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 / How Complete AS400 Knowledge Helps in Optimization Operations?

Integrative Systems

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as400 iseries knowledge

How Complete AS400 Knowledge Helps in Optimization Operations?

AS400 was initially introduced by IBM in 1988 and advertised as a family of easy-to-use software designed for small and mid-sized organizations. At the time of its introduction, IBM announced 1,000 software packages, which was the most significant application announcement in computers’ history.

By 1997, IBM took the world by storm and shipped almost half-million AS/400s software. Furthermore, by 2000, the AS/400 was replaced by the IBM iSeries. Today, the OS is called IBM I, and the hardware is called Power Systems; many still prefer to call it AS/400 iSeries.

AS400 means “Application System 400

  • AS400 is a multi-user, multitasking, and very secure System. This is the reason it is the first choice of industries looking to store sensitive data.
  • It is best suited for middle-level industries and is used in various verticals like — pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, retail, banking, and financial organization.
  • IBM first introduced the AS/400 on June 21st, 1988, and later renamed it as iSeries in 2000, then in 2006, it was renamed as System i. In 2008 again, it was upgraded and become a Power system.
  • Programming languages available for the AS/400- COBOL, C, C++, RPG, Java, SQL, etc.
  • AS400 is based on layered architecture and enables users to move to new computer hardware technology at any time, without interrupting their application programs.
  • AS400 can identify only the object types, i.e., all that can be stored or recovered on the System is known as an object.
  • Another feature of AS400 is that it is a very secure system that can store sensitive data. Moreover, it is not each to breach the security walls of IBM iSeries easily.

Defending AS400/iSeries can be frustrating and expensive at the same time. However, it is not necessarily to be. Integrative systems redefine AS/400 protection by effortlessly backing it up and everything in a company data environment.

Integrative Systems Offerings:

  • Eliminates expensive mainframe backup hardware, as we don’t involve any third-party tools for proprietary solutions. Integrative Systems management and protection of data is simple and straightforward.
  • Effortlessly uses Azure as your backup target: We solve your IBM AS/400 protection by eliminating costly mainframes and effortlessly using Azure as backup solutions.
  • Manage, protects, and enable bare-metal recovery: At Integrative, we manage, protect, and help bare-metal recovery, as it saves time and reduces costs, allowing the company to get its data back quickly.

Why choose Integrative Systems as your AS400/i-Series Service Provider?

As a silver business partner of IBM, we’ve supported AS/400 iSeries customers for over two decades. We are an INC 5000 listed company and leading AS/400 iSeries service providers across the United States. We are an organization where client success comes before company success. As a trusted service provider, we keep ourselves updated latest technology IBM has around the corner and regularly incorporate that technology into our customers.

See what puts Integrative Systems ahead of the game:

Performance: We utilize the latest IBM POWER9 technology, along with the latest in cloud computing technology. And we strive for the flexibility and scalability of resources, allowing businesses to focus on their business operations entirely.

Customer Friendly Payments: The payment options are very customer-friendly, and you pay for the mission-critical services neededexcluding all extra charges.

Unlimited Support: Whether you are at home or office, our IBM iSeries AS400professionals are always ready to provide 24/7 support.

Ultra-secure Data Protection: We offer the highest quality security to our AS/400 iSeries customers and ensure that their data is always protected.

Certified Team of Professionals: Our AS/400 iSeries experts are IBM certified and provide clients with industry-leading support and maintenance services.

Reasons Why Businesses Have Started Outsourcing IBM iSeries Support & Services

The primary role of companies using iSeries is to manage their operations, and many sources have constantly highlighted the same. According to the latest IBM i Strategy and Roadmap, more than 150,000 companies worldwide use the IBM iSeries platform.

Some companies that rely on IBM iSeries services have a clear vision of operating without it as more of these companies turn to outsource their iSeries operations. But it is crucial to understand why outsourcing is an attractive solution.

1. Need for iSeries Expertise

One of the main drivers of iSeries outsourcing is the decrease in the skilled pool of experts, as many of these organizations have found that their experts are retiring or planning to do so in the near future. Every they company sees digital transformation as an operational necessity. While recruiting, should focus on the latest IT skills and talents to put the business in a better position.

By outsourcing management of iSeries services, these organizations get on-demand access to highly experienced technicians who can troubleshoot and resolve issues quickly. The lack of expertise directly resulted in outsourcing and increased operational efficiency and help desk support for many companies.

2. iSeries Help Desk Support

From an iSeries perspective, businesses need help desk support that understands the IBM iSeries operating system and its applications.

