IBM Winds Down Yet More Older Power Systems Features
January 29, 2018 Timothy Prickett Morgan
It is amazing to me that IBM stops selling specific Power Systems and features in such a gradual and what looks like a haphazard fashion. It seems to take forever to kill off older product lines. It may be more a function of what supplies Big Blue has in the barn than with some kind of orderly, sensible withdrawal from marketing of prior generations of gear.
The upshot is that it is very hard to figure out what IBM is and is not selling, and when it will stop selling particular features. And because IBM does not usually provide the name of features when used in a feature conversion or upgrade, it is actually quite painful to try to figure out if something that you might need in the coming months for the server you have installed might be torn from the IBM sales catalog. We do our best to keep you informed, but at the same time, it might take a day or more to figure out what features are affected every time IBM does a product withdrawal.
On January 23, in announcement letter 918-016, IBM warned customers that a bunch of features and product conversions would be withdrawn – and cut from the catalog that day. No, zero seconds is not much time to make a plan, so if you are affected by this withdrawal, you are now at the mercy of the secondary equipment channel. (For all we know, IBM sold off its inventory to a bunch of dealers.) In any event, various NVM-Express and regular SAS drives based on flash for Linux-based Power Systems LC models got the axe last week, and so did a bunch of features of the same storage for Power 821, Power 822, and Power 824 iron that can support IBM i and AIX and larger Power 870 and Power 880 iron (including the C models).
Also on January 23, the following feature conversions were withdrawn:
From From To To To type feature feature type model 9080 EMA6 EMA9 9080 MHE 9080 EMA6 EMA9 9080 MME 9119 EMA6 EMA9 9119 MHE 9119 EMA6 EMA9 9119 MME 9080 EPBJ EPBN 9080 MME 9080 EPBK EPBP 9080 MHE 9080 EPBL EPBQ 9080 MME 9080 EPBM EPBR 9080 MHE 9080 EPBU EPBV 9080 MHE 9117 8214 EMAG 9117 MMD 9117 8215 EMAG 9117 MMU 9117 EMA3 EMAG 9179 MHD 9117 EMA3 EMAG 9179 MHU 9117 EPMA EPMC 9117 MMD 9117 EPMA EPMC 9117 MMU 9117 EPMB EPMD 9117 MMD 9117 EPMB EPMD 9117 MMU 9119 4713 4715 9119 FHB 9119 4714 4725 9119 FHB 9119 8213 EMAG 9119 FHB 9119 EMA3 EMAG 9119 FHB 9119 EMA6 EMA9 9119 MME 9119 EMA6 EMA9 9119 MHE 9119 EMA6 EMA9 9119 MHE 9119 EMA6 EMA9 9119 MME 9119 EPBJ EPBN 9119 MME 9119 EPBK EPBP 9119 MHE 9119 EPBL EPBQ 9119 MME 9119 EPBM EPBR 9119 MHE 9119 EPBU EPBV 9119 MHE 9179 EPHA EPHL 9179 MHD 9179 EPHA EPHL 9179 MHU 9179 EPHC EPHM 9179 MHD 9179 EPHC EPHM 9179 MHU
It would take a long time to look up all of these feature conversions, which is why it out to be embedded in the announcements to help people figure out if they need to buy a feature. I checked a few, and it looks like they are feature conversions to change from static memory activations for 100 GB chunks of capacity in older Power7 and Power7+ machines to mobile memory activations in more recent Power7+ and Power8 machines. The mobile memory activations can move from machine to machine in a Power Systems network that has had this feature enabled.
On April 20, as you will see in the announcement, the following features are being withdrawn for the Power 821 and the 7042-CR2 edition of the Hardware Management Console:
Description MT Model Feature SP WSU 3Y 24x7 SD 8284 21A B0UQ SP HDR/MR POWER 3Y 8284 21A B0VH 7042 CR9 SP WAMO 3Y 24x7 SD 7042 CR9 B0UW
I looked this all up in the IBM Sales Manual, and the descriptions are absolutely impenetrable. Good luck, if this is important. It looks like some kind of support offering to me.
IBM can do better in helping people understand this, but based on my three decades of watching this, Big Blue has not changed and probably will not now.