IBM will merge AS/400 and RS6000 next year

IBM's veteran RS6000 and AS/400 mid-range computers are to merge onto a standard software platform next year, users at the IBM...

IBM's veteran RS6000 and AS/400 mid-range computers are to merge onto a standard software platform next year, users at the IBM Computer Users' Association's annual iSeries conference heard two weeks ago.

The RS6000, renamed the pSeries, runs on AIX, IBM's version of Unix; and the AS/400, now called the iSeries, runs the proprietary OS/400.

At the conference, Frank Soltis, IBM's chief scientist and creator of the System 38 and AS/400 machines, gave an overview of the merger, speaking of high-level supervisory software, called a "hypervisor". Soltis assured users that the hardware mechanisms of the two computers were essentially the same, so all the changes would be made through the software.

In a week that marked the 25th anniversary of the launch of System 38, there was plenty of interest from users of its successor, the AS/400, in making their applications browser-based via IBM's Websphere software. There was also interest in finding ways of achieving single sign on, which, said IBMCUA chairman Ray Titcombe, was now a pressing issue for many CUA members.

"AS400 delegates complain because they have to fight off management whose pals on the golf course tell them they should get Intel and Unix systems," said Titcombe.

One issue on which delegates were noticeably quiet was the legal battle IBM is engaged in with SCO over Linux. Guy England, who looks after IBM's European, Middle East and Africa channel relationships, was surprised that no one asked him about the SCO lawsuit, said Titcombe.

"Our users are not worried now that IBM is on the attack," said Titcombe. "IBM has taken the issue seriously and the users know that they are in the right. I did not even see any smiles or tongue-in-cheek remarks - it was just not an issue."
This was last published in October 2003



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