At the internal help desk, level 2 and 3 support technicians deal with a variety of issues. And it is not common for many companies to have skilled engineers in these positions who also specialize in legacy system requirements related to legacy applications. In such a scenario, IBM iSeries services outsourcing can provide multi-level helpdesk support that can handle ticket requests.

3. Increase in Functionality of iSeries

Increasing operational efficiency goes hand in hand with management and maintenance for IT teams, as legacy servers and their operating systems can pose challenges.

Adding things like enhanced uptime improvements, big data management, and integration of cloud services in all possible with IBM iSeries services. Unfortunately, IT teams only have limited time, and other mission-critical projects require more part of their time.

IBM iSeries outsourcing provides scalable support to the service provider based on projects and business needs of iSeries operations. Businesses benefit from increased uptime by enabling secure and reliable server infrastructure with a 24/7 support model.

This could include any number of server and operating system improvements that increase flexibility and integrate new services such as the Internet of Things, big data, and cloud options.

4. Upgrade and Migration Challenges

Challenges related to upgrading and migration are key factors behind the outsourcing of the IBM AS400 iSeries services. Managing iSeries with upgrades can be difficult and complicated, especially when the company is not updated.

For example, upgrading from 7.1 to 7.3 may be easy, but large leaps can cause problems that require a high level of expertise to solve.

At some point, most companies will consider migrating their applications to a different platform or cloud. The older the application, the more difficult it is to relocate due to necessary coding changes. Accessing experts who have completed iSeries Server Migration can give your IT team the support they need. This avoids potential losses that could cost time, money, and operational efficiency.

5. Reduction in Operating Costs

IT project cost prevention has always been an important part, and iSeries outsourcing has made this possible for many companies. This is seen in the reduction of both OPEX and CAPEX by eliminating the need for hardware, maintenance, upgrades, physical space, and associated overhead costs. Through outsourcing, ROI for strategic IT employees can make a significant difference in the labor costs associated with in-house iSeries work.

The high cost of increasing staff hours and bringing in iSeries specialists can be eliminated with the help of outsourcing. iSeries services outsourcing can meet business needs in a variety of areas. The experts can more easily follow best practices and keep abreast of regulatory, compliance, and safety issues.

This is in addition to reducing management costs while maintaining excellent performance for your IBM iSeries and AS/400 environments. By first assessing the needs of the business, this approach can help your company achieve broader strategic objectives and implementation strategies that position the business for operational excellence.

Why are companies shying away from As400 iSeries nowadays? 

  • Young programmers or developers do not want to learn this technology and think of it as obsolete
  • Some of the veterans of IBM AS400 have reached the retirement age, and IT experts fear that after their retirement, all their knowledge and expertise will go with them
  • Massive brain-drain as a lot of people is leaving the field, and this is affecting the technological advancement

Existing skillset unwilling to acquire the modern technological innovations.

Companies moving to platforms think of it as not user-friendly.

Companies think software development and modifications take more time, cost more and are difficult to maintain

The Truth of IBM AS400 iSeries

  • In 2022, IBM is celebrating 34 years of AS400 launching, and till now, they are going strong
  • Popular cloud services like Amazon, Google, and Microsoft are also looking to boost capabilities with IBM AS400 to better solutions
  • Companies benefit from the hybrid cloud solution that combines system hardware and cloud-based software

Why it’s Unfair to Compare IBM iSeries and AS400?

The IBM Power Systems, running the IBMi OS, has a long history. The first version of IBM technology was introduced three decades ago. And, with a long history come specific jargon that seems to be “sticky.”

And this is not a common phenomenon. Today, almost every person has a minicomputer in their pocket and calls it a smartphone. Even though the smartphones of today have a resemblance to stationary rotary phones launched generations ago.

Electric burners are called stoves, though they are not in business as of now. The world has gone through a revolutionary change since then, but we still use or misuse the name of some standard products in today’s scenario.

This has become the case with IBMi and AS400 as well. Many IT experts, even RPG developers, and programmers think that both are different iterations of a single software. But that’s not true, as both technologies refer to very other things in terms of working. This thing has created a lot of confusion on the market.

And you can also define the whole scenario in this way – The complete confusion between IBMi and AS/400 has been a stumbling block in the digital transformation for enterprises while considering IBM technology for their business.

IBMi vs AS/400

Well, comparing IBMi and AS400 (or iSeries or Power Series) is like comparing apples to oranges, or you can say, it’s like comparing hardware to software. Let’s go back to the history of this application for a better understanding.

IBM AS/400 was launched in 1988. At that time, it was rolled out as a mid-range computer system for businesses. Moreover, the AS400 was launched with the operating system (OS400).

