25
Thu, Jul
0 New Articles

End of Support Announced on Popular POWER7 Machines

Typography
  • Smaller Small Medium Big Bigger
  • Default Helvetica Segoe Georgia Times

Even though the Power 720 didn’t seem that old, it is.

On September 19, 2017, IBM announced that a number of machines will be going out of maintenance in the next two years. The POWER6 iron is to really be expected; however, the POWER7 iron kind of took me by surprise—specifically, the 8202-E4B and 8202-E4C.

Here’s IBM’s list.

POWER6

       
         

Class

Machine Type

Model

Product Name

EOS Date

Blade / Flex

7778

23X

BladeCenter JS23/JS43

31-Mar-19

Blade / Flex

7998

60X

BladeCenter JS12

31-Mar-19

Blade / Flex

7998

61X

ECLIPZ Blade

31-Mar-19

High End / Enterprise

9119

FHA

Power 595

31-Mar-19

High End / Enterprise

9125

F2A

Power 575

31-Mar-19

Low End / Entry

8203

E4A

Power 520

31-Mar-19

Low End / Entry

9407

M15

Power 520 Express

31-Mar-19

Low End / Entry

9408

M25

Power 520 Express

31-Mar-19

Midrange

8204

E8A

Power 550

31-Mar-19

Midrange

8234

EMA

Power 560

31-Mar-19

Midrange

9117

MMA

Power 570

31-Mar-19

Midrange

9406

MMA

i570

31-Mar-19

Midrange

9409

M50

Power 550 Express

31-Mar-19

         

POWER7

       
         

Class

Machine Type

Model

Product Name

EOS Date

Blade / Flex

7891

73X

PS703 Blade

30-Sep-19

Blade / Flex

7891

74X

PS704 Blade

30-Sep-19

Accipter Chassis

7893

92X

Power Chassis

30-Sep-19

Blade / Flex

7895

22X

Flex System p260

30-Sep-19

Blade / Flex

7895

42X

Flex System p460

30-Sep-19

Blade / Flex

8406

70Y

PS700 Blade

30-Sep-19

Blade / Flex

8406

71Y

PS701/702 Blade

30-Sep-19

High End / Enterprise

9125

F2C

Power 775

30-Sep-19

High End / Enterprise

9179

MHB

Power 780

30-Sep-19

High End / Enterprise

9179

MHC

Power 780 IOC

30-Sep-19

Low End / Entry

8202

E4B

Power 720

30-Sep-19

Low End / Entry

8202

E4C

Power 720 IOC

30-Sep-19

Low End / Entry

8205

E6B

Power 740

30-Sep-19

Low End / Entry

8205

E6C

Power 740 IOC

30-Sep-19

Low End / Entry

8231

E1C

Power 710 IOC

30-Sep-19

Low End / Entry

8231

E2B

Power 710/730

30-Sep-19

Low End / Entry

8231

E2C

Power 730 IOC

30-Sep-19

Midrange

8233

E8B

Power 750

30-Sep-19

Midrange

8236

E8C

Power 755

30-Sep-19

Midrange

9117

MMB

Power 770

30-Sep-19

Midrange

9117

MMC

Power 770 IOC

30-Sep-19

Power Linux

1457

7FL

Flex System p24L

30-Sep-19

Power Linux

8246

L1C

PowerLinux 7R1

30-Sep-19

Power Linux

8246

L1S

PowerLinux 7R1

30-Sep-19

Power Linux

8246

L2B

PowerLinux 730L

30-Sep-19

Power Linux

8246

L2C

PowerLinux 7R2

30-Sep-19

Power Linux

8246

L2S

PowerLinux 7R2

30-Sep-19

The fact that these POWER7 boxes aren’t that old may be a little jolting to the average shop. Maybe it’s just perception. I run into a lot of 720s in the wild, and it’s no secret that this was the most popular POWER7 brought to market. They’re everywhere. But alas, this is circa-2010 gear, and POWER8 has been out for a couple of years now. With POWER9 on the horizon, it makes sense to stamp an end-of-support date on these machines in hopes to drive fourth-quarter chatter about moving off those boxes, many of which do support IBM i 7.3. For the POWER7 iron, the end of support being two years out gives those customers the shot in the arm to upgrade to 7.2 or 7.3 before the end of support for 7.1 happens on April 30, 2018. This way, they’re at least prepped to transfer to a supported release on POWER8 when they’re ready to do a hardware migration sometime within the next two years.

This is also not to say IBM won’t offer extended hardware maintenance on any of these machines. IBM usually waits until 4–6 months before the stated end-of-maintenance date to make that offer. IBM i 7.1 still has no extended maintenance offering on the table, but I’d expect that to come down the pike in a couple of months. From a hardware perspective, expect to see something in the spring of 2019 regarding any hardware support extensions.

