IBM Updates Its AS/400 Line



Just when you thought it was safe to dismiss the AS/400 as a viable platform upon which you can bet your E-business, IBM has again pulled its midrange server line up by the bootstraps by introducing technology enhancements and new products.

IBM on Friday unveiled its first generation of AS/400 servers driven by PowerPC microprocessors made of silicon-on-insulator transistors and copper wiring. Included among these new servers are the 800 Series, which deliver 3.6 times the performance of their 700 Series predecessors; the 270 and 250 servers for small and medium businesses; and additional server models dedicated for Lotus Domino applications. All servers will be shipped starting in August with the latest version of OS/400, V4R5.

The AS/400e 800 Series, which consists of the 820, 830, and 840 servers, will range in base price from $30,000 to $700,000, offering AS/400e customers a migration path from the 700 Series on the high end. The 270, starting at a base price of $8,000, has been optimized for small and midsize businesses running Java code, WebSphere applications, and data marts--all very CPU-intensive tasks, says Ian Jarman, AS/400 project manager.

The new AS/400e Dedicated Servers for Domino, designed for running multiple Domino applications partitioned on the same server, are available on the new 270 and 820 AS/400e models, priced starting at $6,000 and $12,000, respectively. The entry-level 250 model, starting at $7,400, is designed to deliver more than twice the capacity and performance of its 150 model predecessor for small businesses and distributed offices of larger companies.

IBM continues to make the AS/400 an attractive platform for new markets while holding its existing customer base as its No. 1 priority by giving customers a clear path of migration, says Laurie McCabe, VP and service director with Summit Strategies Inc. "IBM's challenge continues to be to promote the AS/400's attributes to those outside the AS/400 market."

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