Sundry Other System i5 Announcements
February 5, 2007 Timothy Prickett Morgan
In anticipation of upcoming storage announcements for the System i5 product line, which I told you about a few weeks ago and which IBM will be making officially on February 6, the company last week made a bunch of relatively minor System i5 announcements. While not earth-shattering, these announcements are nonetheless important for OS/400 and i5/OS shops who are looking at their 2007 budget plans. IBM has announced two rebate deals relating to the System i5 and made modifications to a bunch of existing deals.
The first new deal has to do with the System i5 Capacity BackUp (CBU) servers, which are variants of the platform aimed at hot backups of production machines using high availability clustering software from DataMirror, Lakeview Technology, Maximum Availability, Trader’s, and Vision Solutions. The CBU box runs a stripped-down version of i5/OS Enterprise Edition and includes full 5250 processing capability; it cannot be used for anything other than replicating data and applications and then activating itself to run those applications when a production machine is wiped out by a natural disaster (which means a disaster that is not the result of normal hardware or software failures) that lasts more than four hours.
Under the System i CBU Solution Promotion, announced on January 30, if you buy a new i5 520, 550, or 570 server running i5/OS Enterprise Edition or if you upgrade to one of these machines from an earlier platform and you buy an i5 520, 550, or 570 CBU machine, then IBM will give you a rebate. Rebates range in size depending on the performance capacity of the CBU machine, starting at $3,300 for the 520-7710 CBU machine and ending up at $29,500 for the 570-7760 CBU server. This promotion is running in the United States and Canada and expires on June 30.
The second rebate deal is for configured disk arrays, including disk controllers, enclosures, and other gear, which is being made available as four separate bundles with rebates. The table below shows the four different bundles:
You can see that the cost of these bundles is not small, ranging from $32,828 for a setup with a single feature 2780 RAID disk controller and a dozen 35.2 GB, 15K RPM to $163,020 for a setup that has four disk controllers and 60 disks. The rebates range from $5,000 to $29,000, which works out to an effective discount of between 14.9 percent and 18.4 percent, depending on the setup. This disk bundle rebate expires on April 30, and it seems clear that IBM is trying to get rid of inventory of older controllers and disks out there in the channel as well as to boost sales of System i5 hardware.
In other news, IBM has modified a rebate deal on System i5 520, 550, and 570 machines running i5/OS Standard Edition so that federal, state, and local governments can get the rebates. The existing deal, which dates from October 2006, was previously only available to commercial customers; it gave rebates of $10,500 to $215,000 to customers who upgrade from second-generation iSeries 8XX and first-generation iSeries i5 servers to these System i5 machines. Customers have to spend between $110,000 on the entry i5 520 configuration to $1.3 million on the largest i5 570 setup, which means the rebate ranges from 10 percent to 15 percent, depending on the machine acquired. IBM is also allowing governments to take part in the System i5 rebate for global ISVs, which gives rebates of $4,500 to $175,000 for companies who buy new i5 boxes and selected ISV application stacks. Finally, governments have also been added to the participants in the ServerProven rebate offering, which gives companies buying new i5s as well as upgrades rebates that range from $750 to $70,000 on new boxes and from $225 to $21,000 on upgrades.