UNIX vs AS/400?

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James W. Barr

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Aug 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/18/98
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OK, first off, I understand that the subject is tasty flame bait, but I
hope that you will reply by not flaming. If there is a pointer to the
AS/400 vs UNIX debate, PLEASE point me there. Also, I undestand that this
is an AS/400 group, and that this will obviously be AS/400-biased. That's
OK. I just want to know why you chose the AS/400 over a UNIX system.

We are in the process of choosing a new Enterprise Resources Package (ERP)
Sorry, no solicitations please. We already have a short list after
extensive search, and will NOT entertain any more solicitations!

Whew! OK, that said, we have a choice between an AS/400 system and a UNIX
system. Application functionality aside, what are the benifits to choosing
an AS/400 platform over a UNIX platform and vice versa. I see great
benifits in both platforms. I'm looking for information about stability
comparisons, programability comparisons, support comparisons, etc. For
example, how are uptime comparisons? How much "managment" needs to be
done. What about connectivity and support software?

I come from a DEC OpenVMS background, so I understand typical system
managment and stability issues. Either platform will be a change for us,
so a learning curve is a given. What's important to us is stability,
expandability, and solid integration with other platforms such as PC's and
VMS mini's.

Thanks for your input!

--
-Jim
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James W. Barr, N9ONL | e-mail: jb...@mcs.com
Buffalo Grove, IL, USA | Web site: http://www.mcs.net/~jbarr
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Greg Stewart

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Aug 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/18/98
to James W. Barr
In article <6rbtsb$998$1...@Nntp1.mcs.net>,

James W. Barr <jb...@Jupiter.Mcs.Net> writes:
|> Whew! OK, that said, we have a choice between an AS/400 system and a UNIX
|> system. Application functionality aside, what are the benifits to choosing
|> an AS/400 platform over a UNIX platform and vice versa.

There are some independent consultant comparisons at IBM's PID web site,
http://www.softmall.ibm.com/as400/porting
In particular, the Patricia Seybold report there compares AS/400 and Unix.

--
Greg Stewart internet:Greg_S...@lotus.com
IBM AS/400 Division phone: 617-693-9722, tie line: 373-9722
Lotus Development, 1 Technology Park, Westford, MA 01886

StanGuru

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Aug 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/18/98
to
400 has 4hrs avg per year unscheduled downtime.

James W. Barr wrote in message <6rbtsb$998$1...@Nntp1.mcs.net>...


>OK, first off, I understand that the subject is tasty flame bait, but I
>hope that you will reply by not flaming. If there is a pointer to the
>AS/400 vs UNIX debate, PLEASE point me there. Also, I undestand that this
>is an AS/400 group, and that this will obviously be AS/400-biased. That's
>OK. I just want to know why you chose the AS/400 over a UNIX system.
>
>We are in the process of choosing a new Enterprise Resources Package (ERP)
>Sorry, no solicitations please. We already have a short list after
>extensive search, and will NOT entertain any more solicitations!
>

>Whew! OK, that said, we have a choice between an AS/400 system and a UNIX
>system. Application functionality aside, what are the benifits to choosing

G. Bradley MacDonald

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Aug 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/18/98
to
Hello James,

You are right - this newsgroup will be biased. In fact I am biased. I
have an AS/400 background. About 4 years ago we got in our first unix box.
Currently we have 5 Unix boxes and 1 AS/400. We have been running both
systems with an NT LAN.

In general - here are some comments......

1. We spend a lot more time 'managing' our unix boxes then we do the
AS/400. It is not that there are more of them - it just that they are more
difficult to maintain.
2. In terms of Uptime - they seem to be roughly the same with the AS/400
having a slight lead. This statement is based on my impressions not
necessarily fact. However, the AS/400 is used more on a daily basis then
any of the unix machines.
3. Connectivity. What do you mean by this? PC? C/S?
4. We have found that the 400 - just simply runs - and runs - and runs.
It is not quite the same for the Unix boxes. They take a lot more care
than the AS/400.
5. As I have never dealt with VMS mini's - I cannot comment
6. I personally find the development on the AS/400 easier than on the Unix
boxes (Yes - I do both<g>)

Hope this helps a little.

