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IBM

IBM Announces New AS/400s With SOI Chips 69

Chris Brewer writes: "IBM announced today a new line of AS/400e servers powered by the world's first production chips made of silicon-on-insulator (SOI) transistors and copper wiring. They say the addition of SOI adds a further 20-30% to performance beyond copper. They have a new high-end server that's 3.6x faster than before, entry level servers for running Domino (and presumably Linux), and all support XML. Further details can be found at IBM's AS/400 site. "
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IBM Announces New AS/400s With SOI Chips

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  • What has that got to do with IBM apart from the fact that they generously host a web searchable patents database in order to show off DB2/UDB and their high end kit?

    They didn't make the application.

  • by Vanders ( 110092 ) on Tuesday May 23, 2000 @01:29AM (#1054516) Homepage
    Suer, i await the time when all press releases simply say "New hardware, faster, more expensive, fancy new production process. Linux, XML, WAP, Internet, WWW, Open Source, multimedia, next generation. You want one."

    It's sure to be a winner, it's got all the buzzwords.
  • You must compare apples to apples.

    SiGe refers only to heterojunction bipolar transistors (HBTs). IBM's current SiGe offering is BiCMOS5HP [ibm.com] ("BiCMOS" refers to its combination of HBTs and CMOS FETs in the same process.) The FETs in this process are only 3.3V, 0.5um devices (not exactly cutting edge). So unless one were to design a bipolar processor, you won't see any performance improvement from using SiGe.

    Where BiCMOS5HP really shines (with its 47 GHz HBTs) is in applications requiring high-performance analog applications such as RF and 10 Gbps fiber optic chipsets.

  • We are currently working with our IBM rep to size one of the new 800 series boxes for our billing system. We discussed Linux on the 390 and the AS/400. He said that there are no plans to do any kind of port to the AS/400. Too much work, and ZERO interest from any serious client. They'd never recoup the cost. I'd never get my boss to let me put Linux in his precious 400 anyway. I agree that getting it to run on the i386 card probably wouldn't be a big stretch, but IMHO it would still require quite a bit of work. Linux in this topic was obviously a way to get an article posted.
  • by stripes ( 3681 ) on Tuesday May 23, 2000 @03:02AM (#1054519) Homepage Journal
    RCA had silicon on sapphire for the 1802 microprocessor back in the early 1980's. One of the benefits, as I recall, was radiation resistance (works great in satellites).

    Yep, five+ years ago you could get a silicon on sapphire MIPS R3000 (or R2000? I think R3000), it ran at 25Mhz I think, and cost over $10k.

    I think IBM's contribution (this time around) to SOI is that they have a way to do it without incresing costs dramatically.

    However I'm not a process expert, so take this info with a grain of sand. Sorry.

  • Co-incidence, really. The new '400 models all require the latest version of OS/400 (V4R5), and this is the OS release which introduces XML support. V4R5 *will* be available for older hardware.

    Cheers,
    Simon B.
  • There is, AFAIK, no prospect of Linux/400 any time soon. Domino runs *native* on the '400.

    Cheers,
    Simon B.
  • I think IBM's contribution (this time around) to SOI is that they have a way to do it without incresing costs dramatically.

    From what I know (as an IBMer who had a brief introduction to the technology when the processor guys first started working on it), I think you're right.

    Media coverage, press releases, and the like seemed to be citing it as the "first commercially viable" (read: cheap, "easy") SOI process. It's essentially the same process as the bulk Si CMOS process, with the extra insulation layer.

  • by cjsnell ( 5825 )
    Ugh.

    Why does everyone make such a big deal about their hardware/software supporting XML? XML IS A DAMNED TEXT FILE! You can code a good XML parser in about 20 minutes.

    "Check out our new server line, the Whizbang Series! The Whizbang 3000 has hardware level support for comma-delimited ASCII, which will revolutionize the way your company does B2B transactions! Never again will you sit for hours, waiting for that Purchase Order to be processed!"
  • Well, they've got all the buzzwords right, but I hope that someone in Rochester or Armonk decides to actually market the damn thing.

    The 400 is a rock solid box. In 4 years of working with one, I've only had 2 unplanned outages -- neither the fault of the 400.

    They have a long way to go with some of their internet tools. The POP server doesn't support the full POP3 command set, the HTTP server is unwieldy and slow (IMO).

