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Recently, IBM announced the availability of its much anticipated IBM i 7.2 operating system – the industry’s leading integrated operating environment – to great industry acclaim. Users of Power platforms such as Power Systems, PureFlex and Power Blades, are excited about a new platform with extended functionality that enables mobile devices, cloud delivery models and advanced middleware – among other things. IBM i has enjoyed a stellar reputation for superior security and business resilience –this new version is no exception.

Among the key highlights of this new platform is how it enables data centric design – specifically, how the new DB2 Row & Column Access Control security functions fit into that approach. DB2 has the responsibility of enforcing security, which is part of the data centric design. Users can remove complexity from their applications and administration while ensuring that they don’t miss anything as they enforce the security policies for their organizations.

These new capabilities allow the separation of administration and user data so IT staff can administer the data on the system without seeing the data, which is very unique for a computer system. Users may be authorized to manage security but not be authorized to see or modify the data, thereby furthering preventing security breaches. This is just one of the many reasons why IBM i is very popular in the retail industry.

IBM i 7.2 also lets users manage their systems more easily with the revised Mobile Access application. Now users can manage Power Systems from anywhere, at any time, without challenges or interruptions. Other key IBM i 7.2 highlights include:

  • Powerful new features of DB2 for i ensures security of the data in a modern environment of mobile, social and network access
  • IBM Navigator for i extends system management capabilities to manage and monitor performance services
  • PowerHA SystemMirror for i Express Edition introduces HyperSwap which improves the resiliency value proposition
  • Additional flexibility in configuration for I/O with new virtualization: Ethernet through SR-IOV and WAN over LAN
  • Backup and Recovery Management Systems (BRMS) extends Hub function for easier management
  • Support for new POWER8 systems and new features for POWER8 and POWER7/7+
  • Integrated Security SSO application suite extended to include FTRP and Telnet authentication with Kerberos
  • Many enhancements to the portfolio of IBM i products from the IBM Software Group

In addition to this expanded functionality, IBM continues to increase the openness of the i platform with this new release. For example, IBM has added the new Liberty Java engine, Power Ruby and Samba support to IBM i 7.2, which further expands its capabilities while maintaining the latest security updates on the system. This is critically important as organizations continue to battle security threats that arise unexpectedly.

For mid-market users in particular, IBM i 7.2 is a timely benefit. Following are three examples of how these users can leverage this powerful new platform and derive maximum value from it:

  • Get Access to New Capabilities in DB2
    • DB2 is chock full of impressive functionality including new security and application development capabilities, which are critical for many mid-market users. IBM has made substantial performance increases in this new operating system that are worth exploring for users seeking an immediate boost in productivity.
  • Stay Current on the Latest Security Capabilities and Enhancements
    • IBM i integrates a trusted combination of relational database, security, web services, networking and storage management capabilities.
  • Access to Additional Open Source Tools
    • This new release provides access to additional open source tools that IBM utilizes in IBM i and in POWER8 processors, allowing users to take advantage of tremendous value and time savings when it comes to application and software development.

As a long-time IBM Premier Business Partner, VAI is very excited about this new operating system and the immediate and long-term benefits it will provide to astute IBM customers, such as simplifying management of systems and high availability, broadening storage area network integration and capabilities, and extending industry-leading integrated security. As more mid-market customers gravitate to the virtualized cloud environments, they will embrace this new technology enthusiastically.

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