AS400 has been a staple in the business community since its introduction in 1988. Since then, the AS400 server platform was introduced to the market and began addressing the computing needs of mid-sized businesses. This platform has undergone a significant transformation over time. Yet, the stability, security, and dependability it offered have become synonyms to its name. Hence, even after introducing many successors, the entire series is collectively referred to as AS400. The newer technologies of cloud hosting and driving companies to go their way. However, a better solution for businesses is to opt for as400 cloud providers to migrate their systems combining benefits of both worlds.
What is AS400, and why do companies still use it?
IBM i (AS400) and iSeries platforms have always been on par with or even ahead of other open system platforms when it came to being innovative. AS400 was a powerful, integrated combination of hardware and software debuted by IBM. The system came with its own OS/400 operating system and an embedded database. The server’s name changed with each significant advancement in offerings and technology advancements, from AS400 to iSeries, then system, and finally the genuinely modern IBM i workstations.
AS400 is widely used in high-tech areas like manufacturing, software development, and information technology. However, large corporations employ AS400 in a variety of industries and locations around the world. The AS400 is most common among midmarket businesses constituting about 38%, but companies of all sizes use it.
The AS400 architecture is frequently used for ERP and other mission-critical operations, especially in industries that demand high levels of reliability, such as manufacturing.
Benefits of AS400
The IBM AS400 server was designed to be insurmountable, with substantial hardware redundancy, especially at the top of the line. It’s also tremendously fast, with CPUs that are 3-5 times faster than the competition.
The high performance makes it a viable solution requiring reliable infrastructure.
AS400 provides an enhanced security system with in-house servers and an embedded database. Its application access control feature protects infiltration of malicious TCP/IP and SNA access to the system, DB2 files, and other command usages.
Despite the benefits, AS400 systems pose their own set of challenges to businesses.
Challenges of AS400
AS400 systems hold significant amounts of valuable data and business logic. Companies are striving to utilize and reap the benefits of this stored data as data becomes a crucial driver of today’s economy. Existing AS400 applications, on the other hand, have restrictions. Modernizing these systems is difficult due to monolithic code, 5250-based green screens, tightly connected business logic, and balancing cost, risk, and value.
The key challenges of using AS400 without modernizing them are as follows.
- Language clutter
AS400 used its language code called RPG. Over time, the language evolved with various versions, from RPG I to RPG IV. Hence, most systems currently running AS400 systems have a combination of code of all these versions. Finding RPG developers is difficult. Additionally, they cost higher compared to other language programmers like Java.
- Hardware Cost
The hardware required to run AS400 is much more expensive than that required by other systems.
- Third-Party Vendor licensing
AS400 requires any third-party vendor licensing. This adds to the cost of the AS400 system maintenance.
To overcome the challenges of AS400 infrastructure, the optimal solution is to migrate the system to the cloud. Including IBM’s cloud system, many other companies like Infosys, Google, AWS, and Microsoft offer cloud services for AS400. All these companies have emerged to be AS400 cloud providers to extend the features of the cloud to AS400.
Benefits of AS400 on cloud
AWS, Microsoft, IBM, Google, and Oracle are just a few of the public cloud providers that offer organizations high-speed fiber-optic access to the internet from many data centers worldwide. This enables them to operate at a rate and scale considerably. The quantity of programming, web development, and mobile application support resources accessible on public cloud platforms has also expanded. For cloud-hosted company processes, this means better support, speed, and reliability. The top benefits of cloud migration for AS400 systems are as follows.
Many have the misconception that the cloud does not offer security as much as AS400 systems. However, this is far from the truth. AS400 systems have strong controls implementing security and restricted unauthorized actions. Cloud migration adds to the stake.
The cloud comprises systems, networks, and applications that must be securely configured and maintained using the shared responsibility approach. Most cloud providers take care of complex security issues, such as preventing unwanted traffic from accessing the machines where the business data and apps are stored. The apps ensure that their systems receive automatic security updates to keep them safe from the latest known security threats.
By moving to the cloud, a firm will scale up and down more quickly per their IT needs and business strategy. A year-old IT system may become obsolete a few years later, making it difficult for businesses to respond to changing client needs. Organizations may drastically alter their infrastructure and workloads via cloud migration, allowing them to meet today’s needs without being bound by the technology and assets that made sense in the past.
Moving to the cloud helps a company to link systems more quickly and increase the efficiency of all of its services. The cloud provider handles hardware and software updates in the cloud, saving money and time while ensuring that the most up-to-date infrastructure always supports applications. Based on corporate demands and consumer desires, cloud services and applications are constantly developed, updated, and expanded.
Because all of the data is saved on the cloud, it can be accessed regardless of the physical equipment. This gives a company a lot of room to develop and expand while still fulfilling operational needs.
The aging systems pose maintenance threats, and hence, the cloud is the next big solution to outdated AS400 that can be done with the least amount of danger and upheaval possible. Opting for as400 cloud providers gives an added benefit of flexibility and security without compromising the control and stability of the business operation.