    My personal feeling for Linux on the 400 is that it could probably be done on the IPCS (Integrated PC Server), which would be useful for a firewall, since Big Blue has decided to discontinue the firewall product for the 400. Other than that, it seems that it would be foolish to try to port Linux natively, although very cool. :)

  • Comming back having replied previously, I thought the following URL might be of interest:

    http://www.dack.com/web/bullshit.html [dack.com]

    Thad

  • The idea of running Linux on the AS/400 is not a technical problem, it's a solution looking for a problem.

    Hardware-wise, the AS/400 is only slightly different from an RS/6000. In fact, they come off the same assembly line in Rochester, MN. I've seen it and up to a point, the systems are the same. Near the end of the process, the systems are customomized to become an AS/400 or an RS/6000.

    Therefore, if you are buying a new system, just buy an RS/6000 and run Linux on that. If you already have an AS/400, wait 6-12 months and you will be able to run Linux applications on your AS/400 using PASE (Portable Application Solutions Environment) which already allows you to run specially compiled AIX binaries on an AS/400. Check out this faq [ibm.com] for more information on PASE.

    The architecture of the AS/400, which intricately melds hardware and software together to make an ultra-reliable, scalable computing platform somewhat precludes running Linux on it. So much of the AS/400 is tied up in its unique architecture that running Linux on it would actually reduce its utility. But with PASE, you can have the best of both worlds. Develop on Linux and deploy on the AS/400.

  • by Spax ( 84516 )
    Goody. Now I can replace my mail server.
  • See CNet [cnet.com] for more details.

    Cheers,
    Simon B.
  • by Alan G ( 123831 ) on Tuesday May 23, 2000 @07:41AM (#1054529)
    Why SOI?
    The gate of a MOS transistor is essentially a capacitor, and the speed at which it can operate is determined by how long this capacitor takes to charge/discharge.
    Basic physics will tell you that the thicker the capacitor, the smaller its value, and the faster the transistor. By putting the transitor on an SOI wafer, the silicon-dioxide layer acts as extra thickness for the capacitor, reducing its value, and making the thing faster.

    Erm, not exactly.

    You're right that gate capacitance is important, but what's really affected by the insulator layer are two different things:

    • junction capacitance - This is the capacitance of the source and drain, and it's formed by the parasitic PN juntion at the boundary between the source/drain and the bulk silicon. It includes both a sidewall component (formed by the vertical boundary between the source/drain and the bulk) and an area component (formed by the horizontal s/d-bulk boundary at the bottom of the source/drain). This latter component is eliminated in SOI, because there's no bulk silicon under the device.
    • body effect - A posistive voltage difference between the source and the bulk causes the effective threshold voltage to rise, which means the transistor is harder to turn on. Since there isn't any bulk below the channel, there isn't a mechanism for the bulk bias to affect the threshold voltage. This is especially important when you have stacks of transistors, e.g. in the pulldown path of a NAND gate.

    There's more on this at IBM's web site [ibm.com].

  • Name names; I'd be fascinated to know which council. In truth, I don't dispute your "slow domino" assertion. I track a number of UK Government domino sites, the design & speed of which are amusing.
  • Moderate this guy up! This is one Anonymous Coward that knows their stuff.
  • Actually, IBM hasn't "unveiled" anything in terms of 400 hardware running Linux. IBM has mentioned that the AS/400 has a POSIX subsystem, and is capable of compiling UNIX-like code, but to my knowledge they have never "officially" mentioned running Linux on an AS/400.

    OS/400, in terms of maturity and stability, is several large jumps ahead of Linux and pretty much any other Intel-based operating system (hell, even non-Intel based operating systems). As much as I like Linux (and admit that it'd be quite nifty to see), I think it'd be a huge step backward for IBM to invest any time or effort into making it happen.

    Then again, they are doing the 390... so who knows. I have to agree with one of the other posters though, in that most (as in 99%) of the shops where an AS/400 is installed (including mine), you'd be hard pressed to find anyone willing to subject a production machine to Linux. The RS/6000 is much better suited for it.
  • Actually Linux doesn't exactly run on the AS/400, but it will run on the IPCS HINT HINT .

