Monday December 11, 2017

By now you’ve probably heard that IBM will be ending support for its IBM i 7.1 system in April 2018. That’s only 4 months away, so if you haven’t begun the process of updating, you should absolutely consider it. Not only does upgrading mean you’re keeping up to date with the latest version, but you’re also getting new advancements and capabilities that were not a part of 7.1.

However, upgrading to either 7.2 or 7.3 isn’t so straight forward. Here, we’ll take a look at 5 crucial steps that you’ll need to take before upgrading to 7.3. We recommend that you upgrade to the absolute latest version of IBM i, as it is the newest version and you can avoid having to do another upgrade from 7.2 to 7.3 later one.

Update tip #1 – No support for Power6

While IBM i 7.3 will work on many of the modern versions of IBM’s Power Systems, it will not work on Power6 and previous models. This includes 520, 550, M15, MMA, FHA, some Power6 BladeCenter models, some IBM Flex Systems, and iSCSI. This means if you’re using one of these models, you will not be able to upgrade and may want to consider upgrading your hardware.

To learn more, check out the IBM knowledge center for installing and upgrading IBM i.

Update tip #2 – Supported applications and versions

As with any software release or update, there will be applications that will no longer work or that have been developed to work with more functionality for a new version of software. For IBM i 7.3, there are a few development applications that will no longer work on 7.3 or will need to be updated:

  • Java
  • Domino
  • IBM WebSphere Application Server

Update tip #3 – Increase you Licensed Internal Code space

Before you start installing 7.3, make sure that you increase the storage space for the licensed internal code space on the load source disk, as you’ll need to allocate additional space. The reason being is for 7.1 and previous releases required more reserved space than their current counterparts.

For 7.3, the load source will need to be at least 70GB (if using a physical disk) or 35GB (if using a virtual disk).

Update tip #4 – Make sure you have your PTFs

First things first, what are PTFs and why are they important. Basically, a PTF is a temporary solution to or bypass of a problem as a result of a defect in a current release, which have been diagnosed by IBM.

For any release, admins should always check out the latest PTFs. To view the checklist for 7.3, check out the IBM developer wiki.

Update tip #5 – Make sure you review shared printer changes

If you’re using the NetServer Shared Printers, you’ll need to make sure you’re aware of the changes for this protocol. For 7.3, a new version of the Server Message Block (SMB) has been added that handles printing differently, including additional steps to configure the printer. You do have the option to disable this new version.

The IT landscape is rapidly changing, creating new measures of faster service, higher quality, and superior economics in order for businesses to truly reach their initiatives and goals. Ciber can help you make the right decision with your IBM infrastructure, such as upgrading, updating, and installation. Our team of expert professionals are customer centric and outcome oriented, so you can focus on your goals and their results and not your infrastructure.

If you’re looking to upgrade your IBM i system, contact us today.