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The Linux Letter: Volume Manager - It's Only Logical

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Anyone who has ever worked with DOS or Windows is familiar with the pleasure (?) involved with disk partitioning. In these worlds, the disk can be split into one or more pieces, called partitions, to which the operating system assigns a drive letter. The first partition is traditionally the "C:" drive, with subsequent partitions getting the next sequential letter (this behavior can be altered via the OS tools). In the UNIX/Linux world, a disk can likewise be split into pieces, but unlike DOS/Windows, the file system is a tree structure, with each disk partition being "mounted" into a particular place in the tree. There is no concept of drive letters in *nix. Figure 1 shows a typically partitioned hard drive. No matter what operating system is used, the challenge is to decide how many partitions to create and how large to make each piece.

 http://www.mcpressonline.com/articles/images/2002/LVMV4--12130600.jpg

Figure 1: This drawing represents the age-old division of a single disk drive into a number of partitions. (Click images to enlarge.)

 

Many variables are involved in the planning process and failure to "get it right" could result in lots of wasted space (disk used to be quite expensive) or running out of space prematurely. Historically, all of these operating systems suffer the same problem when a given partition fills to capacity: How do you add more? The traditional responses to a critical storage problem include replacing the current drive with one of greater capacity or adding more drives. Both of these solutions require juggling existing data and typically require performing configuration changes to existing applications. Worse still, your maximum partition size is limited to the size of the largest hard drive unless your system is equipped with a RAID controller, which allows you to merge the capacities of drives in a RAID 0 configuration.

Logical Volume Management (LVM) eliminates these problems by providing a level of abstraction between the physical drives (and their capacities) and the operating system. Drive space can be added easily, and, with hot-swap hardware, on the fly while the system is running. Best of all, LVM is equally applicable to the virtual hardware you get when using VMWare or LPAR as it is with real hardware. Virtually all modern Linux distributions are LVM-ready, and the enterprise-level distributions automatically set up on your system are LVM-based, should you choose auto-partitioning during system installation.

While I have heard and read comments that LVM is confusing, you have to deal with only three simple components, which I'll discuss next. Once you get the hang of LVM, you'll never want to go back to a plain disk setup.

Basic Building Block

The whole of LVM consists of three components, as shown in Figure 2. The first is the basic building block of LVM, called the physical volume (PV). A physical volume can be partitions of an actual hard drive (which has its type ID set as the hex value '8e'), an entire hard drive, or certain metadevices, such as iSCSI. To prepare a physical volume for LVM, you need only issue the command pvcreate partition_or_device_name, which writes LVM metadata to it.

http://www.mcpressonline.com/articles/images/2002/LVMV4--12130601.jpg

Figure 2: LVM creates a pool of space from which individual partitions (called logical volumes) can created and dynamically resized.

 

On my laptop (one 100Mb IDE drive), I have the following physical volumes (the pvdisplay command shows the physical volume information available to the system):

[klinebl@laptop2 ~]$ sudo /usr/sbin/pvdisplay
  --- Physical volume ---
  PV Name               /dev/hda5
  VG Name               VolGroup20050306
  PV Size               53.59 GB / not usable 0
  Allocatable           yes
  PE Size (KByte)       32768
  Total PE              1715
  Free PE               64
  Allocated PE          1651
  PV UUID               w7BBJd-qNnk-L4sS-wAx8-bB8m-81bi-MBixOP

  --- Physical volume ---
  PV Name               /dev/hda6
  VG Name               VolGroup20050306
  PV Size               37.25 GB / not usable 0
  Allocatable           yes
  PE Size (KByte)       32768
  Total PE              1192
  Free PE               68
  Allocated PE          1124
  PV UUID               An6EFC-Bnd8-qLGm-tzWP-LZ4w-1fLA-f7FVOo

 

The drive is partitioned this way:

Disk /dev/hda: 100.0 GB, 100030242816 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 12161 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/hda1               1         154     1236973+   b  W95 FAT32
/dev/hda2   *         155         167      104422+  83  Linux
/dev/hda3             168         298     1052257+  82  Linux swap
/dev/hda4             299       12161    95289547+   5  Extended
/dev/hda5             299        7296    56211403+  8e  Linux LVM
/dev/hda6            7297       12161    39078081   8e  Linux LVM
 

You may be wondering why I have two physical volumes (Linux LVM) on this drive instead of simply one large one. Good question! The reason is that the partition /dev/hda6 was being used for other things (another Linux installation). When I was able to clear it, I wanted to add it to my main Linux installation. Setting it as a physical volume was the easy way to include it, as you will see shortly.

An Amalgamation

Once you have created one or more physical volumes, you need to create a volume group (VG). The volume group is really nothing more than the amalgamation of one or more physical volumes, which then will be carved up into partition-like entities called logical volumes. You need at least one volume group for LVM, but you can create as many as you need. This is the simplified command to create a volume group:

vgcreate vg_name partition_or_device_name_1 [partition_or_device_name_n]

So for my laptop example, I would have used this:

vgcreate VolGroup20050306 /dev/hda5 /dev/hda6.

