IBM Natively Supporting i 6.1.1 on Power7+ Machines

With today’s (2-5-13) announcements, IBM announced new Power7+ systems that included Power7+ 710, 720, 730, 740, 750, and 760 machines.

One of the big questions for shops looking to upgrade this year was whether IBM would natively support the IBM i 6.1.1 operating system on the new Power7+ hardware. When it announced Power7+ support on its Power 770 and 780 machines in October, IBM i 6.1.1 support on Power7+ was accommodated via virtual client only, meaning that the partition must have all of its I/O served by either an IBM i 7.1 partition or by VIOS (Virtual I/O Server).

With the new announcements, IBM is offering feature number EB34 for IBM i 6.1.1 Native I/O Enablement on many of the new Power7+ servers, including the Power 720 and 740 Express servers.

The 720 in particular, is the most popular server in the Power series line; so if they are offering native I/O support for i 6.1.1 here IBM should be offering it everywhere else.

This is a quiet break with the Power7+ 770 and 780 machines, where you no longer have to run IBM i 6.1.1 as a virtual client on the new hardware. With the Power7+ machines, it looks like you can run IBM i 6.1.1 partitions without needing to run them under i 7.1 or VIOS. And I’d expect they’ll be adding this capability to Power7+ 770 and 780 machines before too long.

The end result is that for people like me with IBM i 6.1.1 partitions who are looking at new Power7+ boxes, we’ll have an easier time running i 6.1.1 partitions on the new boxes.

At least that what I hear from both industry partners and pundits.

Any IBMers reading this, please feel free to confirm or contradict this information.

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About Joe Hertvik

Joe is the owner of Hertvik Business Services, a service company providing written white papers, case studies, and other marketing content to computer industry companies. He is also a contributing editor for IT Jungle and has written the Admin Alert column for the past ten years. Follow Joe Hertvik on Twitter @JoeHertvik. Email Joe for a free quote on white papers, case studies, brochures, or other marketing materials.
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