From our book, The All Everything Operating System, this quote from Skip Marchesani, an IBM i expert and major league consultant for the life of the IBM i operating system to large and small clients alike --- tells the story in just a few paragraphs.  In the book, Skip offers a number of other equally interesting personal stories.  

 Skip Marchesani, Custom Systems Corp

“Sure, I can tell you the most outstanding attribute of the iSeries and AS/400 and now the IBM Power System with IBM i.  It has rock solid reliability and availability, unsurpassed in the industry, and there are systems out there that have run non-stop 24 by 7, 366 days a year, for years at a time.  More and more shops are noticing that when their other servers are misbehaving and failing, the iSeries or  AS/400 or IBM Power System with IBM i continues doing its thing every day, day in and day out.”

“ Years ago when the AS/400 first came out, a large national insurance company installed about 10,000 of the smallest models in their remote sales offices all across the US.  About every three years, a systems technician would visit each remote office to check on and do maintenance on the AS/400.  On one particular visit to one of the remote offices the systems technician asked to see the ‘office computer.’ The office manager showed him a PC sitting on a desk.  The tech explained that the PC was just a workstation and he needed to see the system (AS/400) they were connected to. The office manager just shrugged and pointed to the other two PCs on desktops in the office. 

Finally, the system technician traced the twinax cable connection (wires from PC to AS/400) to a point where it went thru a wall in the back of the office.  He asked what was behind the wall and got more shrugs.  The entire office staff had turned over in the last year.  He went next door and asked to see the wall next to this remote office but there was nothing to see.  He went back into the remote office and knocked a hole in the wall with a hammer, and saw the AS/400 humming away in what the building superintendent said had formerly been a closet.”

[They had walled it in and it was still running the business.]