generally, dumb terminals can be connected with any of the available wiring solutions. If you use anything other than twinax, you’ll probably need to purchase baluns to connect the twinax coming out of the terminal’s logic unit to the RJ45 connector on the end of your Cat5, twisted pair, or fiber optic cable. A balun is a small unit about the size of a D-cell battery that has two female connections: one that accepts twinaxial cable and the other that accepts a standard RJ45 (telephone jack) connector. Its purpose is to allow disparate cable connections to be made.

Thin Clients

Thin clients are relatively new and provide for a fully addressable display screen without the requirements of a large CPU, such as a PC has. Thin clients connect directly to the AS/400 and, like dumb terminals, do not require any additional software to be loaded on them. However, unlike the dumb terminal, the thin client must be configured to access your AS/400, and the AS/400 must be configured to recognize the thin client, usually using TCP/IP. The advantages of thin clients are that they are relatively easy to install, take up less space than a PC, and are able to display the same types of graphics you would expect from a PC. This can be advantageous if you use the thin client as both an AS/400 green- screen terminal and as a smart workstation that runs, say, Microsoft NT software from an Integrated PC Card (IPCS) inside the AS/400. Thin clients are also relatively inexpensive, and that fact once made them more attractive than PCs to budget-conscious data processing centers. However, now that the price of PCs has dropped so drastically, this is no longer the case. Thin clients can be connected to your AS/400 using the same methods as the dumb terminal.

Personal Computers

If you use a PC as an AS/400 workstation, you need to load some type of emulation software, such as IBM’s Client Access/400, Hummingbird’s HostExplorer, NetManage’s NS/Portfolio, or Wall Data’s RUMBA, on each PC that needs to connect to your AS/400. In addition, you may be required to load additional software on the AS/400 to allow the PCs to “talk” to the AS/400. The maintenance and support of PCs tend to be a lot higher than with thin clients or dumb terminals. This cost of support may be offset, however, by the benefits your users get by having a PC on their desk. If you have users who need to do a lot of spreadsheet or word processing applications, as well as occasionally get onto the AS/400, then a PC is the way to go. Another consideration is that the price of PCs has fallen so much in recent months that you can buy almost two complete PCs for the price of one thin client or one dumb terminal. You generally connect a PC to your AS/400 via twisted-pair, Cat5, or fiber optic cable. You can also connect it by using twinax if you install, inside of the PC, a 5250 Emulation board that has a twinaxial connector on it.

Much to Consider

As you can see, there are a lot of things to consider when planning for a new AS/400. You first need to think about how big the new AS/400 and its components are. (Its size, along with power and environmental issues, will determine where you install it.) You also need to consider the means of attaching your users to the AS/400, and, finally,

you need to determine what type of workstation they will use to access it. If you don’t already have it, order a copy of the IBM Physical Planning Reference manual before you order your new AS/400. A little bit of planning at the beginning will save you a lot of headaches at the end!

References

AS/400 Physical Planning Reference V4R3 (SA41-5109-02, CD-ROM QB3AWE02)

Panel Components Corporation, P.O. Box 115, Oskaloosa, IA 52577


Figure 1: This shows the dimensions for the Model 650 system unit in the 9251 Base I/O Tower and a companion 5057 Storage Expansion Unit.





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    Protecting your data from viruses or malicious code is not an unfamiliar concept, but understanding how these threats can affect your Power Systems server may not be as easy to grasp.
    There are many myths about viruses and IBM i—including the belief that the system is immune. Many Power Systems managers still don’t see viruses as a risk because they see them as a Windows threat. While this was once true, today’s connected environments operate under different rules.
    It’s time to take action and protect IBM i and the network that connects to it. This on-demand webinar will help you gain an understanding of the relationships between:

    - Viruses and the integrated file system (IFS)
    - Power Systems and Windows viruses
    - PC-based anti-virus scanning vs native IBM i scanning
    There are a number of ways you can minimize your exposure to viruses. Learn the facts to ensure you're fully-protected.

