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The IBM System i, then known as the AS/400, was the continuation of the System/38 database machine architecture (announced by IBM in October 1978 and delivered in August 1979). The AS/400 removed capability-based addressing.The AS/400 added source compatibility with the System/36 is combining the two primary computers manufactured by the IBM Rochester plant. The System/36 was IBM's most successful mini-computer but the architecture had reached its limit. The first AS/400 systems (known by the development code names Silverlake and Olympic) were delivered in 1988 under the tagline “Best of Both Worlds” and the product line has been refreshed continually since then.
IBM AS/400 is actually not a mainframe from a hardware point of view, precisely said its an midrange server, but philosophy of operating system is very close and available for “getting to know” about mainframe technologies. We have one such machine in our hackerspace and there are people who are interested in gaining skills with this technology.
What is commonly named as as400 had a few generations throughout the history:
- Generation 1 - AS400 (running OS400 operating system)
- Generation 2 - eServer iSeries (running i5/OS operating system)
- Generation 3 - System i (running i5/OS operating system)
- Generation 4 - Power Systems (optionally running the IBM i Operating system)