IBM Tweaks Power Systems Trade-In Deal
January 25, 2010 Timothy Prickett Morgan
In a move that probably has very little to do with the imminent launch of Power7-based servers, IBM last week tweaked a long-running trade-in deal to offer a nominal trade-in credit to customers using Power5 and Power5+ versions of the entry Power 520 servers running the i/OS.
As you can see in announcement letter 310-110, all 9505 variants of the Power 520 lineup as well as 9406 variants of the 520 using processor features 7450, 7451, 7397, 7350, or 7352 are now eligible for a $450 trade-in credit if customers move on up to a Power6 or Power6+ version of the Power 520 box. Yes, this is a pathetically small amount of money compared to the multiple tens of thousands of dollars that the typical Power Systems i shop shelled out for a Power 520 a few years back. But all of the rebates are pretty measly in this deal, to be honest, even the takeouts for competitive gear from Hewlett-Packard, Sun Microsystems, and Fujitsu. While I was certainly pleased when the Power Systems division got around to adding vintage AS/400 and iSeries boxes to this long-running Unix competitive replacement deal, IBM was particularly stingy with the i variants of Power boxes, even compared to its own pSeries takeouts. Go figure.
I would probably shop an old box around to third-party equipment dealers and do a push-pull upgrade before I took IBM’s trade in. An i/OS license and a spare machine is worth more than $450. Give it to your developers to test code on unless IBM starts offering a better trade in. I find it ironic that this is the same IBM that would be happy to charge you an outrageous price if you wanted to buy a second-hand–excuse me, previously owned–System i box. I would give you a current example of what IBM is charging, but IBM Global Financing, which peddles refurbished IBM systems, requires a password to see the inventory and pricing on used gear starting in 2010, as you can see from the new-and-improved refurbished equipment page on the IBM site. For years, IBM put its inventory out there, with pricing. Just another indication of how Big Blue controls its market for Power Systems with an iron fist.