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The upgrade to AIX 7 is hassle free and benefit rich

The upgrade to AIX 7 is hassle free and benefit rich

Last month, IBM announced AIX* 7 and its general availability date of Sept. 10. Companies with current IBM software-maintenance agreements receive this upgrade at no charge, meaning adoption should be swift. Technologists in your company will likely be eager to schedule operating-system upgrades and start using the new features. Because of the open beta, many are already testing it. See “Open Beta” for more details.

Why 7?

Take some care when calling AIX 7 a new version of the operating system; it’s really more of an evolution or continuation of AIX 6. The upgrade from AIX 5.3 to AIX 6 was considerably more extensive than the change from AIX 6 to AIX 7, which might be considered a fine-tuning. For instance, the operating-system default parameters make more sense when we do a fresh install of AIX 6 compared with the tuning and tweaking needed with a fresh installation of AIX 5.3, and AIX 7 will continue with the default settings making sense for the majority of customers.

Some people wanted to call this new release AIX 6.2, but IBM went with AIX 7 in part because of the POWER7* hardware releases. Don’t let the name make you worry about switching in your environment. According to IBM Marketing Manager Jay Kruemcke, “If you’ve been waiting to upgrade, now’s a good time to do so.” Kruemcke points to the binary-compatibility guarantee—where IBM states: “Your applications, whether written in house or supplied by an application provider, will run on AIX 7 if they currently run on AIX 6 or AIX 5L—without recompilations or modification”—and IBM’s great history of binary compatibility throughout the years.

Most IT staff will make time in their busy schedules to test new versions of operating systems as soon as they can. With open beta, they may have already reported the results of their testing and be making the case for moving to AIX 7 now. The case is strong.

If you’ve been waiting to upgrade, now’s a good time to do so. —Jay Kruemcke, IBM marketing manager

Rob McNelly is a Senior AIX Solutions Architect for Meridian IT Inc. and a technical editor for IBM Systems Magazine. He is a former administrator for IBM. Rob can be reached at rob.mcnelly@gmail.com.

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