IBM i in the Data Center: 2024 IBM i Marketplace Survey Results

Report Table of Contents:

1. Introduction & Survey Highlights

2. IBM i in the Data Center (current page)

3. IT Initiatives & Trends

4. Outlook for IBM i

5. Demographics

6. Resources



IBM i is an environment that provides great value to its users and one to which users show loyalty and commitment. This is reflected in this year’s upgrade trends, with 61% of respondents planning to upgrade hardware, software, or both in 2024. It is also worth noting that 13% of respondents are planning on moving to the cloud, which can serve as another means of upgrading hardware and software.

This also signifies that 39% of respondents have no plans for hardware or software upgrades in 2024. Most clients are on a 3-5 year refresh cycle, but hardware and software upgrades are usually staggered, which is evident in the percentage differences between those that plan to update hardware or software only versus both at the same time.

Organizations are adopting the IBM Power E1080 scale-up servers or the scale-out S1014, S1022, S1022s and S1024 running the Power10 processor which was launched in September 2021 and July 2022. This year’s findings indicate that 32% of the respondents have already migrated to using Power10, which is up from 6% last year. This is no surprise, as we know customers desire the many benefits of new hardware relating to security, virtualization, high availability, and more.

IBM has released Power Enterprise Pools 2.0 with Utility Capacity, which makes use of the IBM Cloud to simplify pool administration and automation of utility capacity management, so that private cloud infrastructures have more flexibility. Power Enterprise Pools 2.0 can be used by customers in their on-premises data centers to get the same flexibility of a true cloud environment. IBM also announced subscription pricing on all Power9 and Power10 servers as well as IBM i 7.4 and 7.5. This capability mirrors the cloud pricing structure by giving customers the freedom to choose between placing IBM i investments on the capital expense budget or the operating expense budget. Click here to learn more about your IBM i billing options.



For anyone that does upgrade their hardware in 2024, programs such as the IBM i Solution Edition and Capacity Backup (CBU) boxes for high availability can be a huge help, with users eligible for rebates when new hardware and software are bundled together. 

Power Server Capacity


When it comes to the total number of IBM Power servers organizations use, the IBM i Marketplace Survey shows impressively stable patterns year after year, and this year is no different. Customers with two or more IBM Power servers are generally running some form of hardware- or software-based high availability.

Turning attention to the number of partitions (virtual machine technology) respondents are running, there’s a steady trend that businesses often consolidate servers but increase the number of partitions they are running. This is evidenced by the decrease in respondents running 2-3 partitions and increase in those running 11-30 partitions.

In 2024, over one third of respondents are running between two and six partitions. These VMs can share storage, processor and memory, and even support live partition mobility (LPM).

The trend of taking advantage of virtual machine technology is one that we expect to continue in future editions of the IBM i Marketplace Survey. This allows customers to run separate environments for development, quality assurance, high availability, Linux, and AIX alongside their IBM i production environment all in one physical IBM Power server. It also enables reduced power consumption and more effective utilization of resources.

Other Operating Systems


Most companies using IBM i also run additional operating systems beside it. Windows took the lead for a tenth consecutive year with 69% of respondents also using Windows servers. Linux is competitive, with 49% of survey respondents using this operating system.

IBM i-only responses remained at almost the same level as 2023 – 17%. This signifies that a large segment of customers relies solely on IBM i to run their business. Another 32% of businesses leverage AIX and other Unix-based systems for their on-premises IT environment.

It is interesting that Windows is staying high amongst Linux growth. This suggests that people could be shifting to using three operating systems in their environment. Growth in Linux could be based on new Linux workloads they are adding to their environment, while the Windows servers are staying around for those legacy workloads. Instead of replacing and moving legacy workloads, IT teams seem to be standing up different servers alongside Windows to eliminate the effort of moving servers where things are working properly.

Infrastructure Location


Typically, IBM i users run most of their workloads on-premises. As demonstrated by this year’s results, 74% of organizations plan to run their IBM i workloads on-premises. But, at the same time, the use of IBM i in the cloud is growing – and those who choose the cloud over the on-premises installations tend to run the majority of their workloads in the cloud.

The increase in IBM i customers in the cloud goes hand in hand with the need for modernization of applications and the concern over IBM i skills. Organizations are using cloud providers to offload some of the responsibilities associated with owning and operating IBM i – such as PTF work or hardware maintenance. Others use the cloud as a means of eliminating some of the financial elements of owning IBM i, such as paying for future upgrades or the long-term costs of owning and operating a data center.



Running IBM i workloads in the cloud has great benefits. If your organization is thinking about moving to the cloud, check out our guide on items to consider before making the move. If you would like to learn more about best practices for migrating and maintaining workloads in the cloud, get experts advice by watching this webinar.  



A considerable proportion of businesses (27%) continue to report employing between three and five IBM i developers, a figure that has remained stable over the past 10 years. This consistency in developer numbers corresponds to the variety of languages, open source, and tools like RDi and VS Code that are used to continue furthering the core IBM i applications. It demonstrates a large commitment to modernizing the applications that service many industries.

A key unique selling proposition of IBM i is its need for little day-to-day administration. This year, 67% of our respondents have fewer than three administrators in total for IBM i, which is consistent with previous years. 10% of respondents selected the "none" option – signifying their use of managed services to monitor their systems and keep their operating system up to date.



Having the right expertise is a key component of any successful IBM i environment. If you feel your team is under-resourced or lacking certain skills, check out the IBM i Academy or first-class training options to fill any gaps you may have. IBM i user group like COMMON USA and Common Europe also offer educational and networking opportunities. If you are a member of COMMON, you also have access to free security and administration boot camps.  

Business Applications


Homegrown applications that are written in-house remain the most commonly run applications on IBM i at 70%. Other “Write In” applications, tailored to specific business cases like medical, finance, and public administration, continue to account for a quarter of business applications running on IBM i. In addition, Oracle and/or Infor continue to be used by just over 20% of survey respondents.

IBM i is a highly flexible and versatile platform, as indicated by the volume of different business applications noted. With flexibility so highly valued in business, this trend is likely to continue. These unique business applications will continue to make IBM i a sticky platform. Note, however, that when writing in-house applications, it is essential to adhere to application modernization and security principles and to make sure your developers are educated and trained on writing secure and quality applications.