IBM i Platform Support Details

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When adding or changing hardware, always refer to the IBM Prerequisite website for the up-to-date specifics for all types of code levels needed for support of a feature -- look for the Processor feature on a particular model to see the minimum code levels supported for that platform.



For general information about IBM i 7.2 and  7.1 Technology Refreshes and IBM i 6.1 code levels, see IBM i 7.2 and 7.1 Technology Refreshes and IBM i 6.1 PTFs.



For general information about the Power systems models, see IBM Power Systems.

For details about POWER8 Systems, see the IBM Knowledge Center topic for POWER8.

For details about POWER7 Systems, see the IBM Knowledge Center topic for POWER7.

See IBM i Platform Support Summary for a summary view of the items described below.

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May 2015 - IBM i 7.2 Technology Refresh 2, IBM i 7.1 Technology Refresh 10

Power Systems with POWER8 Technology attach more drawers

Both IBM i 7.2 Technology Refresh 2 and IBM i 7.1 Technology Refresh 10 allow expanded options for attachment of more drawers to Power Systems with POWER8 technology.

More #EPBB 32-core System Node drawers, or the new #EPBD with 48 cores, can be attached to the IBM Power E880 Server, up to a maximum of 4 System Node drawers per server.  A greater number of #EMX0 PCIe Gen3 I/O drawers can be attached to both the IBM Power E880 and E870 enterprise servers, up to a maximum of 4 I/O drawers per System Node drawer.



The IBM Power S814 and S824 scale-out servers can now attach the #EMX0 PCIe Gen3 I/O Drawer, increasing their maximum number of PCIe Gen3 slots per system.

For more specifics, see the April 28th 2015 IBM Power Systems:  Server and  I/O Enhancements RFA.

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November 2014 - IBM i 7.2 Technology Refresh 1 and IBM i 7.1 Technology Refresh 9

Enterprise Power Systems with POWER8 Technology

Both IBM i 7.2 Technology Refresh 1 and IBM i 7.1 Technology Refresh 9 have the necessary licensed internal code to support the new Enterprise models of Power Systems servers with POWER8 technology. With additional throughput and performance improvements, these new servers provide additional options for IBM i clients who have computing requirements larger than the S814 and S824 models announced in April 2014.

Customers who have adopted the Live Partition Mobility function can even "permanently" migrate a partition from a POWER7 to a POWER8 system with no downtime.  The partition must be at code level IBM i 7.2 TR 1 or IBM i 7.1 TR9, and the proper licenses and activations must be set up on the POWER8 system.

For more information about these new models and all the available features, see the October 6th, 2014 announce documents at the following links:

- IBM Power System E870 model 9119-MME server RFA

- IBM Power System E880 model 9119-MHE server RFA

A developerWorks article describes some of the capabilities and features in IBM i 7.2 designed or optimized specifically for POWER8, presented from the perspective of a veteran IBM i Licensed Internal Code (LIC) developer.  See IBM i 7.2 and POWER8 Technology.

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November 2014 - New HMC Release

New HMC V8.2 Release

IBM Hardware Management Console (HMC) V8.2 enhancements improve the usability of IBM PowerVM and support the new Power Enterprise Systems. Functionality improvements:

For more information about these enhancements see the Power virtualization enhancements RFA.

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June 2014 - IBM i 7.2 and IBM i 7.1 Technology Refresh 8

Scale-out Power Systems with POWER8 Technology

Both IBM i 7.2 and IBM i 7.1 Technology Refresh 8 have the necessary licensed internal code to support the new models of Power Systems servers with POWER8 technology, taking advantage of the improved resiliency, availability, and scalability characteristics. With additional throughput, these new servers will provide IBM i clients with significant benefits when moving to these new servers. The operating system and most applications for IBM i are built on a Technology Independent Machine Interface (TIMI) that isolates programs from differences in processor architectures, and allows the system to automatically capitalize on many new POWER® architecture features without changes to existing programs.



For more information about these new systems and all the available features, see the April 28th, 2014 announce documents at the following links:

For entry clients, a special 4-core offering of the IBM Power S814 allows for P05 Software Tier pricing.  See this June announcement for more information:

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June 2014 - New HMC Release and Model

New HMC Version 8 Release 8.1.0 and hardware model 7042-CR8

The Hardware Management Console (HMC) version 8 release 8.1.0 is designed to deliver support for:

  • Power Systems with POWER8 technology
  • RAID 1, enabling data redundancy
  • Up to 16 concurrent Live Partition Mobility (LPM) activities with IBM® PowerVM®
  • Latest web browsers

Also, the underlying appliance hardware of the Hardware Management Console (HMC) is updated to stay current with updates in hardware technology. The 7042-CR7 system is being replaced with the 7042-CR8.



