Friday, June 12, 2015

End of Marketing - End of Service

Last week some one asked me the difference between End of Marketing - End of Service and End of Support. Perhaps it's interesting to share that information with you as well.

End of Marketing is the date IBM stops selling a product. This is always announced well beforehand through, yes, the announcements, or as it's also called, the IBM Offering Information Page. Mind you, most of the time, withdrawal of marketing is announced at a feature level. Take e.g. the DS8000, you've seen pass by a lot of announcements regarding e.g. the DS8300. They do not withdraw THE DS8300 all at once. And I must admit, sometimes it's a bit of a puzzle. Can I still order the base frame, an expansion frame, this kind of disks or that kind of adapter. You sometimes really have to dive into the announcements. When you don't find the answer on my blog, that is, of course.

I don't find any real evidence about this but I'm pretty sure End of Service and End of Support are the same. I think the official term is End of Service. This means you can no longer get the official support from IBM for a specific product. A product can mean hardware or software of course.

So, there's a couple of places where you can look for End of Marketing and End of Service information. Officially it's always in the announcements. Allthough I must say that I usually go looking in the 'Sales Manual' which you can also look for on the same Offering Information Page. At the beginning you always find the 'Marketing Withdrawn' and 'Service Discontinued' dates. Be sure, however, to look in the right region. Because there are differences.

There are some pages where you can also find information for specific products.
  • z/VM has its own IBM page where you can find a summary.
  • z/VSE also has it, but pay attention, it's split into two : there's a page for the supported versions and a page for the unsupported versions.
  • Or you can find our latest newsletter. There's always an overview of the latest operating systems as well, including z/OS.
  • Another important one is the Support Lifecycle page where you can find lifecycle information for all softwares.
  • And there's another document I sometimes refer to where you can find information on the mainframe lifecycles. You can find it on TechDocs.
Because of the Mainframe Lifecycle document I must repeat my caution that you really have to check things for your own region. I had a look at the document and was quite suprised to find out that the z900, the z800 and the z990 were already End of Service as of December 31, 2014. So I had another look at the Sales Manuals only to find out that this was only the case for the North American Region and that for EMEA no End of Service was announced yet !

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