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back to article IBM slashes chip animation, new server prices

It is pretty safe to say that IT shops are a little hesitant to spend money these days. And getting companies to open up their checkbooks before 2009 is going to be something of a challenge. But no matter how bad the economy gets, you can always convince someone to spend now rather than later - so long as the deal is good enough …

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New discounts on old gear?

So if I'm an IBM customer, and have an unlicensed CPU I've had sitting in my server for a few months or a few quarters, I can get a discount versus buying a new, faster CPU (which I could probably get the same discount on if I tried)? Oh wait, that is right, IBM doesn't let you mix CPU speeds, if you want to do that you will need to trade in that IBM server for a Sun box.

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the double-edged sword of product roadmaps

Product roadmaps are those semi-great marketing tools that a company has to flog on the market to show that they're not out of touch with all of their competitors. So on the one hand they're great to try to pull in future (and hopefully new) business they somewhat discount a company's current situation.

Especially in the IT industry vendors are always touting the next gen product as being just around the corner. Those companies have been fairly successful keeping their customers on the ratwheel of continuous upgrades.

But customers may eventually wise up to the fact that delaying their purchase even a little bit would save them money and/or get them more (and it is the law, according to Moore). With the economy the way it is more companies may be forced to sit out one of the upgrade cycles, and they may find out the business does not grind to a halt.

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Sun boxes are end of life

In response to Marc's comment: "IBM doesn't let you mix CPU speeds, if you want to do that you will need to trade in that IBM server for a Sun box."

I would rather turn on one power5 2.3GHz core which has a 1.125GHz interconnect than have to buy two 1.9GHz cores (Sun only sells by the chip) which talk to a 150MHz interconnect (wow thats slow). (and Sun USIV+ is end of life)

As far as the Fujtisu OEM gear (aka M-class) they are still slow. 2.5GHz with 530MHz interconnect.

And ouch if I put in some quad core chips my software costs skyrocket.

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Happy

makes you wonder

Why the whole world hasnt migrated to to linux on intel.

You could get 8 cores and a whole lot more for the price of activateing one processor.

Still customer enjoy payning money to IBM, after a hard day of signing over priced contracts they probably nip round to Ms Whiplashes establishment for a bit of rest and relaxation.

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Unix is your father's platform

Your grandpappy used mainframes and 3270 data streams

Your daddy chose Unix, with command lines, file systems and honking iron.

I guess if your granddaddy drove a Chevvy and your daddy drove a Chevvy, you're too gullible to take a look at the alternatives.

Anyone from the current generation not moving to Linux on X86 and taking advantage of both application clustering, application replication and virtualization technologies really needs their head examined. Either that or they have no concern about their employer's budgets.

Seriously - Why would I spend $500,000 on an AIX system when I can obtain the same reliabiilty, availability and scalability with less than $100,000 of X86 gear?

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You fail... Go get some IT experience before posting...

Some apps dont really scale well on Intel, that's why we need Unix boxes.

Some apps needs Unix, cause Linux is not good enough yet.

Some hidden costs like management and licensing, need to be included in every project and spreading x86 boxes is not the best solution in all cases.

Stating that x86 has the same reliability, availability and scalability is a joke...

Go study something before posting for Gods sake!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: You fail... Go get some IT experience before posting...

I'll bite on the response from the previous AC, seeing as I have 25 years in IT and have worked with mainframes, multiple Unix flavors, Windows, multiple Linuxes and been involved with literally hundreds of customers from a consulting, technical architecture perspective.

<<Some apps don't really scale well on Intel, that's why we need Unix boxes. >>

Like what? I'm struggling to think of applications that don't scale well on X86. The only applications that do not scale well on X86 are a few obscure engineering applications (becoming fewer by the day). There are those apps that haven't been ported from Unix, due to the fact that the app developers are paid R&D money by the Unix manufacturers to support on the Unix line. I can think of banking and healthcare applications, for example, where this occurs.

<< Some apps needs Unix, cause Linux is not good enough yet. >>

Not good enough for what?

<< Some hidden costs like management and licensing, need to be included in every project and spreading x86 boxes is not the best solution in all cases. >>

Yes it does - and the costs still come out significantly lower. I've seen it where this makes it even more of a compelling case, not less, for choosing X86 over Unix.

Unix management software is typically more expensive than X86 platform. Licensing on Unix (eg agents) tend to cost significantly more than on X86, due to the smaller opportunity base.

<< Stating that x86 has the same reliability, availability and scalability is a joke... >>

No joke. Many of the largest companies are running their mission critical applications on X86.

Vmware Vmotion, Oracle Enterprise Linux & RAC are just two examples of the ability to provide reliabiity, availability and scalability.

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I think we live on different worlds

RE: Like what? I'm struggling to think of applications that don't scale well on X86. The only applications that do not scale well on X86 are a few obscure engineering applications (becoming fewer by the day). There are those apps that haven't been ported from Unix, due to the fact that the app developers are paid R&D money by the Unix manufacturers to support on the Unix line. I can think of banking and healthcare applications, for example, where this occurs.

Ok... I never saw a big company spreading x86 running Oracle RAC on more than 3 or 4 nodes. RAC notably doesn't scale well on more than 4 nodes. So, if you want real power in DB parallelism case, Intel is NOT the way to go. Other than that, if you need single thread performance the top RISC or EPIC chips will provide a better environment to the apps.

RE: Not good enough for what?

There is a huge difference between Linux and commercial Unix flavors. Think about heavy context switches, SMP scaling, asynchronous I/O and file systems reliability and performance. Linux is in stone ages compared to AIX, HP-UX and Solaris.

RE: Yes it does - and the costs still come out significantly lower. I've seen it where this makes it even more of a compelling case, not less, for choosing X86 over Unix.

Unix management software is typically more expensive than X86 platform. Licensing on Unix (eg agents) tend to cost significantly more than on X86, due to the smaller opportunity base.

My friend I think you look too much to TCA (acquisition), not the whole picture. If I need to use, 16 cores to run an application in a POWER box, and I need a full 32 or 48 cores to run on a Intel box the software core price itself will pay my IBM box. About licensing being cheaper on Intel, I doubt it. Most vendors will match price on any architecture depending on the performance. You will pay for how much your power processing is capable of, not the server you will run your app. As for Unix management, typically AIX and HP-UX comes with loads of management stuff inside the package. You barely need any other tool to run on top of them.

RE: No joke. Many of the largest companies are running their mission critical applications on X86.

Vmware Vmotion, Oracle Enterprise Linux & RAC are just two examples of the ability to provide reliabiity, availability and scalability.

If you give me just one example of a company with more than 50,000 employees that run its business entirely on Intel/Linux boxes. I will agree with you. That's not the case. Core business needs to run on Unix / Mainframe. As I said, Linux is good but need to improve a lot before match the Unix flavors. That's my opinion. If you are happy spreading x86 boxes and fulfill your datacenter with 1U, blades and other junks you will throw in thrash in a year, I will be happy for you.

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