New To iSeries

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This section is intended for system administrators who are entirely new to the iSeries platform. If you have setup or operated an iSeries in the past, then this section is not for you.

In this section you will find warnings and helpful descriptions of the common administrative components that are necessary for you to administer and operate your iSeries. Please take note of the warnings as they will save you time and frustration when you are first becoming familiar with the platform.


Do not turn on the iSeries. When it first starts up, it looks for initial configuration from host systems that should be attached to the iSeries. If you do not have anything attached to the iSeries, then read on.

Make a journal of your passwords as you create users. The concept of a user on the iSeries is very complicated, especially if you are familiar with Microsoft Windows users or users on Unix.


Consoles are how you interact with the administrative side of this device. You will see this term used quite extensively, and sometimes in confusing descriptions of old dumb-terminal "consoles" that you can still purchase and use with your iSeries. We will not cover this topic.

There is a device on the front side of your iSeries that displays codes during the boot sequence, and takes simple input from you to initiate low-level system operations. The numbers on the left side of the display window are important. These numbers will go from 01 up to 99, but they are not always accessible to you. The numbers are really columns in the configuration table that the system uses during its boot and OS load operation.

Your front side console should be blank, meaning there is no power to the iSeries. It's hard not to apply power and push the button, but you need to wait.

The first operation you will perform is the Operations Console setup. Any computer running Windows can act as your Operations Console. The software for the Operations Console is on the Client Access for iSeries disc that you received with the iSeries. If you did not get one of these, then call your reseller immediately and get it shipped out to you overnight.

You only need two different types of cables. One is a typical network cable with RJ45 connectors, and the other is a serial (NULL MODEM) cable for the ASMI interface. The ASMI works in both serial mode (limited capability) and over HTTP to the HMC1 or HMC2 LAN ports via RJ45 interface.

The other type of "console" to consider is the Emulator, which is a 5250 protocol emulation client. You can use the IBM provided emulator, of you could try to use your own telnet client (port 23!). The IBM 5250 emulator is a premium software product, so you have to license it from IBM. You likely have this as a package product with the rest of your Client Access entitlement.

Operational Modes

There are three primary modes for the iSeries. It's important to understand these modes because you can perform different levels of configuration and administration during these modes, and sometimes ONLY in one of these modes.

Mode: OFF

This mode is when the power is entirely removed from the system. Nothing is lit, no lamps are on, nothing is going on in the iSeries. No power, no computer. This is the only time that the iSeries is in an OFF state.

Mode: Standby

This mode occurs when the initial hardware ROM loading succeeds. The power indicator will FLASH on the front panel, which will be the indicator that the system is in the standby mode. You can get to this mode when the startup (02 on the front panel) configuration is set to MANUAL, or when you first apply power to the iSeries. In this mode, and ONLY in this mode, you can connect a serial cable to the S1 port (has a square-wave-form symbol next to it) from your Operations Console computer and open the ASMI in serial mode.

Mode: IPL

IPL means Initial Program Load. This is the main O/S boot mode. When you configure the system for manual operation (02 B M V=F P), then you need to manually do the IPL. That means either clicking the front panel stick another time, or using the Operations Console Remote Console application.

The IPL can take quite some time if your iSeries is very complicated with lots of options installed. Sometimes it can take hours to get your iSeries into the standby mode because of the system checks it does. Be patient.

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