IBM i OS End of Support for v7.1.x in April 2018

IBM i v7.1.x will no longer be supported as of April 30th, 2018. Now before you act shocked and surprised (feeling as though you “just installed” 7.1), I was pleased to rediscover that 7.1 was announced April 13th, 2010! Eight years is a nice long run for any OS on any platform.

When 7.1 was announced, it brought us new enhancements that we have witnessed many customers embrace:
• DB2® for i enhancements including XML support and enablement of column-level encryption

• IBM i storage management enhancements for automatic data placement for solid-state drives (SSDs)

• IBM i virtual partition enhancements via IBM i and PowerVM™ VIOS

• Enhancements to Web application serving technologies including Apache, Java™, Integrated Web Application Server, Integrated Web Services Server, and Zend PHP environment

• Enhancements to Systems Director Navigator for i for management of IBM i

Today, solid-state drives, PowerVM VIOS are commonly used in many accounts with the same resiliency and reliability we have always come to expect from our beloved IBM i Power platform.

It will be interesting to look back in another 8 years to see what new enhancements we have embraced and use on a daily basis.

What Does End of Support Mean to You and Your Organization?
At the end of Software Maintenance (SWMA), IBM will have Service Extension (SE) available to their customers at an additional price. SE is expensive; most clients are incented to upgrade to a newer/supported version of the OS due to the cost of SE. Along with the added cost of SE, IBM does not provide enhancements or fixes to operating systems that are back-level. This is understandable, as they must focus their resources on the more current operating systems, i.e. 7.2, and 7.3.

We can provide services to upgrade your OS from any back-level version to one of the newer IBM supported versions. This will allow you to side-step the added expense of Service Extension as well as provide you with the major enhancements listed below.

IBM® i 7.2 includes the following new enhancements:
• Enhanced security options in DB2® for i

• Many new functions for programmer productivity and expanded function in DB2 for i

• Improved ease of use with IBM Navigator for i

• Enhancements to iAccess Client Solutions

• Extension of security to more applications through new single sign-on (SSO) environments

• Liberty Core as the base for Integrated Application Server

• Support for Zend Server 6.0 on IBM i 7.2

• Performance improvements for the integrated file system

• Extensions to the printing environments

• Expanded Hub functions for Backup, Recovery, and Media Services (BRMS)

• PowerHA® SystemMirror® for i Express® Edition with new HyperSwap® capability

• Support for new Power Systems™ built with POWER8™ architecture and processor

• Additional I/O capabilities including support for WAN over LAN

• Rational® tools enhancements to support Free Format Report Program Generator (RPG)

• Support for the open source file serving solution Samba

IBM® i 7.3 adds functions and features to almost all components of the operating system and to many of the associated products from IBM Power® Software and IBM Software. Additionally, new hardware I/O components are supported with the 7.3 release.

The new functions include:
• DB2® for i now includes the long-awaited, highly requested temporal support and enhanced OLAP function. These new capabilities can help you to perform more advanced analytics on your data, to plan and forecast, to define gaps, and to build new strategies for business.

• IBM i 7.3 adds a new Security Authority Collection that tracks how applications and application users use an object. Inquiries against that collection provide advice on securing critical business data and applications from intrusion by identifying who needs to have access to data and in what context. This major enhancement to security management, unique to IBM i, was driven by client requests for better insight and management to secure their systems.

• IBM PowerHA® SystemMirror® for i 7.2 HyperSwap® Cluster allows clients to reduce planned and unplanned storage server outages to near zero by enabling a configuration whereby the servers in a DS8000® two-site Metro Mirror cluster will have continuous access to the data on one of the DS8000 servers should the other DS8000 server be unavailable.

• As with previous releases, IBM i 7.3 continues to extend both the traditional application development environment with new features and functions in RPG IV, but is also extending the open source environments that are available by adding Git and Orion. These environments give you more choices for selecting business solutions for your business challenges.

• A new version of the popular data analytics tool IBM DB2 Web Query for i, V2.2.0 has improved ease of use and numerous enhancements, providing richer environments for report development, data access, and output capabilities.

• As with each IBM i release, many other enhancements support client requirements, industry standards, and the latest technologies.

If you feel left behind by looking at the great enhancements listed above, we can help you with upgrade services, on-site, or remote. Our engineers are all ex-IBM employees, certified on the latest versions, with a track record of very happy customers.

Please contact us today to discuss your IBM i needs and requirements.


By Steve Marinak – VP, Midrange Business Unit



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Erick Bacallao joined Champion Solutions Group in 2015 after a career of Software Development in Cuba at the National Cancer Care Institute of Cuba, followed by moving to the States with allAware.


Champion acquired allAware and its properties and Erick has utilized his extensive background and expertise in IT and Software Development to rise to VP of Product Development in less than 5 years. During this time, Erick has been involved with key projects that led to the launch of numerous products including CSP Boss, Inscape platform and 365 Productivity Insights.


Erick has a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the University of Havana. He won Gold Medals for Programming from the Ministry of Education in Cuba, and he is certainly still a Gold Medalist for Champion!


As President and CEO, Chris is responsible for the development of key strategic alliances and solution portfolio. He leads Champion’s go-to market and execution strategies for integrated offerings in the cloud, in security, and in digital infrastructure, always focusing on improving the customer experience and driving transformative business outcomes.


He also aligns key partner initiatives with company strategy and oversees corporate marketing and messaging to gain mindshare with customers and partners. It’s his vision and innovativeness that have catapulted Champion up the ranks to become a $100M+ organization—and one of the most respected solution providers in the industry.


Over the past two decades, Chris has also focused on mergers and acquisitions, as well as innovative product development. He is the original founder and an active member on the Board of Managed Maintenance, Inc., a SAAS provider and consulting firm that utilizes their award-winning One-View Portal to help the IT Channel and its customers manage their IT Maintenance.


Chris is also the original founder and chief strategist behind one of the original storage cloud providers, Storage Access / BluePoint. During the course of a few short years, he had raised $20M and took that company public on the Toronto Stock Exchange. It has since been acquired by Pomeroy.


In 2012, Chris led the acquisition of MessageOps and continued the product development and worldwide launch of its premier SAAS, 365 Command. Built on Microsoft Azure, 365 Command is currently managing over 1 million seats of Microsoft’s Office 365. After achieving this phenomenal milestone, 365 Command and other MessageOps O365 utilities were sold to Kaseya.


Over the past 35 years, Chris as worked tirelessly to not only advance his own career, but those of his employees. In addition to leading a $100M organization, Chris can also be found sitting with sales teams, cold calling and coaching, and validating why Champion has been listed on Best Places to Work by both South Florida Business Journal and Computerworld.

Ultimately, the success garnered by Champion Solutions Group, its associated companies, and their employees is due in large part to the leadership of its President and CEO. Perhaps the most fitting award Chris has earned is South Florida Business Journal’s 2013 Ultimate CEO Award.