More Candles On The IBM i Cake
April 22, 2013 Dan Burger
With all the noise about the consumerization of IT, can we just turn down the volume on that a bit so we can actually hear ourselves think about what businesses really need? Let’s have a discussion about real business needs and what separates one computing system from another. The IBM i platform is designed for business. That’s not just a marketing slogan. It’s backed up with 25 years of experience in the business world–the real world.
As you most likely know, IBM is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the IBM i operating system. This is an on-going celebration that officially began at the COMMON Annual Meeting and Exposition two weeks ago. The focal point of the celebration is a IBMi25 Facebook page, which IBM is adding to on a regular basis. If you haven’t seen it yet, go there. Stop by for the cake and ice cream (think virtualization), but check out the brief descriptions of IBM i features that hit on i-specific features that led, and lead, the industry (notice how other systems claim technological advancements even though IBM i introduced them previously).
The latest of the IBM i-perfected features noted on the Facebook page is subsystems.
If you are technically inclined, you understand subsystems, which are designed into the IBM i business computer. Subsystems isolate database and application workloads, matching resources and priorities to business goals.
Operating systems used on X86 iron were not designed to isolate workloads. That means when one process fails, there’s a domino effect that sometimes bumps into other process. It doesn’t happen 100 percent of the time, but it happens often enough to cause problems. To avoid conflicts, applications and databases are typically run in separate virtual machines or servers.
Subsystems are a key reason why businesses running IBM i have fewer servers to manage and report a lower total cost of ownership than X86 servers.
Total cost of ownership (TCO) takes into account major indirect costs to the up-front charges for hardware, software (including the operating system and database and other licenses, maintenance for both), and the personnel required to operate the systems. In computers, particularly enterprise systems, there’s still a case to be made that inexpensive on the front end equates with more expensive over the lifecycle of the equipment.
While you’re on the Facebook page, you’ll also find short tributes to single-level storage, TIMI, integration architecture, and the passionate user groups. Many of these short articles contain links to blogs from IBM i experts like Steve Will, Alison Butterill, and Dawn May. Eventually there will be 25 of these IBM i chronicles. In total, they might make a pretty good presentation to anyone in your organization whose first response to the IBM i is: “I don’t get it.”