Is Intel about to accelerate your vendor’s EoSL timetable?

Cars accelerating around a race track

Posted on Wednesday, November 22, 2017

By withdrawing support for specific hardware products, OEMs can keep their clients back on a regular upgrade cycle. This is great news for the OEM’s earnings, but a major headache for the CTO - unwanted capital spend and disruption during the migration.

But following a recent announcement by Intel, it appears that the next enforced refresh cycle will not be caused by OEMs. From 2020, the chip maker will withdraw support for 16-bit BIOS, effectively killing off any system built using older processors.

All change

From 2020, Intel will only support UEFI Class 3 platforms – anything older will be dropped. With literally millions of servers, mainframes and blades built around 16-bit OpROM, owners will need to institute a significant replacement program over the next two years.

More than simply replacing hardware however, legacy applications and processes will need to be re-engineered, or replaced completely. Legacy tools for disk duplication will need to be re-developed for instance. And trusted recovery technologies like PXE network boot and OS install will no longer work at all. Not to mention issues with drivers and peripherals that are reliant on BIOS-level interactions.

A bonanza for OEMs, A headache for CTOs.

The need to replace millions of servers and blades in just two years promises a massive windfall for OEMs. For CTOs, it means an enormous capital investment to replace legacy systems with UEFI-supported upgrades. Or a hurried migration to cloud platforms.

Either way, Intel’s announcement could be very, very expensive.

There is another way

With a proven track record of supporting post-warranty storage systems and servers, CDS offer an alternative to expensive upgrades. Our multi-million dollar spares inventory ensures we have parts for every system we support – including 16-bit Intel processors.

Partnering with CDS for legacy support is a cost-effective way to re-establish control of your hardware refresh program. You also gain much-needed breathing space beyond the 2020 deadline set by Intel.

For more help and advice about your options, please get in touch.