Wherefore Art Though, O Power Blade Services for i?
November 10, 2008 Timothy Prickett Morgan
As many iSeries and System i shops have found out, the move to Power6-based blade servers and the Virtual I/O server that is required to support the i 6.1 operating system is a bit tricky compared to the OS/400 installation and migration procedures that they are accustomed to. That’s one reason why I was a bit surprised by a recent IBM Power Systems announcement.
The announcement, which is a set of implementation services for Power Systems JS12 and JS22 blade servers running AIX 6.1 or Linux, did not include the other operating system supported on the blades. That being the i 6.1 kicker to i5/OS V5R4. As usual, the IBM announcement letter for the implementation services was vague, but it does say that by paying for this service, a customer gets an onsite IBMer to come help with planning, installation, and configuration of the JS12 and JS22 blade servers running AIX 6.1 or Linux. And as is traditional, Global Services did not provide pricing for these services or the term of the engagement.
The Power6 blade implementation service announced last week is a companion to AIX 6.1 implementation and migration services that were announced back in June. Those services, however, just prepped customers for the move. They did not actually do the setup of the software on the iron.
Incidentally, IBM did announce back in October 2007, when it was selling i5/OS V5R5M5 tweak for Power6 chips, which at the time were only available on a modified System i 570 machine. (See IBM Helps Users Migrate to Power6-Based System i Boxes for more on that service.) This deal had four days of IBM consulting expertise to help customers move their applications to the new iron, and it did not include any application conversion that everyone knew at the time would be required for the move to the i 6.1 operating system. The JS12 and JS22 blades, which require the VIOS program to provide driver support for i 6.1, therefore requires the application conversion that is necessary for i 6.1. While I am certain that IBM or its business partners will obviously offer assistance in the move to Power Systems blade and i 6.1, I have looked high and low for a Global Service announcement offering help and I could not find one.
It seems to me that i shops, more than AIX or Linux shops that have familiarity with VIOS, need the help more. If any of you business partners are offering such services, let me know and I will be happy to steer some customers your way–provided you give me some details, of course. You know me well enough by now: feeds, speeds, and prices.