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.
June 24, 2020 Timothy Prickett Morgan
You didn’t actually think that we would have forgotten that Sunday, June 21st, was the 32nd birthday of the Application System/400, did you? Of course we didn’t forget.
It was also Father’s Day and the first day of summer, and to be perfectly frank (Soltis), I got a new smoker from my wife and I spent the afternoon learning about the joys of hickory smoked barbeque ribs. It is a gift that just keeps giving, because I made about 40 pounds of meat in various kinds and flavors because I needed to try everything all at once. …Read more
June 22, 2020 Timothy Prickett Morgan
If you took a pause for your server upgrade plans in the first quarter as the coronavirus pandemic was starting to take root, you were not alone. But all things considered, the period ended in March was not as bad for server spending as you might have guessed, and we think that the second, third, and fourth quarters are the real test. The first quarter was just the warmup.
Business has been pretty brisk for those who sell server components, and the ODMs and OEMs have been pretty busy, wrestling with their supply chains and trying to meet customer demand …Read more
June 8, 2020 Timothy Prickett Morgan
A few weeks ago, we told you about the double memory and double I/O request for price quote (RPQ) special deals that IBM quietly rolled out in April without putting out any announcement letters and that are still in effect until June 30. So consider this a reminder that these deals are still out there and now is a good time to invest in new Power9 iron if you want to pay less for it than you otherwise might.
But that is not all you can get. As it turns out, Big Blue is revamping its IBM i Solution Edition …Read more
May 27, 2020 Timothy Prickett Morgan
All of us have been expecting the Technology Refreshes – that is IBM i 7.3 TR8 and IBM i 7.4 TR2 – to come out on May 15. And when that didn’t happen, a bunch of us started scratching our heads a bit. Thus far, as we go to press, Big Blue has not put out a formal statement to customers about what is going on, but a number of big IBM i customers received a notification from somewhere up the chain of command about the situation, while at the same time, unbeknownst to many, IBM i chief architect Steve …Read more
May 18, 2020 Timothy Prickett Morgan
Back in early January, before the coronavirus pandemic had kicked in outside of Wuhan, China, Big Blue decided to rejigger the pricing on the memory and flash storage used in the current Power8 and Power9 systems lineup. Small form factor flash drives had a price increase of 6 percent to 7 percent, fatter SAS drives had a price increase of 6 percent to 14 percent, and on some machines they went down 10 percent. NVM-Express flash cards had price decreases of 16 percent to 27 percent. Main memory prices were cut anywhere from 2.4 percent to 18.5 percent, with the …Read more
May 18, 2020 Timothy Prickett Morgan
In February last year, Big Blue surprised many of us by announcing that it was putting Power8 and Power9 systems onto the IBM Cloud and offering up true cloud capacity, with utility pricing, for the capacity on Power S922 entry and Power E880 high-end servers. We did a detailed analysis of the Power Systems Virtual Server for IBM Cloud offering here, and talked about the pricing for compute, storage, and networking for the service there. The offering was first available in June of last year, and subsequently the Power E980 has been added to the mix.
Now, we …Read more
May 11, 2020 Timothy Prickett Morgan
The one thing that is easy to predict about designing and manufacturing a server processor is that no matter who is doing it, no matter what process in what decade, it is always hard and things always run late. Whether or not we on the outside world can see this, it remains true just the same. And that is because in any given era, with any given chip etching technique or chip architecture, server processors are always pushing up to the very limits of what is possible. And things go wrong.
This is why it is a good idea to …Read more
May 6, 2020 Timothy Prickett Morgan
A lot of people, including us, focus on the technologies that go into private, on-premises cloudy infrastructure and how that is almost always distinct from compute, storage, and networking technologies based on the same raw compute – Intel Xeon, AMD Epyc, or IBM Power, pick one – available on the public cloud. But there is an equally important gap between private and public clouds, and that is the pricing methodology for the two.
IBM’s Cognitive Systems division, which controls the Power Systems platform, wants to close that pricing gap by adopting the same flexible, utility-style pricing for on-premises Power Systems …Read more
May 4, 2020 Timothy Prickett Morgan
Back in the day, when midrange computers cost somewhat more than they do today (without adjusting for inflation, mind you) and the amount of processing, memory, storage, and networking capacity of the boxes was absolutely miniscule compared to what we can buy today (but sufficient to the task), customers looking to add more AS/400 or iSeries capacity to their datacenter didn’t have to shop around a current N generation or N-1 generation machine, but they could also look into the secondhand market for used N-1, N-2, and even N-3 generation machines and try to buy capacity on the …Read more
May 4, 2020 Timothy Prickett Morgan
When IBM brought out its active-active Db2 for i database clustering extensions, called Db2 Mirror appropriately enough, almost exactly a year ago to improve the resiliency of databases and therefore the applications that run atop them on the IBM i platform, we had a few asks. As part of the April Technology Refresh announcements for IBM i 7.3 and 7.4, some of those asks are answered and it looks like another one might be in the works.
The two most important things that we asked for are related, and it is all about making Db2 Mirror available and affordable for …Read more