Two of IBM's oldest and most popular operating systems for its Power-based servers are being put out to pasture after years of service.
Last week, IBM said that it would be offering service extension on AIX 5.3, the operating system that was announced way back in July 2007 concurrent with Power5-based System p5 and i5 iron. AIX 5.3 was the first release of IBM's homegrown Unix variant that supported logical partitions (making a virtual machine that spans cores) and micropartitions (the ability to carve one core into as many as ten virtual machines); it also offered symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) shared memory that spanned up to 32 cores. The combination of AIX 5.3, decent Power5 iron, and very aggressive pricing put Big Blue on top in the Unix business.
IBM actually stopped selling AIX 5.3 back on April 29 last year, and offers AIX 6.1, launched in September 2008, and 7.1 – which debuted in August 2010 as the Power7-based systems were being rolled out – for licensing on current and prior Power Systems iron. IBM plans to cut off standard support on AIX 5.3 on April 30 this year. After that you will need to get extended support or move your AIX 5.3 to a workload partition.
Starting with AIX 7.1, IBM allowed the Unix operating system to carve up a virtual private server, called a workload partition, and run AIX 5.2 applications inside of this unchanged. This workload partition support for AIX 5.2 was important since none of the modern Power systems support this vintage operating system. Read more...