Why AS400 iSeries is Still Used, and Why you need iSeries Consulting Services

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    Why AS400 iSeries is Still Used, and Why you need iSeries Consulting Services?

    IBM Power Systems have come a long way. Its a family of server computers, Power Systems, that was previously named AS400/iSeries. Formed from the merging of two hardware lines called iSeries and pSeries, the new Power Systems is based on the IBM Power processor.

    Currently, IBM runs of the iSeries hardware line. The CPU architecture of AS/400 was based on IBM PowerPC-AS, and the OS was OS/400. pSeries is the other hardware line that was merged to form IBM Power Systems. This hardware line used PowerPC and IBM Power processors and was based on Linux on Power and IBM AIX operating systems. AS/400 was later renamed to iSeries and then again renamed to System i. OS/400 was renamed to i5/OS, and then to IBMi. So IBM has changed the name continuously, whenever they released an updated version, so when someone refers to IBMi platform, they could be referring to System i, iSeries.

    Although IBM Power Systems is the current server family, thousands of companies are still using AS/400 and iSeries and are looking for cost-effective iSeries consulting services. Thanks to the backward compatible nature of IBMi Systems, that companies using AS/400 can upgrade to IBM Power Systems and run their legacy applications.

    The Architecture of AS400 & Need of Highly Specialized Services

    An application that runs on AS/400 can also run on a non AS400 server computer. But if you ask an iSeries consulting services provider firm to compare the application performance between the systems, you will choose to run the application on the former. The reason being that AS/400 was built to accommodate technology disruptions and can run applications of any complexity with minimum effort relative to other systems.

    For users, AS400 is easy to use, and thanks to application modernization initiatives from iSeries consulting services providing firms such as Integrative System, this aspect is becoming increasingly established. An AS/400 system may have a very intuitive user interface, but overall it’s a complex system. Software, hardware, database, security, and several other components are integrated to adapt to changes. The AS/400’s internal architecture is based on hardware and software separation despite the tight integration. This aspect enables independence, where changes to one do not affect the other.

    The software and hardware separation is achieved through the Machine Interface, which applications hardware, and operating systems utilize to communicate. The machine interface runs on OS400 operating system, and it separates the OS from the underlying hardware. The robust architecture ensure that IBM iSeries support and services were never constrained to enhance an AS/400 or iSeries system because of architectural limitations.
    The OS of AS/400 is not like any other typical operating system and has a standard set of functions. Some of them are I/O management, process, memory management, and program control. But in AS400, all OS functions are managed by the Licensed Internal Code or LIC. The LIC sits below the machine interface, and the operating system sits above the machine interface.

    AS400 iSeries server computers use an integrated file system. Applications written on UNIX or PC can be run on AS/400 and can access the file system of AS/400. The integrated file system provides a single interface and similar protocols so that any application program can access an AS/400 file system. AS/400 also provides the flexibility for developers to create a single root and place all other file systems under this root file system. The IBM iOS also uses an integrated file system that supports several file systems, including UNIX, PC filesystems, apart from providing support for OS400 libraries.

    This flexible architecture should be leveraged effectively. Only an experienced iSeries consulting services provider understands such complex architecture and can offer best-in-class modernization services.

    The Important Attributes of the iSeries Platform

    AS400, iSeries and, IBM Power Systems, are developed by keeping future in mind and efficiently fulfil current technology needs. Following are some of the critical characteristics of iSeries systems that iSeries consulting services companies such as Integrative System will fully leverage. These features are often the mainstay of IBM iSeries server computer technology products.

    Kernel is Object-based

    Every device or file is considered an object by the operating system. The virtue of everything being an object allows independence from the implementation techniques used by the machine. An object has metadata that describes the object and methods to access the object. The architecture also supports objects to be extended – a powerful feature that can be used by iSeries consulting services firms to implement extensions.

    Single Level Storage

    Objects or pages can be on primary storage or RAM or reside on the secondary storage or disk. A process that is accessing an entity need not be concerned with the location of the object. It accesses the object by way of its object name. The operating system takes responsibility for locating the object and provide a way to process. If a thing is available on the RAM, it is immediately made public. Else, it is moved to the RAM from the disk to be accessed by the calling program.

    Integrated Features

    IBMi has integrated features that cover a variety of computational tasks. Ranging from database management, networking to storage and security, all these features are available out-of-the-box. The integrated database is named DB2.

    IBMi provides the IBM Systems Network Architecture that supports TCP/IP networking. Product analysis can be made via the IBM Navigator web-based console.

    IBMi supports multiple open-source technologies. All open-source packages are installed via the YUM package manager and are available in the RPG package format. The support for open-source technologies allows iSeries consulting services companies to build modern-day applications using the latest technologies. Some popular open-source technologies supported are Java, Git, Open SSL, Node JS, Python, MongoDB, nginx, PHP, R, Lua, Perl, Redis, Ruby, etc.


    This server virtualization technology allows iSeries consulting services firms to implement workload consolidation and enhanced server utilization. Being a scalable and secure virtualization technology for IBM, PowerVM features an industry-leading hypervisor that can manage enterprise environment workload efficiently. Integrative Systems has the experience of using the features of PowerVM to help organizations eliminate expenditure. Features such as active memory sharing, live partition mobility, share storage pools, NovaLink etc., can be applied effectively to solve business problems.

    Why is AS/400 Still Being Used?

    Most of the organizations continue to use AS/400 to Power their business applications. Some of them have upgraded to iSeries, and IBM Power Systems. Still, many companies continue to use the older AS/400 system as they don’t see the need of upgrading. But whenever they want to modernize their applications, they can connect with iSeries consulting service provider firm like Integrative Systems.

    Whether it’s about new installations on IBM Power Systems or minor modification to the existing system, Integrative Systems provides 360 degrees iSeries consulting services on all generations of systems.

    AS/400 was in demand and will continue to be, and there are several reasons for it. Have a look at some of them:

    AS/400 is High Performing

    AS400 CPU provide double processing power when compared to competitors. Moreover, organizations don’t feel the need to change their AS400 portfolio. For a migration or transition to the cloud, they would rather build an equivalent cloud application. They invoke custom software application development services and iSeries consulting services companies such as Integrative Systems for this purpose.

    Flexibility and Upward Compatibility

    An application created in the 1980s can run on today’s IBM Power Systems. This type of upward compatibility is crucial for businesses that do not want to reinvest in rebuilding software applications. AS/400 systems are reliable assets that organizations are not willing to relinquish for any other system. AS/400 systems are flexible, too. They support native languages such as COBOL, RPG, and C++ and support newer languages such as Python, Perl, SQL, JavaScript, and Java, which can be used for AS/400 application development by iSeries consulting services firms.


    Integrative Systems has several decades of experience in iSeries consulting. Integrative Systems has transformed various businesses by having broad expertise in AS/400 and iSeries customization, development, integration, migration, and modernization. Connect with us at [email protected] to discuss your queries or if you have any project in mind.

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