Skip to main content

A New Home for the RFE Community

I’ve written about the Request for Enhancement (RFE) process in the past, but recently, Brian Veale notified us of the new IBM Power Systems Ideas portal. This is a site where you can present your ideas about improving products and services and interact with IBM developers.

You’ll need an IBM ID to submit suggestions, comment and vote. But even without signing into the portal, you can view ideas by topic (AIX, HMC, VIOS, etc.) and filter through ideas that others have pitched based on their status (under review, future consideration, planned for future release, etc.) and the response to them (trending, popular). There are literally hundreds of ideas. Chances are you’ll like some more than others. By looking through existing ideas, you can avoid making the mistake of submitting an idea which has already been proposed.

For what it’s worth, the most popular ideas at the time of this writing were:

  • Dynamically editable min/max fields when an LPAR gets shut down
  • Maintenance capabilities for vNIC failover
  • HMC performance dashboard enhancements

Some ideas that are not under consideration include more recent versions of WPARs, Ethernet drivers for running AIX 5.3 on POWER8 and redirecting commands on the HMC restricted shell. As is noted on the portal splash page: “Some ideas can be implemented at IBM, while others may not fit within the development plans for the product. In either case, the team will let you know as soon as possible. In some cases, we may be able to find alternatives for ideas which cannot be implemented in a reasonable time.”

Surely you have thoughts on what would make your favorite OS even better. Undoubtedly you have ideas about enhancements that could make your work days easier. Most admins I know have a ton of hard-earned experience, and they have no problem letting others know what they think. Of course not every idea magically becomes a reality, but I appreciate IBM’s willingness to allow their client base this degree of input. So if you’re not familiar with RFEs, check out the portal and learn. And if you’re already active in the community, the easiest way to contribute is to spread the word. Let others know about the new portal. Everyone who uses IBM solutions should participate in the RFE community.

An Important Update for FLRT Users

IBM Support recently noted that the Fix Level Recommendation Tool (FLRT) is now cloud based. This means that user scripts that call FLRT must be updated to this new URL.

The change is explained in detail here. Note: “The functioning of this site will not be changed as a result of the move, but there will be a new URL. Initially there will be a redirect to the new site, which will be removed within a few months. There is no firm date set for the removal of the redirect.”

While many of you are likely already aware of this, please help spread the word. If you’re unfamiliar with FLRT, read my primer.

A Grand Canyon Update

For those who are interested, I’ll make it official: I survived my first Grand Canyon rim to rim hike.

I was prepared, which made things somewhat easy. I discovered a nearby mountain has a “short” trail—a mile up, a mile down—that’s generally steeper and rockier than the Canyon trails. So I spent the past several Saturdays there, hiking up and back 5-8 times each day. That equates to 10-16 miles, with significant elevation changes.

This is a pretty good video of what to expect when attempting the rim to rim hike, which starts and ends at different points of the Canyon’s South Rim. For the record, I needed 10.5 hours to complete the hike, while the guy in the video got through it in just over 7.5 hours. Still, I’m pretty happy with how things went, and I’m looking forward to my next challenge. In May I’ll hike from the North to the South Rim. That’s a longer hike, and of course it will be much hotter by then, so wish me luck.