Though the focus of this blog is AIX, there is value in discussing the other OSs that can run on IBM Power Systems: Linux, VIOS and IBM i. With that in mind, have you seen all the information and videos about IBM i turning 25?
While I primarily find myself on AIX these days, when I started in the late 1980s I worked on AS/400 systems, the predecessors to IBM i. Part of my job involved tending to a line printer that required us to change paper and forms. The most exciting part of the job was changing from green bar paper to white, and then back again (with an occasional run of custom forms thrown in).
The AS/400 was a great platform to work on as a computer operator. And compared to other operating systems of that era, OS/400 didn't require much care and feeding. Those machines just ran.
I recall our IBM CE coming on site. He'd log in, look at logs and ask us how we were doing, but the only thing we ever really needed from him was to repair or replace the green screen displays we had connected to the AS/400 via twinax. He never had to actually do anything with the AS/400 box itself. Basically, the guy was our version of the Maytag repairman.
Of course over the past 25 years the AS/400 has gone through a few rebrandings. And over time IBM has brought IBM i and AIX together architecturally. One important thing AIX and IBM i now share in common is the capability to virtualize adapters using the VIO server. However, as AIX pros we are generally more comfortable with VIOS. Sometimes I hear IBM i folks complain about how complicated it is -- and IBM is working to make VIOS more user friendly. But this is where, as an AIX/VIOS person, you can help your IBM i friends by configuring VIOS for them. Although you can certainly dedicate your adapters and direct connect to SAN storage, VIOS allows everyone to connect to the same SAN. That's a nice advantage.
Speaking of the coming together of AIX and IBM i, you should know that COMMON, the conference that for years has centered on AS/400, iSeries, System i and IBM i technologies, continues to add more AIX content to its user group meetings. The one that took place in Austin, Texas, earlier this month had AIX courses covering application development, high availability, networking, systems management and web applications.
So did you know that IBM i is celebrating 25 years? Do you still make the mistake of calling it an AS/400?
If, like me, you worked on the AS/400 in the beginning, that's one thing. But it's neither technically correct -- nor positive for the platform -- to refer to today's IBM Power Systems running IBM i as an AS/400. While it demonstrates the loyalty that users have always had to AS/400 systems, IBM Champion Trevor Perry points out that it needs to change. As he states: “Conflicted people called it AS/400. Confused people called it iSeries. Confident people called it IBM i.”
I think AIX users can see his point. I mean, we love our systems, but I don't know of anyone who still uses the name RS/6000. So what do you think? Does the name matter? Do you plan to step up and call it by its name, or are you going to remain conflicted and call it an AS/400?