In reality, I'm not being completely truthful as I actually extended the existing group at a later time (I'll be bringing that up shortly, too), but the example command would do the trick.

For those unfamiliar with the *nix way of naming devices, you'll note that the partitions I enumerated were /dev/hda5 and /dev/hda6. Device files (and in *nix, everything is a file) are stored in the file system under the /dev directory. The "hda" portion is the master drive on the first IDE channel. The slave would be "hdb" and so forth. The digit is the partition number, which you can ascertain by looking at the partition information produced by the fdisk command (shown above). Once your volume group is created, you'll find it under the /dev directory, like any other device. Thus, the newly created volume group shown in my example is /dev/VolGroup20050306.

Logical Volumes

Once we have created our volume group, we have what amounts to an oversized hard drive. To make it useful, we need to carve it into pieces, called "logical volumes," that are similar to partitions on a hard drive. The command to do that is simple:

lvcreate -n name -L size volume_group

If I wanted to create a new 250 Mb logical volume (partition) called "test" on my laptop, I would issue this command:

lvcreate -n test -L250M /dev/VolGroup20050306

Once the command completed, the volume appears under the /dev/VolGroup20050306 directory: /dev/VolGroup20050306/test. Once created, you treat the logical volume as you would any partition: You must first format it (mkfs.ext3 /dev/VolGroup20050306/test), and then you need to mount it into the file system tree (mkdir /test ; mount /dev/VolGroup20050306/test /test). To automatically mount this logical volume during system startup, you would edit the file /etc/fstab and add the appropriate entries.

Impossible to Do

Other than allowing you to assemble many small disk drives into what appears to be one large one (something that RAID 0 will do), what makes LVM special? For one thing, it's easy to enlarge a logical volume. Let's say that the "test" logical volume I created earlier is running out of room, and I'd like to double its size. Easily done! First, I extend the logical partition:

lvextend -L+250M /dev/VolGroup20050306/test 

 

Then, I extend the file system hosted there. For the ext2/ext3 file systems, the command is ext2online /test. Please note that I did this with the system live and with the file system mounted. That's something that's impossible to do unless you're using LVM.

Path of Least Resistance

Enlarging a logical partition depends of course on your having unused space in your volume group. I usually create my logical partitions such that the sum of all of their sizes is less than the total size of the volume group. This gives me some breathing room as the partitions fill. Eventually, though, I do find myself in need of more space. (Who doesn't?) Since I'm loathe to clean out old data (who isn't?), I always tread the path of least resistance: I buy more drives! Once the drive is installed in the system, which can be live if your hardware supports it, it's a trivial matter to extend your volume group. To do so, you need to prepare it to be a physical volume:

pvcreate /dev/ 

 

Then add it to the volume group:

vgextend  /dev/ 

 

In my example, let's assume that I have added a drive identified as /dev/hdd. I'd simply issue pvcreate /dev/hdd, then vgextend VolGroup20050306 /dev/hdd. Instantly, I'd see that the new volume group size is larger by roughly the size of the new drive. Now I can extend the logical volumes as needed.

But what if there is no space to add additional drives in your computer's chassis? All is not lost, especially if you pay attention and catch the looming disk crisis before it gets too far. The vgextend command has a converse: vgreduce. If you need to add space and don't have anywhere to physically install a new drive, you can remove one of the existing drives and replace it with a larger one. The trick is to ensure that you have enough space on a remaining drive to hold the data that is stored on the drive to be replaced.

For example, let's assume that you have a volume group that consists of four physical volumes on four physical drives, each 16 Gb in size. You want to start replacing these with 32 Gb drives. As long as you have enough space on one of the drives to hold the data contained on another, you can remove a drive using the pvmove and vgreduce commands. This will cause LVM to move any data currently stored on the target drive to another drive in the volume group, enabling you to replace it. Once the new drive is installed, you use the pvcreate and vgextend commands to gain access to your new disk real estate. If desired, you can repeat this process for the remaining three 16 Gb drives and double the size of your volume group. And with the right hardware, this all can be done without bringing down the system. While this may seem complicated, just think of the process as solving a Chinese tile puzzle, with the missing tile representing the available space.

By the way, what I have said so far about adding physical volumes to a volume group is equally applicable to i5-hosted Linux partitions. Since such partitions see network storage spaces as nothing more than another hard drive, you can continue to extend the volume groups within them by linking additional NWSSTG to the Linux partitions up to the point where you expend all of your available i5 storage. Adding to a Linux partition in this manner allows you to keep your i5 disk space available for use on either the i5/OS side or the Linux side until you need it. This allows you to be a bit less concerned about "getting it right" when you configure a partition.