  • Business Process Automation with Robot

    SB HelpSystems WC Generic

    Automate Process Flow Through the Data Center
    Typical “computerized” business processes are a combination of multiple schedulers, operational scripts, CL programs, and manual file checking, all backed up with the trusty runbook.
    Is there a better way to manage business processes?
    It is a common misconception that a business process cannot be automated if it’s too complicated or requires that someone verify each step. We’re here to tell you there is a better way to manage your business—process automation is possible!
    Take 30 minutes to learn the options for automating your business process flow and how they fit into your data center processing, including cases of:
    - Complex or iterative schedules
    - Event-driven dependencies
    - Multi-platform dependencies
    - Dynamically calculated parameters
    - Exception notification
    - SAP and Oracle JD Edwards EnterpriseOne integration
    How do I know business process automation is effective?
    If you have any doubts that automating complex business processes will improve your level of service, you’ll also hear a success story from the senior systems administrator at Trident Seafoods who embraced automation using the Robot solution and is reeling in the benefits!

  • Find Out Why You Should Keep Data on IBM i

    SB HelpSystems WC Generic

    It’s simple. IBM i is the most reliable, securable, and powerful platform to house your critical business data.
    IBM i was built for business and has added features and functionality over the years to keep up with modern business needs. You can trust it to run your business, access your data in real-time, and keep your data secure. Plus, IBM i can scale to your business and handle all of your critical data.
    Can your other platforms do that?
    We didn’t think so.
    Watch this 30-minute webinar to learn why you should keep your data on IBM i, including:
    - IBM i is reliable
    - IBM i offers fast and secure real-time data access
    - IBM i helps your business prepare for tomorrow
    Plus, we demonstrate how Sequel Data Access helps you modernize IBM i data access and meet your business needs.

  • Mobile Apps for IBM i Monitoring

    SB Halcyon WC Generic

    Overnight and weekend support can be a minefield for operations teams tasked with attempting to maintain system availability, especially when they must rely on laptop-based VPN access—where a delayed response can prove costly.
    With over 2 billion smartphone users worldwide, it’s perfectly reasonable for you to use the BYOD movement to your advantage and start managing your IT infrastructure from the palm of your hand. Watch this on-demand webinar to learn how Halcyon has modernized this crucial layer of support by introducing mobile applications for IBM i monitoring.
    You’ll hear how one company has used the Enterprise Console mobile app to provide a valuable audit trail and speed up response time. You’ll also learn:
    - The benefits of mobile apps
    - How to respond to critical messages within seconds
    - How to get notifications your way on your device
    - How to set up escalation, ensuring alerts are always handled in a timely fashion
    If your team is responsible for managing IBM i applications and services after regular business hours, you won’t want to miss this one!

     

  • Speed Up Your Manufacturing and Distribution with Paperless Processes

    SB HelpSystems WC Generic

    Your ERP system —whether it’s JDE World, Enterprise One, Infor, Epicor, Microsoft Dynamics, VAI, or anything else—is essential to maintaining your company’s key business information and processes. But you’re constantly generating and receiving paper and electronic documents, too, and it’s hard to keep everything straight. So, you wind up chasing documents and data around—and keeping your customers and vendors waiting.
    It’s time to make life easier and make your customers happier. With an electronic document management system, you can integrate with your ERP to keep all of your key documents and data in one spot.
    And when all of your documents are stored digitally, you can speed up your processes and get key documents (like purchase orders and invoices) approved faster.
    Watch the webinar and learn how to:
    - Integrate a document management system with your ERP
    - Capture all of your key shop floor, order, and shipment documents in one central repository
    - Improve customer, vendor, and employee response times
    - Accomplish more work without adding additional staff
    It’s time to deliver your shipments faster and keep your customers happy by streamlining your paperwork processes.

