IBM Systems Magazine, Power Systems - June 2018 - 36
By ensuring programs never
speak directly to the system
hardware, but instead to
the Machine Interface (MI),
developers gave clients 30 years
of software investment protection.
You can readily take advantage of
hardware enhancements in terms
of processor speed, price and
performance, address space and
bus and I/O technology.
Object-based design: Use
of object-based design helps
control and protect system
resources. Everything within the
system-programs, data files,
message queues-is an object.
Methods work only on the objects
they're supposed to, so a virus
masquerading as data can't
become executable code and
create havoc. In short, the system's
security and integrity are solid.
The AS/400 hardware, OS and
relational database management
system were tightly integrated,
like a modern computing device
you might carry in your pocket.
The integration continues today,
making the system easy to
install, use and maintain. And as
business needs shift to processing
more data faster, designers
have worked to implement the
highest-performance memory and
I/O subsystems in the industry.
Software integration: The
OS also integrates software
for security, communications,
backup/recovery and the
database. The OS works as a
single entity, so IBM gives clients
a new release of the entire OS
when it changes. That makes for
rapid deployment of new business
solutions and an exceptionally
low total cost of ownership.
Single-level store: The OS
addresses and accesses all data in
memory. All objects are referenced,
"The ability to take advantage of all the memory
available in the system has been a hallmark of Db2 for i
for 30 years, since the AS/400 was introduced."
--Michael Cain, senior technical staff member, IBM
The heart of the
IBM i platform
is a database
that provides the
and scheme to
and process data
36 // JUNE 2018 ibmsystemsmag.com
stored and retrieved by name,
without regard to their physical
location. If objects need to be
moved from auxiliary storage-
flash, SSD, HDD-to main storage,
IBM i handles it automatically.
Businesses with multiapplication,
multiuser environments can
multitask much more efficiently.
The Heart of IBM i
The heart of the IBM i platform
is a database that provides the
nomenclature and scheme to
store, access and process data
relationally. Db2 for i has been
systematically enhanced since its
inception in 1995 and, in some
cases, re-engineered with each
release, but the foundation and
architectural tenets remain.
As noted previously, technology
independence was a founding
principle, but developers also
recognized that the amount and
types of data would continue
to expand and extend in ways
unimaginable. They had the
foresight to design a system
that could grow and maintain
performance and scalability in a
financially responsible way.
Developers in 1988 couldn't
predict the cybersecurity threats
that plague businesses today, but
the platform's built-in security,
governance and control protects
data from those who tried to
misappropriate or misuse it.
Back to the Future
The question for businesses today
is not how to store transactions, but
how to extract more information,
insight and value from data. To
do that, executive and business
leaders look for IT solutions that
are flexible, extensible, scalable
and timely. IBM i coupled with Db2
provides the foundation to meet
these requirements elegantly and
But Cain notes that in many
cases, clients don't use a large
portion of the capabilities they
already have in the IBM i. And
they may not realize it, because
it's hard to fathom that the
original AS/400 developers had
the foresight to build capabilities
that still seem new today into
a system celebrating 30 years.
Clients don't have to wait for
IBM to develop innovations and
technologies to handle today's
business demands-they just
need to take full advantage of the
system they already own.
Diana Kightlinger is a
Montana-based journalist with more
than 20 years of experience covering
technology, business, healthcare,
power and the environment.