IBM Tweaks Power-Linux Discount Deal In Europe
October 20, 2014 Timothy Prickett Morgan
IBM has made it pretty clear that it wants more Power Systems customers to adopt Linux for certain parts of their workloads in addition to selling more Power8 systems to customers with Linux workloads that might otherwise buy X86 systems. IBM’s European unit is actually doing something about it to try to push Linux.
In announcement letter ZA14-1126, IBM Europe is giving customers a discount on a Linux support subscription license for Red Hat Enterprise Linux or SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. The price is pretty cheap: â‚¬1, or about $1.28 in U.S. dollars or about 79 pence in British pounds. In the United States, a standard RHEL support contract costs $799 and a premium contract (which means 24×7 support and other goodies like access to people) costs $1,299 on X86 systems. On Power Systems, Red Hat charges $2,700 for a standard support contract and $4,300 for a premium contract on two-socket machines. (It does not charge by core, unlike IBM with its System z and IBM i systems software.) SUSE Linux charges $750 per socket for a one-year subscription to SLES 11 on Power machines for a basic Web contract, and $850 per socket for a standard 12×5 contract and $1,000 per socket for a priority 24×7 contract. This is more expensive than what SUSE Linux charges for X86 iron, as you might imagine. It costs $349 for a two-socket machine on X86 systems for a basic contract (or less than a quarter of what it is charging for Power machines), $799 for a 12×5 contract, and $1,499 for a 24×7 contract.
No matter how you want to do the comparison, this is enough money to create a somewhat beefier system if you want to think of it that way or an opportunity to spend less money if you were planning on adding Linux to your new system. The European deal runs through December 31, and it only provides the basic support level. IBM is covering the support for RHEL, and SUSE Linux is covering it directly for that Linux option under this deal. The deal applies to Power 720 and Power 740 machines using Power7+ processors and Power S814 and Power S824 systems using Power8 processors.
It is amazing that IBM is not offering a higher level of support under this deal, and moreover, is not offering it in North America and other parts of the world, considering its Power-Linux push.