For those frantically looking for IBM i 7.2 end of support options before the official end date of 30th April 2021, this is the right place to find a solution. At Blue Chip, we’ve helped many businesses continue using their IBM Power System through our unrivalled cost-saving solutions.
To clarify, IBM i 7.2 is sometimes referred to as OS/400 V7R2 and the platform is usually known as AS/400 or iSeries, but the official IBM terminology is IBM i V7.2. End of service life is usually 12 months after the end of marketing date and comes just over 7 years from general availability.
What this means for you
If you have OS support from IBM on 7.2 or below in its most common form of IBM Software Maintenance (often referred to IBM SWMA and sometimes pronounced as ‘swarma’) and you place a call for an issue after the 30th April 2021, you will probably be asked to upgrade your OS to a supported level!
Now, while V7.2 is arguably mature, very stable and most code issues can be solved by an existing fix, being told you must upgrade your OS level before you get support is not an ideal situation for any business and presents a risk. Most end users have to plan an OS upgrade in advance and spend time testing it and some are stuck on that level due to their application compatibility leading to further complications and huge costs if that’s their only support option.
All your available options
- Do nothing
There are so many users that just keep paying for IBM SWMA on an end-of-service-life (EOSL) OS, assuming they will still get support when they need it. You won’t, even if you have never placed a call the whole time you have used it. You’re in the similar position as the final option listed here, and you would likely need to pay for extended support (see below option) or look for third party support (see option 4).
- Buy IBM extended support
Based on the most recent variant of this for IBM i V7.1, this would likely cover any new faults and existing faults for a period and then reduce support levels to existing fixes over time. This is an option to remove the risk, however based on previous experience it often comes with a premium price tag. Like the basic IBM SWMA, you have to buy extended support in country.
- Upgrade your OS
This takes a lot of planning time, plus the availability of a test system to do it on first – which is essential. Restoring a copy of the live system into a test environment, performing the upgrade and then spending time to test, is a big commitment and can cost money if you need the support of third party skills and hardware.
- Third party software support
If you’re stuck with IBM i V7.2 or lower, this is a great alternative. We have already established that IBM SWMA will offer little support after EOSL, especially if you are running less than V7.2 and are stuck with it for a prolonged period. You will likely need to look at the details of your circumstance to ensure letting IBM SWMA lapse works for your business, but the plus side is often a reduction in OS support cost and can often be delivered out of country, expanding your options.
- Do absolutely nothing
By this we mean let the IBM SWMA lapse and not replace it. If you have never placed a call this can be tempting, but don’t forget that like hardware maintenance, SWMA is an insurance for when you need support. If you don’t have anything in place you can end up paying a premium for support when it is needed. In addition, you may face delay, raising POs and getting approval to pay for the support.
At Blue Chip, we can help you with all the options listed, plus IBM extended support, OS upgrade and third-party support. We already deliver this service globally, so even if you are not in the UK you can benefit. Contact us today.
If you’re stuck running IBM i V7.1 or below, you should talk to us today. You could be surprised at the options available. During lockdown, we helped a client move from OS/400 V3R2 to IBM i V7 in the cloud.
You can find further details on the EOSL for your IBM i OS here, directly from IBM.