Nips And Tucks For IBM Power Systems Trade-In Rebate Deal
February 27, 2012 Timothy Prickett Morgan
This long-running Power Systems Trade-In deal from IBM has had more modifications than a badly written novel. But the fact that IBM keeps on tweaking the deal shows that it is changing the Power Systems product line enough to warrant the changes, which is a good thing.
The Power Systems Trade-In deal gives customers with earlier generations of AS/400, iSeries, and System i machines, as well as pSeries and System p boxes, a cash-rebate that ranges from a low of $250 on a PS700 blade server to a high of $120,000 on a loaded up Power 795 big bad box. The trade-in credits are tied to the specific machines that are being traded in, and if you are doing server consolidations, you can trade-in multiple machines and get multiple handfuls of cash. But there is a cap on the trade-ins based on the specific configuration of a new Power Systems machine you acquire.
The deal, like others in the past, also gives customers trade-in credits if they move to Power Systems iron from proprietary or Unix iron from Hewlett-Packard, Oracle, and Fujitsu, as well as X86-based machines from Dell and Silicon Graphics. (For some reason, IBM is not giving rebates for customers who boot out HP ProLiant, Fujitsu Primergy, or Oracle Sun Fire X86 iron. Go figure.)
In announcement letter 312-024 last week, IBM made a few changes to this trade-in deal. First, it added the Power 595 machine with fat memory–the 9119-FHA box–to the list of machines that could be replaced under the deal.
On the acquired machines side, IBM has added the Power 710, 720, 730, and 740 machines announced last October–what I am calling the Power7 Gen 2 machines so we can keep track of them–to the list. These machines have faster PCI-Express 2.0 I/O and fatter memory than the Power7 Gen 1 versions of the Power 710, 720, 730, and 740 boxes. (And as we report elsewhere in this issue of The Four Hundred, these four Power7 Gen 1 entry machines are being pulled from the IBM catalog on May 25.) The Power 750 Gen 1 machines were also removed from the replacement machine side of this trade-in deal, and the newer machines in the Power 770 and 780 enterprise-class servers, also announced last October, have been made eligible for the rebate deal.
You might be thinking: Why doesn’t IBM just announce these machines are supported by any then-current deals on announcement day? It seems like an obvious question. And the obvious answer is that on a new machine with new features, IBM doesn’t have to leave that money on the table. But depending on where it is in the sales and launch cycle of Power Systems gear, it has to sweeten the deals once the easy sales to customers desperate for whatever new feature it adds have done their acquisitions.
IBM revived this particular trade-in deal in announcement letter 311-078 on March 22 last year. On April 5, in announcement letter 311-042, IBM added Power 520 machines to the list of boxes that could be replaced under the deal, and last June, in announcement letter 311-078, IBM removed all the Power6 and Power6+ machines that you could buy under this deal and get the trade-ins with the exception of the Power6-based Power 595 machines. Back in June, IBM also added the PS7XX series blade servers to the list of machines you can buy as you replace other gear.