System i Blogger

Mar 7 2008   8:29PM GMT

System i name change ? Again

David Vasta David Vasta Profile: David Vasta

Being System i people the first thing we have all learned that we can’t depend on IBM being able to market or price it properly and that the name will change again before 2010.

With that all said seems like there is now talks all over the place about another name change coming. I have to blog about a blog but here goes the link to a thread on Maxed Out.

I do think the System i name should stick for a while but IBM does not see it that way I am sure. They are still charging to much for anyone to want to get in at the ground level with a System i. The sad little 515 is just that, sad. While I was excited about the 515 when it came out, I made no bones to IBM how much is disliked the price and the caps they placed on it. They fixed some of that but not all of it.

Mark Shearer says: “In my first two and half years in System i, I got an awful lot of feedback from clients that they wanted to pay for what they use, that they wanted us to improve the price-to-value ratio . . . and we relaunched our entire entry-level product line back in April — that ultimately drove more than 25 percent volume growth last year in System i.”

To that I say to Mark, then make me a System i server with Power6 under the hood that can run Linux on it for under a grand. I know you can do it, but will you. Like a 10 year old at the bus stop, I dare you!

Mark has vision, but I think the company behind him would have a hard time with it. I want a pizza box System i that runs Linux (Ubuntu Server) and is around a cool g note ($1000). While the blade idea is nice I want to be able to put a few pizza box 1U servers in my geek play room and do something nuts with it.

Let me also point out that a 1U System i with i5/OS or Linux would be a great place for people to start out. Do you need a Web Server? System i with Linux or you could even run i5/OS with HTTP/PHP/MySQL native. I think you all are starting to see the light. IBM needs to have a 1U offering that is not a Windows Server. I am not going to hide it, I don’t like Windows as a server. It’s a poor choice. I also am not sold on Linux some days either. So don’t come here asking for trouble thinking I am going after Redmond, becasue I am not. I do however think with the right hardware, System i, and the right OS you could offer something that the DELLs and HPs of the world would find hard to deal with is all.

Pizza Box 1U System i Linux Edition: System i 501

Power6 CPU ( for an extra $800 I get dual Power6 CPUs)
2GB of Memory
RAID Card
3 DASD Slots with 15K drives
1 300GB 15K Disk (Expandable to 3)
Dual Ethernet
Video Card – NO HMC Needed -Built into an embedded machine chip running of course Linux
CD-DVD
Single Power – With Redundant as an option

You all know you want it and I am going to ask for it at the next COMMON. So when a 250 lbs dude with dark hair and large shoulders comes up to you and asks for the pizza box from IBM you will know it’s me. I think it’s time my buddy Ken’s idea come to the surface. He was crazy for asking for it but I think now it’s time.

Lets see the posts here requesting change in the right direction. It would also really scare the hell out of DELL and HP if IBM did it.

Oh and I want an Open Sourced /Free edition of Linux for Power. I don’t want to pay for it. I should be able to download the ISO from IBM or other Linux companies. Isn’t LINUX supposed to be free and really it’s not now is it Novell and Redhat? Your charging for it and while I understand you have to make money I don’t like it and shame on IBM for not giving it away.

One last thing, can IBM call the UBUNTU folks and help them get a free Ubuntu Server for Power sooner rather than later. IBM supports Ubuntu all I am asking for is a little help. IBM has some of the brightest people on planet earth working for them and yet no Ubuntu Server for Power?

5  Comments on this Post

 
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  • Coreb
    I was just discussing this with our sys admin (for everything but the System i). There's no doubt that the system is rock solid, but what happens when something does break? The only company that can fix it is IBM. If Dell does something to piss us off, there are several companies willing to sell us the same hardware. If IBM does, we're screwed. I like your ideas for the Pizza Box System i. I'd also want to see a "developer" offering for hardware. With Linux (even Windows 2003 if you're in university), standard practice is to install it on a spare computer and test things out. Since you have full control of the box, you have the freedom to completely mess thing up so you can learn how to fix them. That ability is what introduces many young technology professionals to Linux. Why can't I do that with System i? I'd gladly pay the equivalent cost of a gaming PC to get a single disk (no raid) system with less memory just to experiment with the hardware and OS.
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  • KenRoss
    Please ask away, and make sure you emphasize the point about built in HMC capabilities. Every company that I know of uses VM to create test windows or linux servers on the same physical machine, we should be able to do that on entry level hardware. And if they are going to tout virtualization, then go the full step with LPAR and make every part of the OS and hardware partitionable. Remove the hardware restrictions in LPAR. Let us partition virtual hardware, even disks and IOA's. Its time that we can just hook a monitor and keyboard into our i5, hit the white button and config our system without having to buy a seperate Linux server!
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  • David Vasta
    Coreb - While I agree with your comments about the System i and education and I have been pushing that for years, it's hard to get a college to buy into a 15K server. You are right a $1000 System i system with i5/OS would be right for that bill. I don't agree with the comments about IBM owning the hardware. Knowing what hardware is in a system builds that standard and on that you get stability. IBM knows what kind of hardware is going in that machine and OS can support it. One of the major issues in both Windows and Linux is hardware driver support. It creates instability and in some cases even worse. While it would be great to run down to the local PC store and pick up a RAID or Ethernet card we are not there . . . yet? I think over time the prices have to come down if IBM want to play in the small server segment.
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  • David Vasta
    Ken, your right and I will be pressing hard to get those details out of IBM. They are starting to listen. The days of give the user what IBM wants is over and they can either listen to the market and the user or should start to kiss the Power line good bye.
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  • David Vasta
    Oh, and thanks for the comments too. I am hoping to see more of this as I keep posting.
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