  • Dock Door Signing Made Easy

    SB HelpSystems WC Generic

    How long does dock door signing take your organization? Too long if you’re still using manual processes and paper.
    From generating to collating to printing to routing to signing, manual processes and paper slow down your organization—and your delivery times. Electronic documents and digital signature capture can change all of that. And your organization will be able to create, route, approve (with digital signatures), and retrieve documents faster.
    Learn how digital signature capture helps you:
    - Eliminate steps in your approval processes
    - Improve auditability
    - Reduce customer service time to resolve questions
    Plus, we’ll demonstrate how digitizing signatures and documents will reduce your organization’s costs over the long haul.

  • 5 Reasons Developers Love Robot Schedule

    SB HelpSystems WC Generic

    Why AppDev Should Embrace Automation
    Your application development team is an expensive resource that works hard to improve business processes, yet more and more IBM i shops are putting AppDev in charge of managing day-to-day system operations.
    Instead of taking their attention away from the website, business analytics, mobile, security, SQL data access, and more, streamline operations with automation and build in notifications so your teams have visibility into processing when they need it, and can manage the rest by exception.
    In just 30 minutes, our experts will show how AppDev teams can take advantage of Robot automated operations on IBM i and beyond so they can:
    - Stop programming for multi-platform job and file event dependencies
    - Stop struggling with incorrect parameter values
    - Stop wondering where to fit a process into daily, weekly, or monthly cycles
    - Stop the on-call headaches, the firefighting, and the lack of progress cycle
    - Go ahead, give your AppDev team a productivity boost!

  • Affordable Query Tool for Software Developers

    SB NGS WC Generic

    NGS’ Software Developer Kit (SDK) gives IBM i developers comprehensive query, dynamic mobile reporting, analytics and Web report design features at an affordable cost. Install and create meaningful outputs for managers in one day! Web page and portal integration, email, FTP are included.
    The $895* SDK includes a one user license, online training, user manuals, one year of software maintenance; toll-free support and online incident reporting.
    - Want to modernize beyond Query/400 and PC files transfers?
    - Need a Web reporting solution without the learning curve and overhead of DB2 Web Query?
    - Have many reporting needs, but a tight budget and small staff?
    View the demo and request a FREE TRIAL of the SDK.
    * Limited time offer.

  • Your introduction to RCAC and Authority Collection

    SB PowerTech WC Generic

    IBM has provided us with two powerful and very exciting security enhancements in the last two versions of IBM i.

    Scott Forstie of IBM joins Carol Woodbury to demonstrate and describe the V7R2 feature called Row and Column Access Control (RCAC), which extends how you define which users have access to specific rows in a database file. RCAC also provides a way to mask data for all or selected users.

    The recently released V7R3 adds Authority Collection. Authority Collection provides organizations and vendors with the ability to know exactly what authority is required to perform a task, eliminating the guesswork. Gone is the need to set *PUBLIC authority on database files to *ALL or to automatically grant service accounts *ALLOBJ special authority just because you’re unsure of what authority is required.

    Watch Scott and Carol as they discuss these and other new security features delivered in V7R2 and V7R3.

  • ​Getting Started with IBM i Security: Event Auditing

    SB PowerTech WC Generic

    Learn why event auditing is necessary and how to configure it
    Experts’ fears surrounding the risks associated with poor configuration were recently confirmed by the 2016 State of IBM i Security Study. Published annually, the results reveal most Power Systems lack adequate security controls and auditing measures.
    In this fast-paced webinar series, leading experts Robin Tatam and Carol Woodbury share insight into critical areas of IBM i security.
    This second session of the series introduces event auditing, with Robin Tatam covering the basics and more:
    - Why auditing is necessary
    - Determine if IBM i auditing is currently active
    - How to configure auditing with one simple command
    - What audit events are recorded (and which are missed!)
    - How high availability (HA) applications often make critical events disappear
    - Event reporting and real-time alerting

  • Getting Started with IBM i Security: Securing PC Access

    SB PowerTech WC Generic

    Protect your system from unauthorized network access through readily available PC tools

    Experts’ fears surrounding the risks associated with poor configuration were recently confirmed by the 2016 State of IBM i Security Study. Published annually, the results reveal most Power Systems lack adequate security controls and auditing measures.

