IBM Offers Red Hat Linux on a Per-Server Basis on Power
April 18, 2011 Timothy Prickett Morgan
IBM and commercial Linux distributor Red Hat have come together to provide Enterprise Linux 6 on IBM’s Power Systems sold by Big Blue and with first- and second-level support provided by Big Blue.
That’s nothing new, of course. IBM has been a big OEM partner of Red Hat’s for years, and my back-of-the-envelope math is that RHEL drives somewhere on the order of $1.4 billion of IBM server hardware sales a year these days across X64, Power, and mainframe platforms.
What is new in announcement letter 211-114 is that IBM and Red Hat have cooked up a per-server license price for Power Systems machines running RHEL 6, which actually debuted last November. With RHEL 6 out but apparently not certified on the new Power iron, IBM started giving away a freebie RHEL license on Power Systems Express configurations two weeks later.
Now, IBM has worked with Red Hat to tune up RHEL 6 for Power6, Power6+, and Power7 servers–including integration with IBM’s PowerVM hypervisor for Power iron. The new licensing for RHEL 6, which was available on April 15, allows for every pair of sockets in the box (sockets, not cores) to be licensed with 15, 30, or 60 logical partition ceilings per socket pair. A standard 12×5 business hour support contract for RHEL 6 for a socket pair on a Power Systems box costs $1,350 per year for a setup with a 15-LPAR ceiling; boosting that to priority 24×7 support raises the price to $2,150 per year. When you double up the LPAR ceiling to 30 on a four-socket Power System, you double up the support costs, and when you quadruple it up to a 60-LPAR ceiling on an eight-socket machine, you quadruple the prices up to $5,400 and $8,600, respectively, for 12×5 and 24×7 coverage. IBM, like Red Hat, gives discounts to customers who buy a three-year contract.
IBM stopped selling the earlier RHEL 5.5 on April 12, by the way.
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