Power7+ Machines Added To IBM i Capacity BackUp Deal
January 7, 2013 Timothy Prickett Morgan
If you are thinking about getting a Capacity BackUp (CBU) variant of the Power Systems-IBM i platform to use in a high availability cluster, you can now use a few of the new Power7+ machines as your secondary box.
The CBU machines first debuted way back in September 2003, when IBM wanted customers to embrace high availability clustering for OS/400 applications and when it realized it would have to cushion the blow to make secondary machines that were being replicated to less costly than production machines that were doing useful work. Prior to that, if you wanted to run HA software, you had to buy two boxes and get the best deal you could from Big Blue on the two machines, but with the CBU, the discounts and configurations for backup boxes were standardized at anywhere from 55 percent to 74 percent lower at list price than equivalently configured machines running the full-on Enterprise Edition of the OS/400 software stack on the same Power5-based iSeries machine. (You can see how the initial CBU machines stacked up to plain vanilla boxes here and find out more about current CBU machines there.)
High availability clustering has always been a big driver of new system sales in the OS/400 and IBM i product line, and that has not changed in the past decade. To help sweeten the CBU deal on then-current current Power7-based machines, IBM announced a rebate deal back in October 2011 that gave customers cash back if they bought a specific Power Systems CBU and IBM’s own PowerHA SystemMirror for i Standard Edition clustering software. That deal was restricted to Power 720, 740, 750, 770, 780, or 795 CBU Edition machines and was not made available to customers buying HA software from third-party suppliers such as Bug Busters, Maxava, Rocket Software, Trader’s, and Vision Solutions. (This is what happens when your system vendor sells a competing product.)
In the original deal from October 2011, which has been running since that time, those buying the Power 720, 740, and 750 CBU Editions got $1,500 back, while those buying the Power 770 and 780 CBU systems got $2,000, and those buying the Power 795 CBUs got $3,000. This is not a lot of money, mind you, compared to the cost of the CBU or the PowerHA software, but every little bit helps. In announcement letter 312-135, which came out on December 4, IBM added the new Power 770+ and Power 780+ servers based on the Power7+ processors to the rebate list. The rebates are the same $2,000 as you get on the older Power 770 and Power 780 machines based on earlier Power7 chips. This deal is available in the United States and Canada.
The Power 770+ and Power 780+ machines debuted back in October 2012, and as far as I know there is not a CBU edition of the Flex System p260+ server that came out somewhat unexpectedly back in November 2012, but it would make sense that any Flex System node in a PureSystem modular system setup should have a CBU edition and therefore be eligible for the rebate as well. If you are buying these p260, p260+, or p460 nodes and want to use them as backup boxes for primary machines, you should insist that IBM give you the same deal.
And while I am at it, the rebates ought to be extended to any third-party HA product as well that runs on the IBM i 7.1 platform and that is supported on Power7 and Power7+ software. The HA software makers are far too important to the health and wealth of the IBM i market for them to be ignored by Big Blue in any deal it gives for itself. IBM has to compete against its partners, to be sure, but the playing field is not supposed to be tilted.