    I have talked with many people about Linux on the AS/400 and the only reason you would want Linux on the AS/400 is to put it on the IPCS or integrated netfinity card. Linux won't, I repeat won't be able to replace the capabilites of OS/400 yet .

    In the buiness world they want a server that is stable, secure, easy to administer etc...

    Comparisons:

    Linux:
    Stable
    mostly secure - depends on sysadmin
    not so easy to administer or use
    cost - cheap!

    OS/400 - AS/400:
    very stable
    very secure: - again a bad sysadmin can somewhat hurt this. but set at Security level 50 (changing ONE system value) and take the simple steps in the "tips and tricks for securing the AS/400" and you have a C2 rated machine.
    Easy to use and administer
    cost - not so cheap

    having used both and a host of other OS's I still like the AS/400 for it's overall capabilites.

    If I had my choice I would use the AS/400 as the a back office server and use Linux for firewall,proxy server etc.. maybe for a mail/news server. But I don't think that Linux is ready as a replacement for AS/400's OS/400. Especially in the business world.

    Just my .03 worth -- inflation you know!

    Gabriel/TSS!
    AS/400 Guru - Aspiring Linux Guru
    http://www.pcisys.net/~rknech/as400.htm

  • "IBM outsold Sun's E10K with their RS/6000"

    You have obviously been reading IBM Marketing LIEterature. IBM may have sold more S80s than E10Ks, but Sun sold far more E10K's than IBM sold S390s (a more valid comparison). And Sun sold far more E6500's than IBM sold S80s (a more valid comparison). I mean come on, an RS6000 can be anything from a uniprocessor workstation up to a 24-way S80. It's like saying AMD sold more Athlon-based systems than Compaq sold Tandems. What is the point?

    "a.root, anyone?"

    Uh, yeah, more IBM LIES. The S80 replaced a Sun E450, not an E10K.

    "they made their machines better"

    To make the S80, IBM crammed twice as many processors into an S70 and did not increase the system bandwidth to compensate. You call that better?

    "Now Sun will work harder on their lineup to try and outsell IBM"

    When it comes to S390s, RS6000s, and AS400s, Sun outsells IBM every day.
  • No, but at least they are not designed for Microsoft's SOL operating systems

    Heh. Last time I heard Larry Soltis (Father of the AS/400, for you penguinheads) speak, he said Microsoft was negotiating with IBM to port NT to a Power-4 platform.

    Now, this was February, and I don't know where it's gone since then, but it's not as far-fetched as it sounds.

  • As it is the AS/400 doesnt run Linux

    Per (again) Frank Soltis, the Magic Box runs Linux "back in the [IBM] lab," but it won't be released because the PASE stuff can run Unix programs natively, without actually running Unix. It runs AIX binaries without recompiling, allegedly, and AIX's next release is (was?) supposed to run Linux apps natively.

    (He also expressed regret that the 23 AS/400's that used to run at the heart of the Microsoft network had finally been phased out, after many years of "We don't like you anymore, we're getting rid of these. Oh, and can we extend the maintenance contracts another year?" They were replaced with 1200+ NT servers. So much for uptime.)

  • Fogive me, but XML is just a text file. Processing a text file isn't something I want my kernel doing - managing memory, disk I/O, processes, etc. That OSy stuff that's in the kernel now, for instance. I keep reading about XML and all its greatness - if this keeps up, XML is going to bring on world peace! XML == plain text file, nothing more.
    --
  • So, you need the power of a midrange system to run their shitty Domino 'web' server. What a crappy piece of shit. Anybody who would install that overhyped Lotus Notes server with a port 80 kludge slapped on is a fuckin moron. Lotus Notes in itself is a disgusting pile of shit. Who wrote that, a bunch of drunk monkeys?

    Funny choice of a name, Domino. Isn't that something that people have fun with by lining them up and knocking them down? Doesn't do much for a feeling of stability! If one goes down, they all go down!

  • I don't think you'll ever see Linux running ON an AS/400 ... the strength of an AS/400 comes from the operating system OS/400.

    Now ... you may (and I feverently hope you will) see Linux running IN an AS/400. Since the AS/400 has the capability of hosting a fully functional NT Server inside (symboiant style), there's no reason to belive drivers for Linux couldn't be written so that you can have the power and versatility of Linux with the stability and reliatiblity of the AS/400.

