Reader Feedback On IBM i Versus Oracle JDE, Smart IBM i Shops Get Connected
April 9, 2012 Timothy Prickett Morgan
Just wanted to note that for current IBM i customers like me, the Power 750 comparison doesn’t ring true. I have JDE World (yes, World) running on two IBM i machines, a System i 550 and a Power 720.
We’re looking at new ERP systems for one of the companies right now but I doubt whether I can use any of this info because our upgrade path for the System i 550 box is a Power 720 with four to eight processors, not a Power 750. We’re currently running the company comfortably on four Power6+ processors so we wouldn’t even consider a Power 750. A Power 720 with the capability to activate up to eight processors will fill their needs for years to come. And our other company has already migrated to a Power 720 with five processors and they’re living large, so we have a good example for where to go.
Seems to me that if IBM is looking to capture the bulk of the IBM i JDE market, they should be releasing comparisons involving a 720 as well as a 750. Correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t 80 percent of the customers running a 520 or 720 class machine? A Power 720 is a great machine for mid-sized companies and it’s impractical for a business like mine to think about JDE on a 750. That won’t happen.
I could not agree more, man. And I said as much in the first comparison story in The Four Hundred (see JDE Throwdown: IBM i Versus Oracle Stacks) that IBM ought to be making comparisons with the Power 720 and Power 740 IBM i Solution Editions in particular, since these have special price breaks for JDE applications (as well as some for several dozen other ISVs). I can only deal with the benchmark tests that IBM and Oracle actually run.
I do want to quibble a bit about upgrade paths. First, there is no formal upgrade path from a System i 550 or Power 550 machine to a more modern Power 720 machine. So if you are doing that, you are doing a push-pull system exchange, not an official IBM upgrade. I don’t have a problem with that–I think lots of companies do that–but only when the smaller machine meets the memory and I/O requirements of the workload in question. In many cases, the Power 720 can’t handle the load, even if it does have enough cores. Moreover, the Power 550 is in a higher software tier, and I am sure that ISVs are not exactly thrilled when customers upshift their processing capacity but downshift their software tiers. They may demand more money from a shop and I have a hard time believing they will cut maintenance fees.
In any event, it looks like I need to get out my pencil and do some estimating JDE performance for Power 720 and 740 machines and see how they stack up against smaller Oracle Sparc T4 setups. You talked me into it.
While I don’t disagree that so-called “smart” devices are on the rise, I disagree with the overall impact on core systems. While I can think of many analogies, this will strike home.
Imagine a nuclear power plant placing critical operational features available via tablet or phone and with I’m sure plenty of support from vendors proclaiming how safe and secure it is. Now do you want expert trained staff making routine operational decisions via their phone while driving, or lounging at Starbucks with their tablet? The logical response is “No.” Notice I said routine. Now turn the notch to critical and now do you still want those “smart” devices to be available?
Roll back down to our daily reality. As the systems manager, do you want a skilled employee to have access to be able to change a property file for the Tomcat server in “hot” mode via a tablet or phone, or would you rather those decisions be made in the office or at least in an environment where there are no distractions, like in front of a “dumb” PC or terminal at work? You can insert a thousand other routine tasks here.
While I agree that many people have smart devices as mere toys or for benign things like reading papers, surfing the web, scrolling sports scores, etc, there’s a reason draconian measures are in place for systems. Just as many people who have smart devices can also do without them. One can only hope that more safety measures will be put in place so lives can be saved when irresponsible members of society are dialing or texting while driving. So far clear thinking, society, and the legal system hasn’t caught up with the meteoric rise of the “smart” device. Give it time.
Note I understand the context that this was written but people really do think that because a GUI, tablet, or phone interface is not attached to a system (today) that it is inefficient or lacking. The problem is you can only ask “do you really want to do this” so many times. And I’d rather not have those questions answered when someone is distracted, lounging, in a hurry, or decided to get some work done after a few drinks. Sure some is beyond control, but sanity checks ensure that certain interfaces and systems never ever see a smart device.