IBM Punts New PureFlex Racks, Offers PDU Deal
October 15, 2012 Timothy Prickett Morgan
The 19-inch rack hasn’t changed all that much in decades, and like Ethernet, anything that comes up against it with better technology finds itself smashed and absorbed. Or both. But, that said, even things like racks need to be tweaked to fit new server, storage, and networking designs, and so it is with a line of racks tailored for the PureFlex modular systems that IBM announced in April.
To fit all of the hairy cables coming out of the backend of the Flex System chassis, IBM has tweaked the PureFlex rack to be 10 percent deeper (1.1 meters instead of 1 meter) while retaining the same 19-inch width that has been around since radio and telecom gear was standardized by the US military back in the vacuum tube days. The rack has the same 42U of rack space as any other standard rack. The 9363-4CX is the rack and the 9363-4DX is the expansion rack that hangs off it to give you a complete four-chassis PureSystem setup that can be managed as a single domain. You get the funky blue rack door kit as well, and heavy duty casters with outriggers to stabilize the rack.
The PureFlex rack, detailed in announcement letter 112-151, also has power distribution units that tuck into the sides of the rack and do not eat up rack space, so-called 0U PDUs, which slide into the racks and snap in without needing any tools. The racks also have space to snap in external switches if you are using a top-of-rack switch (although it may not be in the top of the rack any more) to aggregate switches or instead of integrated switches inside of the Flex System chassis. The base rack with the triple door used for better airflow costs $5,399, while the expansion rack that slides in next to it and hooks into the primary rack costs $5,199.
Between now and March 31, 2013, IBM wants to cushion the blow of buying those 0U PDUs for these and other racks, and is offering discounts if you buy from “IBM Inside Sales,” which I have never heard of before. In announcement letter 312-119, IBM is offering discounts ranging from $107 to $400 on various models of its 30 amp and 50 amp PDUs, with the deepest discount being on the 50 amp PDU that does three-phase power.