    Interested in more AS/400 information ... check out http://www.midrange.com/midrange-l.htm.

  • Just as a data point, IBM claims that it's AS/400 division (hardware and software) has greater revenues than all of Sun Microsystems. (sorry, no link)

    Of course, if anything this shows only ASS400 stuff is expensive, but even so, it does 'outsell' Sun.
  • These problems are all caused by the policies of the governments in those countries. How many times has food that has been given to poor nations been taken and given to the military?

    Just sending food will keep them happy for few days/weeks/months and will give you the feeling of being a great humanitarian, but it won't solve the problem. You are right about the information though, on the long term (education takes time) this will help them.

    A much bigger problem is the exploitation by the rich. Large corporations are making millions over the backs of poor people. And don't say they are helping them because this would imply making them more expensive to hire and less profit. These companies want to keep them poor.

    Jeroen

  • Yes the AS/400 has a very weird architecture, more along the lines of a mainframe than an intel clone server. As it is the AS/400 doesnt run Linux, and according to IBM there is little chance of that happening any time soon, simply because it would require much more work than any other IBM system.

    Seeing as the rest of the article posted is a load of nonsense (hey an xml compliant processor!), noone should read the Linux comment as anything other than a pretty silly "lets mention linux to get on /." post anyway.

    Ewan
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I have serious doubts whether IBM is willing to let Linux run on AS/400s. Large parts of the machine's and the OS's internals are confidential and I don't think IBM will change that. Allowing other OS's onto the hardware also goes against one of the AS/400's key points, its stability.

    Now there is an option called the Integrated Netfinity Server, which is basically a PC on a card. Linux will probably run quite happily on that on disk space allocated to it by the AS/400. That disk space is usually also included in the AS/400 backup sequence.

    The stuff on the web site is about older models. IBM used the bizarre architecture (48 bit?) up until the 3XX series. Current AS/400s contain PowerPCs AFAIK.

    I agree with the rest of the article though. The new AS/400 models rock. While I would never want an AS/400 at home, I want hot plug PCI (also included) on my PC!

    Coward 312-321
  • I know you are troll, but I have a personal answer nonetheless.

    The reason there _can_ live 6 billion people is technological development. Without it, we wouldn't have starving children in Somalia, their parents would have starved to dead long ago. Of course, the most direct relevant technology is agriculture. I happen to work at the Agricultural University of Denmark. We work together with the Danish foreign aid service (among others) on projects in Africa and Asia. One of the things we do, is to calculate the most efficient and non-poluting use of fertilizers with the help computer simulations. I program these. The big simulations can take a month to run on a classroom full of PC's (we cannot afford specialized hardware, so we borrow the student PC's when they have vacation). When the PC's get faster, we can make better simulations. Which improve our agricultural techniques. Which help the starving children Somalia.

    Yes, I know the technology isn't made for our sake, but nonetheless it benefits much more than just teenage boys wanting to play cool computer games (not that these run AS/400).
  • "The OS is pretty damn robust, the hardware is reliable, and the 'e' series has improved it considerably."

    This is because it has multiple layers of microcode providing many layers of abstraction. For example, they can upgrade from 32 to 64 bit processors with no problems.

    AS/400 is probably the worst marketed product at IBM. For transaction processing it can't be beat.

    Nate Custer
  • If you relly want to know what dynamic thrusting company IBM is check out this patent application:--

    http://www.patents.ibm.com/details?patent_number =5501650

    Many thanks to "The Reister" for this link.

  • by seldolivaw ( 179178 ) <meNO@SPAMseldo.com> on Tuesday May 23, 2000 @12:27AM (#1054547) Homepage
    Are they anything like those awful soi burgers?

    Ugh. They'll never catch on.

  • Pretty soon we're going to have chips that can crank out millions of calculations per second...
    Um, hello? I think we've had that for quite some time, really:
    ~> cat /proc/cpuinfo
    [...]
    bogomips : 552.14
    Those are bogus, sure, but in this case, the number is closely related to the clock speed of the processor, which is 550 MHz. It's not difficult to imagine that the CPU then actually does "millions of calculations per second", is it? Also, I somehow doubt that you're really Yu Suzuki (of Sega fame, in case someone wondered)...
  • Argghhh!

