IBM Gives Power Systems Rebates For Linux Workloads
January 23, 2017 Timothy Prickett Morgan
Big Blue has made no secret whatsoever that it wants to ride the Linux wave up with the Power Systems platform, and its marketeers are doing what they can to sweeten the hardware deals as best they can without adversely affecting the top and bottom line at IBM in general and the Power Systems division in particular to help that Linux cause along.
To be precise, IBM has rolled out another in a line of its “first in location” rebate offerings, which was a common tactic when IBM was trying to sell AS/400 or RS/6000 systems against competitive platforms or to its own base of System/36 and System/38 shops in the case of the AS/400. In the latest one, which is dated January 3 but which was actually announced on January 20 (PDF), the deal is called the Linux Software Solutions for IBM Power Systems First-in-Location rebate, and as the name suggests, IBM is giving customers who buy selected models in the Power Systems line a rebate if they also are installing specific Linux applications for the first time.
To take part in the deal, the Linux application software has to be run on the Power System machine acquired, and cannot be transferred to another Power System machine or an X86 box or any other platform. However, customers can migrate a Linux application from another competitive platform, such as an X86 system running Linux, to the new Power Systems and still get the rebate. So, either the Linux application can be new, the Power Systems server can be new, or both. IBM is limiting this rebate to one per solution, which includes the new server or the new Linux application, so presumably unless you plan to install various Linux applications on multiple and distinct systems, this amounts to one rebate per customer. A new server means a machine with a new serial number at the site.
Here is the list of Power Systems machines, and their model numbers, that can be acquired under the deal:
- S821LC, 8001-12C
- S822LC, 8001-22C
- S822LC, 8335-GCA
- S822LC, 8335-GTA
- S822LC, 8335-GTB
- S812LC, 8348-21C
- S812L, 8247-21L
- S822L, 8247-22L
- S824L, 8247-42L
- S822, 8284-22A
- S814, 8286-41A
- S824, 8286-42A
- E850C, 8408-44E
- E850, 8408-E8E
- E870C, 9080-MME
- E870, 9119-MME
- E880C, 9080-MHE
- E880, 9119-MHE
That is basically the entire Power8 lineup, with the exception of the low-core count variants of the Power S824 that is created explicitly for the IBM i operating system.
Here is the list of software vendors whose wares make the machine eligible for the discount:
- Redis Labs
- Spark + GPU
- Information Builders
IBM i shops are probably not acquainted with most of these vendors, but they provide relational databases, GPU accelerated databases, NoSQL databases, analytics, or Hadoop big data munching software. This is precisely the kind of software that is integral to IBM’s Linux-on-Power push, but the good news is, this is also the kind of software that many IBM i shops might want to start taking a look at. It could turn out that buying a new Power8 machine for these Linux workloads and then adding IBM i to the system is a good way to get a deal.
So how big is the rebate? IBM has an equation for that, not just a raw dollar figure. Here is what IBM said:
“The amount of the rebate will be equal to the total invoice price of the eligible new Linux ISV initial license fee and/or 1-year subscription fee per software application(s) and/or software module(s) acquired up to a maximum rebate of 5 percent of the list price of the eligible new Power Systems server acquired.”
So it is basically 5 percent off, and this might be on a system that costs $25,000 to $30,000 when all configured up. In many cases, this software will run on multiple nodes, and we think customers can – and should – argue for the discount on all of the nodes in said clusters.
This deal is open ended without an expiration date, and is available in the United States and Canada.
We expect to see more wheeling and dealing as 2017 rolls on because it is a long way to Power9 launch day and even longer to general availability. Perhaps in early summer, perhaps in middle summer, according to the latest scuttlebutt.