These are scary and hectic times that we are ALL going through. No matter where you live or what you do, your life is being impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. With all of this going on, it is easy to lose track of less immediate issues, such as the upcoming End-of-Support dates for several key IBM products, specifically:
- COBOL V5 (both 5.1 and 5.2) reached end of support on April 30th, 2020.
- Db2 V11 reaches end of support on September 30th, 2020.
- z/OS V2.2 reaches end of support on September 30th, 2020.
Your software contract allows you to continue using these products after the End-of-Support date. However, if you hit a problem in a product that is past its End of Support date (because of increased transaction volumes, for example) and you do not have a service extension contract for that product, IBM is not under any commitment to provide support. This is REALLY not a good time to encounter a problem in an unsupported product.
The position for clients that are still using products that are approaching their End of Support date is as follows:
- If you are in the process of migrating to a newer release and are having difficulty completing that migration (which could be due to limited access, open problems, etc) you should contact your IBM team and raise your concern and the issue with them. Our (W&W) understanding of this is that IBM will continue to provide support beyond the End of Support date in this case. But obviously you are expected to complete the migration as soon as your issues are resolved.
- If you are using a version that is coming off support, and you are not migrating to a supported release, you must purchase a service extension agreement if you want to remain on the older version with support.
Our view on this is that if you are using a product that you will continue to use for the foreseeable future, you should always be on a supported release. We don’t see the logic in paying more for an old release of a product than you would pay for a newer release of that product. Not only is it less expensive to remain on a supported release, the newer release might provide additional functions that would be valuable to your company. The only scenario where we feel that it makes sense to purchase a service extension is if you are using an old product, and have an active project running to eliminate the use of that product in the near future.
We are sure that you have many other, more important, things on your mind. But as mainframers, we all have a responsibility to keep our systems up and running and stable in these fraught times. With so much fake news going around, and a heightened general sense of nervousness, a small system outage can be misinterpreted as a failure in the associated business. For these reasons, and maybe also to get your mind off the latest bad news, we suggest that you check your software inventory to make sure that all your products are supported and will remain in support for the foreseeable future. Tuning Letter subscribers can easily get this information for all major z/OS products in the News section of each issue.
There are indications in multiple countries that strict adherence to ‘social distancing’ guidelines is paying off in terms of reducing the number of people coming down with this horrible illness. So, curb your enthusiasm to run out and hug all your neighbors and colleagues until we are sure that it is safe to do so. And in the meantime, you can entertain yourself by installing current releases of COBOL, Db2, and z/OS :). We hope that you and yours all stay safe and healthy.
And, as Cheryl says, “Stay Tuned!”