For the first time in over three years, IBM i announced a new release, Version 7 Release 4, which is generally available June 21, 2019, for POWER8 and POWER9 processors. With this announcement, the highly integrated IBM i:

  • Improves Scalability and Growth– The new updates allow the IBM i to meet your demands
  • Updates Security– Enhanced Security with tools and implementation of new protocols
  • Adds More Applications– Continues to add industry standards and popular tools
  • Expands 24/7 Capabilities– High Availability and Recovery improves with new options

IBM i systems continue to grow larger for analytics and cognitive workload, as well as, traditional workloads. With IBM Lab Services implementation, IBM i V7R4 will support 192 cores per LPAR as well as more disk capacity. Improved tools for measuring the 8 concurrent tasks (Intel Hyperthreading is 2 concurrent tasks) in the POWER8 and POWER9 network speed accelerates with 100 Gbps Ethernet adapter with options for RoCE (an NVMe protocol). IBM has Statement of Direction to add native IBM i support for Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe). IBM® Power® Enterprise Pools 2.0 allow E980 to more easily share and load balance processors.

The increased importance of security continues, as additional enhancements were included in the recent announcements. On POWER9 servers, PowerVM V3.1 uses on-chip compression/encryption to efficiently and securely move a live and active VM from one local server to another that shares the same storage. IBM i provides a tool to aid in understanding the minimum security to run a program. Also included is the industry standard Transport Layer Security (TLS) 1.3, a cryptographic protocol that provides network security between systems and/or users.

Popular industry tools are added in this announcement. Announced for statistics, analysis, and data mining, R programing language is able to take advantage of the 8 concurrent tasks on a POWER9 chip SMT-8, four times more than Intel processors.

The announcement increases the i’s High Availability and Recovery. IBM i data can be saved to the Cloud through BRMS with IBM Cloud Storage Solutions for i. IBM DB2® Mirror for i, available for IBM i 7.4 clients, provides a simplified method of near-continuous IBM i DB2 database replication for local environments.

IBM i users continue to benefit from an integrated, reliable operating system providing an easy to scale and manage environment. Take advantage of Clear Technologies 25+ years of IBM i experience to help integrate those technologies that would benefit your IBM i environment. Our very own Neil Clark has been testing V7R4 for a few months now.

In the past, IBM has supported two levels of IBM i concurrently. Please be aware that with the announcement of V7R4, we are expecting a withdrawal notice for V7R2 soon. Currently, IBM has no announcement of V7R2 support withdrawal, but V7R4 is not generally available until June 21.

Also, POWER7 processors are not supported under V7R4, so IBM has taken the first step in the ending the lifecycle of the entire POWER7 family.