OS 400 – Complete History of the IBM OS/400
On June 21, 1988, IBM introduced its new minicomputer and enterprise server platform AS/400 (later renamed to iSeries, System i and Power Systems), bundled with the operating system OS/400 (later renamed to i5/OS and IBM i). IBM’s Chief Scientist for AS/400 computers was Frank Gerald Soltis (see the nearby image), an US computer scientist, with pioneering contribution in the architecture of technology-independent machine interfaces (TIMI) and single-level storages.
Which are the key differences between OS/400 and other common operating systems?
1. The OS/400 is an object-based system with an integrated Database Management System DB2.
2. Single-level storage—a computer storage concept where the entire storage of a computer is thought of as a single two-dimensional plane of addresses. Pages may be in primary storage (RAM) or in secondary storage (disk); however, the current location of an address is unimportant to a process.
3. Technology Independent Machine Interface (TIMI)—a virtual instruction set, which allows the operating system and application programs to take advantage of advances in hardware and software without recompilation. All user-mode programs are stored as TIMI instructions, which means that it is not possible for them to use the instruction set of the underlying CPU, thus ensuring hardware independence.
- Key features of IBM i:
- Embedded into the OS DB2, 64-bit Relational Database Management System (RDBMS)
- HTTP Server (powered by Apache)
- IBM i NetServer (formerly AS/400 NetServer) is IBM i support for Windows Network Neighborhood
- A rich set of security features and services that pertain to the goals of authentication, authorization, integrity, confidentiality, and auditing; Simple-to-deploy, Virus resistance object-based security model
- Integration with SQL, .NET, DRDA/CLI, ODBC and JDBC; Support for MySQL database
- Multiple file systems (Windows, UNIX, NFS)
- Integrated Web application server, Java and J2EE Web services environment
- Zend Server Community Edition providing PHP runtime environment
- PowerVM technology providing Micro-Partitioning and shared processor pools
- Automatic balancing of processor and memory resources
- Transaction-based journaling leveraged by IBM iCluster and complementary high availability solutions
- Highly resilient with built-in cluster architecture
- Encryption of data on disk and backups
- IBM Rational development tools, C, RPG, COBOL, C++, Java, EGL, PHP, CL; Supports open source applications built to Apache, MySQL, and PHP stack
- Web-based systems management, IBM Systems Navigator, IBM Systems Director
- logical partitioning (LPARs) with IBM i to support multiple virtual systems on a single hardware footprint
- Integrated storage management, Hierarchal storage management for Solid State Drives
- Support for IBM POWER processor-based systems and blades
- Capacity on Demand (processor & memory)
The latest release of IBM i is 7.3, launched in April, 2016 (see below a table with OS/400 release history).
OS/400 release history