IBM Kills Free Blade Deal for i Shops, Discounts Blade Chassis and Switches
September 22, 2008 Timothy Prickett Morgan
Since October 2007, IBM has been offering free BladeCenter blade server configurations to i shops, particularly for those acquiring System i iron or upgrades to it. In March, IBM tweaked this deal, making the spending limits on new or upgraded i machines larger and requiring customers to buy more features to get their free BladeCenter H chassis with a few HS21 Xeon-based blades inside. Last week, IBM killed off that deal, and replaced it with a nominal Web discount on switches used in BladeCenter boxes as well as on the chasses themselves.
The Web discount deal is not limited strictly to i shops, of course, because on the Internet, nobody knows you’re an AS/400. Customers buying a BladeCenter E or BladeCenter S chassis (the latter being the one intended for office environments and SMB customers) get a 50 percent discount when they acquire it through the ibm.com store, while the high-end BladeCenter H chassis is getting a 40 percent discount. Under this deal, which expires on November 30, not only does the chassis get a discount, but four different networking modules for linking the blades to each other and to the outside world–the Catalyst Switch Module 3110X, Catalyst Switch Module 3110G, and Catalyst Switch Module 3012 from Cisco Systems and the 1/10 Gb Ethernet Switch Module from Nortel Networks–are getting a 30 percent discount. Each customer is limited to buying one BladeCenter chassis and one switch module under this deal.