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Blog June 7, 2022

Connectria Key Takeaways from POWERUp 2022

Last updated June 20, 2022

So many of us adapted to the new normal when the pandemic upended our lives in 2020. If the pandemic taught us anything, it was the power of adaptability. “Pivot was the word in 2020. We pivoted and adapted so many times – it’s amazing how often,” said COMMON President Gordon Leary during POWERUp’s 2022 opening session.

Connectria’s teams, like many organizations, embraced remote work. We also played a strategic role in helping our customers embrace work and hybrid models of their own. Our services helped power our customers’ remote workforce while also supporting their business with other remote services.

It’s been two years too long since IBM i users have been together in person at COMMON’s POWERUp conference. While previous in-person events were scrapped over the last couple of years due to concerns around COVID-19, this year’s event in balmy New Orleans went off without a hitch!

Connectria’s team of IBM i experts returned refreshed and recharged after a week in the Big Easy. Below we’ll dive into some of the COMMON themes shaking out of POWERUp along with other trending IBM topics and key takeaways from this year’s event.

Up and Away

COMMON’s POWERUp 2022 kicked off at the tail end of last month. This event is the largest IBM i conference event worldwide bringing together the IBM i community of users, IBM executives, industry experts, ISVs, and solution providers. The good times sure did roll with over 600 in-person attendees reuniting at the New Orleans Marriott for the week’s sessions and expo.

Andy Brown and Dave Wiseman of Connectria at POWERUp 2022.

This was my first POWERUp in several years, even before COVID-19. (That’s me on the left!) For me, it was just great to be in New Orleans meeting everyone in person from customers to partners as well as prospects, IBM i experts, and other industry leaders.

With over 200 sessions across nearly 30 different focuses, there were topic discussions and keynotes to tickle any fancy from DevOps to Program Architecture, Systems Management and much more! Overall, the event showcased IBM i 7.5, the latest in security, technical solutions, and some excellent networking.

Class is in Session

Richard Dolewski, Connectria’s VP of Enterprise Solutions, presented six different sessions. One of his most popular sessions was “Why Cloud, Why Not – Am I Ready?”. This session focused on how cloud adoption remains top of mind and how hybrid architecture is the roadmap of choice. His next presentation moved away from covering Systems Management to focusing on Personal Development with “Disaster – Top of Mind Thinking for Your Family”, and three separate High Availability Resilience sessions:

  • The Power of Ready – Lessons Learned from Actual Disasters
  • DR Plan – Yearly Health Check 2021
  • DR + HA = ROI -Tech Trends

Richard’s DR expertise has earned him many nicknames over the years from “Calmer of Storms” to “Master of Disaster”. These monikers are fun and place an indelible endorsement on his insights and ability to provide DR solutions and most importantly, keep your teams calm and prepared for when the next disaster hits.

Richard’s 30+ years of industry expertise, paired with Connectria’s own extensive IBM history, comprehensive DR services, and future thinking cloud solutions, help you manage and wade through all the policies, procedures, and tools your company needs to prepare today for the worries of tomorrow and beyond.

Read our article: Disaster Recovery Preparation for Severe Summer Weather

Big Blue in the Big Easy

Security remains a top concern for IBM i users, according to the HelpSystems’ 2022 IBM i Marketplace survey. This was well reflected at POWERUp with many conversations around this topic and it served as a common denominator across many of the week’s sessions.

Security concerns are fueled by the continued rise of malware, bad actors, and more. Security breach-focused headlines serve as a constant reminder of the cost of one security misstep. As security threats continue to change and become more complex, so do the regulations and procedures in place to protect your systems.

IBM took the initiative in stepping up security in IBM i 7.5 and 7.4 TR6, specifically around making the server more secure by default. This included security enhancements, new system-level security settings, as well as stronger password enforcement, as stated in IT Jungle’s coverage of POWERUp 2022.

COMMON Themes from COMMON Europe

After attending COMMON’s POWERUp in Louisiana, Dolewski also traveled to Alicante, Spain, to present at COMMON Europe Congress. “The international IBM Power community is strong as ever as evidenced at the Common Europe Summit. Cloud is here and ready to play an active role in delivering positive business outcomes,” said Dolewski.

He continues, “Today in the world of digital transformation, IT must be built differently, because IBM Power is consumed differently than in the past. Connectria Anywhere cloud solutions enable companies to choose Connectria as the foundation for their cloud journey, encouraging them to take their first step to drive their modernization strategy forward.”

Richard Dolewski, Connectria VP of Enterprise Solutions at COMMON Europe Congress 2022.

IBM i announced the next version of the operating system V7R5 in early May 2022. The IBM i install base represented by businesses across a wide range of sectors and industries in Europe welcomed the positive technical enhancements this version has brought back to their business.

The big news with IBM i NEXT is that we will see this platform supported up to 2030 and it doesn’t end there. IBM is already working on the next version of IBM i (the one after V7R5!). Licensing and software maintenance models now come with more flexible purchasing options that maximize spending. The many enhancements in the Data Base with DB2 Mirror for continuous availability, systems security, and Open Source/App Development were all the buzz of the Europe conference.

Empowering Your Next Steps

Connectria can help you address many of the key takeaways from POWERUP 2022 from security to DR and beyond. Our experts can help you properly plan the next steps for your infrastructure while also managing and monitoring your current IBM i environment.

Connectria’s industry-leading IBM i Cloud – the largest in North America – provides you access to the capacity you’ll need in the event of a disaster at a much lower cost than deploying the infrastructure yourself. Contact us below or visit our website for more information.

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