Timothy Prickett Morgan
Timothy Prickett Morgan is President of Guild Companies Inc and Editor in Chief of The Four Hundred. He has been keeping a keen eye on the midrange system and server markets for three decades, and was one of the founding editors of The Four Hundred, the industry's first subscription-based monthly newsletter devoted exclusively to the IBM AS/400 minicomputer, established in 1989. He is also currently co-editor and founder of The Next Platform, a publication dedicated to systems and facilities used by supercomputing centers, hyperscalers, cloud builders, and large enterprises. Previously, Prickett Morgan was editor in chief of EnterpriseTech, and he was also the midrange industry analyst for Midrange Computing (now defunct), and its editor for Monday Morning iSeries Update, a weekly IBM midrange newsletter, and for Wednesday Windows Update, a weekly Windows enterprise server newsletter. Prickett Morgan has also performed in-depth market and technical studies on behalf of computer hardware and software vendors that helped them bring their products to the AS/400 market or move them beyond the IBM midrange into the computer market at large. Prickett Morgan was also the editor of Unigram.X, published by British publisher Datamonitor, which licenses IT Jungle's editorial for that newsletter as well as for its ComputerWire daily news feed and for its Computer Business Review monthly magazine. He is currently Principal Analyst, Server Platforms & Architectures, for Datamonitor's research unit, and he regularly does consulting work on behalf of Datamonitor's AskComputerWire consulting services unit. Prickett Morgan began working for ComputerWire as a stringer for Computergram International in 1989. Prickett Morgan has been a contributing editor to many industry magazines over the years, including BusinessWeek Newsletter for Information Executives, Infoperspectives, Business Strategy International, Computer Systems News, IBM System User, Midrange Computing, and Midrange Technology Showcase, among others. Prickett Morgan studied aerospace engineering, American literature, and technical writing at the Pennsylvania State University and has a BA in English. He is not always as serious as his picture might lead you to believe.
August 19, 2019 Timothy Prickett Morgan
We are awaiting a bunch of things coming out of Big Blue with regard to the Power Systems line, but the engineers are always tweaking the product line to meet customer demand even after things have been shipping for a while. So it is with the “Fleetwood” Power E980 system that IBM debuted last summer using the “Cumulus” 12-core, heavy thread variant of the Power9 processor family and the Enterprise Pool CPU capacity pooling software that runs on enterprise-class Power Systems iron.
But before we get into all of that, a reminder of what we are expecting to see from …Read more
August 12, 2019 Timothy Prickett Morgan
It is no secret that Moore’s Law is causing all kinds of grief with chip designers working in all parts of the IT stack. It was bad enough to run out of clock scaling when Dennard Scaling stopped, and the industry has done a great job in making processors more parallel and allowing for them to offload processing to various kinds of accelerators, either on the die, in the package, or in the chassis over high speed interconnects. But even this is running out of gas as processors keep pushing up against the reticle limits of lithography machines because the …Read more
August 5, 2019 Timothy Prickett Morgan
So how does the IBM Cloud running IBM i stack up against the main competition in the midrange, which is on premises Windows Server plus SQL Server from Microsoft as well as that same stack running in the Amazon Web Services cloud? We can’t give you a definitive answer, but we can give you some food for thought as you ponder how good of a deal Big Blue is giving customers who want to put IBM i on the cloud.
Making comparisons between on premises iron and cloudy infrastructure is difficult and problematic. The good thing about a public cloud …Read more
July 22, 2019 Timothy Prickett Morgan
This time last year, Big Blue was just starting to ship Power9-based systems for the “Summit” and “Sierra” supercomputers built for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and that gave the Power Systems line a revenue bump through the third and fourth quarters of last year. There is no such big deal this year, although IBM has sold a baby version of these machines – if you consider the 25 petaflops “Pangea III” supercomputer small – to European oil and gas giant Total.
That deal with Total surely helped IBM make its …Read more
July 15, 2019 Timothy Prickett Morgan
IBM has been around long enough in the IT racket that it doesn’t have any trouble maintaining distinct portfolios of products that have overlapping and often incompatible functions. The System/3, which debuted in 1969, is only five years younger than the System/360, which laid the foundation and set the pace for corporate computing when it launched in 1964. Both styles of machines continue to exist today as the IBM i on Power Systems platform and the System z.
With the $34 billion acquisition of Red Hat, which closed last week, neither of those two legacy products are under threat and …Read more
July 8, 2019 Timothy Prickett Morgan
In this publication, legacy is not a dirty word or even remotely pejorative. Rather, “legacy” is just a shorthand way of delineating between applications that encapsulate decades of the evolution of a business and the transactions it processes, and all of the other new stuff that this business is also doing and perhaps coding with newer tools and programming languages.
A new company, called Eradani, has been founded by some experts in both the IBM i world and the open source world with the express purpose of building a technical bridge so these two different cultures can see a …Read more
June 24, 2019 Timothy Prickett Morgan
Here’s the $64,000 question: How much more does a slice of the IBM Cloud running IBM i cost compared to buying an on-premises machine with the same rough amount of capacity and installing IBM i on it and putting it into production? The answer to that question is: That all depends. But in general, as is the case with all infrastructures available on premises and on the cloud, the cloud is always more expensive.
This is not a surprise if you think about it for a moment. By using cloudy infrastructure, you are offloading the hassle of maintaining hardware and …Read more
June 17, 2019 Timothy Prickett Morgan
Today is the day. You can finally go out onto the IBM i Cloud and buy on-demand slices of Power-based systems from Big Blue itself and load up the IBM i operating system and integrated database and do actual work on it. And, if it floats your boat, you can run AIX partitions on the IBM Cloud, too, on the same Power S922 and Power E880 iron that IBM is making available and carving up with its homegrown PowerVM server virtualization hypervisor.
IBM revealed its plans for IBM i and AIX on its own public cloud, called the Power …Read more
June 10, 2019 Timothy Prickett Morgan
It would be hard to find a group of enterprise IT shops that are more conservative – meaning averse to risk – than the IBM midrange. Arguably, IBM System z mainframe shops are even more risk averse, but perhaps it is a matter more of scale than degree. In the average IBM i shop, one person – or maybe a handful of people – is keeping risk at bay, while in a mainframe shop there could be dozens or hundreds that are trying to steer the ship without rocking the boat.
Every now and then, Big Blue publishes an IBM …Read more
June 10, 2019 Timothy Prickett Morgan
When a market is comprised of hundreds of thousands of customers, things tend to level out and are a lot more predictable than when there are relatively few customers. Before the public clouds took off a decade ago and before the hyperscalers created such large infrastructures to support billions of users running their applications, server buying was a lot smaller and it was also more predictable. Things tended to grow slowly, methodically and they also took time to slow down because not everyone felt an economic decline or a transition to a new system architecture at the same time.
That …Read more