Mix and Match

One interesting facet of LVM is that the physical volumes in a volume group need not be all of the same drive type. You can mix and match IDE, SCSI, and SATA drives, as well as iSCSI and other metadevices, in the same volume group. You probably wouldn't want to do this on a full-time basis for performance reasons (you would be hampering the speed of your data access by including comparatively slow devices in a volume group with speed demons). However, as a way to add space to a volume group so that you can upgrade hard drives (as I discussed in the last section), this technique can help you keep your system running.

Extolling the Virtues

So far, I have been extolling the virtues of LVM for extending existing logical volumes. You also can reduce the size of a logical volume, enabling you to "rob Peter to pay Paul" should you find yourself running out of room in one volume while having a surfeit in another. Unfortunately, reducing a logical volume can't (at this time) be performed while it is mounted in the tree. You'll need to unmount it, thus making this operation an offline procedure. On top of that, you really do need to ensure that you perform the steps in the correct order, lest you corrupt the file system. (It just isn't acceptable to reduce a logical volume to a size smaller than the file system contained within it!) I'm not going to list the steps required to reduce an LV; those are enumerated in the LVM how-to. I just want you to know that the potential is there.

Snapshot Backups

While LVM is mostly about dynamically assigning disk space, another wonderful feature is that of making snapshot backups. What this entails is creating a logical volume, using a switch that signifies that the LV is a snapshot LV, and specifying the logical volume with which it is associated. "What did he just say?" I hear you utter. Let me first show an example:

[root@laptop2 ~]# lvcreate -L512M -n home_snaps -s  /dev/VolGroup20050306/log_home
   Logical volume "home_snaps" created
[root@laptop2 ~]# lvs
  LV             VG               Attr   LSize   Origin   Snap%  Move Log Copy%
  IBM            VolGroup20050306 -wi-a-   4.00G
  RHEL_AS4_PPC64 VolGroup20050306 -wi-a-   5.16G
  home_snaps     VolGroup20050306 swi-a- 512.00M log_home   0.00
  iso            VolGroup20050306 -wi-a-   1.00G
  log_home       VolGroup20050306 owi-ao  25.00G
  log_opt        VolGroup20050306 -wi-ao   2.00G
  log_rootdir    VolGroup20050306 -wi-ao   6.00G
  log_tmp        VolGroup20050306 -wi-ao   1.12G
  log_var        VolGroup20050306 -wi-ao   2.00G
  usr_local      VolGroup20050306 -wi-ao 256.00M
  vmstorage      VolGroup20050306 -wi-ao  38.22G
  xfstest        VolGroup20050306 -wi-a-   2.00G

 

In this example, I have created a logical volume labeled "home_snaps" that is associated with the "log_home" LV. I then can mount that volume into the tree, and, when I access it, I'll find all of the files that were in the original volume at the time I created the snapshot LV. Now I can use my favorite backup program to save its contents while users continue to make changes, without hassle! In this case, I will allow up to 512 Mb worth of changes before running out of room (at which point the snapshot becomes invalid); you may want to make one larger or smaller, depending on the activity in the LV with which you are working.

The usual way to use this feature is to create the snapshot LV, mount it in the system tree, and then save it. Once the backup is completed, you can delete the logical snapshot volume. With a bit of planning, you can extend that use to provide a means to restore files that users have created and (accidentally) deleted before your normal nightly backup has had a chance to capture it. This has the potential to make you a real hero to some hapless user having a bad day.

Two Kinds

There are two types of Linux users right now: those that use LVM and those that will. Logical Volume Management has grown up to become enterprise-ready, with too many nice features to ignore. Since it is appearing as the default in an increasing number of Linux distribution installations, you'll have to go out of your way to avoid it.

When you are ready to learn more, I encourage you to check out the LVM how-to. You'll find that the how-to contains not only the usual dry explanations but also a wonderful group of recipes to show you the power that is LVM. I haven't even touched on the LVM options that allow you to optimize your logical volumes for performance, but the how-to does.

That's it for this month. I hope that everyone has a wonderful holiday season and a happy new year!

Barry L. Kline is a consultant and has been developing software on various DEC and IBM midrange platforms for over 23 years. Barry discovered Linux back in the days when it was necessary to download diskette images and source code from the Internet. Since then, he has installed Linux on hundreds of machines, where it functions as servers and workstations in iSeries and Windows networks. He co-authored the book Understanding Linux Web Hosting with Don Denoncourt. Barry can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Barry Kline

Barry L. Kline is a consultant and has been developing software on various DEC and IBM midrange platforms since the early 1980s. Barry discovered Linux back in the days when it was necessary to download diskette images and source code from the Internet. Since then, he has installed Linux on hundreds of machines, where it functions as servers and workstations in iSeries and Windows networks. He co-authored the book Understanding Web Hosting on Linux with Don Denoncourt. Barry can be reached at barry@blkline.com.

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    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.