POWER8 servers have been out since April 2014, causing a rapid migration to the new technology from older ones. However, some customers have yet to make the transition—for a number of reasons. Given recent announcements and the performance seen in the POWER8 servers, it’s truly time that everyone starts to put together a POWER8 migration plan.
Let’s start with the announcements. IBM has already withdrawn POWER6 and upgrades for many POWER6 servers. This means that any updates to those servers (and prior POWER5 servers, etc.) are dependent on finding used equipment. On February 24, 2015, IBM announced that it’s withdrawing all of the POWER7 servers, with the exception of the 720, 750 and 760, effective November 30, 2015. At that time, it’s also withdrawing all POWER6 and POWER7 upgrades to the POWER7+ D model servers. This means that any upgrades to POWER7 servers must be ordered prior to November 30, 2015. Having priced many of these upgrades and new servers, I’ve found that it’s significantly less expensive to purchase a POWER8 server than the equivalent POWER7 server today.