There’s a lot of ambiguity and some amount of confusion around iSeries or AS/400 systems. That’s partly because of how this technology has evolved since its inception in the 1980s. There’s a lot of talk in general in the enterprise world about “legacy architectures” – but legacy systems are not all of the same kind. Different cases call for different approaches. 

Let’s look at how technologies around AS/400 have developed over the last few decades. 

The AS/400 system was introduced by IBM in 1988 as an integrated system with its own operating system and core functions.

Since then, the semantics of AS/400 work has changed greatly. New Power systems servers are the hardware underneath AS/400, and an updated operating system called IBM i is typically used. However, backward compatibility means that AS/400 implementations are still relevant today and that they are instrumental in the core technologies that companies still use, even in the age of cloud-native systems. 

Mission-Critical AS/400 Systems


Because IBM still releases support for IBM i, technologies built on AS/400 systems are still used in many thousands of mission-critical applications for business across many different industries. This may seem counterintuitive to users who are only familiar with the mainstream Microsoft Windows operating system since Microsoft typically ends support for outdated or obsolete systems routinely. With AS/400, the landscape is radically different – although the servers and the operating system may be named differently, the fundamental mechanics of the system are still based on AS/400 infrastructure. This is a separate paradigm from what has happened in other areas of IT. 

Even while AS/400 talent base is retiring, IBM i remains a popular option for database systems, including Oracle and SAP applications that are useful in any number of architectures. Not all companies have completely thrown in the towel on legacy systems for data handling. That’s not practical in many cases and also can be completely unnecessary. 

In fact, some of the benefits of AS/400 IBM i involve scalability, competitive security when correctly configured, reliability and, as mentioned, compatibility with legacy systems.

Computek can help businesses to maintain and administrate server architectures based on AS/400. We also help with project management services and EDI consulting. Our services allow our customers to optimize the software systems that they have instead of embarking on a trip through uncharted waters with cost ambiguity and operational concerns. Ask us how you can utilize your existing assets to keep your systems competitive, modern, and secure.