The IBM i Platform — More than just an old standby
By Ben Huntsman
Senior Solutions Architect
Nordisk Systems, a Converge Company
Like the IBM Mainframe, the IBM i platform still plays a pivotal role in critical line-of-business applications such as accounting, manufacturing, inventory and ERP, just to name a few. It’s no surprise that the platform is still an IT staple. After all, the IBM i platform is a system that never goes down, never needs tuning and doesn’t need much maintenance. It just runs.
That’s a particularly important feature during the pandemic, when IT may have limited to no access to the data center. Certainly, a significant number of businesses are looking to cloud and SaaS-based alternatives, like virtual tape, cloud-based backup, automated DR solutions and modernizing remote console access. But the great thing about the IBM i platform is that it just continues to reliably run applications and services without any attention at all.
In fact, many of our IBM i customers don’t even have a dedicated IT person to maintain the server. The majority of IBM i customers are long-standing users of the platform, and it doesn’t just improve their business, it runs their business. And at least one of our customers was not a legacy IBM i customer, but recently selected the platform due to its low administrative overhead, and then afterward evaluated available applications for their problem domain. And customers are leveraging IBM i for more than just the traditional applications. We’re seeing customers deploying a lot of open-source and analytic applications on the platform in order to bring data closer to end-users.
IBM is far from done with the platform. Big Blue continues to update the platform with new capabilities. The latest version of the OS, 7.4, includes significant enhancements around availability, disaster recovery, and cloud-native technologies and integrations. The list of new features and additions is long, but here are just a few to show how IBM continues to develop the platform:
● New clustering policies allow for more automation of an administrative domain: This new capability simplifies management, particularly when adding and deleting resources. Enhancements have also been made to the behavior for a restore operation and for a primary node failure.
● IBM Db2 Mirror for i: This provides near-continuous availability through an IBM i exclusive Db2 active-active two-system configuration.
● IBM PowerHA SystemMirror for i 7.4: This update provides integrated support for disaster recovery of a Db2 Mirror for i deployment and support for the replication of IFS data in a Db2 Mirror deployment.
● Content Manager OnDemand for i 7.4: This enables IT to archive to cloud storage and management of cloud storage resources. In addition, there are enhancements to storage management commands and improved management of printing, querying, and retrieving documents.
The IBM i has been a reliable platform for years. And, thanks to IBM’s continued support and updates, it will likely remain so for many years to come.
To learn more about IBM i and how it can help your business, please reach out to your Nordisk Systems Data Center Specialist.