Bradley MacDonald

...

Darryl Johns

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Aug 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/18/98
to
Jim,
Since we sell both the AS/400 and RS/6000 I'll try to answer your
question with as little bias as possible.

The strengths of the AS/400 include, reliability, flexibility, the
lowest cost of ownership, and scaleability. It is one of the easiest,
if not the easiest machine to use in the marketplace. It offers THE
best implementation of Domino, Java, and I would argue, DB2.

The strengths of the RS/6000 include SMIT (the friendlier interface
to UNIX), a larger ISV community devoted to UNIX applications, and
a market awareness attributed primarily to UNIX.

Which is better? It depends. If you want an integrating platform, one
capable of running Domino, NT, and Java in the same reliable box...you
want the AS/400. If you want to tinker, to manipulate the OS, and have
full navigational control, then UNIX is appropriate. If you want to
solve a business problem then the AS/400 is the hands-down favorite.


On 18 Aug 1998 12:59:55 GMT, James W. Barr <jb...@Jupiter.Mcs.Net>
wrote:

>OK, first off, I understand that the subject is tasty flame bait, but I
>hope that you will reply by not flaming. If there is a pointer to the
>AS/400 vs UNIX debate, PLEASE point me there. Also, I undestand that this
>is an AS/400 group, and that this will obviously be AS/400-biased. That's
>OK. I just want to know why you chose the AS/400 over a UNIX system.
>
>We are in the process of choosing a new Enterprise Resources Package (ERP)
>Sorry, no solicitations please. We already have a short list after
>extensive search, and will NOT entertain any more solicitations!
>
>Whew! OK, that said, we have a choice between an AS/400 system and a UNIX
>system. Application functionality aside, what are the benifits to choosing
>an AS/400 platform over a UNIX platform and vice versa. I see great

>benifits in both platforms. I'm looking for information about stability


>comparisons, programability comparisons, support comparisons, etc. For
>example, how are uptime comparisons? How much "managment" needs to be
>done. What about connectivity and support software?
>
>I come from a DEC OpenVMS background, so I understand typical system
>managment and stability issues. Either platform will be a change for us,
>so a learning curve is a given. What's important to us is stability,
>expandability, and solid integration with other platforms such as PC's and
>VMS mini's.
>

>Thanks for your input!
>
>--
>-Jim
>-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
>James W. Barr, N9ONL | e-mail: jb...@mcs.com
>Buffalo Grove, IL, USA | Web site: http://www.mcs.net/~jbarr
>-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
>US Robotics' Pilot Organizer info: http://www.usr.com
> GEOS Operating system info : http://www.geoworks.com
> GEOS IZL info: send e-mail to jfe...@netaxs.com
>-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Darryl Johns
IBM AS/400 e-business Specialist
(opinions expressed are mine, not necessarily those of IBM)

Koos Bezemer

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Aug 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/18/98
to James W. Barr
I am an analyst/programmer, grew up with the 400. On the job, I have to work with
several types of Unix machines (Solaris, SCO).

In General, the management side is a matter of learning, although the 400 is much
easier to learn, you can learn SCO as well.

One of the main issues I have against Unix is the database: we are using Oracle
on all non-AS/400 platforms because outside the 400, they're the biggest.
Compared to the DB2/400, Oracle is a monster. It requires a professional with
years of education and experience to responsibly maintain Oracle. It requires
constant tuning and supervision. DB2/400, on the other hand, requires just that
you reorganize and cleanup your files now and then. Performance and tuning is
taken care of by the operating system.

The second and last big issue I have is controllability. On the 400, you can
control every aspect of a task/job. Anything that goes wrong, you have a dump,
trace or message. On the Unix, you have only what the application programmer
gives you. There's now built in job control that compares.

So, to conclude, theres Database and Control that keeps me in favour of the 400.
The rest is just getting used to.

