IBM Cuts Prices on Power 740 Storage and Smartie SSD and Servers
December 6, 2010 Timothy Prickett Morgan
It looks like some customers are balking at the prices that IBM is trying to charge for storage chassis and a new solid state disk-PCI-Express RAID controller bundle that aims to boost the throughput of Power7-based machines.
Just before the Thanksgiving holiday and just after I had already went to press with the prior issue of The Four Hundred, IBM said in announcement letter 310-295 that it was cutting the price on the feature 1135 integrated storage controller by 13.3 percent. This device is not a storage controller, but rather a 2U chassis with two dozen 300 GB disks that supports IBM i 6.1 or 7.1, as well as AIX or Linux. (The chassis does have integrated RAID controllers.) The price on that chassis, which comes populated with the disks, is now $32,441, or $4.51 per GB. The price was also cut on the Smart Analytics System SV2 model for the same chassis, which is built from Power 740 server nodes and which runs a collection of InfoSphere Warehouse, Cognos, and SPSS software to do business analytics processing. The Smartie machines are clusters based on x64, Power, and mainframe servers.
Speaking of the Smartie SV2 boxes, IBM also chopped the price of the PCI-RAID disk controller and solid state disk bundle used with this particular machine. I told you all about this bundle back in September, which pairs a PCI-Express 2.0 SAS controller with lots of bandwidth with four 177 GB SSDs made by SandForce for a total of 708 GB of storage and 120,000 I/Os per second of performance. IBM has a low-profile feature 2053 bundle for Power 710, 720, 730, and 740 servers that costs $20,654 and a regular-height version that costs $27,052. When IBM announced this back in September, knowing the costs were very high for SSDs, the company offered a package of that put together five of these controller/SSD bundles together for a 27.5 percent discount. Well, the Smartie box customers apparently said they wanted this price for onesies, and now IBM is selling single-units of these bundles on the Power 740-based Smartie SV2 clusters at the discounted price. That works out to $14,981 a pop, or $21.16 per GB, as you can see from this table:
You’ve known me a long time now, so what I am going to say next? Right! If customers buying Smartie boxes are getting the deal on onesies of the RAID/SSD bundle, then all customers regardless of platform should be getting that price. And it shouldn’t matter if they are getting the low-profile version or the regular version–the price should be the same.
IBM also announced that the Power 740 server nodes used in the Smartie SV2 box, which have two processors with a total of 16 3.55 GHz Power7 cores activated and 128 GB of memory, had their prices slashed by a stunning 30.4 percent, from $72,828 to $50,708. So what am I going to say here? Right again! A Power 750 running IBM i 7.1 is a smart system too and it is a preconfigured box too, and that means if you acquire one using those very expensive eight-core Power7 chips spinning at 3.55 GHz, then you deserve a wonking 30.4 percent discount before the negotiations even start, too.