Monday, February 4, 2013

ConnectOSphere 2013 report

Admin

There's a couple of admin-related items.

At last, you can now use server groups and also wildcarded names in program documents, making this element of server administration and maintenance much easier.

When you add a new server, you'll no longer have to add program documents to run server maintenance tasks such as compacts. It will react to existing ones which match. Add to that the new DBMT tool, which brings all the regular maintenance tasks: Updates, Compacts, Fixups and so on into one simple tool.

This new tool does not fully replace targeted runs of those tasks, and does not support all the options of the individual programs that are used in specific cases. It is intended for standard preventative maintenance on schedules.

You have two methods of running it, both via program documents. One is to run it using the program document as the scheduler, where it runs to completion and stops, ready for the next invokation. The other is to run it "at server startup only", and give it operation parameters, such as time periods and cutoff minutes, whereupon it stays resident and wakes up as required. I've been running it myself on my own test Domino 9 server, and it does what it says in the somewhat sparse currently available documentation.

On top of that, there's changes to the fault analyser. It can now categorise incoming fault reports, making them easier to deal with and manage. Then there's a new Quality of Service component, which will track the server's internal components' state of health, and take action if required.

Fault recovery can restart a server that's crashed, but has to have the server crash before it does anything. QoS tracks the server tasks as the server runs, detecting hangs and poor response (and respond with alerts, or can even restart the whole server). It does require the server console to be running, and it's clever enough that you can automatically suspend it at times, so that it doesn't see activities such as backups or long-running maintenance tasks as an issue that might require a restart.

Traveler

Traveler gets updated, too. One request that was made at one of the panel sessions, Ask the Product Managers, was when would Traveler be integrated into the core server, and the answer was that it won't be. By not doing that, IBM are able to deliver updates and new functions faster than ever, a requirement in the fast changing mobile world, that, to my mind, is a Good Thing.

During the show, RIM renamed themselves Blackberry, and launched the BB10, with a Connect session showing the launch live, with real hardware then available for attendees to touch and feel. Traveler 9 will support a BB10 device directly. That's done via in simple setups with ActiveSync -- just as for iOS devices -- with no BES in such configurations.

You can opt to use the new BES10, and take advantage of the BB10 ability to separate personal and corporate worlds into "perimeters". That enables full corporate control of the "work" perimeter without any risk to personal data should the corporate date need to be wiped.