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Analyzing AIX User Survey Results

AIX Users

It’s no secret that many Fortune 500 companies rely on the performance and stability of the AIX* OS. In fact, an IBM strategic road map whitepaper ( cites that the combination of AIX and Power* supports:

10 of the world’s top 10 banks
10 of the world’s top 10 telecommunication companies
Eight of the top 10 retailers
Eight of the top 10 insurers

The reason, the whitepaper states, is simple: “Organizations generally choose server platforms based on their evaluation of application performance, reliability and security, and the support provided by the vendor, and AIX and Power Systems* qualifies for these clients.”

To better understand AIX users and how they’re using the OS, IBM Systems Magazine conducted a reader survey in the summer of 2016. Of the 535 people who participated, 96 percent completed the entire survey.

Survey respondents, which included systems analysts/programmers, consultants and IT management, revealed their top IT priorities:

  • Security
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Data analytics
  • High-performance computing
  • Cloud computing
  • Finding and maintaining AIX skills

Given the range of industries that use the AIX OS, it’s not surprising that security and regulatory compliance top the list. Fourteen percent of survey respondents work in banking and finance, nearly 12 percent are consultants, 9 percent are computer dealers or resellers, and another 9 percent are software vendors. The rest are in 14 other industries, including medical/healthcare, manufacturing and government.

Weighing the System Upgrade Decision

The AIX OS is entrenched across many facets of everyday organizational operations. The reader survey “represents a great cross-section of AIX users,” notes Rob McNelly, solutions architect, Meridian IT, and technical editor, IBM Systems Magazine, Power Systems edition.

Survey respondents also showed variety in the versions of OS their companies use (see Figure 1):

  • 80 percent run AIX 7.1
  • 67 percent run AIX 6.1
  • 36 percent run AIX 5.3
  • 28 percent run AIX 7.2
  • 12 percent run AIX 5.3 or older versions

Bradley Sheldon, senior systems administrator, Australian Government Department of Defense, participated in the survey and explained that his organization runs AIX 7.1 across the board, primarily for “application stability and integration with WebSphere* technology.”

Survey takers were asked to check all of the AIX versions they use, and it appears single-version AIX users may be the exception to multiple-version users such as Arjan Lensen, system administrator, Tatasteel Europe, a Netherlands-based steel manufacturing company. “We have some 5.3 still, quite a few 6.1 and a lot of 7.1 systems,” Lensen says. “We’re planning to explore AIX 7.2 once Service Pack 1 comes out at the beginning of 2017,” he explains, but his organization doesn’t “want to be the front-runner.”

Jim Utsler, IBM Systems Magazine senior writer, has been covering the technology field for more than a decade. Jim can be reached at



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