In the new Power servers it looks like i customers have to jump to a
570 if their workload extends beyond
four cores, unless I'm missing something fundamental. Is it me, or
is IBM cutting the i customers out of
the <ahem> "mid range" of the Power servers?


IMO Marketing... to keep happier, those that may otherwise have to
upgrade [too soon].
If they require 3/4 to a full\maximum configuration of a larger
system, they are likely
to have increases in capacity requirements. Thus I think IBM is trying
to push those with
such higher capacity requirements, to move directly into the 570 due
to its modular design,
failover & redundancy, CUOD, and capacity to grow. While a typical OS
for p&x may tend
horizontal, i tends vertical. The 550 will presumably never grow above
8 cores, and it
would seem to me only natural, that the 550 will become an effective
subset of the
modular 570 design. Starting with an 8-core 550 will require a
hardware change to a
570 for any topped-out configurations. Discouraging such
configurations up front,
limits the number that would have to change to achieve vertical
growth. Some may
argue that the customer knows better, or is always right, but I think
anyone can
point to many counter examples. After continually consolidating more
and more
workloads, having chopped off much of their past horizontal growth,
plus typical
growth within any of those workloads, I am aware of several large
systems that
/required/ growing larger to the point of needing even more than the
supported number of CPU.

Regards, Chuck

I don't think so. I mean, I'm pretty sure it's about marketing, but I
don't think it's about protecting customers from taking the wrong
upgrade path. IBM has never shied away from creating dead ends in the
upgrade paths. It's a fact of life in any platform's server market.
"If they require 3/4 to a full\maximum configuration of a larger system,
they are likely to have increases in capacity requirements." On the new
Power server lineup any customer who requires anything over 2 cores is
at 3/4 of full configuration. Even though there are resources to burn
they're forced on to a much more expensive box. Smaller workloads will
run out of headroom (artificially) at 4 cores. The range between 4 and
8 Power 6 cpu cores is 16,100 - 30,100 CPW. I don't think they're
shaving nearly 50% -- 14,000 CPW off the top of the server as a hedge
against poor planning and configuration choices. The glass is half
empty :)

As a nine-year Unix systems manager I can tell you that the p server
workloads often tend vertical as well. I (and my peers) often upgrade
for capacity, database growth, or increased application requirements.
There are often situations where we can't easily smear workload to
another server. We bought into the 550 line at Power 5+ for AIX for the
same reason we'd want to buy into it for i -- to meet requirements
easily covered by a small server with a broad capacity range.

Admittedly, I'm quick to see conspiracies and right now I'm a bit
perturbed to discover that buying any server of consequence is going to
be a pricey, complex proposition. Still to me this reeks with the same
stench we put up with "interactive feature" and other such nonsense
designed to keep this platform expensive while disguising costs. I
could be wrong, but to me it seems that IBM is waving the platform
unification flag while pushing i platform customers onto the high end


"Remember kids, inside every silver lining there's a dark cloud." - Al
Sleet, your Hippy Dippy Weather Man
George Carlin, 1937-2008

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