Ross Mauri, the general manager of IBM Power Systems, recently wrote an open letter to the System i community. The point of the letter was to update System i users on the state of the platform, and perhaps to ease some of their fears.
First, the push toward Power6 servers: “In 3Q08, we expect that the majority of IBM i shipments will be on POWER6 processor-based Power Systems, and, as a result, the older System i servers based on POWER5+ technology are gradually being withdrawn,” he wrote. “We expect to complete this transition by the end of 2008.”
Mauri continued in that vein but took it to the software side, writing that all the old System i, iSeries and AS/400 applications will be supported on the new Power servers. Nothing too new there, although it may be a relief to some.
There is also some talk in there about IBM i 6.1, and how the next version will be out in 2010 and is being developed in concert with users through groups like Common.
The letter is worth reading, although reception hasn’t been too fantastic. David Vasta over at IT Knowledge Exchange said:
I have read the letter and it seems very dry and blah. I don’t think Mr. Ross Mauri gets it. I may be wrong but seems like they are still thinking about each OS as a platform and not as one Platform and many OSes.
Others, such as IT Jungle and the System i Network, have speculated that Mauri came out with the open letter to calm fears from System i users who have seen revenue numbers from IBM. We wrote about this back in August when IBM reported second-quarter figures. In short, IBM started talking about a “converged System p” platform, which includes Power6-based servers running AIX and IBM i. That number was up big, in part due to the fact that it was compared to the previous System p line, which didn’t run the System i operating system. Meanwhile, the System i number, which only included older System i servers prior to Power5, dropped off.
Expect those same kind of numbers this week when IBM announces its third-quarter revenue numbers.