IBM Promotion Cuts PowerVM Hypervisor Upgrade Fees
April 5, 2010 Timothy Prickett Morgan
If you are thinking about upgrading the capability of the PowerVM hypervisor on your Power Systems box, IBM wants you to think a little bit faster and upgrade that key systems software now rather than waiting.
To that end, the company announced a special promotion last week in announcement letter 310-150 whereby it is giving customers who upgrade from whatever level of PowerVM they have to the next high level up a 15 or 20 percent discount off the upgrade fees. Specifically, the deal covers upgrades from PowerVM Express Edition (5765-PVX) to PowerVM Standard Edition (5765-PVS) or to PowerVM Enterprise Edition (5765-PVE) as well as from PowerVM Standard Edition to PowerVM Enterprise Edition (5765-PVE). Upgrades from the Express to Standard Edition of PowerVM to get a 15 percent price break, while jumping from Express or Standard up to Enterprise Edition gets a 20 percent price break.
Under the deal, the discount is available on orders placed before June 24, which have to be shipped by the end of the quarter on June 30.
The PowerVM software is priced based on edition as well as the general size of the system–small, medium, or large. The Express Edition can carve up three partitions per server and includes the Virtual I/O Server, the PowerVM Lx86 Linux-on-X86 emulator for Power servers. Standard Edition adds multiple shared processor pools and expands LPARs up to 10 per core up to the system maximum (which is called micropartitioning by IBM and which is often less than 10 times the number of cores in bigger boxes). Enterprise Edition adds active memory sharing and live partition mobility for AIX workloads.
PowerVM runs on Power5, Power5+, Power6, Power6+, and Power7 systems, and can be used to provide logical partitioning for OS/400 V5R3, i5/OS V5R4, and i 6.1; AIX 5.2, 5.3, and 6.1; Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 and 5; and Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 and 11. I went through the pricing for PowerVM when the new pricing was announced as part of the Power Systems convergence back in April 2008, and you can check that out here. Generally speaking, PowerVM costs anywhere from $30 per core plus $10 per core for Software Maintenance for the PowerVM Express Edition on small machines all the way up to the Enterprise Edition, which costs $1,999 per core plus $220 per year for Software maintenance. IBM typically does net cost upgrades, so the discounts IBM announced can mean savings on the order of hundreds of dollars per core.