OK, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not all that familiar with the nuances of IBM’s server brands, despite working for Big Blue.
My professional, freelance and hobby hardware pursuits fall squarely into the x86, x86_64 line, which was considered up until recently the IBM eServer xSeries. These Intel- and AMD-based machines are now known as IBM System x and are the server-grade commodity boxes geared towards the Windows, Linux and FreeBSD operating systems.
On occasion, I deploy Web applications to AIX servers. As I understand it, these are now known as IBM System p (Formerly IBM eServer pSeries). The P refers to their POWER line of microprocessors, which also undergird the pre-Intel Macintoshes and continue to support video game consoles and other embedded applications.
At the far end of the server line is IBM System z (Formerly IBM eServer zSeries) – the mainframes – which are apparently back in vogue. These aren’t your grandfather’s mainframe, they say. The key here is virtualization and mission-critical uptime, meaning you can run any one of any OS in a VM on these closets (they ship with their own IBM-branded hardhats, I hear).
Which brings us to IBM System i (Formerly – you guessed it – IBM eServer iSeries). I’m not entirely sure where this fits in to the hardware families described above, but my interest has been piqued. These machines are intended for minimal administration, support DB2 as a core operating system feature, and appear to have a “fanatical” following.
In any case, it’s on my todo list to see what these machines and the accompanying OS are capable of, particularly if I can score a demo box to run in my basement. :)
Back to the topic of this blog post though… If you *do* happen to have an IBM System i machine, you might be interested in some of the following new developments:
- Zend and IBM team to release a new version of the Zend Core for IBM on the POWER-based i5/OS.
- IBM has released a new Redbook on getting PHP up and running on System i.
Enjoy. And if you happen to have any clarifications on what System i actually is (or more user-friendly details about any of the other server lines) let me know.