IBM Adds SupportLine for Power Systems Blades
June 6, 2011 Timothy Prickett Morgan
I would have assumed that Power Systems blade servers slapped into BladeCenter blade server enclosures had SupportLine hand-holding from IBM, but apparently not. Or rather more precisely, they do now.
In announcement letter 611-013, IBM extended the Hardware Maintenance Services (product number 6950-95A) to augment that hardware support. To put it in plain English (or rather American), SupportLine is one of the things that makes a Power blade setup an AS/400 and not just an RS/6000.
SupportLine for Power Systems BladeCenter is a remote support option (presumably delivered out of IBM’s Rochester, Minnesota, facility for the Americas region) that helps customers cope with software and hardware installation, compatibility, and interoperability issues and can get a human being on the phone when some poorly written documentation is confusing. (Is there any other kind of documentation?) The full list of products covered by SupportLine is here, by the way.
IBM did not supply pricing for the Power blade SupportLine offering. Hopefully it will be added to the Power Systems IBM i Quick Pricer so we can get a sense of it at some point.
On Power Systems rack and tower servers running the IBM i operating system, IBM has long-since rolled together monthly maintenance hardware support with SupportLine services to create Software Maintenance (SWMA) support.