If you are using V7R1 on one of your IBM i servers it is time to start planning on moving to a newer release. On the 30th September 2017 IBM withdrew V7R1 from marketing. This means you can no longer order V7R1 OS or any of its licensed products (eg. Query, DB2, Developer tools, etc) either with a new machine purchase or separately.

The more important date to remember however is the 30th of April 2018. This will be the day that IBM stop supporting the V7R1 operating system. From this date, phone support and PTF updates for IBMi V7R1 will no longer be available from IBM.

At Computer Merchants we are proud to say that we run our core business on the IBM iSeries platform. We understand that upgrading the operating system requires careful planning and thorough application testing. To help you with your next move we’ve put together some options that you can choose.

Option 1: Upgrade your system to V7R2 or V7R3.

Under IBM i software subscription you are entitled to a newer release of IBM i at no charge. The newer releases available are either V7R2 or V7R3. The installation of the upgrade is your responsibility and is not included as part of the subscription. Of course, if you do not have the time or in-house skills then we can help. Our IBM i specialist team can help you with the whole process from the planning right through to the execution.

If you are planning to upgrade your hardware in the near future, consider lowering your risk by combining your hardware purchase with an OS upgrade. Doing this gives you the luxury of having a second system to perform the upgrade and test your applications. Your production system can continue to run in parallel. When it’s time to migrate to the new hardware with the new O/S your production system remains untouched and is used as a fall back.

Option 2: Purchase Extended Support

For those that need additional time to migrate to a supported release of IBM i, IBM intends to announce a fee-based extended service offering for the IBM i Version 7.1 operating system. This has not yet been officially announced and there is no direction on how long this support will be offered. Previous extended support offerings have run in excess of 12 months. Our team can help you with more information around the IBM Extended Support offering.

Option 3: Continue to run on V7R1 with no IBM support

The last option you have is to do nothing. For some customers this is the only option as their application prohibits them from being able to upgrade. Having IBM support on your IBM i system is not mandatory and Computer Merchants will continue to support you at any version. Please remember though that updates and patches to your operating system will not be available from IBM. Environments that are static and stable are more suited to this option. It is important to note that Hardware Maintenance on V7R1 systems is not affected by this announcement.

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