Mainframe Propeller Head

Jul 8 2010   5:46PM GMT

Neon zPrime for a buck: More leverage in suit against IBM?

Ryan Arsenault Ryan Arsenault Profile: Ryan Arsenault

Neon Enterprise Software last week announced that it is offering its Neon zPrime for IMS for US$1.  The catch is that you’re essentially committing yourself to the technology: you have to make a two-year pact at US$1 a year and install a new version of Neon zPrime in production by the end of 2010.

zPrime is designed to keep mainframe/IMS costs down and makes only IMS workloads run on and take advantage of cost-effective specialty processors.  The software also utilizes zPrime 2.1’s base.

Some are thinking that the announcement has a lot to do with Neon trying to gain the upper hand in its suit against IBM, originally filed in December, which alleges IBM engaged in unfair business practices by warning Neonand potential Neon customers against using zPrime software. 

“It sounds like they’re [Neon] trying to get as many zPrime users as possible, as soon as possible,” said one mainframe industry expert, speaking with  “I figure that more zPrime users gives Neon more leverage in their ongoing dispute with IBM.  It also means they can go into court claiming there’s a groundswell of protest against IBM’s unfair trade practices.”

Neon, though, may have sold itself short in trying to gather momentum against IBM by limiting the software to just IMS workloads.

“IMS is CPU hungry which means a big payback for shops that use it,” said the same mainframe industry insider.  “In addition, the shops that run on IMS tend to be the larger ones.  Maybe Neon is walking a fine line between getting new customers while not provoking IBM too much.”

The software is available now from Neon.  In regard to the suit, it’s still an ongoing story, with Neon recently taking its issues overseas by filing a complaint with the European Commission.  

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