Reader Feedback On Power7+ Versus Power8
June 9, 2014 Timothy Prickett Morgan
I enjoy reading your analysis of the new models (yes, I’m one of those that actually read the data tables). I would suggest that at the entry point (for the i models) $ per CPW doesn’t offer much insight into best bang for buck.
At the entry point (I will call that up to 50 or perhaps 75 users with mostly or all 5250 interactive application), there is now a lot more CPW than can be utilized. To me it would seem that a better comparison would be to take a base i system config with moderate to low memory (8 GB or 16 GB), and two or four moderate disk drives, PLUS some number of IBM i OS users. Then do the comparison for 10, 20, 40, and maybe 80 (or unlimited) users.
As a solution provider, we (and our customers) compare costs for an entry system like this with varying user counts. When the unlimited user limit kicks in matters, lowering cost per user. CPW doesn’t factor in at all.
I have only seen rough pricing from our sales team. But early indications are (as you did note with different metrics) the 720 is less expensive than the new 8XX entry point. However, it’s not by a small amount. At certain user counts, the difference is quite large. So large, we are confident that many of our customers will not even consider buying an 8XX server. The entry point pricing for a system with OS/400 actually has been going up for our customers over time. Think 150, 170, 250 (then special promos on the 250), 520, 515, 720. . . .
To be fair, it’s not completely linear. But generally speaking our customers (who’s businesses remain similar in size over time) expect their server upgrades to be the same or less than their previous server replacement, and it’s clearly not. Yes the CPW per $ have improved over time. But their actual, in the door, entry point system pricing, continues to increase. That’s a difficult proposition given the Windows/Linux/Unix plus Intel market direction.
Perhaps this is too specific of a comparison point for your articles. But while the larger machines are where most money is for Power i systems (and CPW does count), the entry machines are probably where there are the most footprints. I think there would be avid interest in the entry point cost per IBM i user comparison.
Just a thought.
Thanks again for what you do. Yours in one of few email newsletters I read every week.
I agree that the issue is a complex one, and I will be looking at it from various angles. I try to work from the hardware up to a complete system. Next, I will look at the processor and operating system on the processor cards to test what the raw capacity is worth, including users. I think I have built that back for three generations of hardware, so that will be interesting. Then, after all that is done, I will do some representative configurations across a couple of generations to see how they all stack up.
I happen to think we need a P05 system, as does everyone else in the IBM i market. We’ll see if IBM comes through with it.