Insights on HA Practices and Trends for IBM i from Craig Johnson, Vision Solutions VP of R&D

May 16, 2017
  • HA/DR

Episode 4 of Vision Solutions’ Power Talk podcast is now available. This new episode features a conversation between host Becky Hjellming and Vision Solutions’ VP of Research and Development Craig Johnson. Craig’s active involvement with the IBM Power platform began in 1988 at IBM in Rochester. After joining Vision Solutions in 1995, he has served in a variety of roles, the last ten years as VP of R&D for Vision’s MIMIX, iTERA and OMS/ODS brands. In that role, he speaks extensively with businesses across the globe whose operations rely on Power technology, discussing their technical and business concerns related to high availability, disaster recovery, migration and data sharing.

In Episode 2 of Power Talk, journal guru Larry Youngren offered a number of tips on tuning the performance and bandwidth efficiency of remote journaling. Mr. Johnson shared the recommendations the Vision team makes for remote journal optimization and highlighted recent successes where HA teams had experienced significant bandwidth relief simply by turning on remote journal filtering.

“Filter out before images. Filter out work files. You can get extravagant. But, you can do some simple things, and get really good results,” he advised.

When asked his perceptions of trending technology in the industry, Johnson noted, “I’m definitely seeing a lot of trends this year in terms of skillset shortages, leveraging managed services or clouds, and upgrades. There is also a lot of virtualization being deployed today among customers using Power Systems, and that technology has really improved. IBM has done a lot in the virtualization space, in terms of virtualizing partitions and storage and memory. So, certainly a lot of changes, and a lot of challenges as a result of that, for IT directors and application development teams.”

Johnson also highlighted two trends related to high availability. First is the need to drive ever-increasing volumes of data through an HA solution given the expanding sizes of workloads and explosive growth of data. Second is the trend seen in some industries to push for switch times measured in seconds to meet regulations and business objectives.

“To achieve those more extreme switch times, we have active-active replication technologies,” he said.

Hjellming and Johnson also explored the differences between software replication technologies and talked about how a solid HA solution can support a strong security strategy. They closed by looking forward to new Power Systems developments coming from IBM.

Johnson stated, “Certainly IBM is working on POWER9 and the next version of the IBM i OS. The things that excite me are the scalability and virtualization technology enhancements.”

To listen to the full interview with Craig or to download the podcast, visit www.visionsolutions.com/powertalk. Subscribe and receive a new episode each month featuring a conversation with another expert in the IBM i community!