IBM rolled out a product bundle aimed at enticing small and midsize businesses to switch from Windows NT servers to AS/400 systems. The packages, offered by three independent vendors, include AS/400 hardware as well as software and services. They are all designed to let users easily connect front-end applications to back-end systems, allowing prompt access to inventory status and tracking information, according to IBM.
Wayne Kernochan, VP of platforms and services at Aberdeen Group, says the new AS/400 solutions may be very reliable. "The AS/400 deploys very quickly and has a high availability rate due to the server's partitioning capabilities," he says. Each partition acts as its own server and runs its own application.
If one of the partitions goes down, users don't have to shut down the system to reboot. The AS/400 has its own backup capabilities, and only the affected partition has to be restarted. That's different from the partitioning capabilities of other enterprise-class servers of its kind, according to IBM.
The offerings include DSD Merchant from Binary Tree, which creates electronic storefronts and starts at $89,000; DSD Engage, a Clear Technologies' customer-relationship management package, which has a base price of $35,000; and DSD Business-in-a-Box, an enterprise relationship management product from Emerging Technologies Solutions that starts at $64,695.