Many of us who follow the IBM systems business have been predicting this day might come for many years and then talking ourselves into thinking it would not happen. But the day finally came on March 5. That was when the top brass of Big Blue's Systems and Technology Group held a meeting with employees of the Rochester, Minnesota, facility that gave birth to the System/3 in 1969 and successor technologies that culminated in the Power Systems and now PureSystems lines, telling them that they would no longer be making commercial systems at the legendary facility.
IBM yesterday unveiled IBM i 7.1 TR6, the sixth Technology Refresh since IBM shifted to the agile development model for the OS in 2010. TR6 introduces a range of new technologies, including DB2 for i enhancements, support for USB flash drives, and support for the latest SSL standard, among others. Better manageability, high availability, and set-up capabilities round out the release.
While the entry part of the Power Systems market has been awaiting its Power7+ refresh, putting new processors and fatter memory and disk drives into essentially the same enclosures that were refreshed at the end of 2011, the midrange of the Power Systems line has been getting a little long in the tooth and was perhaps more in need of some re-engineering. And luckily for customers using midrange Power iron, that is precisely what IBM has done as part of the February 5 announcements.