IBM i Technology Refresh: IBM i 7.4 (V7R4) TR4 and IBM i 7.3 (V7R3) TR10

IBM Technology Refresh

IBM ended support for IBM i 7.2 (V7R2) in In April 2021. That same month, they also announced Technology Refreshes (TRs) for more current versions of the IBM i operating system:

  • TR4 for IBM i 7.4 (V7R4)
  • TR10 for IBM i 7.3 (V7R3)

Let’s take a look at some of the key technologies included in these TRs.

Query Supervisor

The introduction of the Query Supervisor allows you to define an exit program to be called if any one of a series of thresholds are breached. These thresholds include:

  • The amount of temporary storage consumed
  • The number of input / output operations
  • The total run time of the query itself
  • The exit program can then raise an alert or end the query to help prevent wider impact to users or system resources.

Uniquely, the Query Supervisor has been designed to work while the query is running, although detail of the activities performed by the supervisor can be found in Plan Cache within the SQL Performance Center.

In addition, QSYS2.QUERY_SUPERVISOR is a new view that provides threshold rules defined for the supervisor and can be used from the “Run SQL Scripts” within Access Client Solutions (ACS).

IBM i Services

The ever-popular IBM i Services—runnable from ACS—have once again been refreshed with a total of 19 new or improved services made available for use. These services are invaluable to system administrators and provide a great alternative to the 5250 green screen and APIs. Below are two of the most useful new ones.

QSYS2.NVME_INFO

With NVME hardware starting to become commonplace in IBM Power Systems, IBM introduced a new service: QSYS2.NVME_INFO. Using this service will provide information such as:

  • The device type
  • How much capacity remains
  • Whether they are running a degraded service
  • An indication as to whether the temperature threshold has been exceeded
  • And probably the most important, the estimate of life remaining

Remember, NVME devices will last for many years but will not last forever. Similarly, the QSYS2.SYSDISKSTAT view has been enhanced to provide lifetime remaining statistics for solid-state drives (SSD).

QSYS2.SECURITY_INFO

Another powerful service making its debut is QSYS2.SECURITY_INFO. This one is a real time-saver as it provides security-related information pertaining to a large array of IBM i system values such as:

  • Server Security Level (QSECURITY)
  • Password Level (QPDWLVL)
  • The dangerous default create public authority (QCRTAUT)
  • Auditing (QAUDLVL and QAUDLVL2)
  • A large selection of user password system value controls

The services can be kept up to date via the Db2 for i Group PTF:

  • 7.3 – SF99703
  • 7.4 – SF99704

For more information on IBM i Services: www.ibm.biz/Db2foriServices

Monitoring IBM i System Limits

How close are you to reaching the maximum number of spooled files in *SYSBAS? Or how about the number of rows in a logical partition? IBM provides a service called QSYS2.SYSLIMTBL, which you can run via ACS to find out.
In addition, IBM now provides the once-a-day QSYSOPR messages (message ID SQL7062) that will warn you when you have less than 10% of these and other limits.

The warning thresholds can be adjusted to fit your environmental needs.

Db2 Mirror for i

Providing continuous availability by way of a pair of active nodes in an active/active cluster, Db2 Mirror for i provides the capability to both read and write to two partitions at the same time while appearing to the outside world as one. With TR4 for IBM i 7.4 comes the ability to include the following as elements that can be replicated:

  • Data queue entries
  • User spaces
  • User indexes

Visit IBM’s website for more information on the latest Technology Refreshes.

The IBM i Story at HelpSystems

HelpSystems shares IBM's long history of success thanks to this power platform. Our software now secures and monitors IT environments, provides high availability, automates processes, and gives easy access to the information people need at thousands of organizations in hundreds of countries around the world.