IBM Support

IBM MQ Appliance lifecycle – am I running supported hardware/firmware?

Detailed System Requirements


This document contains details about the MQ Appliance firmware and hardware lifecycles.


It is important to maintain support for the IBM MQ Appliance. This support entitles you to the following, at no additional cost:

  • Firmware upgrades
  • Fixes
  • Security updates
  • IBM support

To access these benefits, both the hardware and firmware must be supported versions. Hardware and firmware have different lifecycles to each other, and to IBM MQ software. If the hardware or firmware becomes unsupported, you will be unable to access support.


Hardware releases often align with a Long Term Support (LTS) release of IBM MQ software, and are supported for 5 years from the hardware End of Marketing (EOM) date. A given hardware model can run one of several versions of MQ firmware. When the hardware reaches End of Support (EOS), the firmware running on it also goes EOS for that hardware (but may be available on newer hardware, if already installed).

When the hardware reaches EOS, there is no extension, so it is important to plan ahead. As hardware EOM dates are announced 5 years ahead, this should give you ample time to plan.


Long Term Support releases are supported for at least 3 years from General Availability (GA). Continuous Delivery (CD) releases are supported for 12 months. (If you are unfamiliar with this terminology, please read IBM MQ FAQ for Long Term Support and Continuous Delivery releases.)

It is probable that two or three Long Term Support firmware releases will become available during the lifetime of your hardware appliance, requiring you to migrate your firmware at least once. This is why it is possible to be on supported hardware, but on unsupported firmware. Migration to the latest firmware version provides access to the latest enhancements, is simple, and is available at no cost.

The firmware lifecycle for the IBM MQ Appliance is separate to the software lifecycle for IBM MQ. No extensions are available when the firmware reaches EOS, so it is important to be aware of EOS dates.

Where do I find the EOS dates?

The most recent and accurate information can be found on the Software Lifecycle Page. It is a good idea to subscribe to notifications, to help you to be aware of any changes. Hardware lifecycle dates are also published on the Hardware Lifecycle page (note that this page contains dates for both the IBM MQ Appliance and IBM DataPower offerings).

How do I read the End of Support dates on the Software Lifecycle page?

The 'End of Support' column of the Software Lifecycle Page reflects the date when the combination of software and hardware listed goes out of support. Ensure that the 'Version' field matches your installed firmware version, and the 'Product name' field matches your hardware model to arrive at the correct end of support date for the combination you are running.

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Document Information

Modified date:
13 April 2021