Posted by: Mark Fontecchio
IBM System i staffing, System i hardware
Trevor Perry has a belated analysis of the merger between System i and System p into Power Systems, but it comes about because of a recent trip he made in South Africa last month. Bottom line: Perry thinks System i folks need to stop talking about the name, and IBM needs to market the System i technology on equal footing with AIX and the former System p brand.
IBM also promised us that there would be marketing of Power Systems with all three OSs mentioned – AIX, IBM i and Linux. This promise remains unfulfilled on the outside of IBM, with no apparent marketing to support the premise that IBM i is the OS “for business”. Even the Power Systems home page at IBM does not show the three logos together.
It is no wonder that IBM i continues to be pushed out the door. Most people consider the AS/400 to be old and worthy of replacing with non-IBM i systems. Our community indulges themselves in the safety net of calling it an AS/400, only to find themselves without a job, and without a future.
Do we still have time to restore IBM i to the glory of the legacy it has left? Probably not… But we ~can~ turn around the impression that we work on an OLD system, with OLD tools, building OLD applications.
In South Africa, Perry spoke with companies still stuck with AS/400s, coding like it is still 1999, and in general, not keeping up with modern technology. As a result, one IT director there felt he had two options — outsourcing the System i work or moving to a Java-based application infrastructure. Since the first is hard to come by, that leaves the second.
And that leaves the AS/400 on the verge of falling off the map there. Perry said the midrange presence has been “decimated” there in the last few years, estimating that only about 10% of AS/400, iSeries and System i servers still remain.
“New Power Systems may be sold there, but the IBM i operating system seems to be making no headway,” Perry wrote.