While IBM just announced new IBM Power Systems with POWER7+ processors across its entire line, the jaw-dropping news is the huge price drop for IBM's entry-level Power 710 Express. Now with POWER7+ processor options, IBM is pricing the 710 at just $5,947. In addition, IBM will get public about it, too, by posting the list price openly on IBM.com.
Previously, IBM only posted a "call for quote" option.
, IBM's vice president of marketing for Power Systems, told POWER IT Pro that the new pricing model represents "an explicit price decision by IBM" change the whole purchasing conversation from how to justify the higher cost of acquisition to an easy comparison against similarly sized x86-based small business servers. Last year, IBM introduced PowerLinux servers that were competitively priced but could not run AIX or IBM i. The 710 and 730 can run all three operating systems.
The new online look at IBM.com:
Just yesterday, if an SMB customer wanted to buy an entry-level 710, they would have gotten a POWER7-based system with low-end cost around $10,000. Today, they can get an even more powerful unit that runs on POWER7+ and could conceivably get into it for about $6,000.
And what about the 730 Express? IBM's web price for the 16-core POWER7+ rack-mount model comes in at $13,799.
IBM's Best SMB Power Play in Years?
This news, on the surface, could be considered just another interesting side note to the broader POWER7+ rollout -- but it's not. Why? Remember when IBM added Ingram Micro and Tech Data as distributors in the United States a few weeks ago? Ingram Micro and Tech Data will bring a whole new level of engagement to the SMB space for IBM Power Systems. These two distributors have large networks of partners who sell and serve the SMB space, mostly with x86-based servers and systems, including IBM System x. If their customers want to step up to a Power System, now they can retain their customer relationship and get them into a Power System . . . rather than discourage the idea or risk losing control of their customer accounts. And best yet, they price out Power vs. x86 side-by-side.
"In this case, our new entry-level pricing really takes the equation down to a pure price-of-acquisition to price-of-acquisition comparison," Stanford noted.
What's in the 710 and 730?
The Power 710 Express
runs a POWER7+ processor, with options to run 4 cores at 3.6 GHz, 6 cores at 4.2 GHz, or 8 cores at 4.2 GHz. Memory maxes out at 256 GB. The AIX rPerf ranges from 53.9 - 115.5 while the IBM i CPW ranges from 28,400 - 64,500.
The Power 730 Express
runs a POWER7+ processor with options to run 6 cores at 3.6 GHz, 8 cores at 4.3 GHz, 12 cores at 4.2 GHz, or 16 cores at 4.2 GHz. Memory maxes out at 512 GB. The AIX rPerf ranges from 120.4 - 223.1 while the IBM i CPW ranges from 59,700 - 117,600.
Both come in the 2U, 19-inch rack form factor. As for Linux, both offer SLES 11 SP2 and RHEL 6.4.