IBM has previewed what it called a major new release of i5/OS, its operating system for IBM's System i Unix servers, as well as a new Power6-based System i server that will include the new OS.
Expected in 2008, i5/OS v6 will feature new security, web services and virtualisation capabilities. Specifically, new features in i5/OS v6 include:
- An encryption feature to help companies protect vital data by encrypting data held on disk devices and backed up to tape.
- Virtualisation support that allows one i5/OS partition to host storage for another i5/OS partition. This will eliminate the requirement for separate partitions to maintain their own, individual hardware, making it easier for users to flexibly test and deploy new i5/OS applications, according to Big Blue.
- Utilities for simpler deployment and better integration with web services as well as an integrated Web application server to simplify the deployment of Java applications with minimal system resources and administration.
The new i5/OS v6 will also use IBM Systems Director for managing i Series systems based on IBM OSes as well as Unix and Windows.
IBM said that a new pricing structure introduced with the new i5/OS version allows users to pay for what they use. Under this approach, three base configurations are offered along with an initial processor licence of the i5/OS operating system. Other components - such as additional processor activations, Linux, AIX or 5250 online transaction processing - can be added per-processor based on individual client need, said IBM.
At the same time, IBM has also unveiled the new System i 570 featuring the recently unveiled Power6 chip. The server is aimed at helping medium and large enterprises improve their operational efficiency via what IBM called a doubling of application performance compared Power5-based systems.
IBM claimed that the new system could also run multiple transactional, collaborative and web applications simultaneously in up to 160 separate virtual server partitions that share computing and operations resources on a single system.
IBM also announced the availability of the MySQL open source database for the current version of i5/OS, which follows the delivery of PHP for i5/OS by Zend in 2006.