IBM Sunsets i5/OS V5R4, Kills Older 595 Iron
February 2, 2009 Timothy Prickett Morgan
Time moves on, as it always does. And that means that IBM wants to start cutting older products in the Power Systems i product line as it peddles the current products and puts the finishing touches on whatever future products we can expect to be rolled out later in 2009 and maybe in early 2010. Last week, IBM warned customers that it was sunsetting i5/OS V5R4 and at the same time killed off some iSeries older iron.
As it turns out, i5/OS V5R4 will be withdrawn from marketing on January 5, 2010. That release of the AS/400-style operating system was announced on April 10, 2007 and became available 10 days later. V5R4 was arguably one of the best and most stable releases of the OS/400 family of operating systems, but then again, the rate of change in operating systems has slowed over time and significant core functionality in the operating system or its microcode/hardware abstraction layer hasn’t changed much in recent years–that goes for i5/OS, z/OS, AIX, Solaris, HP-UX, and Windows. i 6.1, because of its significant changes in microcode, represents a much bigger jump in internal code than did the jump from OS/400 V5R3 to i5/OS V5R4.
For those customers who still want V5R4, mainly because they don’t want to cope with the program conversion issues that a move to i 6.1 entails (see i5/OS V6R1: The TIMI, It Is A-Changing for more on that), they will be able to buy i5/OS V5R4, which runs on Power4, Power5, and Power6 processors through next January and, as I showed you in the i roadmap story last week, the current plan from IBM is to offer tech support until the end of 2010, and possibly longer. In fact, I expect IBM to extend that support date it is showing in roadmaps as customers move from earlier V5 releases to V5R4 this year in an effort to avoid i 6.1.
Speaking of i5/OS V5R3, a reminder, again, that V5R3’s support ends on April 30, 2009. If you haven’t got your upgrade plan together, you have only 12 weekends to get V5R4 and get your upgrade done or you are going to be on a platform with no more support.
And just to be super-precise, the user-based priced versions of i5/OS V5R4 (5722-SSC) and the Application Server variant (which is licensed to be an application server, not a database server, in a logical partition, 5722-SSB) are also being dropped from the catalog next January in addition to the core, tier-based i5/OS V5R4 (5722-SS1).
In addition to sunsetting i5/OS V5R4, IBM said that it will also withdraw a whole slew of V5R4 programs–the usual suspects like Query, Performance Tools, DB2 Query Manager, AFP Utilities, BRMS, Cryptographic Support, S/38 Utilities, CICS, and others–that have replacements in the i 6.1 stack.
IBM also said last week that i 6.1 specify code features are not available in Express configurations for the BladeCenter JS12 and JS22 Power6-based blade servers. Which is good. The question is, why wasn’t this the case last April? Anyway, the BladeCenter blades have machine number 7998-60X for the JS12 and 7998-61X for the JS22, and the i 6.1 feature code for those blades is 0534.
One other thing. On May 29 of this year, IBM will stop selling the eServer Model 595 server–yeah, the one that dates from back in 2004 using 2.3 GHz Power5+ processors. IBM is also killing off model conversions from this generation of eServer 570 boxes to eServer 595 machines, and will stop selling features and feature conversions for the old 595 box. This eServer 595 box is what V5R4 originally shipped on, by the way.
Seems just like yesterday, doesn’t it?