Since I’m on the topic of IBM i 7.1 end of support, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that staying on IBM i 7.1 would not be a good idea for a few reasons:

SMB1

IBM i 7.1 NetServer uses only SMB1. SMB is a network file-sharing protocol. Microsoft has been recommending customers disable SMB1 for a long, long time. SMB1 is broken and has been compromised by a number of ransomware variants over the last few years. I’m just speculating, but it wouldn’t be beyond Microsoft to eventually disable it by way of a Windows update. This will effectively shut down file-sharing communications from Windows computers to IBM i partitions running only SMB1, like IBM i 7.1. So goodbye to file shares running on your IBM i. You’re far better off upgrading to IBM i 7.2 and applying PTFs MF63692, MF63693, and MF63694 or just upgrading straight to IBM i 7.3. Both paths will bring you up to SMB2.

Java 6

OK, so Java 7 has been around for a few years. Almost as long as IBM i 7.1 (September 2015 actually). Don’t expect to see Java 7 supported past September 2019 either! It’s time to get your workloads moved on up to Java 8 now. The default JDK for IBM i 7.1 is Java 6, so unless you’ve actually installed Java 7 or 8 on your partitions and set your applications to use either, then you’ll be running some risk when Java 6 goes end of support on December 31, 2017. That’s less than 90 days. If you’re going to spend any time on IBM i 7.1 after that, then it’s strongly advised that you upgrade your versions of Java. This isn’t an IBM thing either. Oracle won’t even touch Java 6 at that point.

Security

There are only four secure ciphers on IBM i 7.1, and two are enabled only by manually enabling TLS 1.2, which is a related issue:

  • *RSA_AES_128_CBC_SHA
  • *RSA_AES_128_CBC_SHA256
  • *RSA_AES_256_CBC_SHA
  • *RSA_AES_256_CBC_SHA256

The ciphers not in this list are deemed weak and/or broken.

As for TLS 1.2, it comes turned on by default in IBM i 7.2 and 7.3—plus, SSLv3 is turned off. There are far better default options for encryption on IBM i 7.2 and 7.3 from both a protocol and cipher perspective. And if you aren’t thinking about encryption, then you really need to start.

The Upshot

I mentioned the Java thing this morning on Twitter actually. Someone said, “Remember when everything on IBM i was supported forever?” Some parts, yes. I remember upgrading to 7.1 six or seven years ago when I was a customer and not installing the RPG II compilers intentionally in order to force a tension for change. Some things—such as the ability to run System/36 code—may protect a business investment and could be deemed a positive, but they’re really a double-edged sword. You need to be thinking of your system as a living entity that needs regular care and feeding to keep it performing strongly and secure from the outside world. Some of those changes are forced, such as Java or security. But you can take those challenges and be proactive about them. Everyone should’ve been testing on Java 8 when it was released in 2015. You can’t turn back time, but you can plan on doing these things in the future, such as checking out and preparing for OpenJDK.

The forward progression of IBM i and the removal of older, slower hardware is natural. Onward and upward.

Steve Pitcher
Steve Pitcher works with iTech Solutions, an IBM Premier Business Partner. He is a specialist in IBM i and IBM Power Systems solutions since 2001. Feel free to contact him directly This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS

LATEST COMMENTS

Support MC Press Online

$

Book Reviews

Resource Center

  • SB Profound WC 5536 Have you been wondering about Node.js? Our free Node.js Webinar Series takes you from total beginner to creating a fully-functional IBM i Node.js business application. You can find Part 1 here. In Part 2 of our free Node.js Webinar Series, Brian May teaches you the different tooling options available for writing code, debugging, and using Git for version control. Brian will briefly discuss the different tools available, and demonstrate his preferred setup for Node development on IBM i or any platform. Attend this webinar to learn:

  • SB Profound WP 5539More than ever, there is a demand for IT to deliver innovation. Your IBM i has been an essential part of your business operations for years. However, your organization may struggle to maintain the current system and implement new projects. The thousands of customers we've worked with and surveyed state that expectations regarding the digital footprint and vision of the company are not aligned with the current IT environment.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT Generic IBM announced the E1080 servers using the latest Power10 processor in September 2021. The most powerful processor from IBM to date, Power10 is designed to handle the demands of doing business in today’s high-tech atmosphere, including running cloud applications, supporting big data, and managing AI workloads. But what does Power10 mean for your data center? In this recorded webinar, IBMers Dan Sundt and Dylan Boday join IBM Power Champion Tom Huntington for a discussion on why Power10 technology is the right strategic investment if you run IBM i, AIX, or Linux. In this action-packed hour, Tom will share trends from the IBM i and AIX user communities while Dan and Dylan dive into the tech specs for key hardware, including:

