Feeds

IBM hits software with 20 per cent Power6 tax hike

Einstein needed for next DB2 deployment

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

IBM this week reached out to customers and reminded them that its software pricing model is bat-shit crazy.

In a letter to customers, IBM detailed the software pricing scheme for its new Power6-based servers. We're going to do our best to walk you through the pricing structure. Please remove all sharp objects from your desk and pull out your abacus.

Power6 server software will require 120 Processor Value Units (PVUs) per core. That's up from 100 PVUs per core with the dual-core Power5 chips. In something resembling humanspeak, this means you'll have to pay for 1.2 software licenses per core, which is great if you buy software by the fifth.

IBM has assured customers that the .2 premium is worth their while. After all, the Power6 obliterates most of the software tested so far. So, you pay a bit extra for a whole lot more horsepower.

What IBM doesn't assure customers is that its pricing model looks more outdated than Loni Anderson spread across May in a pin-up calendar. Per core? Per socket? Forget that. IBM talks only in PVUs.

IBM concocted the PVU concept last July, after struggling for years to come to terms with multi-core chips. The giant is not about to sacrifice lucrative software revenue just because improvements in chip making let vendors squeeze more cores on every CPU.

These days, most of the high-end server chips such as IBM's own Power5s, Sun's UltraSPARC and Intel's Itanium count as 100 PVUs per core. Meanwhile, the x86 crowd comes in at 50 PVUs per core. Then, you have odd-balls like Sun's eight-core UltraSPARC T1, which counts as 30 PVUs per core.

Most software vendors have had the decency to settle on a per-socket basis for their pricing schemes, ignoring the number of cores per chip. Meanwhile, IBM and Oracle, the vendors with the most to lose, prefer to keep you in a state of pricing confusion.

To its credit, Oracle in March went the per socket route with low-end software, hoping to remain competitive with Microsoft. Sadly, Oracle still uses a Processor Factor metric sort of similar to IBM's model for most of its products.

With a little more work, IBM and Oracle should be able to make it near impossible to compare their software costs against each other, which would be a real win-win for the vendors.

You can see all of IBM's PVUs here. ®

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
SHOCK and AWS: The fall of Amazon's deflationary cloud
Just as Jeff Bezos did to books and CDs, Amazon's rivals are now doing to it
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
The triumph of VVOL: Everyone's jumping into bed with VMware
'Bandwagon'? Yes, we're on it and so what, say big dogs
Carbon tax repeal won't see data centre operators cut prices
Rackspace says electricity isn't a major cost, Equinix promises 'no levy'
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.