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February 18, 2021

New Features in Zend Server 2020 for IBM i

Zend Server

Zend Server 2020 for IBM i has been released! With this release comes new features and improvements, including RPM packaging and improved performance via 64bit PHP. 

In this blog, we will dive in on the new features in Zend Server 2020 for IBM i and what they mean for users.

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Zend Server 2020 for IBM i: New Features and Improvements

The two biggest additions in Zend Server 2020 for IBM i are RPM packaging, and the introduction of 64bit PHP. However, it's still important to note that the same great functions and features found in the previous Zend Server version are still alive and kicking.

RPM Packaging

To begin with, Zend Server 2020 is delivered as an RPM package – this is a major departure from the Licensed Program Product (LPP) delivery mechanism that has been used for past versions of Zend Server. So, why the change and what does it mean for existing users of Zend Server? The RPM packaging is a recognition of IBM’s delivery of the Open Source Environment (OSE) and adoption of the same delivery mechanism as other open-source related packages on the platform.

Improved Performance With 64bit PHP

In addition to a change in the packaging and delivery mechanism, Zend Server 2020 provides 64bit PHP, which should provide for increased performance (likely about 5%) as well as additional stability. Keep in mind when it comes to the performance claim that with Power systems’ shared processor capabilities it may be difficult to actually measure the performance improvements; however, it is possible that less processor resources will be moved into the partition running Zend Server.

New Packaging, Same Great Zend Server Experience

While the packaging has changed, the product has not. Zend Server 2020 delivers the same great functions and features with this new version that were available in previous versions. As an example, as I will show in an upcoming blog, the same one-and-done installation I described in an earlier blog is available with the new version, giving Apache integration, the ibm_db2 driver and the ILE toolkit with no additional commands required.

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Final Thoughts

The actual run-time environment of Zend Server didn’t change. Zend Server 2020 runs in its own subsystem and continues to deliver libraries like the LPP versions did in the past. Additionally, Zend Server 2020 delivers the same 5250-based management menu as with past releases, and establishes unique directories for items such as the web-server docroot as well as application configuration and binary files. The fact that Zend Server 2020 deploys with a unique subsystem and library means that, like with other versions of PHP, it can be installed concurrently with older versions so that side-by-side migrations of PHP-based applications is possible.

More details on the technical features of the new release can be found here:

Try Zend Server for IBM i for Free

Ready to explore this new version of Zend Server? You can register for a free trial at If you are an existing user of Zend Server and want more information on upgrade/migration paths, please contact us.

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