Big Blue Tweaks Red Hat Deal for Power Systems
August 22, 2011 Timothy Prickett Morgan
Under the Linux on Power Systems Capacity Upgrade on Demand offering in announcement letter 310-240, announced August 17 last year, IBM gave customers with spare and unused processor capacity on selected Power Systems machines freebie Linux licenses and memory capacity to support them. The deal offered free Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 or 5 and free SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 and 11 licenses on Power 570 servers using Power6 and Power6+ processors, Power 595 servers using Power6 processors, and Power 770 and 780 machines using Power7 processors. You can activate up to eight cores and 32 GB of memory under the deal and run Linux on them on Big Blue’s nickel; you could only do it on one machine per company, however.
In announcement letter 311-115, which came out on August 16 this year, the Linux freebie deal is being updated to cover the more recent Enterprise Linux 6.0 and 6.1 releases from Red Hat (RHEL 4 and 5 have been removed) and now also includes the Power 795 server.
IBM has not offered a similar capacity-on-demand license for entry and midrange Power7-based machines, which is an oversight. If you have such a machine, or are buying one, make a fuss and make IBM throw in a couple of cores of free Linux. You’ll find a use for it. Fear not.