    So the develop this hardware to run Domino, whis is the most CPU intensive memory intensive pathetic excuse I've seen for a webserver. Plus you need to know a lot about Lotus Notes to get the thing to work at all.

    Why is it that on a couple of occasions when a Web site I've tried to get to has been very slow to respond, further investigations reveal it is running Domino.

  • This is a positively brilliant troll that has come off perfectly.

    People, are you paying attention at all?

    The poster has imbeded a recursive clue as to the nature of the post that is so obvious it's hilarious, and has gone right BY everyone so far.

    Look at the second sentence. Note the reference to *STURGEON'S* Law! Not Moore's law.

    Do you know Sturgeon's law people? Let me quote it to you:

    "90% of everything is crap!" -Theodore Sturgeon
  • [with due credit to the above]

    New! Hardware! Faster! Production process! More! Linux! OOP! XML! WAP! Internet! WWW! E-commerce! Open Source! Multimedia! Bigger! Next generation! Component! DVD! Cutting Edge! Online! IPO! Digital! Interactive! Content! You want one! AI!

    Thad

  • As of the latest release of OS/400, the AS/400 already has the capibility of running Posix compliant binaries. Why spend the time and money porting Linux to a hardware platform that ALREADY runs most of the applications? (Geek bragging rights aside).
  • according to Wired news [wired.com] they're also gonna make them for HP

    A source familiar with the products confirmed that IBM will this week unveil an agreement to use its copper and silicon-on-insulator technology to make chips for Hewlett-Packard

  • It has given a 500% performance increase over processors from 3 years ago, given Moores law.

    Every 18 months, computing power doubles.

    So 3 years is 2 "Moore Cycles", which is a 400% increase in performance. Add on 30% to that 400%, and you have a 520% performance increase. Not bad, only half of the predictions!

    Must stop being pedantic and pointless

  • Isn't it funny how IBM is now unveiling versions of all its hardware that run Linux? All but their desktops, that is. Methinks the real big announcement will be the one about Thinkpads shipped with Linux preinstalled.
  • by TonyJohn ( 69266 ) on Tuesday May 23, 2000 @02:36AM (#1054556) Homepage
    For once I can be informative, so I will.

    SOI = Silicon-on-Insulator
    Most chips are fabricated on pure silicon wafers. SOI wafers have a layer of silicon dioxide close to the surface. The transistors are built above this layer.

    Why SOI?
    The gate of a MOS transistor is essentially a capacitor, and the speed at which it can operate is determined by how long this capacitor takes to charge/discharge.
    Basic physics will tell you that the thicker the capacitor, the smaller its value, and the faster the transistor.
    By putting the transitor on an SOI wafer, the silicon-dioxide layer acts as extra thickness for the capacitor, reducing its value, and making the thing faster.

    TJ

  • ...and they always have. Their only problem was their old-school advertising policy which didn't allow them to make their products look *sexy* like M$ or Oracle did. Perhaps the times are changing, as we can see from their whole-hearted support of Linux and Open Source in general.

    You all recall that IBM outsold Sun's E10K with their RS/6000 (a.root, anyone?) because they made their machines better and priced them more competitively. Now Sun will work harder on their lineup to try and outsell IBM and what do we get - real competition. And who benefits? Why, customers, ofcourse!
    Needless to say, that is only possible in a fair, level market that is not absorbed by a monopoly, where competition is based on quality/price basis.

    Let the games begin!
  • Last year I spent four months working with a project that used Notes/Domino (why can't Lotus make up their mind) as the web server, and based upon Notes 4.6.

    Based on mid-range hardware, the software ground the system to its knees, even if only a handful of users were using it simultaneously, as often happend during in-house testing.

    Given that the whole idea behind this product was to act as a departmental Web solution without using any other Notes features, choosing Notes/Domino was a bad idea. It stemmed down to some 3rd party software that was only available as Windows .DLLs, and the head of the organisation believing that Notes could do everything.

    Since leaving them, I've tried to avoid Notes.

    Oh - and of the Web Sites, one was a low usage council infomation site. It took me many attempts to connect over a number of days, and I finally got through in the early hours of the morning. The rest of the time I connected I got something, but throughput was too slow to be usable. Other hosts on the same subnet did respond quickly, though.

