Directing its customers towards a hybrid IT model, Fujitsu published in mid-February its roadmap for its mainframes and Unix servers over the next decade. The Japanese manufacturer confirms the dates scheduled for the cessation of sales of these materials and for the end of their support. This announcement, made in the warning part of its site, was noted by our colleagues from The Register.

Fujitsu’s Unix history dates back to 1985, with the UTS/M OS running on its mainframes. It was then, in 1991, the launch of its first Unix server called DS/90 7000, recalls the manufacturer. From now on, the digital transformation strategy committed to the hybrid is revisiting the future of its mainframes and its Sparc M12 servers under Solaris, while nevertheless giving companies time to turn around. The manufacturer plans to stop selling its GS21 mainframes in its 2030 fiscal year, which ends on March 31, 2030. For 5 more years, support will continue to be provided on the GS21. It will stop on the fiscal year which ends at the end of March 2035.

Fujitsu’s Sparc M12-2 and 2S server models were announced in April 2017. (Credit: Fujitsu)

Evolutions on the mainframe planned for 2024

Regarding its M12 servers, Fujitsu plans to stop selling them in its 2029 fiscal year (ended March 31, 2029). The support services will be maintained for 5 more years, until fiscal year 2034. There are therefore still about ten years of visibility for companies that want to keep them. The M12 servers are based on Sparc64 XII processors and the Solaris operating system, developed by the American supplier Oracle, which acquired Sun in early 2010. 4 and a half years ago, Oracle reduced its staff responsible for upgrading these technology.

In 2018, Fujitsu updated its GS21 line of mainframes with a high-end model, the 3600, and a mid-range model, the 3400, and upgraded the associated GSS21sx software to version 10. According to the roadmap it has just published, the manufacturer still plans to upgrade its mainframes in 2024. On the Sparc M12 servers, improvements are announced for this year 2022. Others are scheduled for 2026. However, a footnote also indicates that the roadmap may change without warning.

Fujitsu’s published roadmap for its Sparc M12 mainframes and servers. (enlarge image)

HPC as a service

Last October, the Japanese supplier presented under the name Uvance a seven-pronged transformation portfolio including hybrid IT, enterprise applications and digital, the rest focusing on sustainability commitments, including production and user experience. In this context, Fujitsu is working on the transition of its mainframes and Unix servers to the cloud. Its objective is also to provide access to its high-performance computing (HPC) computing resources on an “as a service” model. In June 2020, in the field of HPC, Fujitsu raised its Fugaku supercomputer to the top of the Top500 ranking (still No. 1 as of November 15, 2021).