    In this fast-paced webinar series, leading experts Robin Tatam and Carol Woodbury share insight into critical areas of IBM i security.

    This on-demand webinar will show you how well-known services like FTP and ODBC enable users to access sensitive data without oversight or restrictions. Robin Tatam will also explain what exit programs are and how you can use them to protect your organization.

  • No Time for IBM I Security? No Problem

    SB PowerTech WC Generic

    “Security” is definitely on your IT staff’s to-do list, but how often does this item get checked off?

    IT doesn’t have enough time for security—the 2016 IBM i Security Study proves it. The trouble is that data security isn’t a set-and-forget project. Data security on your IBM i requires on-going attention and expertise.

    In this on-demand webinar, you’ll learn how to save time and work more effectively. We’re cutting to the core of IBM i security by outlining the simple strategy developed by our experts.

    You’ll see a straightforward approach to understanding and addressing risk to your IBM i data. We’ll also show you how our world-class security services help people protect business-critical data when they don’t have the time, resources, or knowledge to tackle IBM i security on their own.

  • Getting Started with IBM i Security: System Values

    SB PowerTech WC Generic

    Set the tone for data protection with security-relevant system values

    Experts’ fears surrounding the risks associated with poor configuration were recently confirmed by the 2016 State of IBM i Security Study. Published annually, the results reveal most Power Systems lack adequate security controls and auditing measures.

    In this fast-paced webinar series, leading experts Robin Tatam and Carol Woodbury share insight into critical areas of IBM i security.

    The series opens with an introduction to security-relevant system values.

    System values are one of the fundamental elements of IBM i security. The security system values enable you to “set the tone” of security on your IBM i, enforce password composition rules, and enable auditing. Watch this on-demand webinar to see Carol Woodbury describe these system values and provide guidance on their best practice settings.

  • Getting Started with IBM i Security: Integrated File System (IFS)

    SB PowerTech WC Generic

    The IFS is one of the most commonly overlooked aspects of IBM i security
    Experts’ fears surrounding the risks associated with poor configuration were recently confirmed by the 2016 State of IBM i Security Study. Published annually, the results reveal most Power Systems lack adequate security controls and auditing measures.
    In this fast-paced webinar series, leading experts Robin Tatam and Carol Woodbury share insight into critical areas of IBM i security.
    This recorded session has Robin Tatam introducing IFS security:
    - Defining IFS
    - How the IFS is configured
    - Common IFS security mistakes
    - What a virus can do to IBM i through the IFS
    - Tracking user activity

  • ​7 Habits of Highly Secure Organizations

    SB PowerTech WC Generic

    Everyone knows that cyber security is important, but getting started on the road to data protection and compliance can be confusing and intimidating. Understanding common vulnerabilities helps you focus your attention and resources on the areas that need the most help.
    We all want “best-practice” security, but what are top organizations doing to achieve and maintain it?
    Watch this webinar to learn the details about how to develop the seven habits that are part of daily life for secure organizations. You’ll learn how to:
    - Break the Ostrich Syndrome
    - Develop a Security Policy
    - Assess Current Standing
    - Perform Security Event Logging and Review
    - Use “Best of Breed” Technologies
    - Monitor for Ongoing Compliance
    - Plan for the Future
    This on-demand webinar examines what each of these habits means to IBM i, and helps you make sure that you don’t become the next security statistic.

