The Last Power8 Machine Gets End Of Service Notice
July 24, 2023 Timothy Prickett Morgan
Back in November 2022, amongst a slew of other machinery, customers using the vast majority of the Power Systems servers based on the Power8 processor were warned that IBM was cutting off its maintenance and support for these machines effective between March and October 2024. That may sound like a long time from now, but it really isn’t when you have to hustle a system upgrade, complete with application software, through the budgetary and testing hoops.
We wrote about those Power8 system withdrawals here, and in case you need to dig out the notice again, the new IBM Documentation system has a different set of links and a different numbering scheme, so here is the new one at announcement letter AD22-0870.
What we didn’t notice is that the plain vanilla Power S812, the so-called “Mini” variant of the Power8 lineup announced explicitly for P05-class IBM i customers on Valentine’s Day in 2017, was not on the list of machines that was having its support cut off in 2024. But in announcement letter AD23-0487, dated July 11, the Power S812 was given its last day of maintenance support, which is July 31, 2025. That is plenty of enough time to figure out an upgrade plan – and it won’t be to another, bigger Power8 machine because as we point out, those will be off maintenance around a year or so ahead of this Power S812 machine.
There is, of course, always a chance to get maintenance and parts from third parties, but that support is contingent on the availability of parts in the secondhand equipment channel. This is workable – customers could even buy a second Power S812 and have it as a spare – but it might make sense to try to get to a Power S1014 machine, or a Power S1022s even, and move to IBM i 7.5 and settle in for a few years.
There is always the possibility of moving to the cloud, and there are numerous providers aside from the IBM Power Virtual Server cloud or Microsoft Azure/Skytap – clouds from Fresche Solutions, Focal Point Solutions, Connectria, Meridian IT, and others spring immediately to mind – that will be happy to help customers get on current hardware and systems software in exchange for knowing they will have a steady revenue stream from those customers for years to come.
Power S812 customers, like all other Power8 customers, have options, and they had better start exploring them.
One other thing. In that July 11 announcement letter, end of service dates were set for Storwize V7000 enclosures, various Ultrium 5 and 6 tape drives, ESS storage arrays and FlashSystem 900 arrays and rebadged Brocade Fibre Channel switches sold under IBM’s System Storage brand. There is a whole bunch of third party gear in that announcement that customers have been able to get IBM support for, and it will run out in either 2024 or 2025, depending. If you are one such customers, you had better look at this announcement letter and see how it affects you.
The Inevitable Wave Of Power9 Withdrawals Begins (Almost used the same title eleven months apart)