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Here’s Everything You Need To Know About AS400

AS400 iSeries – Everything You Need To Know About the IBM Operating System

AS400 iSeries software forms the foundation of some of the most powerful servers and OS in the market.

Time to read – 5 min 25 sec

Summary
AS400 iSeries software forms the foundation of some of the most powerful servers and OS in the market. Over 100,000 companies worldwide use the AS400 iSeries as the technology powers their most critical applications. What it means is, these organizations are running their business on AS400 iSeries software, not because other technologies are not up to the mark, but because only “IBMi” suits their needs. This blog will help in clearing confusions about this technology and tell what it can offer you. Click here to know more about IBM AS400/iSeries.

If you are a techie, you must have heard this name, i.e., AS400/iSeries earlier. The AS400 is a mid-range server developed by IBM. The server was launched into the market in 1988, and it was expected to be used by large firms having big database records.

IBM i series as 400: History through Numbers

Have a look at the critical stats since 1988 that led the way for today’s IBM AS/400 iSeries:

We bet you didn’t know this about your IBM i series

  • IBM as 400 i series and its predecessors have had three different OS names, seven different OS versions, and more than twenty revisions.
  • The OS/400-i5 operating system has run on 6 different hardware, and all were manufactured under the IBM name.
  • At least seventeen different CPUs have run the IBM as400 system and its predecessors.
  • Since 1988, IBM has sold more than 50 hardware models to run the product line of IBM AS 400 iSeries
  • All the IBM as 400 software customers can run the software and as 400 databases created in 1988.

According to IBM“The AS400 systems incorporates a trusted combination of an interactive database, security, networking, web services, and storage management abilities”. Furthermore, it also provides a comprehensive and highly stable database and middleware foundation.

Commonly AS400 services are used for data warehousing, web and e-commerce serving, and Java application development.

Also, if you are already familiar with AS400 experience but confused with multiple terms associated with it- you should look at this.

The AS400 applications are known by various names- System i, iSeries, and IBMi. IBM uses all these names as a brand initiative over the years. It was renamed as iSeries in 2000 and was renamed to System i in 2006, as a part of a brand initiative. However, they all refer to the same AS400 and can be used interchangeably.

IBM shared the news of its integration with the System p platform in the year 2008. And the unified product line is called IBM power systems and features support for the IBMi.

The operating system has undergone several name changes by the IBM server line. It was first called OS400 and later became i5/OS after introducing eServer i5 that features POWER5 processors. And finally, it became IBMi.

Struggling to find experts for your AS400 iSeries applications?
Let us know how we can help YOU

    IBMi, the latest evolution of IBM AS400, is a descending of OS400, and together they run on “Power Systems‘ hardware and have its own set of unique features such as:

    • The subsystems provide backward compatibility with earlier versions of IBM AS/400, so migration to the newer IBMi platform requires no application re-installation.
    • The new IBM AS400 is designed as a “turnkey” OS, and it requires little or no attention from IT staff during normal business operations.
    • The maintenance of hardware and software tasks is integrated.
    • “Wizard-driven” system administration
    • The self-care policy on IBM AS400 iSeries is fully automated. It schedules the system maintenance automatically, detects issues in the system, and even orders spare parts if required.
    • Software data like DB2 SQL that are the much necessary software to run the IBM AS400 are already integrated into the base OS, eliminating the need of purchasing and installing the software separately.

    With the rise of cloud computing technology, some IT experts have labeled IBM Power Systems as “OFF” and written that many new companies won’t consider it due to the high cost. But, when one hour of technology downtime can cost a company up to $1 million, companies (especially in the manufacturing and retail sector) still prefer to stick with IBM AS400 architecture. Also, the cost and complexity of migrating to another platform are hard to justify.

    Furthermore, the traditional IBM AS/400 system is leveraged with RPG, newer IBM AS400 host RPG applications, and some unique applications like Java. Also, it is integrated with server technology like “DB2” universal database and “Lotus Domino” software. The “i” in IBM iSeries stands for integration, and this is the feature that differentiates it from others.

