IBM i Total Cost Of Ownership Report Updated
December 1, 2014 Dan Burger
ITG is IBM‘s go-to research and analysis firm when it comes to studies comparing IBM i to its competition. These studies zero in on total cost of ownership build a favorable case for IBM’s midrange systems based on costs related to hardware purchase and maintenance; licenses and support for operating systems, databases, and other systems software, systems management and database administration costs; and energy costs.
During its most recent comparison, which is dated September 2014, ITG lined up IBM Power S814 and S824 servers against two- and four-socket X86 servers powered by Intel E5 and E7 processors. One of the X86 systems was set up to run Microsoft Windows Server 2012 and SQL Server 2014. The other X86 system was a combination of Linux servers with Oracle Database 12c. Virtualization was used with all of the test gear.
The way ITG figures it, the up-front acquisition costs for hardware and software licenses average 35 percent less with i on Power8 compared to the Windows-based option and 46 percent less than the Linux/Oracle alternative. Ongoing costs on IBM i average 49 percent less and 53 percent less respectively.
As in past reports, ITG makes note that average small to midsize business running X86 servers deploy between three and five boxes to match up with the capabilities of a single Power system. And in this case, it’s a new Power8 box, which is being compared to the older X86 technology. So the report makes note that hardware, software, and support costs attached to three X86 servers surpass the associated costs tied to one Power8 server. But the biggest IBM i advantages that ITG demonstrates are in the systems management area. This, too, has been emphasized in past ITG reports. More servers require more administrators, based on the ITG survey results and this gives IBM i on Power its most notable cost savings.
Another factor that ITG brings into the discussion is cost of downtime documentation. Zero tolerance for downtime is often the norm in businesses that depend on ecommerce and/or tightly managed supply chains. The increased use of mobile applications, social media, and cloud computing add more pressure to reduce downtime.
ITG calculated the costs of downtime at IBM i shops averaged 72 percent less compared with Windows and SQL Server. And when compared to the use of X86 Linux servers with Oracle, the IBM I shops downtime was 79 percent less.
If your company is considering the replacement of its IBM i on Power platform with a Windows or Linux on X86 system, having some statistics to support IBM i will help you make your case by drawing attention to data that adds perspective to cost comparisons.
IBM has forever touted the value proposition of IBM i, iSeries, and AS/400 systems while X86 machines have swarmed into the small to midsize market. Much of the X86 incursion took place during an era when IT costs were not scrutinized to the extent they are today.
ITG based its report on input from 42 midsize businesses employing IBM i on Power Systems, Windows servers or X86 Linux servers in manufacturing, distribution and retail companies. The survey results were collected from organizations that ranged from $300 million to $1.65 billion in revenues, and employed 500 to more than 5,000 people.
There are two ITG reports available for midsize businesses. One is titled “IBM i on Power Systems for Midsize Businesses: Minimizing Costs and Risks in Today’s Environment of Cloud, Analytics, and Mobile Applications”. The second report is titled There are two ITG reports available for midsize businesses. One is titled “”IBM i on Power Systems for Midsize Businesses: Minimizing Costs and Risks in Today’s Environment of Cloud, Analytics, and Mobile Applications Executive Brief”.