Patrick Townsend to V5R4 Shops: Skip i 6.1 and Go Directly to i 7.1

On the Townsend Security Data Privacy Blog, Patrick Townsend today makes a security case that shops upgrading from i5/OS V5R4Mx should just jump directly to IBM i 7.1 rather than going to i 6.1.

The reason? Important new security features, he says, such as:

…a new automatic encryption facility in DB2/400 called FIELDPROC (That’s short for “Field Procedure”)…[you may be able] to implement column level encryption without any programming.


a new version of the Secure Shell sFTP application…version 4.7 in V7R1

Definitely good stuff and it’s whetting my appetite for i 7.1.

You can read Patrick’s piece by clicking here. He also has a podcast about FIELDPROC performance.

Now I totally agree with Patrick that if you can, it’s best to go straight to i 7.1. IBM does support the direct upgrade. The biggest factor of course, is that it may save you another upgrade later on, if IBM phases out i 6.1 in the next few years.

However, there are a lot of shops out there where 7.1 is just out of their reach for a number of reasons including third-party software support; peripheral devices using AnyNet; time and resource constraints in converting software to run on 7.1 versus 6.1; experience; and even organizational politics. For those shops, an i 6.1 upgrade may be the best choice (more at a later date).

I’m currently working on multiple i 6.1 upgrades for one of my clients, and I’d love to hear what your V5R4 upgrade plans are. Feel free to comment about what you’re doing here or by sending an email to me at


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About Joe Hertvik

Joe is the owner of Hertvik Business Services, a service company providing written white papers, case studies, and other marketing content to computer industry companies. He is also a contributing editor for IT Jungle and has written the Admin Alert column for the past ten years. Follow Joe Hertvik on Twitter @JoeHertvik. Email Joe for a free quote on white papers, case studies, brochures, or other marketing materials.
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