IBM have announced the release of IBM i 7.4. In this article we cover some of the exciting new features available with the latest version of the operating system, for instance DB2 mirror for IBM i, in addition to some very interesting security enhancements.
The most impressive announcement in our opinion is DB2 Mirror for IBM i. This new feature allows you to to perform high speed synchronous replication of Db2 for i . With DB2 Mirror for IBM i you can have two nodes read and write to the same DB files. As a result you have the ability to quickly move all work to one node. This is ideal if you are planning to perform maintenance or if a node failure occurs. One final benefit is the ability to perform non disruptive system upgrades without downtime. Nodes can be at different OS levels and POWER hardware generations. To The only pre-requisite is a IBM POWER 8 or IBM POWER 9 server, ROCE ethernet adaptor and the IBM i 7.4 operating system.
Security administrators don’t necessarily have to be powerful users to perform their job, for example do they need authority to view confidential pieces of information such as salaries or addresses of people they work with? IBM i 7.2 tried to address this issue with the introduction of Row and Column Access Control giving you the ability to mask some or all of the characters in a field or database file and limiting the records particular users can work with. IBM i 7.4 has improved on this with Authority Collection by Object. As of IBM i 7.4 authority collection support allows the collection of authority information for specific objects when accessed by any user. All in all, an incredibly powerful collection of tools that will improve your systems overall security.
Hidden within the newly released IBM i 7.4 announcement was a new roadmap. The new roadmap shows that IBM will continue to support the platform to at least 2031. Significantly, IBM POWER CTO David Spurway told us that the IBM i platform is core to the POWER strategy going forward and they intend to have two versions of IBM i in development at any point in time with a regular schedule of a new release happening every three years. Finally, it is rumoured that IBM is in the process of developing the latest servers using IBM POWER 10 technology.
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