Tuesday, 15 May 2012

The #ibmi timeline up to date

What an amazing story ...

System/3 1969-1975 Product of General Systems Division, formed as result of anti-trust legislation. Low-end batch system replacement for unit-record equipment. Used RPG programming language. Disk and terminals soon added. 28-instruction CPU. Over 25,000 sold.
System/32 1975-1977 System/3 follow-on.
System/34 1977-1981 System/32 follow-on. Ran SSP OS.
System/36 1981-1986 System/34 follow-on. Ran SSP OS.
System/38 1978-1988 Pioneering design, revolutionary architecture system, continued in AS/400, iSeries, System i5, IBM i to date, provides complete insulation for user applications against technology change. Also, first system line to include in-built relational database system. Ran CPF OS.
AS/400 1988-2000 Repackaged and improved S/38, hugely successful in medium business markets, using S/38 architecture. By mid-late 1990s, became open, e-business capable server. 200,000th AS/400 sold by 1992. OS/400 OS. From 1995 based on RISC chip (PowerPC).
iSeries 2000-2002 Repackaged and re-branded AS/400, under eServer strategic initiative.
New iSeries 2003-2004 Radically reshaped and extended, repackaged and re-priced iSeries, repositioned as "On Demand" e-business hub platform consolidating Windows/Intel, Linux, AIX, Java and Domino (as well as traditional OS/400) workloads. Over $500M IBM investment.
System i5 2004-2007 Technology convergence with pSeries, including AIX in a partition. Operating system now called i5/OS.
IBM i on PowerSystems hardware 2007- No distinction between i and p hardware - all just Power Systems. Operating system now called IBM i.
IBM i on PureSystems platforms 2012- Expert integrated systems: ranges of infrastructure and application platforms with full support for IBM i workloads.


  1. P.S. I didn't write the pre-2004 bits, and nor can I remember where I found them - if you know, please comment!

    1. In the 70s I worked for the Hospital Financial Management Association (publications) and the S/32 was packaged with a few applications, like association management. IBM sent a team of GSD salespeople and sold our CEO on using the system. Replaced timeshare bureau's reporting on membership, etc.