The AS/400, also renamed IBM iSeries, is a midrange server commonly used by small businesses and individual departments in established enterprises. During its redesigning phase, it is now suitable in distributed networks, coupled with web applications. The AS/400 depends on the PowerPC microprocessor and is run by a separate operating system referred to as OS/400. It comprises multiple terabyte disks for storage and is equipped with a Java virtual memory incorporated into the OS.
IBM remains passionate about making the AS/400 a more versatile all-purpose server to come as an alternative to PC and Web servers in various industries globally. Despite its major competitors, Wintel and UNIX servers offering greater competition, the AS/400 server has proven worth it in the business. Still, most of AS/400 success revolves around departments in large enterprises, government agencies, and small corporations.
IBM Power System computers have been the backbone of the IT sector since the 1980s, which saw the AS/400 become the prized server in performance, dependability, and stability. However, the advancement of technology has seen the rise of new cloud services. This has led to most businesses doing away with the AS/400 cloud server. Most terms this cloud server outdated and pricey, especially with the rise of cheaper cloud-based platforms.
Some state that it lacks IT support, more so for companies transitioning to cloud services. For this reason, most businesses using IBM Power Systems infrastructure have begun reconsidering other available options. Regardless of these criticisms, the IBM AS/400 packs excellent benefits, which has seen many companies still using it. Nevertheless, its services remain relevant to different companies still using it.
Essential New Uses of AS/400
According to IBM, AS/400 cloud services help in mission-critical tasks and ERP suitable for companies needing extreme reliability, for instance, manufacturing. Despite being among the oldest cloud service platforms, the AS/400 competes with established database management systems such as Oracle Database.
Despite being accompanied by countless critics, the AS/400 has gained popularity among recognized cloud solutions worldwide. According to the company, some of the key benefits include being used to host anything, but the server offers more. Here are the key and the latest benefits of the AS/400 server based on IBM.
- Data Warehousing: Typically, the server comes with multi-gigabytes and multi-terabytes of hard drive space. This gives AS/400 the ability to accommodate large quantities of data suitable for data mining. Hence, it is ideal for large organizations generating more data daily.
- Java Application Development: IBM integrated the server with a Java virtual machine and an advanced tool for building commercial applications. With this, AS/400 can develop various systems and surpass a few of today’s cloud servers.
- Web and Ecommerce Serving: The AS/400 cloud server comes with a Web server and specific applications designed to facilitate e-commerce and firewall capabilities. Therefore, it can act as a suitable tool to handle Internet serving, most preferably in moderate-size companies.
- Corporate Groupware Services: Because of its seamless integration and usability, the AS/400 server can quickly offer corporations intricate emails, including whiteboards, project sharing databases, and electronic alliance.
AS/400 System Security
It is no secret that most companies have termed the AS/400 as the most secure IBM iServer than most servers globally. The IBM platform enables users to integrate the server into different systems because of its adaptability features. This makes it easy to meet a range of user needs being expedited by three critical security objectives. These are;
- Confidentiality: This is the AS/400 server security feature that protects data based on privacy concerns. Here, the system guarantees protection against unauthorized personnel learning the information within the server. Besides, it helps in restricting access to confidential data and protecting users from curious third-parties.
- Integrity: Server integrity is crucial, especially for security for companies storing sensitive information. With AS/400 servers, users get protection against data alteration from unauthorized people, restrict data manipulation, and guarantee trustworthy details.
- Availability: Data distortion is common, and the destruction of crucial company data can become detrimental. The AS/400 cloud server hence comes in handy to protect instances of such situations. The server prevents data destructions, including accidental changes, while providing security against outsiders trying to change or destroy the system.
Is The IBM AS/400 Dead?
Due to its time in the IT sector, many cloud-based servers have emerged with the latest design and features. This makes the IBM AS/400 server seem unreliable, outdated, and unsuitable for usage hence increasingly being substituted. However, most IT experts still use this server, especially when most companies are switching to cloud-based services.
Most current users and professionals still have doubts about a platform established back in 1988 being relevant today. Some companies have continually enjoyed the benefits brought about by the IBM AS/400 server despite being the oldest in the industry. The answer remains that the server is still used and has some future packed into it. Again, IBM has since highlighted new benefits offered by the platform.
The Future of IBM AS/400
Over the years, IBM has seen a decline in revenue from its server market while more people are already claiming that AS/400 is “dead.” However, this doesn’t mean that IBM has lost the relative benefits provided by AS/400 as its product. Despite being considered outdated, more cloud-based platforms have emerged with the latest features. Some seem more robust, secure, reliable, and versatile than the AS/400 server.
Yes, this cloud server remains applicable to several companies due to its wide array of benefits it offers. The decline in revenue from various factors, especially with the 2019 IBM i Marketplace Survey, suggests that most companies are likely to increase their IBM i footprint. These, among other reasons, give the company the potential to grow in the coming years in terms of the AS/400 cloud server.
The AS/400 cloud server has been around for several years, making it among the oldest in the IT industry. It remains usable to date because it still offers various benefits to multiple companies and IT professionals. However, some people have termed the server outdated and ‘dead’; hence, consider other cloud service platforms. IBM remains confident that AS/400 has a lot to offer to users.