Earlier this month, TEC analyst Aleksey Osintsev posted a short piece about the perceived shortcomings of the venerable IBM AS/400 (now the IBM System i). It seems he touched a nerve with the platform’s defenders, who were quick to offer an opposing view in the post’s comments.
The general consensus was that, while it isn’t mainstream, the AS/400 is alive and well. Unfortunately, our commenters say, many system administrators haven’t kept up to date with new technologies, creating the perception that the AS/400 is an obsolete, or at least “vintage” system.
“We’ll get onto a 20 or 40 year old elevator without a second thought, or a 20 or 40 year old air plane,” said one reader, “but when it comes to information technology there is this myth that old is no longer viable.”
According to the experts in our audience, the truth is that, when properly updated, the AS/400 is a reliable workhorse that provides all of the functionality of modern tier-1 systems, and requires far fewer resources to support and maintain. Its age is simply not an issue.
So what do you think? Is newer necessarily better? Is your company still getting tier-1 performance out of “vintage” systems?
Let us know in the comments.
Good question. I think the AS/400 is the exception to this rule. There have been others, like DEC’s VAX systems. Back to the point, IBM’s Systems i has been cornered due to numerous software vendors not supporting the IBM stack.
This occurred because new platforms became mainstream vendors ’stack of choice’. If we insist our software be open, then stable, reliable hardware systems like the AS/400 would be allowed to continue running manufacturing companies across this country. If it’s not broken why break it?
Finally, it’s important to note again, not all systems are created equal and so few will likely have the longevity IBM’s Systems i has.