Sunday, August 09, 2015

IT Jungle: The IBM i Market Is Not Economics 101

Excerpts of article by Timothy Prickett Morgan, IT Jungle

"It is a time of transition for the Power Systems line, and that is one of the reasons why sales have been picking up in recent quarters. The full Power8 product line has been rounded out and is shipping in volume, from the smallest single-socket box up to the biggest, baddest 16-socket server. The Power7+ processors have been in midrange machines since October 2012 and came to entry machines in February 2013 and are winding down in the channel. With IBM i 5.4 sunsetted and IBM i 6.1 saddling up for its ride to the west, this is when we would expect a lot of customers to start moving up to new iron and systems software.
This, say the resellers that we have talked to, is precisely what is happening, and that is good news for the IBM i community. While the Power8 machines are not the universal choice for customers running IBM i, at least not for the dealers we spoke with, they are becoming the mainstream choice for those companies who can move their applications up to IBM i 7.1 or 7.2." 

Our favorite part of the article...just sayin'. 
"Jim Kandrac, president and owner at United Computer Group in Cleveland, Ohio, says that the combination of the Power S814 plus a Storwize V3700 is just the ticket and that such a configuration, with a mix of 15K RPM disks and SSDs, can be used to upgrade systems that have hundreds of disk drives spinning at much slower rates. As we all know, many AS/400 and iSeries shops bought disks more to increase the number of spindles riding over their data than for aggregate disk drive capacity, so having a number of disk drives compressed can save space, noise, and electricity. (Most of the resellers we talk to say that are using the Navigator tools from Midrange Performance Group to cull performance data from current workloads and model them on new machines to make sure they buy the right iron to meet their performance needs.)
Kandrac says that most of the deals he is doing are for the four-core Power S814 machine, too, and like many customers, he wishes that this machine had more memory capacity than its current 64 GB limit. We think 256 GB would be nice, 512 GB would be better, but IBM wants to push that six-core version, too, and that is why the cap is put on the four-core variant. A very small configuration of the Power S814 with 16 GB of memory and maybe 500 TB of disk will run around $35,000, according to Kandrac. UCG's typical deals, which come with Solution Edition pricing thanks to the the company's VAULT400 service, run between $45,000 and $75,000; customers who active all four cores and buy a hefty machine get just under 40,000 CPWs and pay $100,000 or more, depending on the hardware and software configuration. Kandrac says that he is not selling Power7 or Power7+ machines, despite what some resellers tell us, because he thinks the numbers just don't make sense."
+Timothy Prickett Morgan