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    Know What IBM AS400 iSeries Holds for your Business’ Future?

    Time to Read – 3 min 32 sec


    From a midsize organization to large manufacturers, retailers, and banks, many organizations use IBM AS400 for their smooth business operations. Furthermore, you can also find IBM AS400 in government institutions. Everyone is using AS/400, but at some points, they are concerned about the future, as IBM keeps making changes continuously. Read the blog to the end, and you will understand what the future of AS400 holds for you.

    Who’s using IBMi?

    It’s tough to estimate the actual number of IBMi users, but according to IBM’s previous calculation, around 120,000 organizations were using IBM AS400. If we assume that the yearly base of IBMi users is shrinking at the rate of 3% annually, the figures set around 110,000 organizations using the software. Integrative Systems is one of the silver business partners of IBM, and you can go through the website to know how we are helping IBM AS/400 users with our services.

    The Demography and Geography of IBM AS400 Installation

    IBM has broken its marketing cap into two main camps, i.e., large companies with more than 1000 employees and small and medium-sized companies with less than 1000 employees.

    According to IBM –30% of IBM AS400 clients are large companies and 70% business comes from small and medium-sized companies.” (IBM report, 2016)

    According to the IBM, AS400 Strategy and Roadmap Report of 2016 – the IBM installation base is changing rapidly, and 70% of its business came from North America, Western Europe, and Japan.

    In 2019, this percentage changed, and the number increased to 80%.

    This data clearly shows that the market expansion is boosting sales, and in countries like Japan, which is the largest market for IBM AS400, organizations are spending millions on this platform.

    Moreover, IBM AS400 is not known by these markets only, as the company has noticed continuous growth in Eastern Europe, Latin America, and the ASIAN region. Although China has dominated those markets, IBM AS/400 has continuously been evolving, especially in the banking and distribution sectors.

    The Next Steps of IBM Strategy

    IBM has announced to support IBM AS400 iSeries, IBM AS400, IBMi, through 2032. This 13year strategic roadmap is enough to tell any CTO that IBM is not walking away from its OS anytime soon. IBM will support the latest version of IBMi OS – 7.2, 7.3, 7.4 until 2022, 2023, and 2026.

    Essentially, IBM promises its customers that applications running on the old version will continue to run on the OS’s future releases. This statement is enough for CTO’s to sleep well at night.

    The IBM AS400 of Tomorrow

    What kinds of features and capabilities can we expect in future IBMi releases? This is the most common question as IBM itself is heading towards the next technology upgrade after the delivery of IBMi 7.4. However, we have created some educated guesses from IT business trends that we would like to see in the future.

    For starters, don’t be stunned if IBM AS400 adopts the cloud-native virtualization technology known as containers at some points.

    For this, we can take the example of Intel’s X86 world, companies are quickly adopting Docker and Kubernetes, a containerization runtime and orchestrate containers. Together, these both make it easy for organizations to create, scale, move, and destroy server OS without concern for the available hardware setup. This is possible; all the necessary elements are already available in the container. Similar technology could be implemented in the IBM AS400.

    IBM Power Systems Hardware is Changing

    Things are moving towards good on the hardware front also. Work is on-track with regards to the future generation of Power11 processors, which is in formative stages. If IBM continued the track record of launching products on time, we would see Power11 in the market in 2024. There is not much to speak about Power12; however, we can assume that it will be delivered somewhere between 2027 or 2028.

    Undoubtedly, we will see a lot of exotic processors offered in Power Systems within the future. IBM features a partnership with Nvidia for graphics processor units (GPUs) developed to Power high-end graphics for video games. However, now they are utilized as co-processors in supercomputers. GPUs are being adopted to Power advanced “deep learning” systems that are used for image recognition techniques and handling (NLP) workloads. We will additionally see different specialized processors, like field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) within the hardware mix.

    The Gamechanger – IBM AS400 Cloud

    IBM AS400 cloud could be the biggest game-changer.

    The IBM AS400 community has had multiple cloud options available for many years, but they all are private.

    However, it is on the brink of getting the primary options for native public clouds from IBM, Skytap, and Google. These clouds will enable users to make IBM AS400 instances that they will rescale as needed through a web interface. All these public IBM AS400 cloud options will dramatically impact the way organizations use IBM AS/400 and its resources. Moreover, there is nothing wrong with grouping the IBM AS400 with future technologies, as the potential of this technology is enormous, and it will grow dramatically. Furthermore, this grouping will be a boon for the vendors offering SaaS services. However, there is a need to change traditional IBM AS400 licensing agreements that aren’t compatible with the method business is done on the cloud.

    Integrative Systems for Your Help

    You must have understood the hardware and software roadmap of IBM AS400. Although it’s solid, there are still some challenges that organizations face when looking for long-term viability. One of the biggest challenges of IBM AS400 running organizations is coping with an old and unsupported version of the OS. In calculations, such organizations range from 50% to 75%, and these customers are inactive in upgrading to the latest version. If these organizations turn up and modernize their existing applications, this could have a huge impact on the platform work processing in the future.

    If you are one of those and thinking to modernize your existing application, feel free to connect with our experts at [email protected] who will get back to you within 1-2 days to understand your requirements better.

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