IBM Raises Prices on Zend PHP Tools, Tweaks DB2 Web Query Charges
March 24, 2008 Timothy Prickett Morgan
As part of its price change announcements last week, IBM radically increased the prices it charges for various production PHP software for the OS/400 and i5/OS platform from Zend Technologies. The company also tweaked some prices up and down for the new DB2 Web Query database query kicker to Query/400, which IBM created through an OEM partnership with Information Builders, and changed some support prices on its recently acquired DataMirror high availability clustering software.
The price changes on the Zend tools will be a bit shocking to customers, particularly small companies who might have been under the impression that PHP was a cheaper alternative to Java for modern, Web-capable application development. As far as I know, Zend Core for i5/OS is still being distributed for free by IBM (which really means that IBM is paying Zend for the licensing, by the way). But if you want support for the software, you have to pay for it, and if you want the Zend Platform for i5/OS add-on, which allows for multiple PHP engines to be setup for load balancing and high availability, among other things, you have to pay for that, too. IBM also sells a prebundled Zend PHP engine and MySQL database stack, called the Zend/MySQL Value Pack, and prices rose for that as well. And as of last week, the price for Zend Platform for i5/OS was increased by 41.7 percent to $4,250, while the Zend-MySQL bundle saw its price rise by 69.1 percent to $11,150. IBM also doubled the cost of gold- and platinum-level support contracts for Zend Platform for i5/OS, which are priced based on the number of processors the software runs on. (See this pricing table I built for the details.) Support contracts for Zend Core for i5/OS went through the roof, quadrupling. The ante for support for Zend Core for i5/OS is $4,000 for an instance of the PHP engine running on one or two processor cores.
IBM also raised 24×7 support prices for the DB2 Web Query tool in the P05, P10, and P20 tiers as well as other support costs related to this product, which you can see in the table as well. IBM lowered the one-year and three-year after license support for DB2 Web Query, which is what IBM charges to get current on maintenance for the product after you have let your maintenance lapse (in this case, the pricing is for one-year or three-year maintenance agreements). As part of the V6R1 announcements at the end of January, IBM rejiggered the DB2 Web Query pricing to make it more affordable by giving customers a runtime license for end users who were just running–rather than creating–reports. (See IBM Makes DB2 Web Query More Affordable for more on that.)
The company also cut its one-year after license support costs for the DataMirror iCluster SMB edition in the P10 through P30 tiers, and raised prices in the P40 through P60 tiers. I can’t remember the last time IBM asked customers using bigger machines to pay more. But if you adjust these prices based on the average CPWs of the boxes in each tier, you can bet that the big shops are still paying less for software than the smaller shops.