Selected Power Systems Features and Upgrades Get the Axe
October 25, 2010 Timothy Prickett Morgan
IBM continues the Herculean task of cleaning out the AS/400, iSeries, and System i stables to make way for the Power Systems trotters and last week announced it was cutting some more features and upgrades from the product catalog.
Let’s talk about the upgrade chops first, since they probably affect more people. As you can see in announcement letter 910-239, IBM killed off upgrades from the 9402-236, the so-called Advanced 36 clone of the System/36 running on early PowerPC processors and sporting the SSP operating system, to its AS/400 9402-600 and 9402-620 machines. The AS/400 Model 600 machines were based on the 50 MHz Cobra PowerPC chips, while the Model 620s were based on the faster 100 MHz Apache PowerPCs and came out in 1997, helping fuel a resurgent AS/400 business in 1998, you will remember. Personally, I can’t believe that IBM had Cobra and Apache parts lying around to do these upgrades for this long. On January 7, 2011, IBM will stop selling upgrades from pSeries 590 machines to pSeries 595s, and on May 27 next year Big Blue will stop selling upgrades from Power Systems 520, 525, and 550 machines with the 9406 designation that were announced in 2008 with special low-cost i5/OS licenses to the Power6+ machines bearing the Power 520 (8203-E4A) and Power 550 (8203-E84) designations. Finally, July 29 next year will be the last day customers with iSeries 570 and 595 machines (based on Power5 and Power5+ processors) and pSeries 590 and 595 servers (using the same chips) will be able to upgrade their boxes to Power 595 machines sporting Power6 chips. The details on each feature conversion being withdrawn are in the announcement letter.
IBM also killed off the RISC-to-RISC data migration port, which carries feature code 0205, for the Power 795, effective October 19. No explanation was given. The feature 5903 PCI-Express 380 MB dual cache x4 SAS RAID controller, which is used across the earlier generations of the Power Systems product line, is being withdrawn effective January 7 of next year. As The Four Hundred previously reported two weeks ago, IBM has a replacement part, feature 5805, which has thinner backup batteries and fits better into the Power Systems machines.