New Version of IBM's AIX Operating System Offers Unprecedented Compatibility, Client/Server Packaging, New Function

July 26, 1994

IBM today announced a new version of its AIX* operating system that provides new client and server packaging options, binary compatibility for the vast majority of the more than 10,000 existing AIX applications, and significant new features.

AIX Version 4.1 offers a state-of-the-art, scalable UNIX** platform that supports IBM's PowerPC*, POWER2, and POWER-based systems#, including IBM RISC System/6000* servers and client workstations.

Among the new features introduced in this version are:

This version complies with IBM's Open BluePrint model for client/server computing, and will be the basis for increased AIX integration of Workplace technologies. AIX 4.1 is also designed to provide future compliance with the SPEC 1170 common Application Programming Interface (API) specification, the X/Open XPG4 standard, and the PowerOpen application binary interface.

The initial focus of AIX 4.1 is to provide software developers with broad access to this strategic new version of AIX.

IBM today also announced other new and enhanced software, including an enterprise mail backbone, multimedia tools, and a database search accelerator. In addition, a new 2D graphics accelerator for the RS/6000 and a PowerPC 601 80 megahertz (MHz) microprocessor option for RS/6000 model 2XX workstations were announced.

AIX 4.1 New Function

AIX 4.1 is the first completely new version of the AIX operating system to be announced since the original launch of AIX Version 3 in 1990. It features new packaging options that allow users to choose either an AIX client or server package. For many users, this can result in lower operating system costs and reduced system resource requirements. Customers can also choose among additional options including software service and support, hardcopy documentation, and the preferred type of distribution media to best meet their requirements.

Included in AIX 4.1 is the capability to extend file system size beyond 2 Gigabytes (GB), a frequent requirement for customers in large database, transaction processing or scientific application environments. In response to customer needs, AIX 4.1 also includes enhancements that reduce disk storage requirements through the use of dynamic file system data compression, smaller block sizes, and easier deinstallation of software.

The Logical Volume Manager on AIX 4.1 has been enhanced to support disk striping capability, which can be used to improve system input/output (I/O) performance.

AIX 4.1 is also the industry's first operating system to offer an integrated desktop based on an implementation of the Common Desktop Environment.

Other Product Announcements

IBM also announced a number of new products and enhancements to meet customer needs in today's client/server environment, including:

Common Mode Feature for AIX 3.2.5: This new feature for AIX 3.2.5 enables developers to compile their applications to support IBM's current and future POWER-based microprocessors -- PowerPC, POWER2 and POWER -- from a single binary.

Ultimedia Services Version 2.1: Enhanced to support AIX 4.1 and available at a lower cost, this new version supports the development of multimedia applications on AIX.

Distributed Systems Management Interface Tool (DSMIT) 2.1 for AIX: A 4.1-enabled systems administration tool allowing users to manage clusters of resources in heterogeneous computing environments, DSMIT has been enhanced to include iFOR/LS license management support to better manage software usage.

OpenMail** for AIX: A highly-scalable, X.400 compliant solution for mixed system e-mail within large enterprises, OpenMail for AIX allows customers to interconnect multiple vendor's e-mail client software, running on systems from laptop to mainframe, using RS/6000 servers to integrate the entire enterprise.

ICL Search Accelerator: A combination of software and hardware that can enhance overall systems performance in RS/6000 relational database servers.

Megatek Mg24 graphics accelerator: A 2D graphics accelerator that provides 24-bit graphics capability for RS/6000 workstations, the Megatek Mg24 provides high-performance, true color capability that is ideal for applications such as desktop publishing, imaging, and mapping. The Mg24 also provides entry-level 3D graphics support through IBM's Softgraphics capability.

Power 80 MHz for 2XX Systems: RS/6000 model 2XX workstation and server users can now upgrade to an 80 MHz PowerPC 601 microprocessor through a field-installable conversion.

# Support for AIX Version 4.1 has not been announced at this time for the Model N40 portable workstation or the POWERparallel Systems SP1 and SP2 offerings.

* Trademark or registered trademark of International Business Machines Corporation

** Trademark or registered trademark of UNIX Systems Laboratories Inc. or the respective company (OpenMail)