The iSeries Blog

Dec 11 2008   8:44AM GMT

The Smart Cube: so smart you can’t see it

Mark Fontecchio Mark Fontecchio Profile: Mark Fontecchio

David Vasta at the System i Blogger blog wonders what all this talk about the new IBM Smart Cube is:

The Smart Cube from IBM has been getting lots of talk around the web, just not much from IBM? I want to see some real details and when I go to IBM’s web site and search for “Smart Cube”, I get nothing. Once again IBM DOES NOT KNOW HOW TO MARKET ANYTHING THEY SELL!

As it turns out, IBM published an announcement letter that said it wasn’t an announcement letter. As Timothy Prickett Morgan recaps, the non-announcement letter announced (empty link) a new system called the Smart Cube Power System 520. Sounds intriguing doesn’t it?

Here’s a description of the Smart Cube in the announcement letter, according to Morgan:

The IBM Smart Cube is a powerful and integrated server (server family) designed to run the business applications (finance and accounting, ERP, CRM, IP telephony, and others) that a small to medium-sized business needs, with virtually no IT complexity. Smart Cubes remain connected to IBM’s Smart Market that offers remotely delivered services, including help desk and solution support, monitoring, backup and recovery, security, and business collaboration.

IBM Smart Cubes come with the preloaded IBM Smart Business Software Pack that includes what you need to run business applications and workloads.

  • Application servers and Java support
  • Database servers
  • Web servers
  • File and print servers
  • Directory servers
  • Network and application security
  • Built-in backup and recovery
  • Intel server with storage, memory, and more

Wow, sounds interesting. Maybe some readers would like to know more. Maybe they, like Vasta, would like to get their hands on one to test it out. Well, IBM retracted the announcement letter (which it never apparently wanted to announce in the first place), and now they are trying to roll it out very quietly, mostly in India but also with a few select customers in the United States. Some more Smart Cube details:

  • Three Power-based configurations, with one, two or four processing cores activated.
  • Can run IBM i, AIX or Linux using 4.2 GHz Power6 chips
  • Includes a stack of systems and application software called the Smart Business Software Pack for i, which runs on the IBM i 6.1 OS
  • The big launch won’t likely happen until the second half of next year

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  • David Vasta
    I would agree. Again IBM shows it's marketing savvy! I think the "theory" is brilliant, I use the word "theory" since there is no real data or information coming out of IBM, and they truly are the epitome of the old military term, Three Monkey's "doing something" to a football! or SNAFU! It's all rather sad really. IBM is a highly regarded company with the marketing sense of someone who is trying to sell popcorn at the flea market. IBM have failed so many times at being able to market what turns out to be very good products. If IBM had Apple marketing team when they launched the AS/400, the entire world would have one right now and Lotus Notes would be the big lumbering juggernaut of Messaging and Collaboration, but it's not is it. Instead we are left guessing and wondering what they are doing all the while drinking the kool-aid and hoping the next big announcement won't be some half witted blunder, all the while knowing it will. It's like being an Atlanta Braves fan in the 1980s, they sucked, but they were your team. Or being a Cubs fan, they always look good, but never seem to make the grade. I want to be proud of IBM, but they make it really hard sometimes. The Smart-Cube is what the IT world needs, small dedicated appliances to manage small dedicated tasks like web serving or mail or Domino, and if it runs on POWER then it's even better, but we won't know until IBM fires the entire marketing team, revamps the product to market procedure, and learns how to create and release marketing material so that it sells the product, not hurt it. Everyone who gets sent home from IBM because of the bad economy should be well pissed if they are not in the marketing department. IBMs marketing has caused them to loss so much money, they have great products, they have great ideas, and they have great minds, sadly none of them work in marketing.
    975 pointsBadges:

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