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by John Eberhard | Published August 24, 2016
There is a wealth of information about IBM i available, which can be a bit overwhelming for new users. This page provides an overview for readers who would like to learn about IBM i but don’t know where to start.
An executive guide to IBM’s strategy and roadmap for the integrated IBM i operating environment for Power Systems.
The IBM i Operating System (IBM i) is unique in the IT industry for its level of integration and for the underlying architecture of the operating system itself. Evolving, as it has, from the forward-thinking System/38 and AS/400 architectures, IBM i offers tremendous value in low total cost of ownership. It provides IT professionals a platform to implement and run business solutions while protecting the significant investments they have made over the years in mission-critical software.
The core architectures of IBM i were first created for the System/38. The S/38 architecture included the following:
The industrial strength architecture of the S/38 was unified with ease of use and management of its sister product, the System/36, when the AS/400 was introduced in 1988. Over the years, more capabilities were added to the operating system as it became the core of the iSeries and System i. Ultimately, the hardware and I/O platform of the AS/400 line converged with the hardware and I/O of the AIX-based RS/6000 until, in 2007, IBM Power Systems was launched. In early 2008, the operating system was given its current name, IBM i.
The latest version of the IBM i operating system is IBM i 7.3.
From a customer point of view, the single defining characteristic of IBM i is its integration. In fact, the “i” in IBM i stands for “integration” and for good reason. There are two important aspects of the integration of IBM i: the core middleware components required by business applications and ensuring all of these components are designed to fit together and follow the IBM i architecture. This integration, along with built-in automation of many system and data management functions, allows customers to run their businesses, not their systems.
IBM i boasts an extensive list of key software features. These features have to be added on at an additional cost, or loaded and managed separately, or both, on other operating systems. These include:
Another key differentiator for IBM i is the underlying architecture of the operating system which provides for simplicity, stability, and security. These are not add-on features but inherent aspects of the operating system. This section describes a few examples.
While the IBM i operating system supports open programming methods such as Java™, PHP, web services and so on, the underlying architecture provides a level of integration, stability, simplicity and security that are a significant differentiator. These aspects provide excellent business value to its users.
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