  • An Introduction to PCI Compliance on IBM Power Systems

    SB PowerTech WC Generic

    "From the world's largest corporations to small Internet stores, compliance with the PCI Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is vital for all merchants who accept credit cards, online or offline, because nothing is more important than keeping your customer’s payment card data secure.” — PCI Security Standards Council
    Complying with the PCI standard is a normal part of doing business in today’s credit-centric world. But, PCI applies to multiple platforms.
    The challenge becomes how to map the general PCI requirements to a specific platform, such as IBM i. And, more importantly, how can you maintain—and prove—compliance?
    Watch this webinar to understand:
    - How PCI requirements relate to IBM i systems
    - IBM i-specific barriers to compliance
    - How PowerTech security solutions help you fulfill PCI requirements, meet compliance guidelines, and satisfy auditors
    You’ll leave with the knowledge and confidence you need to evaluate PCI compliance requirements and prepare your IBM i system for today’s regulatory challenges.

  • Implementing Multiple Layers of Defense

    SB PowerTech WC Generic

    Your IBM i holds a massive amount of data. In most organizations, that data constitutes a mission-critical and high-value asset.

    How do you adequately protect the data residing on your IBM i, given its value to your organization? IBM has provided us with many options for protecting our data, but it’s now always clear how to select and implement the best options for your circumstances.

    This recorded webinar describes IBM i’s different data security options, along with implementation recommendations and tips for getting started. Carol Woodbury, one of the world’s top IBM i security experts, also provides considerations to help you determine how many layers of security are right for your organization.

  • Data Breaches: Is IBM i Really at Risk?

    SB PowerTech WC GenericIBM i is known for its security, but this OS could be more vulnerable than you think.
    Although Power Servers often live inside the safety of the perimeter firewall, the risk of suffering a data leak or data corruption remains high.
    Watch noted IBM i security expert Robin Tatam as he discusses common ways that this supposedly “secure” operating system may actually be vulnerable and who the culprits might be.

    Watch the webinar today!

     

  • Easy Mobile Development

    SB Profound WC Generic

    Watch this on-demand webinar and learn how to rapidly and easily deploy mobile apps to your organization – even when working with legacy RPG code! IBM Champion Scott Klement will demonstrate how to:
    - Develop RPG applications without mobile development experience
    - Deploy secure applications for any mobile device
    - Build one application for all platforms, including Apple and Android
    - Extend the life and reach of your IBM i (aka iSeries, AS400) platform
    You’ll see examples from customers who have used our products and services to deliver the mobile applications of their dreams, faster and easier than they ever thought possible!
    Watch this Webinar Now!

  • Profound UI: Unlock True Modernization from your IBM i Enterprise

    SB Profound PPL 5491


    Modern, web-based applications can make your Enterprise more efficient, connected and engaged. This session will demonstrate how the Profound UI framework is the best and most native way to convert your existing RPG applications and develop new modern applications for your business. Additionally, you will learn how you can address modernization across your Enterprise, including databases and legacy source code, with Profound Logic.
    We will demonstrate how Profound UI:
    - Goes beyond simple screen-scraping to truly modernize your RPG applications
    - Uses RPG Open Access and your own RPG code and development talent to modernize
    - Supports rapid development with an easy-to-use, drag-and-drop Designer
    - Integrates with our on-the-fly modernization, mobile development, and Enterprise Modernization solutions

  • 5 New and Unique Ways to Use the IBM i Audit Journal

    SB HelpSystems ROBOT GenericHigh availability for IBM i has been a hot topic in 2017, jumping 20% from our 2016 survey to take the #2 seat on IT priority lists just behind cybersecurity. And no surprise with these two topics so closely tied to your most valuable asset: your irreplaceable business data.
    With major airline outages last year and the recent ransomware attacks, you must be asking yourself: am I doing everything I can to protect my organization’s data?
    Tune in as our panel of IBM i high availability experts—Tom Huntington, Matt Staddler, and Cole Ragland—deliver lively discussion around the top high availability issues of today, including:

    • Why companies don’t test role swaps when they know they should
    • Whether high availability in the cloud makes sense for IBM i users
    • Why some organizations don’t have high availability yet
    • How to get high availability up and running at your organization
    • High availability considerations for today’s security concerns

    There are no do-overs when it comes to your data. Once it’s gone, it’s gone...unless you have a data replication layer in place to protect it. Learn the value of these strategic solutions and how you can implement them in a hurry—watch now!

