Upgrade to POWER9 Planning Checklist

IBM announced plans to withdraw lease, rental and maintenance services for all machine types, models and features listed below for POWER5, 6 and 7 (IBM i and AIX).

For customers with older generations of Power Systems, it is important to prepare for end of service on your current boxes.
• POWER5 end of service was on January 31, 2019 and POWER6 end of service is March 31, 2019
– These servers will be completely unsupported after these dates
• End of Service for POWER7 is September 30, 2019 and customers will be able to pay for extended support past that date.

Upgrading to POWER8 or POWER9 now will ensure that you continue to be covered for maintenance and can get replacement parts if they are ever needed. And it will eliminate the need to pay separately for maintenance, adding to the amount you are saving.

Planning Checklist
Use this checklist to ensure that your infrastructure strategy is aligned to your needs and avoids potential cost overruns or capability shortfalls.

1. Determine current and future capacity requirements. Bring your team together, assess your current application workload requirements and three-to-five year outlook. You’ll then have a good picture of when and where application growth will take place, enabling you to secure capacity at the appropriate time on an as-needed basis.

2. Assess operational efficiencies and identify opportunities to improve service levels while decreasing exposure to security and compliance issues/problems. With new technologies that allow you to easily adjust capacity, you will be in a much better position to lower costs, improve service levels, and increase efficiency.

3. Create a detailed inventory of servers across your entire IT infrastructure. It is highly likely that your organization has single-application/single-purpose or very under-utilized servers in the data center.

4. Test your HA/DR strategy and determine whether it meets all corporate and government regulations. Many clients only find out there’s a problem with their HA/ DR plan the hard way: after the fact. Be prepared to implement a system failover strategy when it counts.

5. Identify all dependencies for major database platforms, including Oracle, DB2, SAP HANA, and open-source databases like EnterpriseDB, MongoDB, neo4j, and Redis. You’re likely running major databases on the Power Systems platform; co-locating your current servers may be a way to reduce expenditure and increase flexibility.

6. Understand current and future data center environmental requirements. You may be unnecessarily overspending on power, cooling and space. Savings here will help your organization avoid costs associated with data center expansion.

7. Identify the requirements of your on and off-premise cloud strategy.. As you move to the cloud, ensure you have a strong strategy to determine which applications can be moved off-premises. Choose the core platform that offers the most choice, flexibility, and fastest route to the cloud at the lowest cost.

8. Prove how proposed investments align with moving to the cloud. Choose a platform that offers compelling cost advantages with built-in cloud capabilities, industry-leading performance and resiliency for mission-critical workloads.

9. Determine your future application requirements, especially around Big Data and Analytics. As more cognitive applications become available, ensure you have an infrastructure that can support them.

POWER9 provides the infrastructure foundation for a future-looking organization that is ready to meet today’s business challenges and tomorrow’s advancements. By updating your foundation with the latest POWER9-based servers, you can effectively run your mission-critical requirements alongside modern, data-intensive workloads. POWER9 gives you the reliability you’ve come to trust from IBM Power Systems, the security you need in today’s high-risk environment, and the innovation to propel your business into the future.

Benefits of POWER9 servers include
• Increased performance and value 1.5x performance improvement and 2x more memory vs. POWER8.1 1.8x more memory bandwidth per socket and up to 57% lower solution cost vs. x86.2, 3
• Industry-leading reliability IBM servers deliver the highest reliability in the industry for 10 years running — up to 18x more reliable than competitors.4
• Security for your mission critical data POWER9 servers are delivered secure with pre-loaded firmware and operating system security patches that mitigate known Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities in AIX, IBM i and Linux operating system environments.
• Enhanced cloud capabilities With PowerVM virtualization built in, you can now establish a secure and reliable private cloud as part of a multi-cloud strategy, providing the agility, cost effectiveness and simplified management needed to deliver business results.
• Future-forward AI capabilities POWER9 connects you to Watson, enabling you to take advantage of AI tools and capabilities like Watson Assistant, Watson Studio, natural language understanding, visual recognition, speech to text, and more.

Champion can assist with:
– IBM POWER Upgrades / Refresh
– VTL Disk-Based Backup
– Enhancing your IBM POWER Security
– 24×7 Monitoring for POWER
– Managed POWER Services

Contact Champion today to learn more about how Power Systems can accelerate insight, cut complexity and costs, and empower your organization to seize new opportunities faster. Call 800-771-7000 or email [email protected].


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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.