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.