     

  • Profound.js 2.0: Extend the Power of Node to your IBM i Applications

    SB Profound WC 5541In this Webinar, we'll demonstrate how Profound.js 2.0 enables you to easily adopt Node.js in your business, and to take advantage of the many benefits of Node, including access to a much larger pool of developers for IBM i and access to countless reusable open source code packages on npm (Node Package Manager).
    You will see how Profound.js 2.0 allows you to:

    • Provide RPG-like capabilities for server-side JavaScript.
    • Easily create web and mobile application interfaces for Node on IBM i.
    • Let existing RPG programs call Node.js modules directly, and vice versa.
    • Automatically generate code for Node.js.
    • Automatically converts existing RPGLE code into clean, simplified Node.js code.

    Download and watch today!

     

  • Make Modern Apps You'll Love with Profound UI & Profound.js

    SB Profound WC 5541Roses are red, your UIs are green...It's time to make your apps proud to be seen!
    Whether you have green screens or a drab GUI, your outdated apps can benefit from modern source code, modern GUIs, and modern tools.
    Profound Logic's Alex Roytman and Liam Allan are here to show you how Free-format RPG and Node.js make it possible to deliver applications your whole business will love.
    In this webinar, you'll learn how you can use both Profound UI and Profound.js to:

    • Transform legacy RPG code to modern free-format RPG and Node.js
    • Deliver truly modern application interfaces with Profound UI
    • Extend your RPG applications to include Web Services and NPM packages with Node.js

    This webinar will include a live product demonstration and Q&A with the presenters.

    Download and watch today!

  • 2017 IBM i Marketplace Revealed

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic

    IBM i is one of technology’s best-kept secrets, with little information available about what IBM i users are doing on this server. Even companies that use this technology struggle to explain to their own teams what IBM i stands for and who else is using it.
    The IBM i Marketplace Survey—now in its 3rd year—was designed to solve this problem. Watch this on-demand webinar for the exclusive results of the 2017 survey. IBM i Champion Tom Huntington is joined by a panel of technology experts to discuss year-over-year trends and new insights. The panel will discuss:

    • What other platforms do you run alongside IBM i?
    • What programming and Open Source languages are you using?
    • What are your top IT issues?
    • What version of POWER and what OS level is most prevalent?
    • Are you expanding your usage of IBM i?
    • Is IBM i a good ROI?

    The expert panel will provide industry insight and comments about the results. When the webinar concludes, you’ll get access to the full results.

  • Accelerating Programmer Productivity with Sequel

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic

    Most business intelligence tools are just that: tools, a means to an end but not an accelerator. Yours could even be slowing you down. But what if your BI tool didn't just give you a platform for query-writing but also improved programmer productivity?
    Watch the recorded webinar to see how Sequel:

    • Makes creating complex results simple
    • Eliminates barriers to data sources
    • Increases flexibility with data usage and distribution

    Accelerated productivity makes everyone happy, from programmer to business user.

  • Business Intelligence is Changing: Make Your Game Plan

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic

    Everyone wants a piece of your business data. But keeping up with data access requests in the era of constantly growing data is a challenge. As a result, your IT department can be overwhelmed, inundated, and constantly needing to play catch-up.
    It’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 in 2018.
    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_Generic

    Let’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 noted 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_Generic

    There’s a better way to run your queries. With an advanced query tool like Sequel Data Access, you can deliver the IBM i data your organization needs quickly and efficiently—without the hang-ups.
    In this session, we’ll address common frustrations with Query/400, discuss major data access and distribution trends, and help you understand what to look for in a more advanced query tool.
    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
    • Watch the webinar and learn why you shouldn’t just settle for Query/400.

