Optical Containers

A common problem many IBM i users have is getting the cumulative group PTF media to their machine in a usable form when using a USB thumb drive.  Many users would first carefully format that USB drive on IBM i, move it to an office PC, then copy the cumulative group from IBM distribution onto the thumb drive.  When the thumb drive was put back into IBM i, the PTFs could not be loaded.


IBM i Now Supports USB Flash Drives

Last October, IBM i introduced Removable Mass Storage (RMS) technology with the RDX removable disk cartridge. The blog “Removable Mass Storage” reviewed that capability. Today, IBM is adding support to use USB Flash Drives as a second type of RMS technology. Flash drives can hold as much data as multiple DVDs and can typically access the data much faster. This allows a much more convenient way to move data (either IFS or save data) to another machine. IBM does not qualify nor recommended any particular device, but typical USB 2.0 devices from 2 to 32GB have been used in our testing. Performance varies from device to device, but ranges of 1 to 4 MB/S for IFS writes are typical. If a particular flash drive does not work, it may not comply with the USB interface specifications, and a different drive should be used. 


Removable Mass Storage

IBM i added support for a new type of removable media late in 2012. Removable spinning disk (RDX) has become reliable and relatively fast, and can be used as a cost competitive save restore device. Prior to this support, removable media was either Tape or Optical. IBM called this new type of device Removable Mass Storage (RMS).

You can find the latest information on RDX device support on the Technology Updates page at IBM i IO Support Details.