IBM Kills Off Original Flex p260 Node, Other Power Systems Features
June 24, 2013 Timothy Prickett Morgan
With new Power7+ processors in full production and Big Blue wanting to shift customers to the latest iron rather than stuff that is one to three years old, it is no surprise that the marketing and manufacturing people in Systems and Technology Group are cutting some pages out of the IBM product catalog.
In announcement letter 913-142, IBM said that effective September 20, it would stop selling the original Power7-based Flex p260 server node, which was announced back in April 2012 as one of two Power7 nodes for IBM’s PureFlex modular system. This is the half-width, two-socket node, which was updated last fall with a Power7+ processor that has a little more oomph, a lot more L3 cache memory per core, and other on-chip accelerators that make it a better option than the Power7 chip. As far as I know, the four-socket Power 460+ node has not been announced yet using the Power7+ chip, which means it is overdue.
IBM also said that its four-socket Power 755 server, a four-socket, water-cooled machine aimed at supercomputing customers, would be yanked out of the sales catalog on August 23. This machine debuted back in February 2010 with the original midrange rollout of the Power7-based machines. While the Power 775 behemoth that was to be the “Blue Waters” machine at the University of Illinois is also aimed at supercomputing customers, it is a radically different design and a lot more expensive than the Power 755. Incidentally, there is not a Power 755+ rack machine based on the Power7+ chip. You can get a Power 750+ or Power 760+, and presumably a Power 460+ when and if IBM gets one out the door and build supercomputers from the PureFlex modular machines. IBM no doubt wants this, but I have yet to see such a sales pitch.
If you read the announcement letter, you will also see a bunch of 10 Gb/sec switches and adapters for the Power Systems and PureFlex machines are going to be removed from marketing on July 19 as well. A bunch of older 177GB solid state drives are also being taken out behind the woodshed. Memory cards for the Power 595 machine are being shown the door, as are some 2.5-inch SAS and 16GB memory sticks for various machines.
As usual, IBM is telling customers to make contact about buying second-hand parts from its Global Services unit if they need these withdrawn parts after their sell-by date. My advice is to poke around on the intertubes to find other sources of refurbished and maintainable parts before you buy from Big Blue. Global Services does not usually have aggressive prices–at least not the ones we can find.