Perhaps you were fully expecting the End-of-Service-Life (EOSL) announcement for your POWER6 units; you bought them back in 2007, so it makes sense that IBM would already be starting the process of sunsetting them. What you might not have been expecting was the EOSL announcement to include your 8202-E4C POWER7s when these servers still work well in your environments.
So, what are your options?
1. Upgrade and Replace IBM Power7 Going EOSL: The IBM POWER9
IBM made its POWER6 and POWER7 announcements in preparation for a new generation of systems based on IBM’s Nimbus and Cumulus POWER9 chips.
Fundamentally, POWER9 was built for data-intensive workloads with its optimized silicon, I/O subsystem technology, NVIDIA NVLink accelerators, PCIe Gen4, and OpenCAPI standards. POWER9 promises to accelerate bandwidth and compute options as well as drive your most advanced workloads. It’s a turbocharged server solution.
This sounds great, until you have to pay a premium for units that you might not fully utilize. Your other option? Continue to maintain your P7 models.
2. Continue and Maintain: Your Existing IBM POWER7 Going EOSL
OEM Support for IBM Power7 EOSL
IBM is one of the few manufacturers that separates hardware (HWMA) and software (SWMA) support. If you want to know how long you have left on your AIX version, check out this timeline.
Hardware EOSL for POWER7 officially starts at the end of September 2019. So, you have the option to pay for IBM’s continued maintenance support until then. However, as is the case with most enterprise hardware OEMs, that price of continued support had already increased significantly after the initial three-to-four-year warranty expired. If you consider the manufacturer’s perspective, the EOSL announcement for Power7 makes sense; IBM wants you to move off of your old iron and onto the POWER9s.
IBM pushes new hardware even if your legacy hardware is still functioning well and you have no need for the advantages of the new POWER9s. And OEM support is no longer available after September 2019, so if you have a year’s worth of renewal sitting on your desk, you probably shouldn’t sign it because it will still stop in a few months.
Knowing this, what should you do between now and September 2019 when IBM stops support? Consider transitioning to Third-Party Maintenance (TPM).
Third-party support can provide the same level of service as the OEM, but you get the maintenance expertise, quality parts, and Help Desk services at a drastically lower price. In fact, organizations that switch to third-party maintenance often save 40%-80% compared to the original OEM list prices.
What the OEM won’t tell you is that the price of hardware actually trends down over time, not up. Which means that, while IBM charges you a premium for the same services (even though they’re saving money on hardware refurbishment and procurement), third-party maintenance providers choose, instead, to pass along hardware and resource savings to you.
Switching to third-party maintenance for your IBM Power7 hardware not only saves you additional OPEX, companies often experience a better 24x7x4 SLA and equal (if not improved) quality of support.
CentricsIT Third-Party Maintenance Helps You Regain Control over Your Data Centers
Don’t let IBM pressure you into buying all new POWER9s through marketing incentives that look good only when placed next to prohibitively expensive maintenance support.
At CentricsIT, our experience within secondary markets gives us the ability to acquire any hardware that our clients need, anywhere around the world, at the most economical prices.
In addition, we are able to provide these drastically different price points and excellent service due to our international network of strategic partners, engineering depots, and hardware storage sites. We’ve built out this global infrastructure to enable us to quickly and efficiently scale to our clients’ needs—no matter where they operate or what hardware they [continue to] operate on.
This includes your IBM P7 such as small models 710, 720, and 730, medium 740 and 750, and enterprise models 770 and 780.
Partner with CentricsIT to get maintenance support that gives you back the power to choose how long you maintain production on your POWER7s and beyond.
Want to learn more about your support options? Check out our datasheet on EOL for P-series servers for more details.