For more information see the April 28th, 2014 announcement:  IBM 7042-CR8 Rack-mounted HMC.

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April 2014 - System Firmware Update

Latest Firmware Level 7.8 for POWER7+ 770 and 780

There is a new level of system firmware for the POWER7+ 770 and 780 models that includes support for Power Enterprise Pools, which establish a new level of flexibility and value for systems that operate together as a pool of resources, and more.   For more details, see the April 8 2014 RFA:  IBM Power Systems POWER7/POWER7+ Enhancements.

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November 2013 - HMC Update

HMC Update, including Power Enterprise Pools

Power Enterprise Pools establish a new level of flexibility and value for systems that operate together as a pool of resources. New mobile activations are available for use on the Power 770, 780, and 795 systems. They can be assigned to any system in a predefined pool by the user with simple HMC commands. IBM does not need to be notified when these resources are reassigned within a pool. The simplicity of operations offers new flexibility when managing large workloads in a pool of systems. This new feature is especially appealing to aid in providing continuous application availability during maintenance windows. Not only can workloads easily move to alternate systems, but now the activations can move as well.  All systems in the pool must have FW780, or later.  Supporting HMCs must be at V7R7.8, or later.

Additionally, the HMC is updated to include the following new function with HMC V7.8:

Enablement for IBM PowerVC Virtualization Center for Power Systems

For more details, see Power Systems RFA.

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June 2013 - IBM i 7.1 and 6.1

Power 795 Memory DIMMs

New Power 795 memory DIMMs using high-density 4 Gb DDR3 technology improve Power 795 price-to-performance ratios and save energy and cooling. Available sizes are 32 GB, 64 GB, 128 GB, and 256 GB memory (#EM40, #EM41, #EM42, and #EM44).

For more details, see Power Systems RFA.

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February and March 2013 - IBM i 7.1 Technology Refresh 6 and IBM i 6.1

POWER7+ rack systems

IBM i 7.1 and IBM i 6.1 with 6.1.1 support new models of IBM Power 710, 720, 730, 740, 750, and 760 rack servers. These new models use the new POWER7+ processor and include enhancements that can be particularly beneficial to clients running applications that drive very high I/O requirements.

To achieve best performance and the widest array of features, IBM i 7.1 Technology Refresh 6 PTF Group or later is highly recommended. Support of IBM i 6.1 with 6.1.1 machine code is still 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. See IBM i I/O Support Details for information about a hardware feature for native I/O attach with IBM i 6.1.

For more information about these new systems and all the available features, see the RFA documents at the following links:

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February 2013 - HMC Hardware Appliance Update

HMC V7 R7.7.0

The Hardware Management Console (HMC) V7 R7.7.0 (SP1 or later) is enhanced to deliver support for:

  • A new Graphical User Interface (GUI) for configuring a Virtual I/O Server (VIOS) partition.

This simplifies a VIOS partition's initial set-up steps and allows the user to automatically install the VIOS partition using the HMC console user interface.

  • Enhancements to assist users who are transitioning from Integrated Virtualization Manager (IVM) to HMC management.

This simplifies the HMC set-up process when a user is transitioning from IVM by allowing the HMC to discover the virtual client partition information from IVM and translate to HMC partition configuration data automatically.

  • Support for 802.1 Qbg on virtual Ethernet adapters.

This support provides standards-based virtual networking to automate network configuration. For network virtualization, VMready software on the switch helps reduce configuration complexity while significantly improving security levels in virtualized environments. The network configuration will be persisted across a Live Partition Mobility operation. Each partition's network policies are instantly reconfigured across VLANs to keep the network up and running without interrupting traffic or impacting performance.

  • Ability to update the user's password in Kerberos from the HMC for clients utilizing remote HMC.

For more details, see HMC V7 R7.7.0 ReadMe.

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November 2012 - HMC Hardware Appliance Update

HMC V7R760

The Hardware Management Console (HMC) V7R760 is designed to deliver support for:

  • RAID 1, enabling data redundancy and high levels of performance
  • Power servers and management of BladeCenter power blade servers
  • Up to 16 concurrent live partition mobility (LPM) activities with PowerVM
  • Latest web browsers

For more details, see the RFA: IBM 7042-CR7 Rack-Mount Hardware Management Console.

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October and November 2012 - IBM i 7.1 Technology Refresh 5 and IBM i 6.1

POWER7+ rack systems

IBM i now supports new models of IBM Power 770 and 780 rack servers. These new models use the new POWER7+ processor and the next-generation I/O technology designed to deliver unprecedented performance, scalability, reliability, and manageability for demanding commercial workloads.

To achieve best performance and the widest array of features, IBM i 7.1 Technology Refresh 5 or later is highly recommended. Support of IBM i 6.1 with 6.1.1 machine code is still 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.