In the last 30 years, the software that was launched as AS400 has evolved multiple times. First, it has become an eServer iSeries, and then it was renamed “System i.” So, when a machine like AS400 is referred to as “IBMi Series,” it means it’s the later version of the original AS400. Furthermore, the latest generation of IBM hardware has been named “Power Systems,” but simply known as “IBM Power Series.”

In simple words –

IBMi is the operating system for the IBM Power Systems.” (The latest version of the power series is 7.4 and grandchild of OS/400), and it went through several iterations as the hardware changed.

“AS400 is the physical server from the late 1980s and IBMi is the current OS for the IBM Power Series”, and this is today’s version of IBM AS400.” 

What is the Reason for Confusion?

Why does every IT expert or developer keep saying that IBM Power Series is a version of the IBM AS400? Well, IBM has put much effort into making all its OS (an application written on AS/400) and hardware compatible with today’s latest technologies. This is one of the most significant features of the IBM Power Series. And this also shows that specific ways of interacting with technology persist, even after the technology change.

People who have worked with IBM AS/400 technology for a long time are authorized to speak about the application written on AS400. And people who interacted with technology later talk about the IBM i technology, especially about the hybrid cloud solution.

Future of IBM AS/400 Technology

You must have noticed that many IT professionals have written IBM AS/400 as “dead,” but this is not true. Although, we agree that in the last few years, IBM has seen a downfall in revenue. However, this fact does not consider the comparative power of IBM i servers.

In past decades, IBM AS/400 has steadily reduced the number of servers up to 90% in the data centers. Ultimately, this has resulted in a significant decrease in the cost of business operations for companies.

Moreover, the revenue numbers loss does not account for the organizations running their workloads on IBM cloud data centers. According to a survey result of 2019, many companies are taking concrete steps toward IBM technology and increasing their IBM i footprints.

Many companies are moving towards IBM cloud setup. However, we agree that IBM AS/400 technology is old, but it is still strong in the current business environment

Reasons Why IBM AS400 is still the right choice:

  • As stated earlier, the system is fully compatible, and it means it helps companies in cost saving by preventing costly code migrations at the time of platform upgrades.
  • AS400 is not known as a modern platform, but this is a myth. It’s a healthy mix of both, i.e., native and open-source development language that gives it the balance of modern and traditional
  • Having IBM software onboard, anybody doesn’t need to worry about the security of their database.
  • IBM i comes with four core servers, but it is scalable enough to handle up to 256 core servers.
  • And finally, in terms of reliability also IBM AS400 stands tall. The system is not known, for it is the longest-running time.

If you look back, things may surprise you that the AS400 has already completed 30 years in the IT industry and still going strong. Like any other technology that has attained durability and stability, it needs to be flexible and adaptable. This is where IBM has invested a lot of time and effort.

And because of this, AS400 is not outdated. Furthermore, IBM releases regular updates for hardware and software. In today’s scenario, IBM Power Systems is the most powerful and flexible version available.

We hope you have got the answer to why IBM AS400 iSeries is ruling the business world. AS400 is the best example of how flexibility and scalability are necessary for establishing a long-lasting technology setup.

IBM AS400 has provided a strong foundation for updated versions, and this is the only thing that has stuck with the latest IBM Power Systems.

Benefits of Having the Latest IBM iSeries Hardware and OS Platform: 

  • You will get full support for any defect in hardware, operating system, and licensed program.
  • You can upgrade to the latest software release and applications quickly.
  • Hardware and operating system up-gradation will be fully supported, from point zero to the installation phase.
  • You will be able to take advantage of new features and new capabilities of hardware and OS.
  • In the absence of the latest services, hardware and software defects will be repaired in more time, like 2 hours, 4 hours, or more time, depending upon the fault in the server. But having the latest hardware support on board will help you get the best services, in terms of time and efforts and most importantly, 24/7.
  • By staying on current versions, you can quickly implement new software applications and features to meet the future evolving needs.
  • If you wish to upgrade, you will have the option of hosting your application on the cloud platform.
  • You should be aware that in the long run, it is not too expensive to stay updated. If you are not on the upgraded version, you will do it later, which will cost you more.
  • With an upgrade facility, you will have alternatives in your field, but your choices will be limited with no support onboard.

If you do not have a team of IBM experts to help you out. One small miss out on details could lead to a huge disaster.

If you are looking for IBM iSeries support, then Integrative Systems can help you. The company is based out in Chicago, USA. They are also a silver business partner of IBM and one of the INC 5000 fastest growing companies in the United States.

Final Words

If you’re looking for a professional IBM iSeries outsourcing services provider, look no further than Integrative Systems. We offer a wide range of services, like IBM AS400 migration and upgrade. Using assistance from Integrative Systems is more effective than hiring in-house employees for technical support. Please get in touch with us at contact@integrativesystems.com to know more.