     

  • How to Manage Documents the Easy Way

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic

    What happens when your company depends on an outdated document management strategy?
    Everything is harder.
    Capturing documents means scanning and filing—which takes you away from tasks that actually matter to the business. Managing documents means sorting through an endless sea of shared folders or filing cabinets—and sometimes documents can’t be found. Distributing documents means following a frustrating, manual process for routing documents internally and sending them to vendors and customers.
    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_Generic

    Get 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.

  • Monitor VIOS (and AIX) from Your IBM i

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic

    Virtual I/O Server (VIOS) runs on AIX and allows you to share input/output resources across logical partitions. The health of your VIOS server is critical to the performance of all your Power server partitions, so monitoring it is a must.
    Our 2017 IBM i Marketplace Survey Results uncovered a cool trend: an increasing number of IBM i shops are running AIX instances alongside IBM i on Power Systems servers. We like to see these systems playing nicely together on the same server, though it does shine a spotlight on shared resources.
    During this 30-minute recording, our experts demonstrate the new VIOS and AIX monitoring capabilities in Robot Monitor. You’ll learn about:

    • The top AIX metrics that impact VIOS
    • Real-time monitoring with dashboard displays
    • Threshold and notification options
    • Identifying trends to better allocate resources

    With VIOS/AIX running alongside IBM i, you need visibility into your entire Power environment.
    Watch now to see how Robot Monitor can get you there!

     

     

  • Overwhelmed by Operating Systems?

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic

    You’re responsible for looking after Windows, Linux, AIX, and VIOS, but you worry that you don’t understand their complexities well enough to make your job effective—or easy.
    No problem! Simplify the management of multiple operating systems and applications without becoming experts in each area.
    In 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 and shows how easy monitoring multiple operating systems and applications can be using point-and-click technology.

     

  • Real-Time Disk Monitoring with Robot Monitor

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic

    When IBM i disk space pulls its notorious disappearing act, you don’t have time to waste figuring out how the trick is done. You need to know when disk space starts to disappear and where it has gone before system performance and productivity start to suffer.
    Looking behind the curtain to keep a close eye on disk space—especially in a multi-partition environment—can have its challenges, but every good admin can have an ace up their sleeve. 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

    Start seeing through the sleight of hand and get instant visibility into disk usage. Add advance warning of potential threats and—abracadabra!—you’ll reduce the risk of disk space depletion and curb the sudden flurry of activity to clean things up.

     

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

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic

    Still following manual processes for extracting and transferring data across platforms? You’re not alone. Many business still depend on RPG for their daily business processes and report generation. And that leads to a lot of manual effort.
    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, you’ll see a demonstration of how data automation software from HelpSystems will help you finally stop re-keying data.

     

  • Survey Results: 2018 Top Cybersecurity Risks and Mitigation Strategies

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic

    Protecting your organization from cyberthreats has never been more important—or more difficult.
    IT pros have many tactics to choose from, but time (and budgets!) are not unlimited. The key is prioritizing risks and identifying the most effective ways to mitigate the danger.
    In 2018, HelpSystems surveyed more than 600 IT and cybersecurity professionals to find out what security exploits loom largest and what strategies they’re turning to for protection.
    In this on-demand webinar, our team of cybersecurity security experts analyzes results. You’ll learn about:

    • Security strategies your peers are most interested in implementing
    • How managers and executives prioritize security
    • Who is responsible for cybersecurity at organizations around the world
    • Where IT pros turn for assistance with security

    You'll also get practical tips for using this data to drive cybersecurity conversations at your organization.

     

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

    SB_Profound_WC_Generic

    When it comes to IBM® Rational® Open Access: RPG Edition (also known as RPG Open Access), 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"

    This Webinar features IBM i expert Alison Butterill, and Profound Logic’s Brian May and Alex Roytman.

