Power Private Cloud Gets More Cloudy With Pricing Tweaks
May 9, 2022 Timothy Prickett Morgan
As promised two years ago, Big Blue has been gradually and steadily transforming from a business model where it sells machines and perpetual software licenses and support for the both of them to a model where it sells capacity based on usage like a big cloud – like its own IBM Cloud – does.
As part of the May 3 announcements, IBM has made a few changes to its Power Private Cloud Solution – the word “solution” has become basically useless in the context of IT, just like “offering” has, and I tell writers that I work with that if they are talking about solutions, it better be chemistry, and if they are talking about offerings, it better not be part of a cult – that move it that much closer to full subscription pricing the utility usage model that many customers prefer compared to machine ownership.
The changes to pricing last week related to what is called Shared Utility Capacity, which is something IBM offered last February for processors and memory on the Power Private Cloud, which launched in May 2020. (See? Solution is not necessary in that sentence.) Shared Utility Capacity pricing allows for customers to buy a certain amount of metered capacity, but allocate it across a pool of machines managed at the Power Enterprise Pool 2.0 level and change it over time as the operations of the datacenter dictate. This pricing is available on Enterprise Storage Pools that have Power E980 and Power E1080 servers.
In announcement letter 122-036, IBM is adding this Shared Utility Pricing to its OpenShift Container Platform running on Power, which is the Kubernetes stack from its Red Hat division. This Shared Utility Pricing – dare we call it SUP? – for OpenShift has a base two-core premium subscription requirement and will be available on May 17.
In announcement letter 122-069, IBM has cut the rate of consumption of capacity credits for the metered pricing for Power E950, Power E980, and Power E1080 servers, and now, each unit of capacity has more minutes of time allocated to it, which has the effect of reducing the cost of using it without actually dropping the price. (I had not considered this as we way of improving price/performance, but obviously this is one way to do it rather than cutting price and keeping capacity constant. You can increase the minutes and cut the price, too.) The revised minutes per usage capacity ratios are effective as of May 3.
And finally, in announcement letter 122-032, IBM is now offering metered capacity on the Power Private Cloud that is billed each month after usage as opposed to having customers prepay for it and then have it decremented from their prepaid capacity. The prior way of doing it – prepaying for capacity and then paying for overages out of the prepaid Shared Utility Capacity budget – is still available. So customers can choose whichever approach they – or their accountants – like better. We think customers will like the minutely metering for capacity and paying after usage, and will want the monthly rollup of the billing, too.