Even more trimming in the IBM Power Systems catalog

March 28, 2022

Timothy Prikett Morgan

It’s hard to say what’s really going on at this point, but either IBM just doesn’t have features for Power8 and Power9 servers anymore, they can’t get anyone to make more of them, or they just want to be able to do whatever they can to stimulate the market to prepare for the move to Power10 machines when they come out in May or June.

Maybe it’s a bit of all three, right?

in the Announcement Letter 922-018 Last week, IBM announced that as of March 22, it will no longer sell RISC-to-RISC data migration feature #0205 for the Power H924 server upgraded to run SAP HANA. (Well, more of a price drop and configured to make SAP HANA attractive on a regular Power S924, but you know what IBM means.) With this Feature #0205 code, which we know will eventually be available on every machine, IBM loads only the System Licensed Internal Code (SLIC) and only the QSYS core of the IBM i operating system and then allows customers to migrate their specific installation of IBM i from an existing machine to the new one.

On June 30, a range of peripherals made for the Power S912LC and Power S822LC – servers made by Inspur and resold by that Chinese company in its domestic market, and rebranded and sold by IBM elsewhere in the world – will be among the magnifying glass. These include a 2-port 10Gb/s Ethernet adapter from Intel, a 12Gb/s SAS3 RAID card from SMC, and a 16Gb/s Fiber Channel card from Emulex, a MegaRAID -Broadcom SAS3 RAID controller, a dual-port 16Gbps Fiber Channel card from QLogic and ConnectX-4 and ConnectX-5 100Gbps Ethernet/InfiniBand adapters from the former Mellanox, which has been part of Nvidia for two years, but wasn’t there yet These cards came into existence. A number of flash drives in various form factors are also being pulled from the IBM catalog at this time. We strongly suspect that supplies are running out for these and that none of these vendors are interested – or able – in manufacturing the older technology and are actually struggling to make chips and assemble circuit boards for their newer functions. IBM, of course, doesn’t make any of its feature cards and hasn’t in years; It designs some things and has them made by contract manufacturers.

This was arguably a short-sighted decision by Big Blue. Being a volume manufacturer like it was before 2014 would have given IBM more leverage in the market and thus a front-line seat when it needed things. Not so with today’s Power Systems line.

In a separate development, in Announcement Letter 922-021, a whole host of features for very old Power Systems machines – some dating back to the Power5, Power6 and Power7 System families (and their Plus variants) that were still sold – will be released on the 29th. Some of these retired things are feature codes to set up microcode, operating systems and other software on new (and we assume refurbished) IBM equipment. For example, feature codes were still active to install OS/400 V5R3 on the Power5+ Power 570 midrange servers and i5/OS 5.4 on Power 520, Power550 and Power 570 machines running on the Power6 processor based in the catalogue. Memory cards for the two Inspur Power8 machines mentioned above will also be hacked in this second announcement.

If you have an old Power Systems machine or need to configure one soon, you should probably look at the list of discontinued machines or make sure your IBM business partner is doing it. And, of course, many hardware features and systems that have been dropped from the IBM catalog are available through the Global Asset Recovery Services division, now part of the Systems Group following the Kyndryl spin-off, or from other used equipment dealers.

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Tags: Tags: IBM i, IBM i Solution Edition Power9 Model S914, Power 520, Power 570, Power System, Power5, Power550, Power6, Power7, Power8, Power9

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