IBM Power Systems planning statements

This site provides information on IBM plans regarding supported hardware products or features on IBM Power Systems servers. All such statements regarding IBM's plans, directions, and intent are subject to change or withdrawal without notice. Any reliance on these statements of general direction is at the relying party's sole risk and will not create liability or obligation for IBM.

POWER5 Upgrades (posted August 2009)
IBM plans that any upgrades preserving the same serial number into a POWER7 server will be from a POWER6 server. Clients on POWER5 and earlier technology will need to upgrade to POWER6 prior to being able to upgrade to POWER7 if they want to preserve their serial number.

I/O Drawers (posted August 2009, updated December 2009)
IBM plans that the POWER7 based systems will support the existing 12X I/O drawers currently supported on POWER6 systems. These include the #5796/7314-G30, #5797/5798, #5802/5877, and #5803/5873. The older/slower RIO/HSL-attached I/O drawers will not be supported. POWER6 clients should consider replacing RIO/HSL I/O drawers with newer technology drawers to smooth eventual adoption of POWER7 servers. RIO/HSL I/O drawers include: #0595/5095/7311-D20, #5790/7311-D11, #5094/5294/5096/5296, #5088/0588 and #5791/5794/7040-61D.

SCSI Disk Drives (posted August 2009)
IBM plans that POWER6 systems will be the last servers to support the attachment of SCSI disk drives which are 36GB or smaller or support the attachment of 10k rpm SCSI drives. Clients currently using smaller or slower SCSI drives should consider replacing these drives with newer technology drives which are currently supported on the POWER6 systems to smooth eventual adoption of POWER7 servers.

QIC Tape (posted August 2009)
IBM plans that POWER6 systems will be the last servers to support the use of the QIC (Quarter Inch Cartridge) tape drives. The QIC media is also known as "SLR". Clients currently using QIC tape drives should consider migrating to newer technology media/drives which are currently supported on the POWER6 systems to smooth eventual adoption of POWER7 servers.

IOP and IOP-based PCI adapters (posted August 2009)
IBM plans that the POWER6 based systems (all models) will be the last models to support the IBM i IOP and IOP based adapters. IOPless (Smart IOA) options are available for all I/O attachments (except Twinax and IXS) and provide more efficient attachment of I/O. Clients using IOP based I/O should make plans to move off IOPs to smooth the eventual adoption of POWER7 servers. IOP feature codes are #2843, #2844, #2847 (SAN Boot) and #3705. Note that there can be differences in the specific devices supported with or without an IOP by IBM i. For example some older tape libraries such as the 3590 require an IOP-based adapter. Or there may be a functional difference without an IOP, for example SDLC or X.25 on WAN/LAN adapters require an IOP. A partial list of adapters supported on POWER6 servers which require an IOP includes:

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