back to article IBM teases new AIX release – the first since 2015

IBM has formally announced a new version of its AIX operating system. In a Statement of Direction document posted 23 February, Big Blue gave the following description of its plans for the OS: IBM plans to bring new capability and enhancements to AIX with a new release, AIX 7.3, which is designed to help enterprises on their …

  1. seven of five

    Last major AIX update

    Actually, the last major update to AIX was TL05, released in November 2020.

    1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

      Re: Last major AIX update

      Let's give it it's correct name, AIX 7.2 TL05, as there was an AIX 7.1 TL05 some time back.

      For those not in the know, TL stands for Technology Level (as opposed to SP which stands for Service Pack). TLs deliver new function and support new systems. SPs provide updates and fixes within a TL, so specifically, as of today on FixCentral, the latest level is AIX 7.2 TL05 SP01 and you will find that the build week will be appended on that, making it AIX 7200-05-01-2038 using the alternative naming scheme.

      It all make the actual AIX version number a bit meaningless. At one point they tried to align the AIX major number with the version of the Power processor, so AIX 6 was delivered with Power 6, and AIX 7 with Power 7, and for some reason I never understood, the point release always starts with .1 (so the first release for the RS/6000 back in 1990 was AIX 3.1). But they stopped doing that at AIX/Power 7.

      AIX 7.2 was supposed to be more than a TL, because it includes dynamic kernel patching, amongst other things, but from a support point of view, it was very little different from AIX 7.1. I'm sure there are some out there who do, but I have never found anybody who has used that feature in anger. But then, I've been working in very niche environments for the last few years.

      I must have mis-read somewhere. I thought that Power Hybrid Cloud implementations are being built around the OpenPower systems, which were never intended to run AIX or IBM i at all.

      1. The Pi Man

        Re: Last major AIX update

        The .1 is because .0 is always a crap beta version of whatever software or OS it is.

        1. seven of five

          Re: Last major AIX update

          Well, TL05 SP00 and SP01 came out the same day, so that is IBM for you. :)

  2. karlkarl Silver badge


    2015 oddly enough was the same year as the last release of Windows.

    And yet both are lies ;)

  3. John Geek

    AIX is like the exact opposite of 'cloudy'

    1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

      Cloudy AIX...

      A bit late to comment here, but

      AIX and Power have actually implemented many of the core concepts that define a cloud for some time (over 10 years for many of these things). It has:

      1. Virtualization technologies that allow system images to be resized on the fly, and even moved between physical systems while they are running

      2. Scalabillity from 1/100th of a Power CPU all the way to the largest system that IBM ships

      3. Disk technologies that allow scalable access to storage small to large (things like GPFS)

      4. Container technologies (WPARs)

      5. System administration tools that allow vast fleets of AIX systems to be managed and deployed

      6. Virtualized networking to allow discrete networks between partitions to be set up

      7. Huge amounts of RAS and system resilience to component failures to keep services running

      8. A proven history of long uptime.

      Now, what it doesn't have is the in-vogue software layers sitting above this hardware, but that is software, and could readily be adapted to run on AIX (although I think that IBM have SoftLayer running on AIX). But Linux (and I suppose Windows) are the OS's that have caught on, because Linux is cheap and malleable, and Microsoft have to be able to have their software technologies available for them to remain credible.

      Back in 2000, I was involved in setting up an AIX application farm upon which applications could be deployed, moved between shared and dedicated systems, and managed in a proto-cloud environment. This was before the term 'cloud' had even been coined. So yes, AIX is suitable for Cloud, it's just never been shouted about.

  4. fredesmite2

    I worked AIX kernel 20 years ago - It should be dead by now

    You NEVER SEE INDIA BUSINESS MACHINES reference it even on the site

    Why would you buy it ?

    1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

      Re: I worked AIX kernel 20 years ago - It should be dead by now

      AIX is a legacy OS now, and the customer base is largely people already running AIX. Many organisations still like it as an OS, because of it's proven track record, and continuing investment in the hardware that it runs on.

      It did get a bit of a boost when Oracle bought Sun, many Sun customers moved to AIX, as a UNIX OS of last resort.

      But it would be very strange for a new user to install AIX unless there were some very specific reasons.

      I still think that AIX has some features that make it attractive over other platforms, but as time goes by, these are being whittled away.

      Regardless of what some people say, Linux is not a direct replacement for everything that AIX does, and Linux is actually being driven in directions that many traditional users don't like.

      But I am expecting IBM to start pushing Red Hat as the OS of choice on Power hardware sometime soon. If they enhance it to use the RAS features of Power hardware, then that will be a good path, but they may divert to the less robust OpenPower platforms rather than the current systems.

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