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iSeries vs x86


rendrag
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i'm having a debate with our outsourced tech, and i thought I'd reach out to the MSFN community for assistance.

My as/400 technician seems to think that the iSeries architecture is more "bullet-proof" than the x86 architecture (which was developed by IBM, no?). The argument she's trying to make is that if we switch platforms with a switch to new software (which means we would no longer need her), any new server we get (dell, HP, etc..) would be less reliable than the current server.

The way I look at is if the x86 platform were so terribly unreliable, the majority of corporate america wouldn't use it. I also don't see them picking up these iSeries servers in droves either.

who's side do you take?

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x86 hardware is extremely stable nowadays. Just look at all those BSD folks bragging about their uptimes of many months and such (on generic x86 hardware). Similarly, I hardly ever see any crashes, even on desktops (unless one has faulty hardware - which happens regardless of platform, or bad drivers). The only times we ever seem to have servers go down is because of broken hardware (had a broken PERC not too long ago)

Personally, from a hardware standpoint, I'd go with the x86 setup. It's dirt cheap, very reliable, there's TONS of vendors to choose from - from major names like HP or Dell with various levels of support - to white boxes. Many CPU lines to chose from (Opterons and Xeons for "real" server stuff, cheapo P4s and such for backup servers and other simpler things), replacement/upgrade parts are easy to find (even locally). x86 hardware can run a variety of operating systems.

Of course she wants to keep her job, so it's in her best interest to describe System i as vastly superior. But which hardware you'll be using likely won't make much of a difference (in terms of availability) if you're going to run new/different software on the other. It'll be mainly an issue of how good is your new app. if it's buggy, it won't be as reliable as the old system, if it's a great and stable piece of software, it could be better than the old one. The hardware an app runs onto only matters so much. Just like a car (hardware) that's believed by some to be supposedly be more reliable: it doesn't matter if the driver (software) is inexperienced and goes off the road (hey, someone had to do the bad car analogy thing!)

We run x86 servers exclusively and couldn't be happier. Let's pray no IBM consultant/salesperson comes around and ruins it!

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