NZ ditches IBM System i for e-government

The New Zealand government is abandoning its IBM System i server platform for e-government applications, mandating a switch to a more standard x86 architecture.Jason Ryan, spokesman for the State Service Commission (SSC) which leads the e-government push, said the architecture change was driven by a need for increased functionality.

The New Zealand government is abandoning its IBM System i server platform for e-government applications, mandating a switch to a more standard x86 architecture.

Jason Ryan, spokesman for the State Service Commission (SSC) which leads the e-government push, said the architecture change was driven by a need for increased functionality.

-We want a more flexible, extensible environment. It will also be cheaper in terms of total cost of ownership and more efficient to manage," he said.

The SSC is using a leased IBM i810 server for a range of e-government applications on both Linux and Windows platforms. System i was originally built to operate IBM's proprietary midrange OS/400 operating system and is now built around the IBM Power 5 + processor which is not x86-based.

IBM was not prepared to comment on the SSC's plans as the company would be involved in a tender to replace the current system.

However, Wayne Goss, manager of IBM's new Zealand Systems and Technology Group, said the company has invested over US$1 billion over the past three years on System i development.

On its web-site, IBM described System i as -easy to manage" and said it -simplifies your IT environment". However, the SSC said in tender documents released this week that non-x86 systems -inhibit flexibility and, from experience managing a mix of Linux and Windows-based OSs, introduce unwanted complexity and overheads."

Goss said the new System i hardware was capable of natively running multiple operating systems in their own partitions. He said it was highly secure and freed business from complexity.

-It is the best of IBM in one box," he said. -It is certainly not your grandaddy's AS/400."

While only IBM make System i, many vendors including IBM manufacture x86-based machines.