Time To Update Power Systems Site, Sales Pitch
November 17, 2014 Timothy Prickett Morgan
IBM has spent billions of dollars and many years to bring the Power8 systems to market, and as we all know, it is not quite done rolling Power8 gear into the field. The company is also not quite caught up on updating its Power Systems website to reflect its new machines and its new focus on competing against X86 iron for transaction processing, analytics, and technical computing workloads.
This is a problem, and one that a $100 billion IT giant should not have.
If you go to the Power Systems sub-site on the IBM website, and then go to the News and Events section and scroll down to the bit that says The ultimate platform for compute intensive workloads for businesses of all sizes, this actually links to a set of materials that have to do with the entry Power7+ launch back in February 2013, and it even shows that Colin Parris is the general manager of the Power Systems division. The comparisons that IBM was making nearly two years ago were interesting and helpful to customers trying to justify the acquisition of Power-based systems, but since this time the competition has launched two generations of processors and IBM now has launched one. It is high time to update this material and help customers pit Power8 iron against the current “Haswell” Xeon E5 and “Ivy Bridge” Xeon E7 systems, which will be the ones X86 vendors will be selling for the next year or so.
Ditto for the part of the Power Systems site that talks about the IBM i Solution Editions, the collateral talks about Power7 machines, specifically the Power 720 and Power 740. While these machines are still available, anyone who is paying a per-core license for an IBM i machine should really be going for a Power8 machine, not only because each Power8 core yields at least twice the performance, but because the Power8 machines will support future releases for many years and the Power7 and Power7+ chips, by necessity, will not be supported for as long because they are already nearly three to five years old at this point.
The IBM i Capacity BackUp and PowerHA section of the Power Systems site is also still talking about IBM i 6.1 and IBM i 7.1, and while there is nothing wrong with that, we are already up to IBM i 7.2, which is tuned up for the Power8 systems.
Don’t get me wrong. There is plenty of good information out there on the Power Systems site. But there needs to be more to help the IBM i shop make the case against Windows on Xeon. It is relatively easy to make the case for Power8 at big banks or hyperscale companies that control their own software stacks, but it gets increasingly difficult for those who use third party software that runs against relational databases. There is very little information comparing IBM i systems to anything these days, and IBM can’t let the X86 vendor community control that conversation.
There are 150,000 or so IBM i accounts at stake. It is as important to retain loyal customers on IBM i and AIX as it is to get new ones on Linux on the Power Systems platform.