For more information about these new systems and all the available features, see the RFA documents at the following links:

IBM Power 770 Enterprise Server Model 9117-MMD

IBM Power 780 Enterprise Server Model 9179-MHD

New features for IBM Power 795 Model FHB

IBM i now supports new features on the IBM Power 795 rack servers, designed to deliver outstanding price/performance, mainframe-inspired reliability and availability features, flexible capacity upgrades, and innovative virtualization technologies. To achieve best performance and the widest array of features, IBM i 7.1 Technology Refresh 5 or later is highly recommended, but support is also available for IBM i 6.1 with 6.1.1 machine code.

For more information about the available features, see the RFA document:  IBM Power 795 Enterprise Server Model 9119-MHB Features

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May 2012 - IBM i 7.1 Technology Refresh 4 and IBM i 6.1



Flex Compute Nodes

IBM i now supports new models of the Flex Compute Nodes for the IBM PureFlex System with IBM i 7.1 Technology Refresh 4 and IBM i 6.1 with 6.1.1 machine code.



IBM PureFlex System is the next generation of smarter computing. It integrates multiple server architectures, networking storage, and system management capability into a single system that is easy to deploy and manage. IBM i uses a PowerVM VIOS partition for access to PureFlex System resources and storage devices.



For more information about the Flex Compute Nodes, see the RFA documents at the following links:

IBM Flex System p260 Compute Node Model 7895-22X

IBM Flex System p460 Compute Node Model 7895-42X

IBM i on a Flex Compute Node gives detailed information about prerequisites, supported configurations, preparation for install, hardware and software install, firmware updates and post-install tasks such as back-ups. It also contains links to many additional information sources.

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October 2011 - IBM i 7.1 Technology Refresh 3 and IBM i 6.1



POWER7 rack systems

IBM i now supports new models of IBM Power 710, 720, 730, 740, 770, and 780 servers with IBM i 7.1 Technology Refresh 3 and IBM i 6.1 with 6.1.1 machine code. These new models can be particularly beneficial to customers running applications driving very high I/O or memory requirements.



For more information about these new systems, see the RFA documents at the following links:

IBM Power 710 Express Server Model 8231-E1C

IBM Power 720 Express Server Model 8202-E4C

IBM Power 730 Express Server Model 8231-E2C

IBM Power 740 Express Server Model 8205-E6C

IBM Power 770 Enterprise Server Model 9117-MMC

IBM Power 780 Enterprise Server Model 9179-MHC

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May 2011 - IBM i 7.1 Technology Refresh 2 and IBM i 6.1



POWER7 BladeCenter systems

IBM i 7.1 Technology Refresh 2 and IBM i 6.1 with 6.1.1 machine code are now supported on the following additional POWER7 BladeCenter systems, enabling more processing capacity for IBM i applications on Blades:

BladeCenter PS703 Express - up to 16 cores

BladeCenter PS704 Express - up to 32 cores

The IBM BladeCenter family of products is a set of integrated platforms with a high degree of deployment flexibility, energy efficiency, scalability, and manageability. This platform allows workload consolidation on IBM BladeCenter Power Architecture® blades with POWER7 processors and application virtualization to better utilize resources and amplify the already significant advantages of BladeCenter efficiencies. BladeCenters offer elegantly simple scalability, easy expansion, and pay-as-you-grow flexibility for the utmost in investment protection, performance growth, and time to value.



For more information about these new systems, see the RFA documents at the following links:

IBM BladeCenter PS703 Express Model 7891-73X

IBM BladeCenter PS704 Express Model 7891-74X

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October 2010 - IBM i 7.1 Technology Refresh 1 and IBM i 6.1



POWER7 small and midsize systems

For small and midsize clients, IBM i 7.1 and IBM i 6.1 with 6.1.1 machine code are now supported on the following additional POWER7 systems, enabling more processing capacity for IBM i applications:

4-core, 6-core, and 8-core Power 710

4-core, 6-core, and 8-core Power 720

8-core, 12-core, and 16-core Power 730

4-core, 6-core, 8-core, 12-core, and 16-core Power 740



For more information about these new systems, see the RFA documents at the following links:

IBM Power 710 and 730 Express Server Model 8231-E1B

IBM Power 720 Express Server Model 8202-E4B

IBM Power 740 Express Server Model 8205-E6B



POWER7 enterprise system

For enterprise clients, IBM i 7.1 and IBM i 6.1 with 6.1.1 machine code are now supported on the 16-core through 256-core Power 795, enabling growth. IBM i supports up to 32 cores in a single partition. IBM Lab Services can be contacted for an offering to grow beyond 32 cores in a single partition.



For more information about this new system, see the RFA document:
IBM Power 795 Enterprise Server Model 9119-FHB