  • Magic MarkTRY the one package that solves all your document design and printing challenges on all your platforms. Produce bar code labels, electronic forms, ad hoc reports, and RFID tags – without programming! MarkMagic is the only document design and print solution that combines report writing, WYSIWYG label and forms design, and conditional printing in one integrated product. Make sure your data survives when catastrophe hits. Request your trial now!  Request Now.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT GenericForms of ransomware has been around for over 30 years, and with more and more organizations suffering attacks each year, it continues to endure. What has made ransomware such a durable threat and what is the best way to combat it? In order to prevent ransomware, organizations must first understand how it works.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT GenericIT security is a top priority for businesses around the world, but most IBM i pros don’t know where to begin—and most cybersecurity experts don’t know IBM i. In this session, Robin Tatam explores the business impact of lax IBM i security, the top vulnerabilities putting IBM i at risk, and the steps you can take to protect your organization. If you’re looking to avoid unexpected downtime or corrupted data, you don’t want to miss this session.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT GenericCan you trust all of your users all of the time? A typical end user receives 16 malicious emails each month, but only 17 percent of these phishing campaigns are reported to IT. Once an attack is underway, most organizations won’t discover the breach until six months later. A staggering amount of damage can occur in that time. Despite these risks, 93 percent of organizations are leaving their IBM i systems vulnerable to cybercrime. In this on-demand webinar, IBM i security experts Robin Tatam and Sandi Moore will reveal:

  • FORTRA Disaster protection is vital to every business. Yet, it often consists of patched together procedures that are prone to error. From automatic backups to data encryption to media management, Robot automates the routine (yet often complex) tasks of iSeries backup and recovery, saving you time and money and making the process safer and more reliable. Automate your backups with the Robot Backup and Recovery Solution. Key features include:

  • FORTRAManaging messages on your IBM i can be more than a full-time job if you have to do it manually. Messages need a response and resources must be monitored—often over multiple systems and across platforms. How can you be sure you won’t miss important system events? Automate your message center with the Robot Message Management Solution. Key features include:

  • FORTRAThe thought of printing, distributing, and storing iSeries reports manually may reduce you to tears. Paper and labor costs associated with report generation can spiral out of control. Mountains of paper threaten to swamp your files. Robot automates report bursting, distribution, bundling, and archiving, and offers secure, selective online report viewing. Manage your reports with the Robot Report Management Solution. Key features include:

  • FORTRAFor over 30 years, Robot has been a leader in systems management for IBM i. With batch job creation and scheduling at its core, the Robot Job Scheduling Solution reduces the opportunity for human error and helps you maintain service levels, automating even the biggest, most complex runbooks. Manage your job schedule with the Robot Job Scheduling Solution. Key features include:

  • LANSA Business users want new applications now. Market and regulatory pressures require faster application updates and delivery into production. Your IBM i developers may be approaching retirement, and you see no sure way to fill their positions with experienced developers. In addition, you may be caught between maintaining your existing applications and the uncertainty of moving to something new.

  • LANSAWhen it comes to creating your business applications, there are hundreds of coding platforms and programming languages to choose from. These options range from very complex traditional programming languages to Low-Code platforms where sometimes no traditional coding experience is needed. Download our whitepaper, The Power of Writing Code in a Low-Code Solution, and:

  • LANSASupply Chain is becoming increasingly complex and unpredictable. From raw materials for manufacturing to food supply chains, the journey from source to production to delivery to consumers is marred with inefficiencies, manual processes, shortages, recalls, counterfeits, and scandals. In this webinar, we discuss how:

  • The MC Resource Centers bring you the widest selection of white papers, trial software, and on-demand webcasts for you to choose from. >> Review the list of White Papers, Trial Software or On-Demand Webcast at the MC Press Resource Center. >> Add the items to yru Cart and complet he checkout process and submit

  • Profound Logic Have you been wondering about Node.js? Our free Node.js Webinar Series takes you from total beginner to creating a fully-functional IBM i Node.js business application.

  • SB Profound WC 5536Join us for this hour-long webcast that will explore:

  • Fortra IT managers hoping to find new IBM i talent are discovering that the pool of experienced RPG programmers and operators or administrators with intimate knowledge of the operating system and the applications that run on it is small. This begs the question: How will you manage the platform that supports such a big part of your business? This guide offers strategies and software suggestions to help you plan IT staffing and resources and smooth the transition after your AS/400 talent retires. Read on to learn: