I had a pleasure to attend IBM Technical University conference last week of October in Prague. I also have been given a chance to run four sessions. Read about the conference and other interesting facts below.
I always will be repeating that TechU is the best conference regarding IBM Power Systems and Storage from technical perspective. It is not only about learn about new features, but also about networking and sharing the experience. Great thing about the event is that attendees can select from various topics. For instance: performance, tuning, administration, coding, high availability, tools, technology implementations, solutions. Speakers are usually very skilled with a great experience, and in majority with good presentation skills (it is very difficult to get people good at technical topics, with good presentations skills). When you attend a regular training provided by your partner, it might end up with very poor trainer. Which might be an expensive experience not bringing any value to you and your company. From IBM TechU most of the technicians certainly learn some new things and in some get an expert. Downside of the event are sessions which were not updated for quite some time, thus some speakers do same sessions over and over. Therefore, I always try to select sessions carefully and speak with people ahead.
This time I run three different sessions, where one session which was repeated. My sessions were attended by over 140 people and collected very positive feedback (thank you to all). The most popular session was the Single Sign On, where all seats were taken and I received the best feedback ever “Better session than IBM documentation”.
Another session was about hints and best practices for IBM i admins in managing Virtual I/O Server. I share an experience when in some point of time we had to manage over 140 VIOSes. This forced us to develop some automation techniques and best practices in managing such environment efficiently. I also shared some VIOS hints and tricks not well know by IBM i community. I was surprised how many IBM i shops still afraid VIOS. To everyone ! move your environment to be virtualized by PowerVM and managed by VIOS. In all honesty this is very resilience technology, and I have never had an issue where production traffic collapsed due to a VIOS issue. Yes, there are issue happening on VIOS but if you build and configure your environment properly, it should not affect the production traffic directly. If you still afraid management part, check my latest project which may help you with managing VIOS. Learn more about it, here.
The other session was about IBM Lab Services toolkits – how these can help with achieving High Availability, and automation. I also talked about disadvantages of specific tools or solutions. It was really a user experience session, how to take the most benefits from these tools and where you should be careful.
What I learn at TechU? Few new things about DB2 Mirror. The technology which I already seen more than 2 years ago, and I though I knew everything about it. Apparently IBM added few new features regarding IFS recently which I was not aware of. Second positive information were updates about REST APIs. These are getting more and more popular with IBM products. The HMC got this functionality implemented in 2014. Today we can manage storage devices also using this technique. Cool!
LPARKit – At the meantime, my “secret project” got announced. Tool LPARKit – the product which help IBM i shops with managing VIOS infrastructure. In few words it allows to create fully virtualized IBM i LPARs from 5250 interface ( no VIOS no HMC skills needed). The additional feature provided is cloning IBM i OS regardless of storage being used. An user can clone and build IBM i LPARs from the “green screen” interface, no additional appliance, no FlashCopy, no VIOS skills needed. If you interested more in the tool, check the other post.
Below few photos from the conference.