  • If reduced power and higher speed come out of this new process, when will transmeta join the boat? IBM was manufacturing their processor, right?
  • Yes, Domino as a web application server is the classic "big lie", and the 400 people are eating it up because it's the only web platform they've got.

    Futhermore, in addition to the problems with Domino itself, the AS/400 DB2 to Domino connector was so crappy that for a while IBM was recommending that customer run it on the PC card or an external WinNT box. What's the point of running a webserver on a AS/400 if you can't even get at it's local data!

    On the other hand, the AS/400 is an excellent server for Notes client machines, and gets used at larger Notes to replace multitudes of WinNT machines. Just take the Domino web server for what it's worth -- a parlor trick to extend existing Notes client apps to web browsers.
    --
  • The AS/400 is such an entirely bizarre beast of a computer, I highly doubt that Linux could/would be ported to it. Especially since there are plenty of RS/6000's and S390's to go around... Although I wouldn't mind seeing it done since OS/400 is such a piece of crap.
  • About as much as Pentium !!!'s have to do with making the Internet run faster.

    -ct
  • Okay Shippo, me old mukka, how can we respond to your posting?

    1. On the couple of occasions..blah...website...blah...slow to respond - Obviously you don't use the web much - are you qualified to comment on questions of relative speed?

    2. further investigations reveal it is running Domino. - Possibly some sort of quantum effect going on here (reality collapsing into the shape of your prejudice)

    3. most CPU intensive memory intensive pathetic excuse I've seen for a webserver - Yes, well, it sure ain't apache, but then it sure ain't just a webserver either.

    4. Plus you need to know a lot about Lotus Notes to get the thing to work at all - And a requirement for knowledge is nigh on unique in the annals of computing; fie; if only eveything were as intuitive as Linux and SQL and Perl.

    Don't get me wrong. There are more things that suck about Domino than one can shake a shitty stick at. Mention of support for XML is one mirthmaking concept ... ever seen a Domino site capable of making a DOCTYPE declaration at the head of a page? Ever see Domino HTML comply with 4.01? (I had a major spat with Lotus about this ... turns out support for HTML4 is a "feature" which they "might" implement if there is any demand for it.

    When are we going to get a Domino topic on /. so we can really gripe about its shortcomings?

  • For more on this, check out this article on the IBM AS/400 site:

    http://www.as400.ibm.com/conslt/f197o.htm [ibm.com]

    Has anyone set a 400 up to be an X server yet? IBM says it's possible, I'd like to hear about performance issues.
  • The AS/400 hardware has become notably less bizzare in the recent releases; PowerPC chips, the notion of conventional address space, etc.. The Linux on AS/400 page you point is devoted to getting Linux up on much older hardware; Proprietary processors, single address space, needs a tape IPL, power equivalent to a Pentium. It's not a terrible issue really; They need to know the tape formatting to generate an image, need a working GNU toolchain set, and the port would happen in under a month. To date, they've been contemplating a port to the bare CISC iron. Several people have suggested targeting the IM layer, so Linux would run on everything from a B10 to a brand new monster...
  • Ewan,

    Actually, I wouldn't think that it will take too long to release a linux-on-OS/400 environment. V4R5 of OS/400 supports AIX 4.33 in the PASE envirnment, and it's just a matter of political will, not technical ability to get linux supported there as well.

    The more Linux continues to look threatening to Microsoft, the more likely that IBM will port it to more of it's offerings (they've already ported DB2 to Linux).

  • Actually, the AS has an enviornment known as PASE http://www.as400.ibm.com/developer/factory/pase/pf aq.html

    This lets you run AIX apps on the 400, though AIX itself isn't really runnin on the 400... just a subset of AIX (APIs and such).

    This is more likely the way that things will play out for Linux on the 400...
  • Birmingham City Council.
  • And I'm sure you have YEARS of AS/400 experience that makes your opinion meaningful, don't you? I'm sure you've submitted HUNDREDS of APARs to IBM about the shortcomings you've found, but there's a conspiracy in Rochester and they all get buried, right? What, you don't know what an APAR is? That's what I thought...
  • Are they anything like those awful soi burgers?

    No, but at least they are not designed for Microsoft's SOL operating systems.

  • Yes ... I know of someone who is porting X to the '400 under PASE ... and there's a commercial product (that I've never seen) ... check out http://www.export-ventures.com/
  • Single Level Store is not bizarre, it's brilliant.

