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What Exactly is an iSeries?


During the Town Hall meeting at the spring COMMON conference, iSeries* Marketing Vice President Peter Bingaman implored attendees to stop saying "AS/400*" when referring to the iSeries system.


So, just what makes that black box, thats labeled "eServer," unique? Some, like former eServer Magazine, iSeries edition Technical Editor Bob Cancilla would say it's unique because it serves business applications across a diverse realm of user interfaces (Web, pervasive, thick client and 5250) to local and remote users.


Others, like Bingaman, would point out that the server is unique because it can support a large and diverse set of applications by hosting several operating systems. It not only runs OS/400* and its follow-on i5/OS*, it also can run IBMs UNIX* operating system, AIX* 5L, and the open-source Linux* operating system for both POWER* and Intel* in a dynamic LPAR (DLPAR).

Still others might point out the iSeries systems unique ability to manage Microsoft* Windows* via the Integrated xSeries* Adapter and Integrated xSeries Server. In fact, in such an environment,
the iSeries system can act as a storage-area network for these integrated Windows servers.


While traditional AS/400 application development leveraged RPG, the iSeries system hosts RPG applications along with the newer application environments workloads like Java* and Web applications.


WebSphere* Application Server-Express and the HTTP Server (powered by Apache) are integrated with the server. Other software is also integrated into the server including IBM* DB2* Universal Database* and Lotus* Domino* software. In fact, the "i" in "iSeries" stands for integration, another point that differentiates this server from others, including its eServer brethren.


The eServer Family Tree

While the iSeries system is unique from others in the eServer family, it shares some important characteristics with its family members-the pSeries*, zSeries* and xSeries servers.

The latest generation of the iSeries and pSeries systems-the eServer i5 and eServer p5 systems-are based on POWER5* technology, the ninth generation of IBM 64-bit processor technology. POWER5 processors feature proven, open and flexible design that leverages the iSeries tradition of integration, virtualization and systems-management
technology to bring new levels of functionality and simplicity to todays on demand enterprises.



The iSeries system still handles the core business applications like the AS/400 server before it, but it also excels at meeting the new needs of today's on demand business -- all in one black box.

Evelyn Hoover is the content director of IBM Systems magazine. She can be reached at



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