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IBM Champion Rob McNelly on the New AIX 7.3 Announcement

As I finished running 13.1 miles at the Lake Powell half marathon, I realized that I had not told you about the AIX 7.3 announcement from IBM.

The announcement letters are easy enough to find on the IBM website. 7.3 was officially announced on October 19, and although there is more than just the AIX announcement, that is the one I wanted to focus on today. Learn more here.

Although 7.3 will not be generally available until December 10, you can take advantage of the AIX 7.3 Open Beta if you want a sneak preview. As much as I would like to show you running LPARs and the actual discussions on the open beta forum, keep in mind that in order to participate in the program we agreed to treat the information as IBM Confidential.

In order to keep myself out of IBM jail, I am keeping this video overview very general with publicly available sources, and I am not getting into the specifics of what is being discussed in the forum. Just be aware that customers from around the world are putting it through its paces and there have been some interesting things I have learned. If you want to participate it is as easy as signing up and requesting access. Once you also agree to keep the information confidential, you too will be able to get your hands on the new OS.

Keep in mind, you will need to be running POWER8, POWER9 or Power10 servers in order to run AIX 7.3.
Here are some of the changes you can expect, obviously there is much more than what I am including here:

  • Increased file and filesystem sizes
  • Having the bash shell included and supported out of the box along with ksh as we are accustomed to
  • Support for dandified yum, otherwise known as dnf for installation of open source packages from the AIX Toolbox, this is going to be the replacement for yum going forward
  • Reduced time to dynamically add processors and memory to a running LPAR
  • Reduced IPL times for multi-terabyte memory LPARs
  • Enhanced support for logical volume encryption to include rootvg and the dump device
  • Creating an OVA file from a mksysb using the create_ova command
  • Create ISO image from the mksysb_iso command

Hopefully this will whet your appetite and help convince you to find some time to test out the new OS. Along with AIX, be aware that the products included with AIX Enterprise Edition have also changed. We are now up to Enterprise Edition version 1.7, and included in this bundle are both AIX 7.3 and 7.2, PowerVC for virtualization and cloud management, PowerSC for cloud security and compliance, VM recovery manager for automated HA and DR as an alternative to PowerHA, and Tivoli monitoring 6.3. If you already have Enterprise Edition you can update to version 1.7 at no charge.

Another reason to think about your AIX 7.3 plans is that AIX 7.1 is going to start having dates around end of marketing, end of service, and end of life. You may be able to pay for extended support for a period of time, but as with everything that option will not last forever. In order to have the latest OS taking advantage of the latest hardware you need to start planning for the future.

I am recording this before TechU begins, if you attend the TechU sessions live or listen to the replays I am sure you will be able to get much more information.

The November 4th AIX Virtual User group meeting will cover AIX 7.3, with presentations from several IBM employees that will be able to give you more information. And be sure to check out the virtual user group replay from September 30 that covers the IBM Power10 hardware announcement.

Sign up for the open beta, watch the replays, and read the announcement letters, there is more than I have had the time to cover.

Hopefully you have learned something today, thank you for your time and I will talk to you soon. Thanks for watching.

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