Friday, June 12, 2009

IBM Lifecycle Extension for z/OS V1.8

Last year in August IBM announced the Lifecycle Extension Service Offering for z/OS 1.7. z/OS 1.7 seemed to be a very popular release (like z/OS 1.4 was too) and many people still had to make the upgrade to z/OS 1.8 or z/OS 1.9. It's a monthly fee-based offering which offers you an additonal 2 year maintenance after the EOS date. This 2-year period is a maximum : you can take a minimum of 6 months with the option to add additional months. I'd advise you to upgrade as soon as possible, because I wouldn't call it cheap.

Now we have the same announcement for z/OS 1.8 : "IBM Lifecycle Extension for z/OS V1.8 offers fee-based corrective service to users who have not completed their migration from z/OS V1.8 to either z/OS V1.9 or V1.10 (ZP09-0213)". The conditions are pretty much the same except that you can start with 3-month purchase. The offering does not surprise me, not only because it can generate some extra money for IBM, but it definitely has its use. Many customers cannot keep up the pace of an upgrade every two year. On the one hand the question is often raised why people can't stay longer on a certain release without having to pay extra money for it. Not every one needs the 'new' enhancements now. On the other hand staffs have been cut down in order to reduce cost, but the same work still has to be done. So, the offering can help you out, but it can leave a bad taste in some mouths.

Just a hint : this doesn't alter the z/OS coexistence policy. So if your not planning to upgrade in the next couple of months, be sure to order z/OS 1.10 before the end of September because it's the last release you can upgrade to from z/OS 1.8 within that policy and you'll have to pay for it if you order it later.

Addition : there's a FAQ too which you can find over here. It also mentions that as "a statement of direction, IBM intends to provide the IBM Lifecycle Extension for z/OS offering for future releases of z/OS" as well.

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