Are you running WebSphere applications? Should you be? Proprietary (and expensive) application servers like WebSphere have given way to Apache Tomcat. You should be able to run your Java based apps on Tomcat with an improvement in productivity and a major reduction in cost.
I personally recommend moving your applications to a cloud based hosting company, engage professionals to help manage migration to your existing vendor or a new vendor's software.
It is sort of ironic that today many IBM i based companies who originally selected the AS/400 as a turnkey machine, complete with hardware and software to run their business now have a highly customized and extended set of applications that has grown their IT staff from zero to many.
What are you IT folks telling you? That RPG will be here forever that IBM will keep the IBM i OS forever? Are they telling you that you are sitting on a powder keg that can explode at anytime WHEN not IF IBM withdraws support for IBM i and the RPG programming language?
I've been working with European companies who put the best interests of their companies first over their own careers. They are with very few exceptions working to modernize and move to Linux or Windows based system and many are doing so in a combination of public and private clouds.
Clouds are pretty amazing. You can buy additional capacity when you need it to handle peak period demand on your systems. All reputable cloud vendors have automatic load balancing and replication to multiple physical data centers so that if there is a local outage your systems automatically switch to the remote site. In fact if you are a geographically distributed organization you will most likely have applications running on systems in many locations.
There is no system maintenance! It is the responsibility of the cloud vendor to keep both their hardware and software current with the latest vendor fixes and insure that they have stable reliable operating environment. Translate that to read you do not need system support people.
The total cost of cloud based operations is a fraction of what you will pay in terms of hardware, software, and people to maintain and support your own Power Systems IBM i based environment.
There was a linkedin topic that reports that going rate for an IBM i system administrator is $90k per year plus in most parts of the United States. So figure about $120k total cost. That is a lot of money for any company, but especially smaller companies with small IBM i based machines! This is a totally unnecessary expense in a cloud based environment.
Some cloud vendors can offer IBM i based systems so that you can move your systems to the cloud immediately and eliminate the costs associated with owning your own systems. You can then work with the vendor or other vendor to begin migrating to a Linux or Windows based solution for long term strategic systems.
There is absolutely no reason to own your own hardware or operate your own data centers and infrastructure today! You can save thousands to millions of dollars running your systems in a cloud.
Call or email me (see: http://www.rjcancilla.com/ContactUs.html).
Read the original at Bob Cancilla on IBM i.