Wednesday, July 24, 2013

End of Marketing of z196 and z114 announced

I've saved the worst for last. Concurrent with the announcement of the z114 we had the End of Marketing announcement of the z10 machines. Now concurrent to the announcement of the zBC12 we have the End of Marketing announcement of the z196 and the z114 : 'Hardware withdrawal: IBM zEnterprise 196, IBM zEnterprise 114, IBM zEnterprise BladeCenter Extension Model 002, and selected IBM zEnterprise EC12 features (ZG13-0204)'. I find this rather disruptive (puns with IBM terminology are unfortunately intentional although not really funny).

This End of Marketing is again a 2-phase approach. As of June 30, 2014 any upgrades towards a z196 or a z114 will no longer be possible. Oh well, I can live with that. But, it will no longer be possible to do any model conversions or hardware MES features either. Roughly speaking this means that any upgrade which involves hardware changes will no longer be possible. The practical consequences mainly involve books, connectivity cards and memory.

"Field install features and conversions that are delivered solely through a modification to the machine's Licensed Internal Code (LIC) will continue to be available until June 30, 2015" meaning that everything which is already in the machine will be able to be activated during the next year. Up to June 30, 2015 you will still be able to activate that zIIP or an IFL or do a microcode upgrade (as long as you don't need an extra book). So now you also see the reason I put the memory ranges of the zBC12 so clearly in the picture. For the zBC12 a memory upgrade from 32GB to 48GB is a LIC upgrade, for the z10 BC it wasn't.

Capacity on Demand offerings will be usable until their expiration date. Something to keep in mind when you're planning to use a z196 or z114 after June 2015.

I know, there's a solution for this : upgrading to the newest generation. But I've seen the past few years that this proves to be quite painful for the BC clients. The BC machines already have one year less of marketing. But there's more. Let's take a customer who still bought a z114 at the beginning of this year. He usually plans to finance and use it over a period of 4 years. But . . . by the middle of next year he will not even be able to add some FICON cards or some extra memory if he hasn't carefully planned this. Now, what if some new project shows up by the end of next year. Yes, a good opportunity to position the mainframe and get more workload to the mainframe. Ooops, no can do. Perhaps come back within a year or two. Or, perhaps another platform might be more flexible. I know this sounds really pessimistic, but I also know these are real complaints I hear in the field from the 'smaller' customers, my customers.

Ok, what do you think of this ? Let's have some comments coming up. From whichever side . . .


Anonymous said...


When will Z114 will become unsupported? Do you have the End of support date for Z114?

Marc Wambeke said...


End of Marketing is not the same as End of Support. There is absolutely no End of Support date yet for the z114. Just to give you an idea. The z900 was the first zSeries and was announced in 2000. It is still supported today !

Anonymous said...

Will Capacity on Demand records with automatic renewal be renew after June 2015?

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