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 19, 2017 Timothy Prickett Morgan
Reassurance is a paradoxical phenomenon. If we are secure about something, we don’t look to be reassured about someone’s commitment to that thing; if we have our doubts, reassurance can help calm our nerves and soothe our fears, but ironically, the very act of reassurance can, in a way, undermine our confidence even as it helps reinforce it.
Funny, isn’t it?
It is with this irony in mind that we ponder some recent statements by IBM concerning its commitment to the RPG and COBOL compilers and Rational for i development tools for the IBM i platform. To be specific, back …Read more
June 12, 2017 Timothy Prickett Morgan
With the Power9 processor not coming to the IBM i and AIX platforms until sometime early in 2018, rather than right now as many of us were led to believe would be happening, we have some extra time on our hands. So we should all – including the executives who run IBM Systems and its subordinate Cognitive Systems division (formerly known as Power Systems) – take this opportunity to take a hard look at how the IBM i platform is packaged and priced and how a modern integrated platform should be architected.
The IBM i customer base needs the Cognitive …Read more
June 5, 2017 Timothy Prickett Morgan
In case you have not figured it out yet, IBM’s biggest priority when it comes to the Power9 processor is Linux. Not IBM i and not AIX, which are Big Blue’s own operating system platforms and which have generated the vast majority of revenues for the combined Power platform since Linux made its debut on Power and System z machines almost two decades ago.
As we have previously reported, IBM is getting ready to launch the Power9 processors sometime in the second half of this year, and officially has not given a precise date for when the first systems using …Read more
May 22, 2017 Timothy Prickett Morgan
We sometimes think that the IBM announcement system tries to pull a fast one on us. Like many people in this market, we watch this system like a hawk, looking for anything pertinent to Power Systems or IBM i. A very important announcement was made on April 11, well ahead of the COMMON user group meeting in Orlando, Florida, two weeks ago, but no one we know saw it. A business partner saw it late last week and alerted us to it.Read more
May 8, 2017 Timothy Prickett Morgan
It is ever the way: In with the new and out with the old. With the Power9 processors set for their debut sometime this summer, and shipments beginning in the second half of the year, Big Blue is looking to clear out the inventory of older Power Systems equipment it has sitting around in the barn and to remove older items from its catalog to make room for a slew of new gear.
Over the past several months, IBM has been doing some spring cleaning, and we thought we would round all of these marketing withdrawals for Power Systems equipment …Read more
May 1, 2017 Timothy Prickett Morgan
In the IT business, what is old is often new again. And so it is with the software containers that are taking certain datacenters by storm these days, and the virtual machines and hypervisors that run them that predate them as a volume product on X86 servers by a decade.
Let’s have some fun with history.
Virtual machines were invented for IBM mainframes in the VM operating system way back in the dawn of time, well, 1972 with the launch of Virtual Machine Facility/370, which ran a lightweight operating system called the Conversational Monitoring system and as it matured could …Read more
April 24, 2017 Timothy Prickett Morgan
Thirteen weeks ago, when IBM reported its financial results for its final quarter of 2016, we said that the Power Systems business would decline in every quarter ahead of the Power9 launch, and while this is not a hard thing to predict, it has certainly turned out to be true in the first quarter of 2017. Both IBM’s Power Systems and Systems z machines and their related operating systems were hit by gut-wrenching declines.
The good news, as we have pointed out time and again, is that IBM’s true systems business is distinct from and is a superset that …Read more
April 17, 2017 Timothy Prickett Morgan
Sometimes I just have to laugh. One of the best things about the IBM i platform, and the thing that truly separates it aside from its sophisticated single memory storage architecture is the fact that it is an integrated system that is easy to deploy and even easier to administer. So many functions of the system are automated that companies that don’t want to hire database experts can do a very good job of coding applications and running their business with far fewer techies than other platforms require.
The same has never been said of AIX, and it certainly cannot …Read more
April 17, 2017 Timothy Prickett Morgan
In some ways, we miss the days when OS/400 and IBM i gear was more expensive than it is today. Thanks to considerably larger customer and reseller bases and because hardware was so expensive and, costing something on the order of a few mansions per month to rent or lease or finance, there was a vibrant market in second-hand AS/400 and iSeries equipment.
But as the base got smaller and systems got cheaper thanks to Moore’s Law improvements on all hardware components except the tin wrapping around them, the market for used equipment became thinner and less orderly. And, perhaps …Read more
April 10, 2017 Timothy Prickett Morgan
It looks like AIX shops got a better Valentine’s Day card than IBM i customers did.
One of the things that was supposed to happen when the iSeries and pSeries product lines were merged back in 2000 was that a unified Power Systems organization was going to run both the OS/400 (now IBM i) and AIX software platforms on a single, unified hardware platform with a single and equal hardware price. This was something we had been demanding from IBM so long that we were blue in the face, so to speak, and to its credit, IBM stuck to the …Read more