Initial Uptake of JS12 Blades for i Platform Seems Good
July 7, 2008 Timothy Prickett Morgan
Because IBM is in a quiet period before it announces its financial results for the second quarter, its executives can’t say much specific without getting into hot water with the Securities and Exchange Commission. But I was yaking on the phone with Scott Handy, vice president of marketing and strategy for IBM’s Power Systems division, just before IT Jungle went on vacation, and he gave me some early indicators of the popularity of Power6-based blade servers running the i 6.1 operating system.
Specifically, Handy said that ISVs and resellers were banging on IBM’s door to get their hands on JS12 blades to play with before their May launch, and the manufacturing facility in Rochester, Minnesota, was able to get 200 of these blades ready to ship before their May 30 launch date inside the BladeCenter S i Edition chassis, which has been designed for small and medium businesses and specifically for running OS/400, i5/OS, and i workloads. (The JS22 blade, which has four Power6 cores rated at an aggregate of 13,800 CPWs of performance, and is overkill for most i shops. Even the JS12, at 7,100 CPWs, is a lot of oomph for an entry i shop.)
“That really is an indicator to me that there is a lot of demand for this form factor,” said Handy.
That may not seem like a lot of potential sales against a server market that consumes more than 2 million machines a quarter worldwide, but this is a new form factor (one might say a long overdue form factor) in a pretty conservative server installed base. It will be interesting to see if blades can get somewhere between 25 percent and 30 percent of entry Power Systems sales where the i 6.1 operating system is the main operating system. I think there is at least that much potential, given the integration benefits of blade servers and the willingness of i shops to pay a premium for tight integration.