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AS400 FAQs - DISADVANTAGES
My server logs show that many people are coming to this site with general questions about AS400s, so I've added a few pages in which I discuss some of the topics people are searching for.
What are the disadvantages of an AS400?
OK, I've worked on a number of different operating systems in various environments and these are the only disadvantages I can think of Perception - the biggest problem is perception. An AS400 is perceived as a lumbering box capable of only green screen applications and suitable only for large businesses rolling in cash. This is simply untrue. The total cost of ownership is much less since it needs almost no supervision. All you ever have to do once it's loaded up is change the backup tapes. BUT, it is perceived as old technology when in fact it is probably more robust and cutting edge than most of it's competitors. Cost - having said the total cost of ownership is lower, the hardware costs for NEW machines are significantly higher than other platforms. I will not attempt to justify this. Developer Resource - you do need specialist resource to develop legacy applications in RPG and COBOL, but nowadays this is less of an issue as there are loads of people around with these skills. Also, the IBM suggested route for modernisation is Java and Websphere, which has been universally condemned as very resource and time intensive. Quite why IBM went this route beggars belief..... IBM - IBM's resources for the AS400 are detailed and excellent. The system itself is superb. However, their marketing of the system is dire, and there are almost no new takers for the machine. Most new machines are bought by existing customers.
That said, they are the only disadvantages. If you can get a 2nd user box, and can get an RPG developer in, they are fiendishly reliable machines and easily and cheaply scalable. People buy these machines for a reason you know.