    IBM i series as 400: History through Numbers

    Have a look at the critical stats since 1988 that led the way for today’s IBM AS/400 iSeries:
    We bet you didn’t know this about your IBM i series

    • IBM as 400 i series and its predecessors have had three different OS names, seven different OS versions, and more than twenty revisions.
    • The OS/400-i5 operating system has run on 6 different hardware, and all were manufactured under the IBM name.
    • At least seventeen different CPUs have run the IBM as400 system and its predecessors.
    • Since 1988, IBM has sold more than 50 hardware models to run the product line of IBM AS 400 iSeries.
    • All the IBM as 400 software customers can run the software and as 400 databases created in 1988.

    As per IBM, these are few new uses of IBM AS400 Services:

    Data Warehousing:

    With multi-gigabytes of RAM and ample hard disk space, the IBM i series AS 400 can act as a central repository for various big companies’ data, where data mining could be applied.

    Web and E-commerce Serving:

    The IBM as400 / i-series is equipped with a web server and applications intended to support e-commerce tasks like (order management, tracking orders, customer support, vendor, and warehouse management). The IBM as/400 iSeries comes with firewall capabilities and can handle internet serving for a medium-sized company.

    Java Application Development:

    The IBM as 400 i series can be used as a development system because of its relative integrity with Java virtual machine and tools designed by IBM for developing commercial applications with Java.

    Corporate Groupware Services:

    Given that Domino and Notes have been included in the system, the IBM AS400 is designed to provide the organization with sophisticated e-mail, project file sharing, and quick collaboration.

    IBM Db2 Mirror for IBM as 400 iSeries

    Mission-critical applications are likely to run 24/7 without any downtime. IBM Db2 Mirror for IBM as 400 iSeries is a high-level solution with active-active topology and provides zero Recovery Time Objective (RTO). The software ensures continuous accessibility of application regardless of the obstacles.

    Benefits

    • Ensure constant availability of application
    • In-built GUI for observing and handling the Db2 Mirror environment
    • Supports systematic advancements
    • No journaling needed
    • Allows active-active application positioning for load balancing
    • Allows active-passive application arrangement for BI and query
    • IBM as/400 iSeries technology provides cost-effective options for implementation

    Now the thing comes to – how does it operate?

    To bring the AS400 system up to today’s standards, it must be used with custom applications. Any feature and functional enhancement on AS400 help must come from a packaged app. Moreover, AS400 applications must be programmed into the server before they are usable, i.e., it’s not plug-and-play.

    The latest generation of IBM iSeries and pSeries systems (eServer i5 and eServer p5 systems) are based on “Power5” technology, i.e., the 9th generation of IBM 64-bit processor technology. Power5 processors have proven features and functionality and leverage the tradition of virtualization and system-management to let organizations gain a high level of simplicity while performing business operations.

    Both technologies (eServer i5 and eServer p5 systems) feature “Micro-Partitioning” technology that allows one physical server to be fractionated into multiple virtual servers, making it an excellent platform for consolidation. The Virtualization Engine technology of IBM is also extended into the eServer family and allows companies to maintain service levels. Moreover, it will enable automatic management of resource allocation in case of demand change. The technology is capable of maximizing the IT investments of an organization and streamline the management process.

    IBM AS400 iSeries Virtualization Engine Technologies

    IBM Director Multiplatform

    This provides a standard web-based console for monitoring heterogeneous systems.

    Enterprise Workload Manager

    For iSeries (EWLM) to monitor computing resources, the flow of transactions, measure response time, and help companies improve service-level management.

    IBM Grid Toolbox

    It uses open standards to help organizations build more secure and robust infrastructures.

    On/Off Capacity on Demand (On/Off CoD)

    This feature allows companies to activate extra processor capacity whenever required and enhance reserve capacity offerings on-demand.

    WHAT IS UNIQUE ABOUT IBM as 400 iseries?