Koos


Michael Wojcik

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Aug 19, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/19/98
to

I've been doing extensive systems and (commercial) middleware
programming and system administration on both the 400 and a variety
of Unix flavors (AIX, BSD, Solaris, SCO, HP-UX, Linux) for years.
Unix is hands-down my preferred working environment, but if I wanted
to run any serious business software I'd opt for the 400.

Unix is generally considerably simpler and more efficient than
OS/400; I used to run SCO on a 486/33 and still run Linux on a
486/50, and those are both perfectly reasonable developer platforms.
OS/400 requires much more processor power, I/O throughput, and disk
space even for a machine with just one or two developers. (We used to
have a B10, and just compiling a C module on it was torture.)

Unix gives users a lot more flexibility and power. That's great
for research, prototyping, quick & dirty data crunching, and so
forth, but not necessarily a plus for a production system.

Uptime varies greatly by Unix flavor. Certainly there are Unix
installations seeing uptime comparable to the (excellent) uptime
typical of the 400, but they've generally been carefully tuned
by their administrators and are regularly monitored for things
like out-of-control log files.

There are a *lot* of free, readily available resources (software,
technical knowledge, etc.) for Unix. But if you're buying a box
specifically to run a commercial package, that's probably not
terribly important.


Michael Wojcik m...@microfocus.com
AAI Development, Micro Focus Inc.
Department of English, Miami University

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-- Pizzicato Five

Martin Wilber

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Aug 19, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/19/98
to
I think each system has it's advantages. However, I also feel many IS
people are unaware that IBM has recreated the AS/400 with the newer
models so that most of the features found only on a UNIX box such as web
serving, java, smtp, telnet, ftp, ...(long boring list) are now available
on the AS/400. The technical advantages of a Unix box over the AS/400
have dwindled considerably in the past two years.

IBM has fooled the industry and recreated the AS/400 as a Unix box (but
hasn't bothered to tell anyone). Most people don't realize that IBM
rewrote OS/400 in C++.

Marty


Martin Wilber

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Aug 19, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/19/98
to
> Martin Wilber wrote:
> Most people don't realize that IBM
> > rewrote OS/400 in C++.
>
> Umm... No. That was SLIC, not OS/400. Big difference. About 8 million
> lines of code difference.
>
> Greg Stewart
>

Sorry, I tend to use OS/400 for the operating system when technically
that is not correct. If you use SLIC in a conversation, most people
think you are refering to an icy road. :)

Which language is IBM using to port all the unix utilities like ftp,
Java, telnet, shell interpreter, smtp, etc... to the AS/400?

Marty


Greg Stewart

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Aug 20, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/20/98
to Martin Wilber

Bob

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Aug 20, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/20/98
to
>
> Which language is IBM using to port all the unix utilities like ftp,
> Java, telnet, shell interpreter, smtp, etc... to the AS/400?
>

Mostly C++. Where the code is completely new, like Java, it's C++.
(there's not a line of Sun code in the 400's JVM)
The shell was, to a large degree, a port of exising C code. Most of the
utilities are only slightly, if at all, modified from their exisitng C
code.

Bob

danh...@millcomm.com

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Aug 21, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/21/98
to
>Sorry, I tend to use OS/400 for the operating system when technically
>that is not correct. If you use SLIC in a conversation, most people
>think you are refering to an icy road. :)
>
>Which language is IBM using to port all the unix utilities like ftp,
>Java, telnet, shell interpreter, smtp, etc... to the AS/400?

The portion of the AS/400 operating system code that was rewritten in C++
is the "SLIC" (Licensed Internal Code) part. (Though not all of SLIC
was rewritten. There were substantial parts written in Modula-2 that
did not require rewriting.) The SLIC code is (guessing now) about
ten percent of the total operating system code. The remainder (most of
what is officially called "OS/400" or "XPF") remains in PL/MI, a
proprietary PL/I derivative.

As new code is written it is written in whatever language seems most
suited for it. Some is written in PL/MI, some in Modula-2, some in C, and
some in C++. Plus there is even a little bit still being written in
PL/MP, the proprietary LIC language.

Dan Hicks
Hey!! My advice is free -- take it for what it's worth!
http://www.millcomm.com/~danhicks

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