After months of customer speculation, IBM parted the curtains on May 3 to unveil its first step into the next generation of AS/400 computing. As the sheer number of announcements indicates, that step is a giant one. It includes a totally redesigned processor lineup, a new operating system version, a radically improved database management system, a fistful of new application development environments, and the kind of client/server performance customers have been demanding.
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If there is one corner of the IBM midrange world where the competition between vendors is fiercest, it is the market for direct-access storage devices (DASD). One look makes it clear why this is so. During 1994, AS/400 customers worldwide will spend approximately $2 billion on DASD, more than any other product category with the exception of AS/400 systems themselves. Almost every penny will be spent among only six vendors: IBM, Decision Data, EMC, IPL, Memorex Telex and XL/Datacomp. Each of these vendors must design its products to be compatible with the AS/400 architecture, a requirement that limits their functional differences.
Brief: IBM has big plans for multimedia computing, and it has put the AS/400 at the center of those plans. During 1994, the company intends to ship several enabling technologies for AS/400 multimedia and position the midrange system as its multimedia repository and server of choice. This article discusses the upcoming announcements and charts the course of AS/400 multimedia over the remainder of the decade.
If your AS/400 suffers from performance bottlenecks, you may may be considering an upgrade to your CPU. Before you take this expensive step, make sure you've investigated performance-tuning options and upgrades to your system's memory or disk subsystems. If you still need to upgrade after exercising these options, the strategies discussed in this article can help you get the most system for your money. Take advantage of special software and upgrade pricing options offered by IBM, software vendors and hardware brokers.
IBM's latest hardware announcements position the AS/400 as a contender in the industry's hottest computing environment.
New hardware moves the AS/400 beyond the midrange, making it a strong competitor in the rightsizing market.