    Let’s have a look at the short philosophy behind the different OS and understand why IBM AS400 iSeries is different from others:

    Linux:

    There are quite a few small devices, apps, etc., for individual tasks, after which they “connect” them collectively to do bigger things.

    Windows:

    Monumental target-programs (solutions) for a tangible problem. (Mostly Defined as “package”).

    AS/400:

    A solid system with outstanding documentation and full proof
    operations. Applications are precise sufficient alone. They aren’t enormous and don’t need to be linked together to make something meaningful.

    The AS400 experience can be written in several programming languages, like – JAVA, COBOL, and RPG.

    Characteristics of AS400 Systems:

    1. It Uses an Object-Based Kernel

    AS400 systems have been created using an object-based kernel. It means you will find some unique features such as single-level storage in the AS400 systems that you will not find in any other OS. Such features are necessary and increase stability and security for businesses.

    2. AS400 Services has Broad Integrated Component Offerings

    Several underlying operating system tasks come with the IBM AS400. They are –

    • Web application servers
    • Web services servers (fully integrated file system)
    • DB2 for i RDBMS (relational database management system),
    • And other tools also

    Moreover, the incorporated modules can execute over 300 tasks, from backup and improvement to operations and security.

    3. AS400 Application Offers More Efficient Apportioning

    Server application like – VMware, Hyper-V, and Xen have their limitations. It means their virtualization methods are software-based instead of firmware-based. It means that your assigned features will not be incorporated as closely with your allocated setup and will lead to performance degradation. To get the most out of it, you need a firmware virtualization solution like AS400 systems.

    4. Provides Efficient Administrator interfaces

    Generally, you need a comprehensive tool from different vendors to get the most out of your systems administrator if you are working on a Windows or Linux environment. But with AS400 systems, you will get reliable technologies to perform routine tasks without any hassle and can get a simplified interface for the rest of your organizational needs.

    5. It Lets You Have Fewer Physical Servers

    Like PowerVM, virtualization technologies make you realize that you do not need as much hardware covering up the data center. This, in turn, reduces the complication of management as well as your momentum costs. You can balance your capabilities across all your system assets, like – processor, memory, and I/O. You cannot do that regularly on an x86 server. In turn, you will experience a substantial boost in your general capacity.

    AS400 SYSTEMS SECURITY:

    The AS400 systems are assumed to be the most secure setup. IBMi platform is adaptable enough to meet the needs of a range of users. The AS400 systems

    AS400 application security has three important objectives:

    Confidentiality:

    • Protect revealing information to unauthorized people
    • Restrict access to confidential information
    • Protect users from curious outsiders

    Integrity:

    • Protect from unauthorized alteration to data
    • Restrict manipulation of data
    • Provide a guarantee that information is trustworthy

    Availability:

    • Prevent data destruction and accidental changes
    • Protection from outsiders trying to destroy system resources

    In a Nutshell

    You may have purchased your IBM iSeries because of its integrity and dependability that your business requires, or you may have bought it because it provides a secure and reliable way to keep your data safe and earn more ROI. Irrespective of your reason to be on this platform, with the latest IBM AS400 hardware setup, you can benefit from its robust engine Capabilities and achieve your pre-determined business goals.

    What makes IBM AS400 unique is that it can handle the core business challenges and excels at meeting the emerging demands of today’s business world.

    What is Integrated Web Services for IBM as400 i-series?

    Integrated Web service supporting IBM as400 / i-series is a term that refers to the technologies that belong to IBM as 400 i series:

    • Integrated Web service server
    • integrated Web service client for ILE

    An Integrated Web service server is a server in which objects can be implemented as Web services.

    ILE’s integrated Web service client enables ILE-based applications to act as a Web service client by creating RPG, C, or C++ counterfoils that ILE programs can use. The Web service protocols are responsible for the serialization and deserialization of Web service requests.