     

    Watch the On-demand Webinar Now!

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

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic

    Do your users keep paperwork on their desk until it's processed?
    Are people constantly removing documents from filing cabinets?
    What happens when your company depends on an outdated document management strategy?
    Too much paper is wasted—approximately 1,000 pages per month per worker.
    Attempts to locate documents in endless filing cabinets drive your employees crazy.
    And distributing documents to customers, vendors, and business partners 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

    Plus, our experts will provide a live demonstration of how implementing a document management solution will quickly solve your paper-based problems, so you can be more

  • 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

     

  • TRY the One Package That Solves All Your Document Design and Printing Challenges

    SB CYBRA PPL 5382

    Produce bar code labels, electronic forms, ad hoc reports, and RFID tags – without programming! MarkMagic is the only document design and print solution that combines report writing, WYSIWYG label and forms design, and conditional printing in one integrated product. Why support 5 different products, when you can do it all with MarkMagic?

    - Drive over 450 different printer types.
    - Create invoices, statements, checks.
    - Set dynamic rules that transform output on the fly.
    - Conditionally distribute via Email, fax, or PDF.
    - Integrate with your current applications in minutes.
    - Preview printing on screen.
    - Native System i, Windows, AIX, Linux.

    Try MarkMagic today for free

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

    SB HelpSystems SC 5413

    Disaster protection is vital to every business. Yet, it often consists of patched together procedures that are prone to error. From automatic backups to data encryption to media management, Robot automates the routine (yet often complex) 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 5413

    Managing messages on your IBM i can be more than a full-time job if you have to do it manually. Messages need a response and resources must be monitored—often over multiple systems and across platforms. 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
    Keep your critical applications and data available. Try the Robot Message Management Solution FREE for 30 days.

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

    SB HelpSystems SC 5413

    The thought of printing, distributing, and storing iSeries reports manually may reduce you to tears. Paper and labor costs associated with report generation can spiral out of control. Mountains of paper threaten to swamp your files. Robot 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 5413

    For over 30 years, Robot has been a leader in systems management for IBM i. With batch job creation and scheduling at its core, the Robot Job Scheduling Solution reduces the opportunity for human error and helps you maintain service levels, automating even the biggest, most complex runbooks.
    Manage your job schedule with the Robot Job Scheduling Solution. brKey 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.

  • MS Office Connector for Query/400...FREE Trial!

    SB NGS PPL 5130

    NGS' Qport Office enables Windows users to run IBM Query/400 queries to:
    - Create and update Excel spreadsheets and Access databases
    - Create Word documents
    - Send to Windows screen and PC printers
    No query conversion is required. Works with i5/OS V5R1 & above. Installs in minutes!
    If you don’t have a budget to replace IBM Query/400, but want your users to have one click enhanced output of their queries.... Request the online license agreement and product download instructions today!
    Offer good through December 31, 2016.

  • Control and Monitor User Access from Desktop PCs (ODBC, FTP)

    SB PowerTech 5422

    Protect your company by monitoring network traffic to your IBM i servers with the industry-leading exit program, PowerTech Network Security.
    Without visibility into IBM i's exit points, your users could be viewing, changing, or even deleting sensitive data—and you wouldn’t know!
    Network Security lets you monitor and control access to over 30 exit points, including:

    - ODBC
    - FTP
    - DDM
    - Remote command
    - Fileserve (mapped drives to IFS)
    It’s easy to set up custom access rules and get notified in real-time when security events occur.
    Stop “back door” access today. Try Network Security free for 30 days.

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

    SB DDL Systems 5429

    More than a paging system - ACO MONITOR is a complete systems management solution for your Power Systems running IBM i. Managing the complexities of today's operating systems, business applications, and networks challenges even the most knowledgeable IT professionals. The cost to an enterprise of unplanned downtime, loss of human expertise during sick leave or vacation, and system/application or environmental failure can be devastating. 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 (and staff) efficiency.