IBM has rolled out a flexible new pricing scheme across its mid-server range that it claims will allow small and medium sized businesses to scale-up their IT systems more cost-effectively than Windows-based servers.
The IT giant has issued new scaled pricing model for its newly released System i Express server, built on IBM’s Power5 processors and designed for 5-40 users, as well as a second mid-market optimized server.
SMB customers will now be able to purchase these systems as a complete all-in-one package on a per-user basis. That means they can add users according to escalating needs cheaply than rival server products aimed at the same mid-market segment.
The 515 and 525 System i Express models will ship at the end of this month with an entry-level 5-user license priced at $7,995. Additional licenses up to 40 users will run at $1,250 per 5 users.
Mark Shearer, general manager for System i at Armonk, New York-based IBM, said that System i Express is cheaper, stable, and more secure than Microsoft’s Windows-based servers.
SMBs are being affected by personnel and resource costs for patching and managing multiple Windows servers for each function of their business.
Shearer pointed out that Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition has been affected by 120 Secunia issued advisories in the last four years.
Industry research shows that the average SMB has seven servers deployed on site.
System i helps by providing built-in workload management capabilities that let systems administrators run multiple applications independently on a single system rather than having to deploy a new server anytime, which is what IBM claims is typical in Windows-based environments.
SMBs have special needs when it comes to corporate computing. They have to operate their IT with lean in-house resources and skills. Therefore it’s not enough for vendors to just to repackage their enterprise-class technologies into cheaper boxes. Making sure their systems are easy-to-manage and secure once they’re pulled out of the box is perhaps more critical, as is their ability to scale-up to new business requirements without breaking the bank.