    AS400 i-series cloud provides all the advantages of cloud hosting on a platform that you can trust. By leveraging the benefits of attributes like flexibility and scalability, of as400 i-series cloud hosting, organizations can create a more flexible and agile IT environment, thereby achieving unparalleled business robustness and a strong competitive advantage by:

    • Reducing total operating costs and data centre overhead.
    • Pay only for the resources you need, thereby reducing capital costs.
    • Optimized change management process. Expand the business operations as per need to keep up with resource-intensive projects and business plans.
    • Simplify your entire IT environment.
    • Eliminate database licensing costs when switching from another platform.

    Why is the IBM i series as 400 platform the most suitable server available for service on the cloud?

    Cloud-ready technology for IBM as 400 software have existed for many years. Before the x86-based computing environment adopted the concept of virtualization, IBM as/400 series were directed at the HW layer and introduced the concept of logical partition (LPAR) in 1999.

    Frequently Asked Questions About AS400 Services

    1. What does the share access path mean?

    Ans: It means to share the accessible data path by numerous programs in the same job.

    2. Differentiate between multiple occurrence data structure and an array?

    Ans: The value stored does not vary in the array, while we can store different values in multiple occurrence data structures at various stages.

    3. Why *INZSR is used?

    Ans: *INZSR is a particular type of RPG/400 subprogram implemented inevitably at the program’s initial stage. It is the right place where code modifies the variables.

    4. How to execute a command from within an RPG program without calling a CLP program?

    Ans: You can execute a CL command within an RPG program by calling the QCMDEXC application program interface.

    5. What does “N” denote in the calculation specification written below?

    Ans: C KEY CHAIN FILE N 99

    It’s a way of avoiding the record block, and if you specify “N” in the 53rd position and try to read the lock record, the record will not be locked.

    If your business already runs on the AS400 applications, then you must be aware of the shortage of skilled developers who can manage this software. And the reason for this shortage is that AS400 systems services can be learned on-site, one cannot understand it outside the system. Also, the system is expensive, and the only resources who can learn AS400 systems are the people who have worked at a company using this technology.

    So, maintenance and enhancement are the two significant challenges for the people currently running on AS400. Due to the limited availability of expertise in the field, companies look to outsource the services to third-party vendors, mainly to keep the focus on their in-house projects.

    6. How Does IBM iSeries AS400 Support ERP?

    Ans: Generally, ERP landscapes are resource intensive. Also, IBMi systems are 3 to 5 times more potent in comparison to its competitors. The IBM architecture offers multiple level servers, that too with little redundancy. Moreover, IBM AS400 provides affordable options to the organizations and allows cost-cutting on CapEx and QA.

    7. What Can IBM AS400 iSeries Cloud Hosting Do for My Organization?

    Ans: It is difficult for companies to find IBM AS/400 experts as the talent is retiring. Still, it’s not a good idea to move away from IBM AS400, as the process is complex and pricey. As a solution to this, IBM AS400 cloud hosting allows organizations to stay with their trustable technology and reap valuable benefits.

    Moving to IBM AS400 iSeries cloud will let organizations cut CapEx and TCO, as the hosting partner will be responsible for bearing hardware, administration, and security costs. Moreover, it will provide flexibility, and organizations will scale up quickly and without disruption.

    Conclusion

    We offer AS 400 iseries solutions to the companies looking to seamlessly upgrade their AS400 i-series setup and want to re-design their AS400 application on the cloud, while improving the application’s overall scalability, flexibility, and performance. The as400 database is modernized through UI, DB2 upgrade, RPG upgrade, API, and DevOps. These methods will also help organizations increase business agility, reduce manual reliance, increase productivity, reduce costs, and drive business growth.

    In case you have any specific questions regarding AS400 systems or looking for a company for your support in AS400 management and setup, you have landed at the right place.

    We at Integrative Systems have more than 20 years of experience in AS400 services.
    Either you need to hire a team of developers for your project or work on-site for your project, we fulfil all our clients’ requirements.

    We are a silver business partner of IBM and one of the INC 5000 company in the USA. At Integrative systems, customer success comes before company success.

    Feel free to contact us at contact@integrative-systems.com, and we would be happy to help you!

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