We Still Want IBM i On The Impending Power E1050
June 27, 2022 Timothy Prickett Morgan
In March last year, as Big Blue was finishing up the development of the Power10 family of Power Systems machines, we wrote an essay explaining that we wanted IBM i to be a first-class operating system citizen on the four-socket Power E1050 machine, which we finally expect to see launch on July 12 if the rumors are correct.
We never did like that IBM i was not supported on the Power8-based Power E850 four-socket server, and then also not supported on the Power9-based Power E950 four-socket server. And we equally do not like the fact that, if the rumors we are hearing are correct, the four-socket Power10-based Power E1050 will also not be supporting the IBM i operating system.
From a technical standpoint, as I have pointed out during the past two generations of machines, IBM’s lack of IBM i support for the Power E1050 has nothing to do with the underlying technology. Of course IBM i can run on the Power E1050. Just like it technically could run on the prior Power E850, Power E850C, and Power E950 machines. The simple fact is that IBM wants IBM i customers to have to go to the bigger NUMA iron and more complex Hardware Management Console (HMC) setups, which are more expensive and presumably more profitable for Big Blue.
This is strictly a cost-benefit analysis, and it is one that we have consistently said that we think IBM is getting wrong. The Power E850, Power E850C, Power E950, and now Power E1050 are about the biggest machines that the vast majority of the IBM i shops in the world would ever want or need, and they have excellent feeds, speeds, and pricing compared to the larger NUMA iron in the Power8, Power9, and Power10 generations. It is a perfect machine on which managed services providers could build powerful and yet simple IBM i clouds. It is what IBM should be deploying as good midrange instances for running IBM i on its own IBM Cloud.
IBM is too fixated on its several thousand SAP HANA customers when it needs to be worried about a larger number of customers who have large IBM i installations and that nonetheless do not need a full-on Power E980 or Power E1080. Why not have both and sell more machines? Why not give IBM i shops the same number of rungs on the system family ladder that AIX and Linux get?
We still don’t like it, not one bit.