IBM outlines update to iOS for power servers • The Register

IBM has outlined a major update to the “I” operating system it is offering for its Power servers.

i 7.5, which will debut on May 10th, replaces version 7.4 released in April 2019. If that feels like a long time between updates, consider that servers with IBM’s POWER CPUs can also run IBM’s own AIX or Linux – a variant of which IBM also offers packages, thanks to its ownership of Red Hat and its Linux -Distributions.

The iOS update – which should not be confused with Apple’s iOS or Cisco’s iOS – only runs on Power 10 or Power 9 hardware. IBM will be happy to discuss an upgrade with users of previous Power servers – proprietary hardware and associated software contributes massively to the company’s sales and profits.

The new release improves scalability to a maximum of 48 processors per partition in SMT8 mode. This change allows Power 10 or 9 servers to run up to 384 threads.

Other additions are:

  • Easier access to the ZLIB algorithm for compressing data;
  • More information on the amount of data recovered during such operations and an estimated time when boxes will be available;
  • A set of tools to improve password management;
  • DB2 for i provides additional functionality for HTTP requests to publish or consume web services;
  • Lots of changes to the REST API, including the ability to handle 248 parameters – up from 7 in previous versions.

IBM’s announcement of the update also mentions some strange-seeming changes. One allows customers to change the scope of two-digit date ranges so that base years can be moved from 1940 to 1970. If you’ve chosen this feature, huzzah. Another allows the operating system’s FTP client to accept a server certificate that isn’t signed by a trusted CA—but sensibly leaves this disabled by default.

Another change to the power ecosystem announced today is the introduction of a module that enables the use of U.2 15mm NVMe solid state drives. Power 9 and 10 boxes can now run such hard drives with capacities of 800GB, 1.6TB, 3.2TB or 6.4TB.

Curiously, IBM’s announcement of this feature includes detailed warnings about the lifecycle of such drives, noting that IBM considers three full disk writes per day for five years as the expected lifespan of the devices.

Big Blue has also teased an update for the Enterprise Edition of AIX – but it’s mostly a change to the package offered for a cut of that operating system, rather than the more significant update to the features offered in i 7.5. ®

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