IBM Corp is in the middle of ramping up its new “Squadron” entry and midrange eServer p5 servers, which are based on the new Power5 processors. But it still has to sell the existing Power4+ Regatta machines at the high end of its Unix server line. To that end, IBM has announced promotions to help its sales reps and its channel partners push the existing Power4 line.
Last week, Big Blue announced the pSeries Power4+ technology upgrade discount promotion, which expires on September 24. Under this promotion, customers who have pSeries 670 or pSeries 690 servers can upgrade their existing Power4 multichip modules (MCMs), which run at 1.1GHz or 1.3GHz, to Power4+ modules, which run at 1.5GHz, 1.7GHz, or 1.9GHz, and get a 57% discount on those upgrades.
However, there is a catch. They also have to buy new processor features running at the same clock speed to get the discount. For instance, if you have a pSeries 670 with four 1.1GHz Power4 cores activated, you get the discount if you upgrade to an MCM with eight cores running at 1.5GHz. The pSeries 670 servers span from 4 to 16 processors in a single system image, while the pSeries 690s span from 8 to 32 processors.
Under a separate promotion, called the pSeries 670 and pSeries 690 CUoD MCM promotion, IBM is giving customers who buy new pSeries 670s or 690s extra processors in a Capacity Upgrade on Demand configuration, where they can activate extra processor cores as they need to. If you buy an MCM with eight cores activated, IBM will throw in another MCM with four of the eight cores activated for free. pSeries 670 customers can get only one extra MCM under this deal since the pSeries 670 only has two MCMs. Customers buying pSeries 690s can buy one or two full MCMs and then get one or two half-activated MCMs for free.
And finally, if you were thinking about simply upgrading your pSeries 670 machine to a pSeries 690 server, IBM has a price cut that you are going to like. Up until now, even though the pSeries 670 is really just a pSeries 690 cut in half, IBM was charging $268,000 to upgrade the central electronics complex and then lots more dough to upgrade the processors in the box as they moved from the pSeries 670 to the pSeries 690 chassis. No kidding. IBM used to charge $90,900 to move an eight-way Power4+ multichip module (MCM) with four 1.5GHz cores activated from the pSeries 670 to the pSeries 690. Moving an MCM running at 1.1GHz cost $58,275.
There was apparently no substantial change in the electronics at all, and hence customers probably put up a fuss and now IBM has cut the price of upgrading the pSeries 670 chassis to the pSeries 690 chassis (which does have more expandability and power supplies and such) to $100,000 and has ceased its charges on upgrading those MCMs.