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Volume 19, Number 9 -- March 1, 2010

IBM Cuts Power 595 CPU Prices, Offers Remote Server Migration

Published: March 1, 2010

by Timothy Prickett Morgan

While I was off on Winter Break with my wife and kids in the mountains of Vermont two weeks ago, IBM snuck out some price cuts on processor features in the current generation of Power 595 boxes.

In announcement letter 310-127, IBM cut the prices on the four-socket processor books used in the Power 595s as well as on the activation fees it charges for turning on Power6 cores within the boxes using its Capacity On Demand (COD) feature. The features that had their prices chopped are all on the 9119 series of machines, which only have Power6 chips, not the earlier System i 595 and System p 590 and 595 boxes, which were based on Power5 and Power5+ processors.

  • Feature 4694, 4.2 GHz processor book with eight cores and none activated, now costs $33,456, down 32 percent.
  • Feature 4754, which activates a 4.2 GHz core on the above-mentioned processor book, now costs $16,796, a 32 percent price cut to the list price before February 17.
  • Feature 4695, a 5 GHz processor book with eight cores (again none activated), now costs $47,390, down 30 percent. Feature 4754, a similar 5 GHz processor book with eight cores (with zero active) and 64 GB of memory activated on the book, costs the same $47,390 after 30 percent cut in price. (Why IBM isn't charging for the 64 GB of memory is a mystery to me.)
  • Feature 4755, which activates the 5 GHz cores on the two cards above, now costs 30 percent less, too, at $23,730 per core.

The price cuts on the processor books and core activations are designed to do two things: help IBM sell upgrades to customers using Power 595s who don't want to move to Power 770 or 780 boxes based on Power7 processors yet, and to get the pricing on the Power 595s more in line with the Power 795, if that is indeed the name of the high-end machine that will come out later this year based on the Power7 chip.

The processor price cut mirrors a memory price cut for Power 595s that IBM did back in August 2009 and similar memory cuts for smaller Power6 and Power6+ machines back in November 2009. Back in August, the Power 595 memory activation prices were cut by 19 percent, but through a rebate promotion, not an actual price cut as was done for the Power 595 CPUs above and for memory used in Power 520, 550, 560, and 570 machines in November. Those memory cuts, which ranged from 28 to 70 percent off, were made permanent and were designed to help move gear in the fourth quarter of 2009 and first quarter of 2010 as IBM made ready to launch the midrange of the Power7-based Power Systems line.

Last week, IBM also announced a remote implementation and migration service for IBM servers and storage arrays. The details in announcement letter 610-008 are a bit thin in terms of being specific about the products covered. And it being IBM Global Services, there is no such thing as a list price for the service. But the remote implementation service is designed to help you plan, implement, configure, and test the upgrading of servers and storage by having an IBM expert hooked to your data center and your new and old gear virtually rather than physically show up.


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Editor: Timothy Prickett Morgan
Contributing Editors: Dan Burger, Joe Hertvik, Brian Kelly, Shannon O'Donnell,
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But Wait, There's More:

IBM Cuts Power 595 CPU Prices, Offers Remote Server Migration . . . No Power 750, 770, and 780 Prices for i Configs? What Gives? . . . MKS Recovering Nicely From the Economic Storm . . . IBM Assigns Per-Core Pricing Metrics to Power7 Chips . . . Intelliden Snapped Up by IBM for Network Management . . .

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