No Power 750, 770, and 780 Prices for i Configs? What Gives?
March 1, 2010 Timothy Prickett Morgan
If you are interested in the new Power7-based servers from IBM and you like all the good things you have been reading about them in The Four Hundred, you might want to try to figure out what it costs to buy one of these boxes. Particularly since the Power 750 Express models started shipping two weeks ago and the Power 770 and 780 will ship a few weeks from now.
Well, forget about getting configured pricing for the Power 770 and 780 machines, because it isn’t out there on IBM’s Web store. (You can see the lack of pricing for the Power 770 here and the lack of data for the Power 780 there.) Big Blue is happy to have you call in for a quote or for you to fill out a form to get a custom configuration priced up. But forget about publicly saying what the price of the configured machines is. And as for the Power 750 Express, only the AIX version has pricing for base configurations. Those wanting to use i 6.1.1 are passed off to business partners for quotes. I guess I should not feel too bad for the AS/400 faithful, since when I clicked the Linux variants of the machines, the IBM site went off into space each time I tried it, telling me my Internet connection might be dead. (It was not, but that part of the site sure seemed to be.) I waited a bit and tried with another browser, and I could see Linux system prices for the Power 750 Express, which not surprisingly, were the same as for the AIX version. The difference is the add on operating system software licenses and tech support fees.
I know I said this back in May 2008 when he retired, but Brian Podrow, you are sorely missed. Podrow put together massive marketing and positioning guides for the i variants of the Power Systems line and its iSeries and System i predecessors for so long I can’t remember if anyone else ever did them. What I can tell you is that detailed price comparison information was at the fingertips of resellers, partners, and IBM sales reps that helped them make and close deals. And now, as far as I know, there is no such document being created, and the business partners I talked to are more than a little annoyed about this. Every possible configuration they might think about selling requires them to use an online configuration tool and pump the configuration upstream to either Avnet or Arrow ECS to get an official price.
I sure hope IBM doesn’t make it this tough on business partners and customers when the entry Power 720 (if that is indeed what it will be called) comes to market later this year around April or May, if the rumors are right.