Searching for software availability for AIX

Many clients that use AIX are moving up to AIX 7 or AIX 6 from AIX V5.3    As a result, I have been getting a lot of questions about whether a particular Independent Software Vendor (ISV) or IBM application is available for a specific version of AIX.

The best place to get a definitive answer is from the software provider, but there are a couple of IBM web pages you should go to first to get a quick idea about which AIX releases are supported by an application. While neither of these pages is complete, they are a good first place to start searching.

The first page, which is for non-IBM software and solutions, is the Global Solutions Directory maintained by IBM at http://www.ibm.com/partnerworld/gsd/search.do

This page allows you to search across all third party solutions including ISV applications. One caveat is that this directory only includes all solutions that have been registered by the Business Partner.

I put the italics there because the entries in this index are completely voluntary and maintained by the Business Partner providing the solution. While is it easy for a Business Partner to include an entry in this directory, some choose not to create entries for their solutions/software.

For example, you won’t find many Oracle and BMC products listed in the Global Solutions Directory. For those vendors, the only alternatives are to either crawl through those company’s web sites or call up your friendly salesperson. If you do contact the ISV, you might want to ask them why all their solutions aren’t listed in the Global Solutions Directory.

There are many IBM Business Partners that do maintain entries for their solutions in the Global Solutions Directory, so it is worth the effort to search there first. The Global Solutions Directory interface is kind of clunky but with some patience, it is possible to find software solutions for a particular AIX level.

I’ll take you through a few screens to show you how to do a keyword & options search in the Global Solutions Directory. In this example, I first specified the Operating System (in this case all “AIX” releases) and the software I am interested in (“SAS”).

The results of the search are pretty straightforward. (There were additional results shown that I truncated for the sake of brevity)

If I click on the “SAS 9” link in the results, I get more information on the solution including a contact name and number.

Although incomplete, the Global Solutions Directory is a good starting point your search for information on non-IBM software and solutions. The key point to remember is that you cannot consider a negative result to be conclusive – you have to check the Business Partner’s web site or better yet, contact the Business Partner directly if the solution you are looking for isn’t listed or doesn’t show support for the AIX release that you are interested in.

The Global Solutions Directory also doesn’t cover IBM software. For that, you need to go someplace else, the IBM Software Compatibility page located at http://publib.boulder.ibm.com/infocenter/prodguid/v1r0/clarity/index.html     This relativity new web page contains fairly complete information about which AIX levels are supported by IBM software products such as DB2, WebSphere and Tivoli.

There are a number of different searches you can use on this page, but the one I find the most useful is the “Matrix between specific product(s) and desired operating systems”.  This search allows you to build a matrix of specific applications against a table of different AIX levels and is much more powerful than the search engine for the Global Solutions Directory.

For example, in this screen I first specify the two releases of Tivoli Storage Manager that I am interested in.

In the next screen I specify AIX 7.1 as the operating system. Notice that I deselected “Desktop” for the AIX 7.1 OS since that isn’t really relevant to me.

The end result is a report that shows me that Tivoli Storage Manager version 6.1 isn’t supported on AIX 7.1 but that Tivoli Storage Manager version 6.2 is supported.

Since you can specify a number of different IBM software products and levels, it is relativity easy to get a report that helps you to identify potential issues when moving up to a new level of AIX.

The key thing is to follow up with the software provider if the ISV isn’t supporting the level of AIX you need. Many ISVs won’t start supporting a new OS level until they get requests from their customers.

Although IBM has an extensive partner program that works with ISVs to get support for the latest levels of AIX, your voice is the strongest incentive for the ISV to start supporting an AIX level. Things like the AIX Binary Compatibility Guarantee make it easier for ISVs to support new levels of AIX but ultimately the ISV is the one that has to make the support commitment.

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About Jay Kruemcke

Jay Kruemcke is passionate about helping customers and partners achieve their goals. Jay is a currently a Senior Product Manager at SUSE. Jay is responsible for the SUSE Linux for High-Performance Computing, Linux for Arm, and Linux for Power servers. Jay released the first commercially supported Linux distribution for Arm in 2016. Jay completely restructured SUSE’s HPC offerings in 2017 to add support for Arm systems, provide longer term support, and continue to enhance the HPC Module. The HPC Module provides support for open software such as slurm as part of the SUSE HPC subscription. Jay has built an extensive career in product management based on being a bridge between customers and engineering teams. He has extensive experience in many areas including product positioning, driving future product directions, using social media for client collaboration, and evangelizing the capabilities and future directions of enterprise products. Prior to joining SUSE, Jay had a long career at IBM including many roles in the Power and Cloud Engineering and Offering teams. In addition to his product management experience, Jay has held a variety of technology roles at including product marketing, manager of a technical architecture team, briefing center staff, SAP systems management consultant, and as a system programmer and administrator Jay also volunteers with the Boy Scouts in multiple roles and with ProductCamp Austin. The postings on this site solely reflect the personal views of the author and do not necessarily represent the views, positions, strategies or opinions of my employer. Follow me on twitter @mr_sles and @phastflyer
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