Prices Jacked on Power Systems Tape Drives and Expansion Drawers
September 7, 2010 Timothy Prickett Morgan
IBM is offering pretty good bang for the buck on its new entry Power Systems machines based on Power7 chips, and ditto for the midrange boxes using the processors. And so, the money has to come from somewhere and it is always a good idea for it to come from somewhere that might not make it into a press release or a benchmark. Like peripherals. And maybe soon, hardware maintenance fees.
And so, in announcement letter 310-236, you will find that selected peripherals used across the Power Systems product line, whether you install IBM i, AIX, or Linux on the boxes, have higher sticker prices than they did before the August 17 announcement day.
IBM never tells you what features are what when it does price hikes–or makes price cuts, for that matter–which is why you keep me around. Here are the price changes on the features and their descriptions:
As you can see, IBM has jacked up the price on its DAT160 SAS tape drive, which is used across the Power Systems lineup, by 10 percent, and prices on the 1.6 TB LTO4 tape drive got a 5.9 percent price hike. Four different expansion drawers used with the machines are also getting a 10 percent boost on list price, too. And, incidentally, any of these features used in the new entry Power 710, 720, 730, and 740 machines had the new and higher prices from the get-go.
In the table above, let me give you the secret decoder ring so you know what Power Systems machine is what:
I will not be surprised when IBM announces maintenance increases on older iSeries, pSeries, System i, System p, and Power Systems iron. Probably something on the order of 5 to 10 percent, if I had to guess, just enough to help push people toward some more iron. IBM has had maintenance increases on AS/400 and successor machines in 1999, 2003, 2006, and 2008. IBM raised maintenance fees on AS/400, iSeries, and System i peripheral expansion boxes in 2007, too. IBM has tended to do maintenance price hikes in the spring. But this past spring was not exactly a good time to annoy customers. With the global economy stabilizing–somewhat–it is safe to guess that a maintenance increase on old Power-based servers is due in the second half of 2010 or early 2011.