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Planning for the End of Support of IBM POWER8 Servers

Updated: Nov 14, 2023

IBM Power servers running IBM i, AIX, and Linux are the backbone of many organizations' IT infrastructure. However, as hardware ages, vendors end support meaning careful planning is crucial. POWER6 reached the end of support in January 2017 and POWER7 in September 2019 leaving POWER8, POWER9, and Power10 as the families supported in the IBM Power Systems range.

POWER8 hardware was announced in 2014 and was withdrawn from marketing in January 2022, a standard early warning sign that support for the generation is imminent, and while POWER8 servers are still supported for now, IBM no longer sells these servers.

POWER8 End of Support

March 31, 2024 – Power 8 S822, S822L, S824, S824L

May 31, 2024 – Power 8 S812, S812L, S814

October 31, 2024 – Power 8 E850C, E880, E870C, E870, E880C

With the end of support dates fast approaching for POWER8 the clock is ticking and now is the time to future-proof your infrastructure by migrating to current POWER generation servers. The choice for organizations running POWER8 is clear:

Remain on POWER8

While your applications will continue to run, IBM will no longer offer support for this older hardware after the published dates. Maintenance will probably have to be provided by a 3rd party hardware maintenance provider. The older POWER8 becomes, the harder parts will be to source, potentially leading to prolonged periods of downtime in the event of an outage.

In addition, remaining on POWER8 you will not be able to upgrade your operating system beyond IBM i 7.4, you cannot run 7.5. In turn, this means you will be unable to take advantage of the array of features and security measures that come with each new release. Furthermore, support for older versions of the operating system is regularly dropped. 7.3 is out of support at the end of Sept 2023 while 7.1 and 7.2 are no longer supported. Although operating system support extensions are normally made available they come at a cost. In the 1st year after support stops IBM will still provide support but it will cost 1 ½ times as much. Year 2 is double standard support and year 3 is 2 ½ times standard support. If you don’t have support, you can’t request a PTF or report a defect. You can upgrade to 7.4 or 7.5 but should you encounter issues post-upgrade you can’t raise it unless you have a valid support contract or extension. Learn more about Hardware and operating system compatibility.

Upgrade On-premise to POWER9 or Power10

The traditional method of upgrading to newer hardware is a viable option and remains the default mode for many, but having to maintain a data center which for many is not their core business may not be the best fit in the modern era. Learn more about server migrations with the on-demand webinar.

Migrate to a Partner Power Cloud

Partner Power clouds are a popular alternative and are available for businesses to move to POWER9 or Power10. Furthermore, partners tend to have in-house expertise to help with migration. To find a partner: Click here

Migrate to a Public Cloud Offering

With public cloud gaining maturity in the IBM Power Systems space there are several options available for IBM i workloads which include Skytap on Azure and IBM’s Power Virtual Server, both of which allow the running of both older versions of the operating system right up to 7.5. There are normally options for pay-as-you-go and reserved capacity, and in addition, both hardware and software maintenance costs are normally included in this offering.

Designed to facilitate the migration of critical business applications and data from one IBM i environment to another, irrespective of which option you choose with minimal downtime and risk, Maxava’s Migrate Live can help.

Learn more details about the options available in this on-demand webinar.


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