The iSeries Blog

Jul 23 2008   11:59AM GMT

Only 23% moving to new System i hardware? Not quite.

Mark Fontecchio Mark Fontecchio Profile: Mark Fontecchio

Mark Hall, a columnist over at Computerworld, had a recent column about the System i, or the IBM i, or whatever you want to call it. It was called “Bye bye i.” As Hall puts it, “(n)ow the company offers you a single, pathetic vowel, the i. The IBM i. ”

In the column, Hall pointed to a recent Common user group story to make his point:

Even supporters are hesitant to stay with i. A survey last month of Common members, the largest user group for i technology, showed a mere 23% planned to move to the latest i hardware.

Too bad Hall didn’t read that survey he linked to closely enough. Here’s an excerpt from the press release from Common highlighting the survey results:

The survey included reactions to the recent IBM Power Systems announcements. Forty-three percent of customers said they plan to upgrade to IBM i 6.1 in 2008, with 23% of respondents planning to upgrade to new POWER6 processor-based systems and 6% planning to implement with IBM BladeCenter.

First of all, the “latest i hardware” also now includes BladeCenter, so the hardware figure should be 29%. Secondly, actually 43% plan to upgrade to the newest version of IBM i, the operating system. And finally, these numbers are referring to 2008, not the indefinite future. What about those System i shops that just bought new hardware a year ago (or six years ago) who don’t feel the need to upgrade their System i hardware because, well, their System i hardware is performing just fine right now, thank you very much.

That percentage also doesn’t take into account those survey responders who have already upgraded to new Power6-based systems. Remember, they came out earlier this year, and before Common released its survey results. Though Common should have made more clear whether any respondents already upgraded, it didn’t.

So no, the 23% figure shouldn’t be held up as proof that IBM i is dying, despite Hall’s claims.

1  Comment on this Post

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  • AS/400 Geek
    Another example of the IBM i not getting its due respect. The rest of the IT world just doesn't understand the IBM i world. I have worked on this platform for 20 plus years and couldn't be happier. Just because I'm not moving to the newest hardware in the next year doesn't mean I'm dissatisfied with it. I'll be there, eventually. Long live the AS/400, er, I mean the IBM i.
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