IBM Tweaks Some i Deals, Nukes Some Old i Tools
April 20, 2009 Timothy Prickett Morgan
Last Tuesday, on IBM announcement day, the sales and marketing people at Big Blue were out tweaking a few deals here and there that affect the Power Systems i platform, and the company also removed some i-related tools from the product catalog. Considering that we are in the second quarter and that the now annual COMMON midrange user group meeting is coming up, you’d expect more action out of the company on the announcement front.
Perhaps the first quarter was a decent one for IBM, despite its need to cut untold thousands of jobs. Who can say for sure, except for Mark Loughridge, the company’s chief financial officer, who will run down the numbers on after the market closes today (April 20) for the first quarter of 2009.
Anyway, let’s do the deal tweaks first. As I told you back in early March, IBM finally got around to adding the AS/400 and iSeries lines to a long-running trade-in deal that has been in effect for the System p product line to get customers to move from legacy Unix platforms from Hewlett-Packard, Sun Microsystems, and Fujitsu. That deal gives a nominal trade-in rebate on the non-IBM gear (and now AS/400 and iSeries gear) and the rebates are capped depending on the size of the configuration of the Power Systems 520, 550, or 560 server that companies acquire to consolidate one or, most likely, many of their old Unix or OS/400 boxes. Last week, IBM added the iSeries Model 250, the former entry box that was a kicker to the AS/400 Model 170, to the list of machines that could be traded in under this deal and get a rebate. Both the Model 250 and the Model 170 were very popular machines out there in the OS/400 installed base. But don’t get too excited. We’re talking about $250 for a Model 250. That’s a dollar per IBM naming unit, which ain’t much.
In another announcement, the iLoyalty marketing campaign that is under way in the United States and Canada has been extended in part to the Caribbean North District within IBM’s America’s region. Specifically, the part of the iLoyalty campaign that IBM announced on February 20 that allows customers to get the per-user licenses on Power 520 and JS12 and J22 Power blade servers for half price is now available in the Caribbean. This deal expires on June 19, and IBM was very adamant in the original announcement that the Caribbean could forget about it, but has changed its mind.
It is completely silly that IBM is not offering both parts of the iLoyalty promotion–the free i 6.1 license on a core and the half-priced per-user fees–everywhere on earth. So make IBM give it to you, no matter where you are. (You can see more about the iLoyalty campaign, its sales pitch, and how it affects a deal you might be doing here.)
In a separate announcement, IBM said last week that on May 14 that it will no longer sell its Host Integration Solution (HIS) for System i V6 or V7 or HIS for Multiplatforms V6 or V7 development tools. The HIS V6 products date from October 2006 and according to the IBM hardware and software manual were withdrawn from sales in March 2007 with service expected to be discontinued on September 30 of this year. The HIS V7 products were launched in May 2008, and will have their service run until April 10, 2010 according to the online manual. But the announcement last week, which you can read here said HIS V6 and V7 were being withdrawn, and only mentioned the support date for V6 products, not for V7. Go figure.
The ominous part of this is that it says there are no replacements available. But don’t freak out. Remember that IBM announced its Rational HIS for Multiplatforms (product numbers 5724-V23 and 5724-V24) and Rational HIS for 5250 Applications (5724-V25 and 5724-V26) back in October. You can read all about the i-related products in our coverage from back then.
If you can keep the RDi straight from the WDSc and WAS and the HIS and HATS and multiplatforms and etc., etc., etc., you are doing a lot better than I am. I find the IBM application development toolbox far too complicated, not the least of which because IBM keeps merging products, bundling them, pulling them back apart, and so on. So let me save you some trouble. According to the IBM sales manual, HIS for 5250 Applications consists of:
The multiplatforms version adds the System z Rational Java development tools and the comm server for Linux running on mainframes as well as all of the other bits mentioned above.
Why these i legacy application modernization tools are not part of the operating system is beyond me. But the many application development and tool modernization vendors in the Power Systems i space–who pay a lot of the bills around here at IT Jungle–are grateful that IBM doesn’t really mean everything is integrated into the system when it says “i” in the operating system’s name.