Your IBM mainframe keeps your organization functioning. Therefore, when it or the attached peripherals reach end-of-life (EOL) or end-of-service line (EOSL), it’s important to take the necessary steps to keep the machine running so your company can function smoothly.

This article provides the best approach for EOL for IBM peripherals and 5 steps you can take when replacement or upgrading is necessary.

What is End-of-Life for IBM Peripherals?

Every electronic device has a lifecycle, which is determined by the durability and functions of the hardware or peripherals that makes it up. Your IBM products, such as the IBM series Z and peripherals, will also follow this pattern.

When we talk about end-of-life for IBM products, we refer to end of the line for the production of hardware products and end of service line for peripherals upgrades. It also can mean the end of the amount of years peripherals, are slated to be warrantied and reliable.

As peripherals approach these dates, an organization that uses these products might find that replacements won’t be readily available at their normal sales outlets, and replacements become extremely expensive.

Establishing Your Needs for EOL/EOSL IBM Products

If you see that your peripherals are nearing EOL, then you should have a plan in place.

The first step is to search for your product in the IBM Offering Information search field. If support for your product is indeed being withdrawn, then IBM will usually lay out termination or withdrawal dates related to your product, a replacement program, technical support, and specified needs.

Stay on Top of Your IBM EOL/EOSL Products

Every product has its own dates for end-of-life. Staying on top of this is important to the success of your organization. To manage this, here are 4 things you can do:

  1. Create a list of your mainframe peripherals (including hardware and peripherals product identifiers and dates) across your datacenters.
  2. Plan for peripheral upgrades. Track the complete IBM peripherals support lifecycle policy to understand the age of your current peripherals and to track when IBM no longer supports your peripherals.
  3. Sign up for lifecycle news feed alerts so that you stay up-to-date on important product changes. By updating your peripherals as soon as it’s available, you minimize opportunities for the peripherals to break and force downtime in your organization’s function.
  4. Search the IBM lifecycle for your products using product titles, version numbers, product identifiers (PIDS), and other search data. Most support dates land on April 30th and September 30th (with some exceptions).
  5. IBM also releases end of support announcement letters. Once you see your product, find that product in the search to identify your plan of action.

Once an item has reached EOL, you might find that tech support is gone, or that peripherals, such as storage are less reliable. This can hurt your chances of staying operational. Staying on top of your products can help you avoid this costly downtime.

And, by completing upgrades early, you may be able to avoid the added cost of purchasing parts that are no longer in service.

The 5 Step Approach for Managing End-of-life Peripherals

Every organization must manage its end-of-life peripherals based on its unique needs. To do so, follow this 5 step approach and avoid mainframe downtime:

Step 1: Identify your IBM peripherals and keep their product IDs and other verifying information in a secure log.

Step 2: Sign up for IBM peripherals cycle alerts so you know when your peripherals are about to be EOL/EOSL. You should have key alerts for data-sensitive parts, like your storage systems.

Step 3: Once a product is listed as EOL/EOSL, refer to your information systems and security teams to understand what you can and cannot do (i.e., if you can use third-party VTL or DASD solutions, for example) and the priority of upgrading parts.

Step 4: Establish a protocol with timelines so that you understand when support is ending. You should have a disaster recovery (DR) plan in place before EOL upgrades initiate, regardless of where you procure your peripherals from.   (If you need help with a DR plan, ask us!)

Step 5: Look at third-party hardware tools that can significantly reduce your expenses while adding more capacity to your mainframe.

Connect with a Future-Proofing Service for your IBM Peripherals Today

With large organizations that manage a lot of data, EOL peripherals can have serious consequences. For the most part, upgrading your EOL products is not only necessary but will often improve your data processing and backup times, reducing costs and improving much-needed DR recovery time (RTO).

You may also learn about new and innovative solutions that work within your policies, enhanced security, and improved technology maintenance. By working with a qualified IBM peripherals solution provider like Visara, you may be able to upgrade your systems and outperform in ways that were previously impossible.

Working with the team at Visara will save your company a lot of money, too, since the IBM Peripheral solutions at Visara are much more cost-effective than those at IBM..

A guide for your journey. Most senior leaders in the enterprise are looking for rock-solid performance, while mitigating risk for their enterprise-class systems. They struggle with end-of-life on their IBM mainframe peripherals with a looming end-of-lease deadline. 

At Visara, we’ve been there, and have seen these challenges for over 40 years.  We’ve serviced organizations from the Fortune 100 on down.

We have a simple 3-step “ABC” approach, to Assess the upcoming mainframe related problem, Build a future-proof solution to maintain IBM at the core, and Control the cost for a same-or-better implementation.  

Simple, cost-effective mainframe peripheral solutions.