Spring Cleaning In IBM i Land
May 7, 2018 Timothy Prickett Morgan
It has been a busy couple of weeks with IBM winding down a whole bunch of different products related to the IBM i platform. It is a kind of spring cleaning, we suppose. IBM doesn’t usually offer explanations for its decision to discontinue products, so we just have to take them at face value. Sometimes there are upgraded or replacement products, and sometimes it is just the end of the line.
In announcement letter 918-056, IBM says that it will be withdrawing the 7042-CR9 Hardware Management Console (HMC), and moreover, IBM says that going forward, support for the Model 7046 Xeon-based HMCs will end in 2018 and that starting in 2019, all HMCs sold will be the Model 7063 appliances that are based on Big Blue’s own Power processors. IBM will be withdrawing these on July 20, along with the ability to add additional disk storage to these units. The software fixes will continue for the Xeon models, of course. Effective immediately, IBM is also going to stop selling the PCI-Express 3.0 version for the 1.6 TB NVM-Express flash adapter for the Power LC models; ditto for the Tesla K80 GPU accelerators for this machine; IBM wants to have customers buy Tesla P100 GPUs instead. (This latter bit has zero effect on IBM i shops. And I have explained why I think IBM should be adding GPU support to the IBM i database to radically accelerate their performance on analytics workloads.)
We already covered the withdrawal of IBM i Access for Windows 7.1 and older versions of Rational Developer for i in a prior issue of The Four Hundred. That same announcement letter, 918-058, shows that PowerVC V1.3 and IBM Cloud PowerVC 1.3, older versions of IBM’s OpenStack cloud controller implementation for the Power Systems family of machines, is also going to be withdrawn on April 30, 2019. Ditto for PowerSC V1.1, which is the security suite that IBM peddles for the Power Systems line. These have upgraded versions, which we discuss elsewhere in this issue of The Four Hundred.
In announcement letter 918-082, IBM is cutting a bunch of features on its IBM Cloud Object Storage, which were withdrawn on April 24. This is for a feature called the High Velocity Bundle. IBM withdrew a bunch of other features on the IBM Cloud Object Storage back in March 2017. In announcement letter 918-063, IBM also said that it was withdrawing IBM Cloud Object Storage V3.8.X from marketing on July 30 and will withdraw support for it on September 30, 2019. It is not clear how many IBM i shops are using IBM’s object storage in the cloud, but it is probably not many.
Finally, in announcement letter 918-040, IBM said that it was withdrawing support for the big endian version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux for Power on June 15 this year. IBM is encouraging customers to move to the little endian version going forward, which is supported natively on Power8 and Power9 processors and which can also run on PowerVM or OpenKVM hypervisors alike.