Logo: TUG TORONTO USERS GROUP for Midrange Systems
e -server magazine

January 1996: Vol. 11, No. 3

PowerPC’s Impact on the AS/400

AS/400: Back to the Future

By Bev Russell

(Article Based on a White Paper by R. S. Tipton)

o the PC and LAN faithful, the AS/400 is old, legacy-burdened, slow and clumsy. To the open systems group, the AS/400 suffers from proprietary short-sightedness and chronic tardiness and superficiality in standards conformance. To the AS/400 zealot, the AS/400 is the lowest total-cost-to-operate system on the market with the ability to deliver high-quality business computing systems.

There are two areas in which the new AS/400 will shine: distributed computing serving; and the traditional, terminal-oriented transaction processing application from where its heritage has been built. Don't look for the AS/400 to become a graphics system, a floating point computation system, or a super-communications serving system. The AS/400 - in reality, OS/400 - has a strong potential for becoming the premier business-related computing platform: stronger than NT, more powerful than UNIX, more flexible and cost-effective than MVS, more adaptable and accommodating than VMS, etc. In fact it has the potential to dominate the business computing operating system world. Hardware is becoming a commodity, so Rochester's focus and profits will come from OS/400 with the potential of driving the AS/400 to a place no computer has gone before.

With V3R1 of OS/400 and the Power PC based AS/400, it is taking its first leap forward. The following points make it noteworthy:

The new AS/400 will become a multi-personality system. It will allow 64-bit OS/400 based applications to run along side of 32-bit applications like UNIX and OS/2. We can look forward to the introduction of many other personality servers.

Some important issues that will be addressed are:

In Robert's opinion the common personality servers will make the open systems, LAN and PC bigots think twice about slandering the AS/400, and I agree! T < G