IBM pulls built-in Ethernet from Unix workstation

Who is to blame?

IBM has stopped shipping a built-in Ethernet controller with one of its workstations but won't say why.

The IntelliStation Power 275 Unix workstation running on a 1.45GHz Power processor once had an integrated 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet port. IBM, however, has informed customers that this option is no longer available. An Ethernet adapter will be shipped to customers instead.

We have called, written and called IBM some more to find out what the problem with the integrated Ethernet controller might be. You will recall that Sun Microsystems faced very similar problems as a result of a Broadcom product.

Sun resolved the issue with something resembling full disclosure by contacting customers one by one and helping them fix the kit. Sun put shipments of its V210 and V240 servers on hold for a few weeks but has since resumed shipment.

IBM won't say why it stopped shipping the Ethernet controller. IBM won't say if a Broadcom product was at fault. IBM won't say much of anything.

IBM's Power-based workstations aren't the hottest selling kit around. Even IBM's own engineers often turn to Sun's better-selling workstations for help with difficult research tasks (Picture since doctored to remove Sun logo - Ed). Still, there must be a few of you out there with an IBM Power 275 box than can help explain what has happened. If so, send us a note. ®

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