IBM Sunsets More Power Systems Features
July 20, 2009 Timothy Prickett Morgan
Big Blue is cleaning house once again in the Power Systems product line. Or more precisely, in the products that were actually known as the iSeries and pSeries and then the System i and System p in the Power4 and Power5 generations. Get out your flashlight and your old paperwork, and maybe your bifocals if you sit at a computer screen too much like I do, because if you have Power4 or Power5 iron, you will need to see if you need to buy any of these vintage features, conversions, or activations before IBM stops selling them itself or through partner channels.
As detailed in announcement letter 909-152, a slew of obsolete feature conversions have been withdrawn from the IBM catalog effective July 14, and a bunch of other features and conversions get the axe on October 2. More significant, perhaps, is the November 27 cutoff date to buy processor and memory activations for new Model 8XX Power4 boxes. (I am amazed that anyone would pay for such a thing, to be honest.) November 27 is the cutoff date for sales of new features that are unique to the System i 515, 520, 525, 550, and 570 boxes that are based on Power5 processors, and other selected features and feature conversions.
As I explained in June in a clarification that ran in the wake of a similar set of withdrawal announcements that IBM did back in May, any latent capacity that you have in your machines already–such as processor or memory features that can be activated on demand–are not killed off when IBM makes these announcements. Just the ability to buy new features and activate them is killed off.
The July 14 kill date for feature conversions includes processor conversions within the iSeries Model 810, 820, and 825 machines, as well as a few iSeries 595 conversions.
The November 27 expiration includes new shipments of OS/400 V5R3 on AS/400 7XX, iSeries 8XX, and iSeries and System i 5XX boxes. You won’t be able to get OS/400 V5R3M5, the interim update that supported the initial Power6 machines after that either, which was also available on other earlier iSeries and System i machines. Some WAN, asynch communications, and Ethernet adapters, as well as PCI-X tape controllers, 36 GB DAT72 drives, HSL2/RIO2 bus adapters, SCSI cables are also buying the farm.
On October 2, some HSL/RIO cables and conversions to the new HSL2/RIO2 cables are getting the heave-ho, and base processor and memory activations for Power5-based Power 550, 570, and 595 machines and new full 5250 Enterprise Enablement features will join the choir eternal.
Now, just to confuse everybody, there’s a different batch of withdrawals that IBM did last week, in announcement letter 909-153, which only covers the Power 575 supercomputing node that are based on the original Power6 processors. (This is product number 9125-F2A, in case you didn’t know.) Effective July 14, the 69 GB SAS-style solid state disk, a bunch of 15K RPM SAS disk drives, a bunch of power cores and rack kits and cables have bought it. And IBM is withdrawing as of November 27 some graphics cards and various adapters that are used in workstation configurations of the Power Systems; these products have been upgraded to PCI-Express variants.