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Strategy Updates in IBM i Development

July 18, 2012

Did you ever wonder what it would be like to work as a member of the development team for IBM i? What would you do to prepare yourself to make decisions about what parts of the operating system need more investment? How would you learn about the changing technologies and then evaluate new ideas against ideas that have already begun to be implemented? Today, I want to help you understand what my team and I will be doing over the next several weeks to do exactly that. Much of what we discuss is IBM Confidential, of course, so I can’t share it in this blog. But I thought I would give you a peek at how we go about preparing for the difficult process of saying “yes” to many good ideas, while have to say “no” – or at least “not yet” to others.

Yes No Not Yet

With the summer comes the beginning of our planning cycle for 2013. During our planning process we look at each of the ideas for new development on IBM i and the related products, as well as future deliveries from Power Systems, PowerVM, Systems Director and so on. By the time the plan process is done, we will have decided to continue most of the work we’ve already started, but we will have decided to modify some of it, stop some completely, and begin new projects.

In preparation for “the plan,” our development team takes a look at each technology area and assesses whether there is enough new information for an update to that area’s strategy on IBM i. A series of strategy sessions is held with the technology experts from the labs presenting that new information, along with their recommendations for changes to our plans, to a small group of Business Architects. We listen to each of these presentations with our minds focusing on interactions of various technical elements, trying to weigh the relative priorities of the changes since the prior year.

Let me give you some examples. One of the first presentations we will hear will be from Jenny Dervin, the lead architect on our PowerHA product. She and her team have made some key deliveries since 7.1 – with the support for V7000 and SVC as part of TR3, for example – and they are actively working on some very important new function for the next major release of IBM i and PowerHA. She will be delivering her presentation during the same session as the owner of another technology area, because we see a good possibility for these two technologies to work together on new High Availability function in the near future.

Soon after that presentation, another will take place with the needs of our ISVs as the focal point. The lead developers who work with our largest ISVs will talk to us about requests those ISVs have, as well as anything else they think IBM i could deliver which would help those largest ISVs compete more effectively on IBM i than they do, for example, on x86 platforms. Also presenting at that meeting will be Kent Milligan, who runs our ISV Advisory Council. He will help us examine the feedback we’ve received from that council, which represents a much wider group of ISVs. With those two presentations taking place at the same time, we hope to see commonalities that will make it easier to create a plan that has all of our ISV needs properly prioritized.

One of the most complicated strategy sessions will have a combination of Cloud-related offerings, PowerVM Virtualization, Storage and SAN. These have some natural overlap, and yet there are also some distinct needs within each area. Getting a high-level view of the overall interaction of them all, while still addressing the key directions of each, will be a good technical challenge, but with the team we have in place, I’m sure we will learn a great deal.

These are just a few examples of the topics we will be examining before our planning cycle starts in earnest. In the past, I’ve tweeted some of the topics we were considering, so if you follow @Steve_Will_IBMi on Twitter, you might catch me announcing the topics as they happen. Feel free to follow along. As you go through the next few weeks at your job, you can picture what the team of IBM i architects, designers and developers will be thinking about as we consider the long-term needs of this platform.


Twitter: #ibmi, #powersystems #powerha #powervm @Steve_Will_IBMi


Posted July 18, 2012| Permalink

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