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IBM® MQ is one of IBM’s most popular on-premise software products. Staying informed of the IBM® MQ support lifecycle is key to avoiding any unwelcome risk with the middleware platform.

In September 2021, many companies will find that the version they’re using won’t be supported any longer. MQ End of Support is on the way for version 9.0.X and customers will need a strategy for how to deal with the upcoming change.

Get all the important dates below and information on what options businesses have available to retain maintenance for their mission-critical software, like third-party software support.

IBM MQ 9 End of Support Dates

The IBM® MQ version 9.0.X End of Support date is on September 30, 2021. IBM will no longer provide new fixes or security patches for unknown threats past that date. IT teams seeking assistance with any issue on that version will need enhanced support, or IBM will ask the customer to upgrade to a supported version. The complete list of IBM® MQ End of Support dates that are taking place this year include:

IBM MQ end of support for version 9 will affect nine different products in 2021.

IBM® MQ Version 8 End of Support Dates

IBM® MQ support will end for one version 8.0.X product on April 30, 2021. Given that IBM ended most MQ support for version 8 products last year, this shouldn’t come as a surprise to any business that is still running it.

IBM MQ end of support for version 8 will affect one product in 2021.

How to Deal with IBM® MQ End of Support

Companies face three options when they’re not running an IBM® MQ supported version. The right decision differs based on the unique needs of the business and careful consideration should be given to all three.

These options are:

  1. Prepare to upgrade to a supported version of IBM MQ: Businesses that have active IBM Subscription Support (S&S) always have the option of upgrading to a supported version. Most people know how large and expensive these upgrade projects are though, so this isn’t the easiest path forward. IT teams will need to devote a considerable amount of time and resources to deploying the new version, which can feel unnecessary when the current version is working well.
  2. Purchase IBM® Extended Support: IBM will provide service for products past End of Support dates for an additional fee on top of what the company already paid for S&S. Extended Support allows the business to keep its unsupported version of MQ, while still retaining the ability to get help on new issues. Of course, this is an expensive option that rivals the cost of upgrading to a newer version. It is also unlikely IBM will write a new fix for an unsupported version.
  3. Switch to third-party software support: Third-party software support providers like Origina provide IBM® MQ support for all versions – including those that IBM have labelled End of Support. By switching to Origina when S&S lapses, these companies can continue to run any version of IBM® MQ and get service from dedicated product experts, regardless of End of Support Status. Best of all, businesses still maintain access to fixes and security patches they were entitled to under S&S and enjoy 50 percent savings from annual support costs on average.

The third-party software support market is growing quickly, with analysts like Gartner and Forrester viewing it as a viable alternative to OEM support. Not only can you extend the IBM® MQ support lifecycle with a provider like Origina, but the savings it generates can fund innovation in other parts of the business. Find out whether your company can switch its IBM® MQ support to Origina today with a free Feasibility Assessment.

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