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IBM Virtual Event Highlights the Latest on Power10 and News on AIX Toolbox Open-Source Support

Rob McNelly looks at an upcoming IBM virtual event, an IBM Support update for AIX Toolbox open-source software and more

IBM is hosting a Power10 virtual event on Thursday, July 14, at 11 a.m. EDT. You can register here and you’ll find the event description below:
 
"Businesses are facing continued uncertainties. Resource availability. Volatility in demand and in costs. Now, more than ever, this requires flexible and reliable technology to deliver.

Join us for a virtual event to learn more about the latest from IBM Power. Hear from clients and IBM experts about how Power helps create digital advantage with hybrid cloud infrastructure to modernize, automate and secure your business with class-leading reliability."
 
Just given the number of IBM Power Systems executives who are participating (click the link to see the list), it's safe to assume that this is a big deal. Having taken part in a few NDA sessions regarding the upcoming announcement, I can't get into specifics, but I think you'll be very interested to learn about what's ahead.

An Update on IBM Support for AIX Toolbox Open-Source Software

IBM recently announced that it is providing remote assistance with selected community-supported open-source products available through the AIX Toolbox repository. This is significant since support for AIX Toolbox open-source software wasn't previously available through IBM AIX support cases
 
The service is formally known as IBM Support for Community Open-Software for AIX Toolbox. According to the announcement letter, IBM provides Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 support for these AIX Toolbox packages: curl, db, dnf, dnf-plugins-core, expat, gettext, glib2, gnupg2, json-c, krb5, ncurses, openldap, python3, readline, sed, sqlite, texinfo, xz, zchunk, zlib, and zstd.
           
In addition, IBM will:

1. Provide remote assistance to the client for all covered products, through telephone from IBM's support center, or electronically, in response to requests pertaining to the following:
  • Basic, short duration installation, usage, and configuration questions for open-source packages running on AIX downloaded from AIX Toolbox only and code-related questions
  • Diagnostic information review to assist in isolation of a problem cause; for example, assistance interpreting traces and dumps for installation and code-related problems
  • For known defects, provide available corrective service information and information about obtaining a corrective fix from the AIX Toolbo
2. Assist the client in determining the cause of the problem and provide a corrective information-fix if it is available from the open-source community, AIX Toolbox or IBM Support

3. Report the defect to the open-source community and inform the client of known actions taken and the availability of the corrective information-fix if a new defect (referenced or without known correction) is identified

4. Provide the client with guidance on how to obtain patches from the AIX Toolbox, or maintenance updates or refreshes (collectively known as fixes) directly from the AIX Toolbox. IBM may provide workarounds as temporary solutions to the client or to the open-source community so the open-source community can create permanent patches. There is no guarantee that the workarounds will be accepted by the open-source community as part of the main code branch.

5. IBM will provide the security vulnerability fix, and when the security vulnerability fix is available in the community, will also provide support for all associated dependencies from the supported packages from the SPL downloaded from the AIX Toolbox repository The announcement letter goes into considerable detail, so take the time to read the whole thing.

What Constitutes a Senior AIX Admin?

Newsflash: Experienced IT people are hard to find. OK, you already knew that people leave their jobs. They take new jobs, they retire, what have you. Replacing workers is the focus of this IBM Community thread from March
 
Here's a sampling:
 
"I've worked with admins which blew me away with the depth of their knowledge and their curiosity to know more! I always love it when they can teach me something too. I hang onto their names and network with them!
 
I've also had the opposite issue where system administrators were really just application administrators or other non-technical roles, where the system fell under their responsibility.
 
There are all types, but both will be listed in the same job title on their resume. […]
 
I think that a Senior is the one who has real experience and has not been doing just one thing, he is the one who is learning something all the time, he is the one who is trying to make things happen by doing something new.
 
But I think the most important characteristic of a Senior is that they are teachers, guides and mentors to others.
 
Of course, their experience allows them to avoid asking for help for little things, because of that they provide better results and in shorter times than others."
 
It's an interesting discussion, and a reminder that interesting conversations are happening on the Community pages.

The Importance of Keeping Current

This document explains why clients should keep their application, OS, and firmware up to date: 
 
IBM Remote Technical Support will recommend and encourage IBM clients to upgrade for these reasons:
  • Adhere to best practices for keeping software levels in-sync
  • Address known issues related to the reported problem
  • Address undetermined or possible future issues using out-of-sync levels
  • Take advantage of new enhancements or features 
IBM, like any vendor, is not and will not be capable of testing and verifying all combinations of applications, operating systems, and firmware levels. When considering all versions of all components, there are an infinite number of combinations to fully test all versions and combinations.

Remembering Gareth Coates

I want to take a moment to remember Gareth Coates, who passed away on June 15. I referenced his IBM blog and cited information he'd provided over the years. I learned quite a few tricks and tips from him.
 
Read and share memories and condolences here
 
Life is short, and none of us get out alive. Let those you love know that you love them.

Hiking Update 

For those keeping score, I successfully completed my North to South Rim Grand Canyon hike back in May, a few days after the North Rim opened for the season. It was hot, it was long, but it was beautiful and I cannot wait to do it again. Two days prior I fractured my toe, but luckily, ibuprofen was sufficient to allow me to get through it.
 
Just a reminder: Hiking in the Canyon during the summer is no joke. Sadly, a young woman recently lost her life three miles below the rim. 
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