The integrated database and middleware design of i provides unique business value and differentiates it from component operating environments like UNIX® and Windows®. This unique value is derived from IBM preintegrating and pretesting the majority of the underlying middleware components required to run business applications.
The IBM i™ operating system has always been known for its innovative technology to run multiple applications in a single environment, virtualize storage with its single level storage, and to integrate security, DB2 for i, and other middleware. In addition, IBM i network install and virtual media support provide unbeatable hands off install and save capabilities. The combination of IBM i and IBM PowerVM™ deliver powerful virtualization technologies and together with IBM Power™ Systems offer an integrated solution for managing unpredictable growth.
The IBM i platform provides comprehensive solution capabilities for a highly secure system environment. Sophisticated technologies combine to minimize the potential risk posed by security threats, while better enabling you to rapidly adapt and respond to changing security policy requirements.
Industry unique, virus-resistant, object-based architecture
IBM i offers an integrated language environment that supports a broad range of open application options, with best-of-breed IBM Rational® development tools as well as a wide range of options from IBM tools partners. The integrated language environment for i enables companies to exploit existing application assets, while taking advantage of new business opportunities with a range of open technologies. A variety of technologies can be used to implement a Service-oriented Architecture (SOA), integrating traditional transaction processing language environments with today’s open source technologies.
At a very basic level, IBM i licensing is based on the hardware model, machine size (small, medium, and large), and processor groups. In general, one license or “entitlement” is required per processor core. Some IBM i models allow per user licenses to be used in addition to per processor licensing.
IBM i user entitlements
An IBM i user is a person who accesses the IBM i operating system through one or more connections. The user exchanges credentials (user identifications) either directly with the operating system, or indirectly through application or middleware software that is supported by the operating system. On system models that offer user entitlements, you must acquire entitlements for the maximum number of IBM i users who are authenticated on the system at the same time (concurrent IBM i users).
IBM i processor entitlements
In addition to licensing by the number of IBM i users, the operating system is also licensed by processor. Each IBM i model that offers user entitlements includes at least one IBM i processor entitlement. You might need to purchase additional processor entitlements to configure or run the operating system on additional processors.
Software comes in many flavors for IBM i operating systems, from the operating system itself, to middleware, to industry solutions. This site points you to the components of this broad category and describes the functions and features of various offerings.