The future is bright for IBM i, as the powerful machine that could continues to provide data processing for hundreds of thousands of businesses across the globe.
In April 2010, IBM i 7.1 was released with enhancements that include:
- DB2 for i support for XML and column level encryption
- PowerHA for i asynchronous Geographic Mirroring & LUN-level switching
- Virtualization enhancements for IBM i hosted partitions and PowerVM
- Storage management enhancements for solid state drives
- Systems management enhancements for Systems Director Navigator for i
- Rational software development product enhancements
- Zend PHP Enhancements
- Web Application Serving enhancements
A recent IBM Whitepaper on the future of the IBM i shares the current state of the platform, and some of the future plans for development. One fact I found interesting was that in 2010, approximately 85% of IBM i shipments were on the IBM Power 520 and Power 720 servers, indicating that the medium and small enterprises are the biggest market segment.
The white paper shares that the future development focus of the IBM i includes the cloud: providing virtual machine image management, mobility and automation as well as extending storage virtualization features including thin provisioning. There will also be a focus on simplified management including automation of management tasks, and integration of management tools with virtual I/O server.
IBM also has continued its support of RPG, and recently announced IBM Rational Open Access RPG Edition, which modernizes RPG and allows RPG-based applications to interface with the wide range of new devices and resources. Not sure where COBOL stands, didn’t see it mentioned… but this recent article shares that COBOL is alive and kicking (as in, “it ain’t dead yet!), and there are certainly still job openings for developers familiar with the language.
The white paper included some case studies of companies that have upgraded their systems, which leads me to wonder, how many of you are using V5R3 (or V5R2) still? The support lifetime is waning, so what are your plans for an upgrade?