    Single Level Store means never having to worry about where to place files on disk. Storage management spreads data evenly accross all drives. This reduces the likelyhood that all of my data gets piled up on one drive and my really fast processor spends all it's time waiting on 1 (relatively) slow disk.

    Single level store allows me to grow files as large as the total of all my disk, without having to have downtime to move them around when they outgrow their current home.

    Single Level Store allows the OS to treat Memory and Disk as if they were one and the same. That means my swap file size is equal to the sum of all of my unused disk space. It expands and contracts as I need it to... at the swap file doesn't all get concentrated on one disk either.

    Single Level Store means that data storage management is completely left to the OS. All I have to do is make sure that there is enough disks for the job, and Storage Management will handle the rest. I've got more important things to do than.

    Single Level Storage also means that as magenetic media dies and the rest of the world moves to solid state storage (as Palm Pilots and other handhelds currently do), that migrating my AS/400 data to solid state storage will be a trivial event. Simply save and restore. File systems that place data on inner and outer rims of platters won't really make sense in a solid state storage world will they?

    MW
  • Yes they will do it (i was watching a ibm briefing the other day which mentioned it), but they were talking about the end of the year -making it effectively the last major IBM platform to run Linux (which, depending on how you look at it, could be considered fantastic news because it means IBM will have put massive support into Linux in general by then)
  • What does SOI and faster chips have to do with XML?

    Marketing.

  • The article states "and presumably Linux" in relation to AS/400 hardware.

    I thought this wasn't quite available yet, owing to some pretty bizarre architectural intricacies of the AS/400 platform. (The single address space issue for one).

    This Linux on AS/400 site [snip.net] has a wealth of information, as well as some comment from IBM.

    Cheers, Mark
    --
    "I am not a nut-bag." -- Millroy the Magician

  • What does SOI and faster chips have to do with XML?

    -qabi

  • by captaineo ( 87164 ) on Monday May 22, 2000 @11:37PM (#1054577)
    ...and all support XML

    Whew, for a second there I thought IBM was trying to push a non-XML-compliant processor. Could have really hindered its adoption in enterprise computing.

  • I started writing an argument in reply to this post, there is no point. The man's just right, period. We don't need faster chips, or at least the need isn't justified until everyone on the planet has what they need to live peaceful and productive lives with enough food and water.

    Not that I believe Intel and the rest will make a change in their policies...

  • Although it is not their first need, you do have a point. Access to information is one of the first needs for a good education, which in time will result in a better way of live for them.

    Jeroen

  • Whilst many operating systems have come and gone, OS/400 still seems to be one of the traditional workhorses of corporate computing. The OS is pretty damn robust, the hardware is reliable, and the 'e' series has improved it considerably. At work, we have an AS/400e, which has NT running on the IPCS card, and I think it's pretty impressive. The integration is certainly there. NT uses AS/400 resources, and the OS/400 can do quite a bit of the NT administration. We use the NT side of things as a web server, and it makes life easier, especially with the ease of pulling the data out of OS/400 files.

    Processor landmarks aside, I think this actually says a lot more, namely that IBM think that midrange computing still has a lot of life in it. There are an awful lot of business out there who don't want to move hardware platform, and this is the sort of market they're angling for - a significant performance boost, without the upheval of migration to a new architecture and OS.

    As for Linux, I hadn't realised that it could run on the 'e' series yet, but I'd like to see it in action....

    M.

  • For those of you disappointed at all the marketing announcements spewing out of Intel (in particular) recently - I'm not certainn I'm even sure what flavour of x86 they're shoving out now - and I am beginning the think fsku that for the company altogether

    How about this? Some prices for the Itanium [theregister.co.uk]

    Isn't everyone falling over themselves to pre announce / leak / out PR eachother today?
  • <religious_nonsense> god created man in his image, so iteration 2 (man) creates its own image. We need lots of more horsepower fot iteration 3. </religious_nonsense>
  • > an xml compliant processor

    Umm, I don't think they're saying the processor is XML compliant. XML is a text based language; most processors can handle character data. They're talking about data storage and communications with AS/400 using XML.

    Great idea though, let's build a processor that uses SAX to handle instruction executuion!

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