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IBM to ship revised server OS

Big Blue announces the new operating system for its venerable AS/400 business computers that it hopes will keep the company in the vanguard of the Net economy.

IBM will begin to ship a new operating system for its venerable AS/400 business computers that it hopes will keep the company in the vanguard of the Internet economy.

IBM today announced that it will begin shipping a major revision to its operating system (OS) called version VRR4, for its AS/400 line of business computers.

IBM said this version of the OS is the "largest single release of new function and code on the AS/400 in recent years." Its more than 3.2 million new lines of code were written primarily for e-commerce--or "e-business" as IBM calls it.

The new operating system release will be generally available to customers worldwide beginning Friday, IBM said today. This announcement comes only nine months after the most recent version was released.

The operating system, which runs on all 64-bit RISC AS/400e servers, features the following:

•  A feature which enables customers to "partition" or break apart a single AS/400e server into as many as 12 distinct servers--each with its own processor, memory and disk. "Logical Partitioning" is important to customers with global intranets and supply chains as it allows each partition to be defined independently, permitting different system names, languages and time zones, IBM said.

• Internet and e-commerce enhancements: Enhancements include improvement in performance and security such as faster TCP-IP performance, integrated Virtual Private Network support, a more secure "sockets layer" for a higher level of network security and anti-spamming technology. Enhancements to WebSphere, Net.Commerce Version 3, and Net.Data.

• Virtual Private Network: This allows secure connections within an intranet; secure connections between intranets of different companies to form an extranet; secure connections between intranets of the same company to link remote or branch offices; and secure connections for mobile workers.

• Domino: The new release of Domino R5 for AS/400 will include a Java editor and class browser for creating Java applications without the need for third-party development tools.

•  Java: IBM said it has made significant improvements to the Java Virtual Machine, the AS/400 Developer Kit for Java, and the AS/400 Toolbox for Java.

• Universal Database: AS/400 is now part of IBM's DB2 Universal Database family. Reduced query times and the ability to store and manage large, complex objects such as voice, image and video, as well as unstructured information like spread sheets.

• Management Central enhancements: Management Central is a suite of tools that allows customers to manage an entire enterprise from a single network server--instead of having to manually update each server located throughout an organization.