IBM's revamp of its AS/400 mid-range server line this autumn will offer much tighter integration with NT, the company has revealed.
"Customer demand for NT under the covers of AS/400 has been very high," said Tony Madden, European AS/400 director, speaking exclusively to PC Week.
IBM has offered NT running on an Intel Pentium Pro card since February.
Madden estimated that 15% to 20% of new machines ship with an Intel card inside.
The September release of new AS/400 models will couple fourth generation hardware and use the Northstar PowerPC processor with the 5th generation 64-bit OS/400 operating system.
Integration between the OS/400 and NT will be much tighter in the September release so it will appear transparent to the user. The two operating systems can share the same disk and can back up to the same tape drive.
The new AS/400s will be pitched at customers who require both AS/400 and NT applications, like DB2 database and Exchange Email server, and manage them on a single central server. The new machines will also feature better Java and Domino integration and improvements to DB2, such as Incoded Vector Indexing.
Running NT on the AS/400 bus gives customers unmatched power and security, said Paul Smith, commercial director of UK AS/400 distributor Northamber.
"NT is a fact of life - IBM has been extremely flexible and forward thinking and has recognised that NT rules the desktop. IBM is giving a lot of benefits to NT which Microsoft can't offer," he said.
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