IBM announced IBM i v7.5, the latest version of the IBM i operating system on May 3, 2022.
IBM i 7.5 Announcement
Many businesses run state-of-the-art, modern applications on the IBM i operating system. IBM continues to develop the IBM i platform and retains a loyal install base from businesses from banking and finance to healthcare, distribution, retail, and manufacturing.
Customers using IBM i continue to find innovative ways of exploiting the platform’s key attributes of scalability, reliability, flexibility, and ease of use.
What’s new in IBM i 7.5?
Let’s start by looking at the road map:
The good news is IBM i 7.5 will be supported up to 2030 – plus IBM is already working on the next version of IBM i, which will see the platform supported well into the mid-2030s.
One significant thing to mention……. IBM i 7.5 will not run on IBM POWER8 hardware.
How do I buy IBM i 7.5?
Historically, it’s been necessary to purchase a perpetual license and associated software maintenance to provide support and new releases.
Increasingly customers are looking for more flexible purchasing options that maximise Opex spending and now there is a subscription model for IBM i.
IBM has three options for clients to procure IBM i license and capacity:
|Perpetual license*||Subscription Term*||As-a-Service|
|Traditional way to acquire licenses||Aligned with industry direction||PowerVS|
|Non-expiring license||Opex model||Hourly pricing, monthly billing|
|Annual renewals for software maintenance||1 to 5 year committed terms||Access to other cloud services|
|Higher initial investment (CAPEX)||Lower entry price||Same architecture as on-prem|
|License stays with the serial number||Includes support||Includes support|
|*Can be mixed on the same server (no transfers from perpetual to subscription)|
Building on this new subscription offering, IBM plans to offer a bundle of hardware and IBM i software, primarily aimed at the entry-level:
- 4-core P05 hardware server
- 1 processor entitlement
- 25 IBM i user entitlements
- 3-year term
IBM is also simplifying the licensing structure of IBM i and associated products. With IBM 7.5, IBM is bundling into the OS charge many of the commonly used LPP’s, as per the table below:
|Products / Options now entitled with IBM i||Products / Options remaining separately charged|
|Media & Storage Extensions||BRMS|
|DB2 Symmetric Multiprocessing||PowerHA|
|DB2 Multisystem||Cloud Storage Solutions|
|All PSF options||Rational Development Studio (WDS)|
|HA Switchable Resources||DB2 Web Query|
|HA Journal Performance||Rational Developer for i (RDi)|
|AFP Font Collection||DB2 Mirror|
|AFP DBCS Fonts|
|Advanced DBCS Support|
|Rational Application Management|
|Advanced Job Scheduler|
|DB2 SQL Developer Kit|
|IBM I Access Family|
What new functionality is available in IBM i 7.5?
As with previous releases (and also through Technology Refreshes v7.3 and v7.4), IBM continues to invest heavily in the DB2 database that is at the heart of the IBM i operating system, and v7.5 is no different.
The DB2 database integrated into IBM i implements full SQL industry standards, far out-pacing most competitive platforms.
And we see added functions (such as Boolean support) as well as scalability improvements, for example much larger table indexes.
No surprise also that IBM i 7.5 sees many new SQL services for extracting information from your IBM i environment.
In this world of constant and evolving security threats, it’s no surprise to see added security built into the operating system. IBM i has always had an industry-leading reputation with regard to security and this new release builds upon that strength.
The most significant is a new password level (QPWDLVL) of 4, which provides PBKDF2/SHA2-512 password hashing.
Another noticeable change is that the shipped default *PUBLIC authority on system objects will be *USE (as opposed to *ALL or *CHANGE)… make sure you read the Memo to Users to understand what is changing as there is a lot related to security!
Gone are the days of the platform being described as proprietary and restricted. In fact, with the recent adoption of open source technology, it could be argued the platform is now one of the most open on the market.
IBM i 7.5 continues this approach as sees numerous additions to the open source capability, most notably the addition of common open source application servers such as Wildfly, Tomcat, and Eclipse Jetty.
Application Development and System Management
Our old friends RPG and CL continue to receive investment and enhancement allowing them to remain relevant in towards world of agile development.
PowerHA and BRMS continue to receive new functionality, and the recently refreshed (December 2021) IBM Navigator includes new functions and metrics, along with end-to-end TLS connectivity.
With v7.4, IBM introduced the concept of continuous active-active availability via the DB2 Mirror product.
With the introduction of IBM i 7.5 it is possible to nodes at different releases thus enabling the ability to do rolling upgrades. Another interesting development is the ability to have a read-only node used for queries and backups.
What about IBM i 7.3?
IBM hasn’t announced the end of support for IBM i 7.3, however, typically IBM works on the basis of two active operating systems at a time.
Hence, it is reasonable to assume that those two releases will be v7.5 and v7.4 and that is where future investment and development time (via TR refreshes) will be.
So if you are running v7.3 now is the time to start thinking about making the move to a newer release. You will be able to upgrade directly to v7.5 from v7.3 in line with IBM’s usual “N-2 Support” stance.
How can I explore IBM i further?
Speak to Tectrade if you want a deeper understanding of the latest IBM announcements.
Our experts can help you spin up an LPAR to try out the new features of v7.5, or to test your application for compatibility, with the Tectrade PowerCloud environment.
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