Clarification on IBM’s Power Systems Withdrawals
June 1, 2009 Timothy Prickett Morgan
A few weeks ago, I did a short story on some processor cards, processor activations, disk drives, and other features that IBM has withdrawn from its product catalog as part of the April 28 announcements. That withdrawal announcement–which you can read all the details about here and which I analyzed in Older Power Iron Starts Heading for the Dustbin–has caused some confusion.
Jim Herring, the director of high-end Power Systems at IBM’s Systems and Technology Group, who you will remember as managing several generations of iSeries and System i product launches before the convergence of the i and p lines into Power Systems, got on the horn and clarified something that was not made clear in the announcement letter. While IBM will indeed stop selling 4.2 GHz Power6 processor boards and processor activations for them inside the original Power 570 servers, and IBM stopped selling processor upgrades within 9405-520, 9406-520, and 9406-570 machines (those are the first generation of Power6 boxes from 2007, before the i-p convergence last April) on April 28, and while it will also stop selling processor upgrades for 9406-525, 9406-550, and 9407-515 machines as of November 27, these withdrawals from marketing are for new machines only.
Processor activations are not, I repeat are not, withdrawn for existing machines you have on site with latent processor cores inside the box. “Even for withdrawn products, we have a way to activate latent processors,” explained Herring. “We actually do a very tidy business activating processors on older machines.” Basically, any box that has capacity-on-demand features and latent capacity sitting on your site–even old iSeries 8XX boxes–can have that capacity turned on.
Herring added that on the 520-class machines using Power5 processors, IBM is killing off upgrades, but the announcement letter did not say that at the same time Big Blue was making upgrade paths available from these boxes to Power6-based Power 520 boxes.
Both IT Jungle and IBM are sorry for any confusion we may have caused.