IBM i 7.1 Extending The Extension?

Why IBM has decided to extend support for IBM i 7.1

It seems not so long ago that we were reminding everyone that support for IBM i 7.2 will be withdrawn from 30th April 2021. In fact, it was in the last newsletter. Now IBM have announced an extension to the extended support for IBMi 7.1 through until April 2024 for some systems.

IBM i 7.1 Usage and Known Defects only Extended Support period will start from 1st May 2021 and will be available till according to Power platform:

•Power 9 & above: till 30th April 2024
•Power 8: till 30th April 2022
•Power 7/7+ & below: till 31st December 2021

In a year when we have become accustomed to the unaccustomed this will just go down as another product of a very strange year!

I first read about this extension from the regular IT Jungle email offering of ‘The Four Hundred’, let me just say this is probably one of the most valuable resources I have in terms of industry news and is always a go to resource if I am looking for a particular piece of information. If you are not a subscriber already then you need to ask yourself why not?

In the article, Timothy Prickett Morgan delves into the possible reasons for the further extended support with an accompanying soundbite from Alison Butterill: –

So why give IBM i 7.1 another two years? “We have a number of clients who have not yet moved for a variety of reasons,” explains Alison Butterill, IBM i offering manager at IBM. “Some of the reasons for customers staying with IBM i 7.1 are due to applications, some are due to support for peripheral devices they need. And we made the decision to extend the service for two more years.”

Possible alternatives for running older versions of the OS on the latest hardware : –

IBM would need to create a hardware emulator to make it look like earlier Power5 or Power6 processors, but this is not impossible.

And the all-important caveat around what the newly extended support will deliver: –

There is one caveat with the extended extended support for IBM i 7.1. With normal extended support, IBM covers usage issues – meaning you try to use a feature and you can’t get it to work right, or something starts acting weird – as well as helping customers deal with known defects. IBM also entertains the idea of patches to new defects. It doesn’t guarantee it will patch all new defects that are found, and that is an important distinction. (So, for instance, two weeks ago, IBM issued HIPER and Java PTF patches for IBM i 7.1.) With the extended extended support between April 30, 2021 and April 30, 2023, IBM will not entertain fixing new defects. So it is really extended but slightly diminished support.

I think the last point is probably the most critical and if you can upgrade beyond IBMi 7.1 then you should be actively pursuing this and not sitting on your laurels for another 2 years. The longer you leave the upgrade then the more painful a process it will become. With the announcement of IBMi ‘next’ likely to be in April 2021 a customer running IBMi 7.1 will be four releases behind the current version which really isn’t a good place to be.

Anyhow, please click through on the link below to read the It Jungle article in full and do yourself a favour, subscribe to the newsletter whilst you are there.

IBM Further Extends Service Extension For IBM i 7.1

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