Tivoli Provisioning Manager Deal Chops Prices in Half
February 22, 2010 Timothy Prickett Morgan
If you are looking to automate your provisioning operating systems on your servers, IBM has a deal for you. Well, yet another deal, I should say.
Just ahead of the Power7 systems launch a few weeks back, in announcement letter 310-113, IBM announced that it was slashing the price in half of its Tivoli Provisioning Manager 7.1 software for slapping operating systems onto bare-metal servers and logical partitions. The deal is available in the United States and Canada and only through IBM’s Passport Advantage online store, and expires on March 31.
The deal applies to the Tivoli Provisioning Manager variant for creating Linux images on System z mainframes (product number D55ZQLL in the Passport Advantage catalog), as well as to the generic TPM tool (D55ZNLL in the Passport Advantage catalog). This provisioning tool is not the variant for deploying application stacks, which is a different add-on to the basic TPM tool. As you can see from this online price guide, both TPM variants cost $61.50 per Processor Value Unit (PVU), which is the metered, per-core pricing that IBM uses for a bunch of its systems software that spans multiple server architectures. (You can see the latest PVU table here.) It is basically 100 or 120 PVUs per Power processor, depending on the machine, so it costs $6,150 or $7,380 per core to plunk this software on a Power-based system. That price includes the software license plus one year of Software Subscription and Support.
This is all well and good, but I do have a gripe with Big Blue concerning Tivoli Provisioning Manager. I remember when IBM snapped up Think Dynamics for its workload orchestration and provisioning tools back in May 2003, and I covered IBM’s plans to support the OS/400 platform with Tivoli Provisioning Manager 2.1 in 2004, which it did. Somewhere along the way between TPM 5.X and 7.X (and there was no 6.X, oddly enough), support for managing OS/400 and i/OS images was removed. I have poked around IBM’s online product catalog and cannot even find that this support for OS/400 and i/OS server image management ever made it to market. Clearly, if IBM is managing AIX, HP-UX, Solaris, Linux, and Windows images on Power, mainframe, and X64 architectures, it should be able to manage OS/400 and i/OS images on Power machines, too. Like it promised it would six years ago.