This week IBM announced the news of their latest release of IBM i, IBM i 7.4.

With 7.3 released 3 years ago in 2016, this latest release of IBM i 7.4 was a hotly anticipated event for the IBM i community.

Major themes of this newest release include:

Security

The introduction of Authority Collection “by Object” gives clients the ability to “lock down” their objects, while day-to-day operations continue uninterrupted, so you have a more complete method of locking down systems according to the security policies in place.

Additionally, 7.4 sees the release of TLS 1.3 support in the base operating system, bringing requirements more in line with the needs of eCommerce users.

Application development

This release brings new capabilities for RPG and for COBOL, along with continued support for open-source developers.

Access

IBM i 7.4 has brought a whole host of enhancements, possibilities and offerings for accessing the IBM i. Along with new capabilities in strategic access client solutions, the release brings strong web services and SQL services stories.

The biggest news though?

Db2 Mirror for i

Alongside the release of IBM i 7.4, the company released Db2 Mirror for i.

Db2 Mirror for i (5770-DBM) is a new licensed program product from IBM and is available on Power8 and Power9 systems.

It enables mirroring capabilities on IBM i, so two instances of IBM i can essentially run side by side – resulting in 100% high-availability.

Commenting on Db2 Mirror in IT Jungle, Steve Will, IBM i chief architect says:

“Db2 Mirror is not a journal-based thing. In Db2 Mirror, when you pair two systems together, every database operation happens to the databases on both systems at exactly the same time. So if you do a table update and your application happens to be pointing at the database, that database operation does not complete that update until it has gotten to both systems. This is not a physical replication solution like with PowerHA. A similar thing would happen with PowerHA, but you would have to put that database into an independent auxiliary storage pool (iASP) that would have to replicate to the other side. But then on the other side, that database wasn’t available for doing active work against it. So there is a difference here with Db2 Mirror. We do not depend on journals. You can have independent ASPs, that’s fine, but we do not depend on independent ASPs. You don’t have to access the database in any particular way, old or new style or whatever.”

How does Db2 Mirror for i work?

Db2 Mirror for i gives you an ‘active-active’ configuration.

It pairs two separate instances of IBM i (on two separate Power Systems) using RoCE, an ultra-high speed connection.

This allows the two systems to unite, presenting their Db2 databases as though they were one single database spread over the two systems. On each system, Db2 for i performs any database operations synchronously.

As the two systems share one database, any actions performed by an application on one system will take place at the same time across both systems – so they are both using the same information.

What does Db2 Mirror for i mean for businesses?

One of the strengths of the IBM i as a platform is is in its reliability, and options for high availability.

For today’s enterprise organisations though, high availability isn’t enough. Any downtime at all can be a major inconvenience and has the potential to cause disruption, financial losses and even regulatory action.

With Db2 Mirror for i, continuous, 100% availability is a reality.

 

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