IBM Slashes 5250 Enablement Prices, Other Power Systems Tweaks
May 24, 2010 Timothy Prickett Morgan
IBM has wiggled and jiggled a few things in the Power Systems lineup that you should be aware of if you are actually in a mood to spend money, as some companies thankfully are.
I had to rub my eyes twice, and not just because of the huge amount of pollen in the air here in New York City, when I saw announcement letter 310-189, but because I could not believe my eyes. That’s because IBM utterly destroyed the pricing on the 5250 Enablement feature for the Power 550 servers using Power6 and Power6+ processors. Prior to the announcement last week, it cost $50,000 per core to activate the 5250 green-screen protocol (feature 4998 on the 8204-EA8 machine) and $150,000 to activate it on all of the processors in the box (feature 4999). Ditto for the new Power7-based Power 750 (8233-E8B), which was announced in February, where feature 4988 is the per-core activation and feature 4989 is the full server activation for the 5250 protocol for the same price.
But lo and behold, after what I assume is much complaining on the part of customers and much gnashing of teeth on behalf of resellers, the 5250 Enablement feature costs $15,000 per core, a 70 percent price cut. To activate 5250 on all the cores in the box, which is eight cores across four processor sockets, now costs $60,000, a 60 percent cut and representing a 50 percent discount over the new, lower per-core price if you buy onesies of the 5250 enablement feature on this box.
Now, if IBM would license this stuff on a per year basis, perhaps dividing these prices by three and charging that per year for 5250 enablement, I think I might actually have something nice to say. (Give a mouse a cookie, and he will want a glass of milk. . . . ) It’s a pity that i 6.1 and i 7.1 licenses didn’t get a similar price cut, because they sure need it to compete with Windows and Unix boxes in the same hardware price band. If IBM slashed i 7.1 prices by 70 percent, I think I might actually cry for joy, like I do at a weddings. (Oh, like you are so tough and heartless. HA!)
IBM also, in announcement letter 310-191, chopped prices on selected maintenance options on its new PowerHA SystemMirror for i Enterprise Edition clustering software, as you can see in the table below:
As you can also see, IBM has changed the way it charges for language support for the i operating system and the compilers. Before, you paid $100 for the primary language and could add other languages. Now, you pay $50 for the primary language and $50 for each additional language.
Finally, in announcement letter 110-142, IBM has extended the withdrawal date for a bunch of entry and midrange Power Systems server features that had their plugs pulled recently. Now, they will be available until November 26, and include the feature 5790 PCI expansion drawer, the feature 8346 disk/media backplane for 2.5-inch disks, and a 3.7 meter power cord.