What Are The Consequences Of Cancelling IBM i (iSeries/AS400) Software Support (SWMA)? Many Users Are Unaware Of The Pitfalls.

The purpose of this blog is to highlight several factors for IBM i users to consider before they determine not to renew their software support.

Disclaimer: IBM i is an operating system. iSeries and AS400 are servers. I use these terms interchangeably to make is easy for folks to find this kind of information on the web.

Background

As a certified IBM i Business Partner, I find most users know about IBM software support or SWMA (Software Maintenance Agreement).

In essence, SWMA provides you access to IBM support for IBM software issues, PDFs (software patches), updates and version upgrades. If your IBM software does not seem to be working right and you have SWMA, you call IBM at 800-IBM-SERV to get help.

I have worked with IBM users for decades. Over the years I have witnessed IBM users who do not renew their SWMA to save money. I get that. The system seems stable and there are ‘no changes” for the foreseeable future.

At best, the foreseeable future may be 1 to 3 years. Well, what about 5, 10, 15 years or more. Then what?

Clearly, this is where consequences arise.

Let me elaborate.

JD Edwards World User On IBM V5R4 Without JDE Or IBM Support. Yikes!

Recently, a JDE World user on a 9406-500 on V5R4 wanted to understand his options to move to newer IBM technology – either a new POWER server or cloud hosting.

Many uninformed JDE World users do not know that they can move to a server with a different serial number without a software transfer fee.

However, to migrate to a newer version of IBM i, the JDE World users must have both IBM and JDE software support. There are special software patches required for both IBM i OS and JDE so the software can run on the newer software. Without them in place, these users cannot upgrade their software.

In this case the fix will be VERY expensive. They will have to pay for back-level JDE (Oracle) software support as well as IBM SWMA with ALF, at a minimum. They may even need to relicense some or all of the IBM licensed program products.

Over the decades I have never seen a JDE user change once they got the total cost for the software upgrade. Instead, they stick with what they have (hoping it can still run) and move to another platform (who knows how long that can take).

IBM i V7.1 Users Without SWMA. Too Bad They Missed A Price Break

Two different IBM i V7.1 legacy POWER users reached out to me to get newer POWER servers. Both had many users.

Because they both failed to renew their SWMA several years ago they lost out on 2 price breaks.

With SWMA in place they could have transferred their IBM i and users count software entitlements for $5,000.

Instead, they had to relicense their IBM i OS for $2,245 and 40 users for $10,000 — $7,245 more without SWMA.

SWMA IBM Security Patches

Despite its well-earned reputation for reliability, IBM i has Log4j vulnerabilities where open source software has been used. In particular, Apache and WebSphere Applications Server.

If you have SWMA support for V7.3 or V7.4, you can access these patches to protect your system.

If you are not on supported IBM i software, you are vulnerable.

I recommend to search the web to learn more about your potential Log4j vulnerabilities.

Conclusion

I understand that business owners are on the hunt for “needed” expenses to be slashed.

Now that you are more aware of some of the consequences of no IBM SWMA, you may be able to advise your team why it may make sense to continue to keep IBM SWMA.

Need Help?

Call me at 714-593-0387 or email me at blosey@source-data.com. Let us know how we can help!

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