IBM® MQ is one of the most popular on-premise IBM software products. It’s a stable, high-performing messaging solution that’s been chugging along at the core of a lot of businesses for decades.
While MQ seems to require little attention, it is so critical to the continuity of companies that rely on it, that they simply can’t afford any potential risk to its stability and security.
IBM ended support for IBM MQ version 8.0.X in April of 2021 and all other versions of MQ in September 2021, including its most recent version, 9.0.X.
If you’re using MQ and want to know more about options moving forward – such as third-party support for IBM – read on.
WHAT DOES END OF SUPPORT MEAN FOR YOU AS AN IBM MQ CUSTOMER?
IBM’s rapid shift toward its cloud architecture is speeding the end of support (EoS) for many of its on-premise products. Staying on top of IBM product support lifecycles is key to avoiding unwelcome middleware security risks.
When a product goes EoS, IBM no longer provides new fixes or security patches for unknown threats past the EoS date. IT teams seeking help with any issue on that version are on their own, unless a backup support strategy is in place.
HOW TO DEAL WITH IBM MQ END OF SUPPORT
There are three ways forward for companies facing IBM MQ EoS. The right decision for your company should come from careful consideration of all options.
- Develop a strategy to upgrade IBM MQ. Businesses with active IBM Subscription Support (S&S) always have the option of upgrading to a supported version. Upgrade projects, however, can be quite risky and might be too expensive to justify for a product like MQ, that generally works well.
- Invest in IBM Extended Support. IBM provides service for products past end of support dates for an additional cost on top of the IBM S&S cost. It’s not cheap, and IBM is unlikely to write new fixes for unsupported versions, but IT teams will get some help with issues on their unsupported version of MQ.
- Engage third-party software support. Third-party software support is a popular alternative to expensive OEM upgrades that tend to offer only limited support for EoS products. Companies that rely on IBM MQ support for all versions can benefit from all-the-time support from IBM product experts that know how to deal with interoperability challenges and keep IBM MQ healthy and secure.
IBM MQ 9 END OF SUPPORT DATES
Here’s a complete list of IBM MQ 9 products and their EoS dates.
IBM MQ Version 8 End of Support Dates
Here are the details on IBM MQ 8 and its EoS date.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I OPT-OUT OF IBM UPGRADES?
It’s actually highly likely you don’t need upgrades – unless you are certain that a particular upgrade will bring a critical new feature that will truly add value to the way the organization utilizes the application. And given the maturity of enterprise software, that’s highly unlikely.
You’ve probably been running on old versions with no problem for some time. Moving forward without upgrading is the best choice for most companies that just want to keep MQ optimized and secure. Of course, you’ll need to explore an option like third-party support and maintenance (TPSM) to make sure your legacy system is always protected.
IS THIRD-PARTY SUPPORT A RELIABLE OPTION?
Gartner enthusiastically recommends TPSM for companies that want more flexibility than OEM’s provide and want to keep their IBM products stable and secure while freeing up resources for modernization projects.
Third party support moves companies to a more business-driven roadmap that reduces dependence on OEMs to keep older products supported. It also gives you control of your application lifecycle and cloud migration plans by removing vendor-defined timeline constraints.
TPSM reduces both the risk of disruption to the business and the risk of moving to a new solution that might not fit your business. It opens up the opportunity to future-proof your legacy strategy and define a roadmap for continuous change based on business needs, rather than the path defined by big vendors.
Origina offers a particularly skillful brand of third-party support and maintenance (TPSM) that gives IBM customers 24/7 access to over 600 IBM product experts with a minimum of 15 years supporting and developing IBM products.
Origina shifts you from relying on a single point of vendor support that may or may not deliver a security patch in time, to having a team of legacy software experts that implement an extensive system of checks and balances to greatly limit your exposure to vulnerabilities.
We save our customers hundreds of thousands on OEM upgrades they don’t need, work hard to enhance, extend and protect their IBM products and provide solid advice on how to best migrate business-critical systems.
We’re a team of straight shooters who support software customers’ freedom of choice. Get in touch if you’d like us to do a free feasibility assessment to help you assess whether switching IBM MQ support to Origina is the right option for your company.