IBM Gives Schools Discounts on Power Systems Iron
September 20, 2010 Timothy Prickett Morgan
When any server maker gets its systems installed at educational institutions to run their back office operations, there are secondary and potentially huge effects that come from that school using those machines. For one thing, if the school partitions some of the machine to have it be used as a resource for students who are taking computer science or engineering courses, as was the case at my alma mater, Penn State, then a new breed of potential customers learns on your box. And that helps grease a sale down the road.
This was one of the reasons why the Penn State engineering labs were packed to the rafters with DEC VAXen minis and Sun Microsystems workstations when I was there, and the compsci department taught COBOL and Fortran on a pretty hefty IBM 3080 mainframe. This is also why Unix took off in academia and then moved into the data center, and how two three decades later, Linux did the same thing. The familiarity with Windows on the desktop 15 years ago is how Windows made its way into data centers from a slightly different angle. Familiarity does not breed contempt–all users have contempt for most systems–but it does breed comfort of a sort. The beast you know is better than the beast you don’t.
Know this, I was happy to see that last week IBM figured out that it should be giving discounts to higher educational institutions for its Power Systems gear. In announcement letter 310-250, IBM said that it would give discounts, ranging from 15 to 32 percent, on Power6 and Power7 machinery. The discounts apply to new Power Systems machines as well as upgrades that include at least one processor card or processor book for an existing Power Systems server, or upgrades to Power6 and Power7 machines from prior generations of System i and System p boxes. The discounts apply to the following boxes and the discounts are as follows:
As you can see from the table, the discounts that Big Blue is giving on Power gear that goes into educational institutions varies depending on the iron customers buy. Those buying Power 570, Power 575, and Power 595 machines based on Power6 or Power6+ processors or Power 770, 780, and 795 servers get 32 percent discounts. All other Power6, Power6+, and Power7 machinery gets a 15 percent chop.
While the deal I can see is only available to companies in the Americas region, there is absolutely no reason why colleges, universities, and other centers of learning should not demand the same deal no matter where they are in the world.