IBM Launches First Open Beta Program for UNIX

IBM today announced the first-ever open beta program for AIX, the company’s open standards-based UNIX operating system. This latest edition, AIX 6, exploits the technology of the recently announced POWER6 microprocessor, the world’s fastest chip, leveraging advances in energy conservation and virtualization technology.

AIX runs on IBM’s System p UNIX servers, based on POWER technology. This latest release of the AIX operating system is being designed to deliver new capabilities for virtualization, security, near continuous availability, and manageability, Some of the key features IBM is planning for AIX 6 include:

* Workload Partitions, a software-based virtualization technology that reduces the number of operating system images that have to be managed when consolidating workloads to increase energy efficiency and reduce costs;
* Live Application Mobility, a way to relocate running Workload Partitions between servers without restarting the application, causing minimal disruption for the end user;
* Role Based Access Control, a security enhancement that enables administrators to grant authorization for management of specific AIX resources to users;
* A variety of features designed to improve the manageability and continuous availability of the operating system and applications.

AIX leadership

AIX leads in customer server and application investment protection in three ways. First, AIX 6 will run on IBM systems based on POWER4, PowerPC 970, POWER5, and IBM’s latest POWER6 processors, allowing customers to protect their investment in existing hardware and yet take advantage of new features and technology in AIX 6 like Workload Partitions for enhanced application virtualization. And AIX 6 will fully exploit the capabilities of IBM’s newest benchmark-leading UNIX midrange server, the IBM System p 570 — based on POWER6 technology — which was just announced in May and began shipping last month.

Secondly, AIX 6 is being designed to be fully binary compatible with previous releases of AIX 5L providing investment protection for customer and ISV applications written for previous releases of AIX two levels back, including AIX 5.2 and 5.3. Full information on the binary compatibility of AIX 6 can be found at

And lastly, using IBM Advanced POWER Virtualization (APV), customers can run Linux applications natively in one or more logical partitions running SUSE Linux Enterprise or Red Hat Enterprise Linux integrated with AIX applications on the same physical System p server.

“AIX 6 is a significant technical achievement in the evolution of this world-class UNIX operating system, providing both investment protection by allowing existing AIX apps to run unmodified as well as allowing those apps to take advantage of new virtualization technologies that will provide business value to our clients.” said Scott Handy, IBM vice president of worldwide marketing and strategy for System p.

“Many of our current AIX clients are excited about and will use the open beta to gain early experience with the new features provided by AIX 6, speeding their time to value after general availability in November. Combined with our try-and-buy program for System p servers, the open beta will help accelerate the adoption of AIX 6 with new clients.”

The beta program is open to all users, and is designed to provide clients and independent software vendors (ISVs) with early access to the AIX 6 operating system. Current AIX clients can participate in the beta by visiting and following the links to the open beta web page at The beta code is packaged as multiple CD-ROM or DVD ISO images that may be burned by the beta participants.

IBM plans to make AIX 6 generally available during the fourth quarter of 2007.

About AIX

AIX is IBM’s premier open standards-based UNIX operating system. Available for more than 20 years, AIX has become the leading UNIX operating system in the world.

AIX, in combination with IBM’s Virtualization offerings, provides customers with new levels of flexibility and performance. AIX delivers high levels of security, integration, flexibility and reliability — essential for meeting the demands of today’s information technology environments. AIX operates on the IBM System p™, BladeCenter®, IntelliStation® POWER™, and System i5™ platforms, as well as predecessor IBM UNIX products, including the IBM RS/6000® server and workstation product lines.