A question for you: are you in a bad romance with your IBM i 7.1 architectures? Is there unneeded drama?

7.1 is clearly a great OS for the IBM Power systems and allows admins to do so much, but there does come a time in every technology relationship/life cycle where one must look at the newest updates and upgrades to their beloved system.

You, dear admin, must sit down and candidly talk to your IBM i 7.1 system and tell them it’s over. Not because you want it, but because it will cease to be in a few months. It’s not you, it’s totally them.

This will not be a talk for the faint-hearted, but with knowledge of the current releases and assistance from KS2 Technologies, we can get through this together.

Back in 2010, IBM announced its latest version to OS/400, calling itself IBM i 7.1. It walked in like it owned the place, and it did – it was exciting, new, and offered new innovations and technologies like DB2 database integration, innovative ways to virtualize previous versions in new partitions – you saw it and fell in love.

7 years later, you might still be in love and that’s okay; you’re not alone – it has been reported that nearly 81% of users were still using 7.1 in 2016.

However, just as you were about to set the table for your 7 year anniversary, IBM announced that they would be ending support for IBM i 7.1, set for the end of April 2018.

But why? Why end support after 7 glorious years of wonderful work within the data center? There is a season for everything. As with any technology, new enhancements come out that either build upon or replace the ones from the previous versions.

For the current release of IBM i 7.3, the big enhancements for IBM i can be placed in these three different segments:

  • Simplified insight
  • Intelligent security
  • Power of integration

One of the many enhancements in IBM i 7.3 is improvements to DB2 for i, new IBM i services, the ability to attach and detach partitions, and new online analytical processing (OLAP) specifications to deliver data-centric improvements to your processing solutions.

The IBM developer’s wiki goes into more depth about many of its features, including how IBM i 7.3 continues to transform application development with open source languages and better productivity tools to work better, faster, and smarter.

Now that you know why you have to have the talk with your IBM i 7.1, here’s how the conversation should go: you'll have to upgrade the system, it's just a fact of life – there’s really no way around it.

Sure, you could just pay to get continued support, but that would be like putting more money into that abandoned De Lorean from 1980. Yes, it looks cool – it’s a De Lorean – and it sort of runs on surface streets, but the gas mileage is horrible and you still haven’t figured out how to go back in time with it.

IBM i 7.1 isn’t a De Lorean – it’s cooler than that and CAN take you back in time (with previous versions of IBM i, that is) and the help of virtualization. It does so much more than a futuristic car, but as a small green being once said, the future is always in motion.

For IBM i 7.1, the future is in the enhancements built on its foundation with the current releases of IBM i 7.2 and IBM i 7.3. Let’s plan the future together.

So, what are the features of IBM i 7.3 versus that of 7.1?

Let’s talk security – In an increasingly growing landscape of ransomware and malicious attacks, IBM i 7.3 features better security, on top of the most securable platform that identifies IBM Power Systems. IBM i 7.3 brings in new authority collection and socket connection auditing to give better insights into the actual security behind a user’s applications. You can never be secure enough.

Ease of use – There are also new capabilities that help to increase the ease of use and business operations, so you can concentrate on business and not the IT behind it.

What to do next?

IBM i 7.1 is an understandable system, so if you explain that this decision is to make it a better, more productive OS, it will understand. After all, upgrading to IBM i 7.2 or 7.3 doesn’t mean it disappears; it’s still there, underneath the updated abilities and capabilities.

Breaking up with IBM i 7.1 doesn’t have to be hard, especially if you have professional experts there to help you along the way. KS2 has been helping our clients with their IBM infrastructure since 1992 and we know a thing or two about working with all things IBM i.

If you’re considering moving to the latest version of IBM i, contact us so we can answer any and all of your questions.

Set up a no-charge, no-risk call with our support team and we’ll help you set up an IBM i 7.1 upgrade plan.


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