The AIX (Advanced Interactive eXecutive) operating system is designed to deliver outstanding scalability, reliability, and manageability. Best of all, the AIX OS comes from IBM, the world’s leading technology company.
AIX is an open, standards-based operating system that conforms to The Open Group’s Single UNIX Specification Version 3. It provides fully integrated support for 32- and 64-bit applications. The AIX operating system provides binary compatible support for the entire IBM UNIX product line including IBM Power™ Systems, System p™, System i™, pSeries®, iSeries™ servers as well as the BladeCenter® blade servers. AIX also supports qualified systems offered by hardware vendors participating in the AIX Multiple Vendor Program. So, as you move to newer versions of the AIX operating system, its excellent history of binary compatibility provides confidence that your critical applications will continue to run.
The latest version of AIX, Version 7 V7.2 provides the capability to update a running kernel with fixes for security or any other purpose. Several other noteworthy enhancements have been added that improve reliability, flexibility, and performance. AIX 7.2 continues to support AIX 5.3 inside of a Workload Partition (PDF, 414KB), in addition to standard AIX 7-based workload partitions to allow customers still on an older AIX release to migrate to new hardware with confidence. Workload partitions are like light-weight containers available in AIX 7 or AIX 6. This virtualization capability is in addition to the advanced hypervisor-based virtualization provided by the IBM Power Systems platform with PowerVM.
AIX was the first operating system to utilize journaling file systems, and IBM has continuously enhanced the software with features like processor, disk and network virtualization, dynamic hardware resource allocation (including fractional processor units), and reliability engineering ported from its mainframe designs.
The default shell was Bourne shell up to AIX version 3, but was changed to Korn shell (ksh88) in version 4 in view of XPG4 and POSIX compliance.