In the ever-evolving landscape of enterprise computing, certain systems have managed to stand the test of time and continue to play a crucial role in powering businesses worldwide. One such legendary system is the AS/400, now known as IBM i, a versatile and robust platform that has been the backbone of many organizations for decades. In this blog, we’ll explore the history, features, and enduring legacy of the AS400.
A Brief History:
The AS400, short for Application System/400, was originally introduced by IBM in 1988. It was a part of the IBM midrange family of computers and quickly gained popularity due to its ease of use, reliability, and seamless integration of hardware and software. Despite undergoing a few name changes over the years, including iSeries and System i, the platform’s core principles remained unchanged. In 2008, IBM rebranded it as IBM i to emphasize its integration with other IBM offerings and modern technologies.
The Power of IBM i:
- Operating System Stability: One of the key factors that make the IBM i platform exceptional is its rock-solid operating system. The IBM i OS is a highly secure and stable environment that offers an object-based architecture, integrated database, and a single-level storage model, which hides much of the underlying complexity from users and developers. This unique design simplifies maintenance and management, allowing IT teams to focus on strategic tasks rather than mundane chores.
- Scalability and Performance: From small businesses to large enterprises, the IBM i platform is well-suited for a wide range of organizations. It offers exceptional scalability, allowing businesses to grow without compromising performance. The proprietary IBM Power Systems on which IBM i runs provide high-performance computing capabilities, making it an ideal choice for mission-critical applications and heavy workloads.
- Legacy Application Support: Over the years, businesses have developed numerous critical applications on the AS400 platform. IBM recognized the importance of these legacy applications and ensured that they continue to work seamlessly on modern IBM i systems. This level of backward compatibility has saved businesses substantial costs and effort that would have otherwise been required for complete system overhauls.
- Integration Capabilities: IBM i is designed to work well with other IBM products, such as WebSphere, DB2, and PowerVM, as well as with various open-source solutions. This integration capability enables businesses to create comprehensive and dynamic ecosystems that can adapt to their evolving needs.
- Security and Reliability: Security is paramount for any business, and IBM i delivers on this front. Its object-based security model allows administrators to easily manage permissions and ensure data integrity. Additionally, the system’s legendary reliability and self-healing capabilities reduce downtime and improve overall system availability.
- Modernization and Innovation: While the IBM i platform is renowned for its stability, it hasn’t remained stagnant. IBM continues to invest in modernizing the platform, incorporating the latest technologies, and providing support for modern programming languages like Java, Python, and Node.js. This enables businesses to build new applications while leveraging the strength of their existing IBM i systems.
In conclusion, the AS400, now IBM i, has earned its reputation as a powerhouse in the world of enterprise computing. With a robust operating system, exceptional scalability, unparalleled security, and a commitment to preserving legacy applications, the platform continues to be the go-to choice for businesses seeking reliability and performance.
Over the years, IBM has shown its dedication to evolving the platform to meet the needs of the modern business landscape. The IBM i’s ability to embrace innovation while maintaining the core strengths that made it a success, is a testament to its enduring legacy. As long as businesses value stability, performance, and integration, the IBM i platform will undoubtedly remain a vital player in enterprise computing for many years to come.