This article is not intended to express my opinion or to solicit yours. It is not intended to be controversial or to be a complaint. It is a simple attempt to dispel confusion.
Lately, I've been hearing a lot of bewilderment about what the current names of our hardware and operating system are. I'm going to tell you what they are.
The Simple Facts
The name of the operating system is: i
The name of the hardware platform is: Power Systems
You can call the operating system IBM i, and you can call the hardware IBM Power Systems if you like. This is no different from referring to a Camaro as a Chevrolet Camaro. Or a Big Mac as a McDonald's Big Mac. In the case of our operating system, prefixing the name with IBM helps clarify the term.
Many of you reading this will know these things already and may be wondering why I'm saying this, because this has been our name for more than three years now, and people are still unsure of what our name really is. In recent discussions, I've heard:
- The hardware is IBM i. It was iSeries, then System i, and now just i. False. IBM i is the operating system, not the hardware.
- IBM just changed the name again. False. The name was changed in 2008 and has not changed since.
- It's still iSeries, see I can prove it, it says so on (insert IBM web page here or IBM-supplied help file here). False. IBM does have documentation that is out of date, and IBM sometimes refers to the hardware when it really means the software.
- The operating system is called i/OS. False. That's Apple's operating system. Ours is just i. It does not include "OS" in the name.
This topic comes up frequently in online forums as well as at conventions. I know there's a high level of dissatisfaction about the name changes, and I know that many people continue to use older names by choice. But that's not what this article is about.
Many people honestly and genuinely don't know what our system is called today. The operating system is IBM i. And if you set out to buy new hardware to run IBM i, you'd buy IBM Power Systems. I hope that's clear.
And if you're one of the people who's reading this knowing full well what the system is and complaining about it as you read this, then get over it. For better or for worse, this is the name. Now, let's move on to a more interesting discussion!