• Subject: Re: What About Price vs. Performance?
  • From: "Joe Pluta " <joepluta@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 4 Apr 2001 13:40:52 -0500

Nathan, I have heard this particular point raised by dozens of people, and the 
answer is always the same: TCO vs. initial price.

You keep saying you want answers to counterbalance the PERCEIVED 
price/performance benefit of Intel.  So, what do you want?  Do you want someone 
to say that the AS/400 is cheaper than the Intel box?  Well, it's not and won't 
be.  Ever.  Just like Wintel is more expensive than Linux.  If I go to Linux, I 
can throw together a 1GHz, 1GB machine with 80GB of fast disk for about $1000.  
This machine will absolutely scream for web application serving, by far beating 
the pants off of anything else you can get for a grand.  So anyone who says 
Wintel is the right answer should REALLY be looking at Linux.

So why don't we move all of our applications to Linux?  Well, because Linux is 
harder to maintain and doesn't scale nicely and doesn't have all the wonderful 
development tools I'm used to on the AS/400 for building large-scale business 
applications.  Try to write a working business application in C++ that accesses 
customer data, tracks promotions and deals, provides picking and ship 
confirmation from lot numbers, supports government licensing (such as FDA), 
projects requirements, manages your warehouse, prints orders and pick lists 
with bar coding, accepts payments of all types, handles dunning, supports RMAs, 
performs currency translations, provides online inquiries into historical data 
going back for years, and integrates with a multi-company, multi-currency 
general ledger.

Ain't gonna do it.  You're not going to do it in Visual Basic, either.

So, if you don't, and won't ever, need the trappings of an enterprise business 
application, maybe you don't need an AS/400.  Unless you need things like a 
single-tape backup, 24/7 operation, easy to use menuing systems, 99.9% uptime, 
and integrated web and email serving all on a single machine.  A machine that 
has regular OS upgrades that don't break your existing applications and can 
usually be done overnight without a whole lot of technical knowledge.  Oh, and 
did I mention the fact that the AS/400 has never had a native virus?  And that 
it runs COBOL and RPG, two of the best languages for writing business 
applications?  With a native database?  And it supports Java natively?  And 
SQL?  And can act as your central server, not just for email, but for printing 
and file serving as your company grows?

But it costs more than a Wintel box.  Yes indeed.  But you get what you pay 
for.  And if you can't sell that, then you need to learn Linux, because that's 
how you can hook the bottom feeders.  A nice Linux box for web serving, a 
Wintel desktop and Microsoft Office for all those pesky back-end needs, and a 
24/7 pager link to the consultant.

Joe

---------- Original Message ----------------------------------
From: "Nathan M. Andelin" <nathanma@haaga.com>
Reply-To: MIDRANGE-L@midrange.com
Date: Wed, 4 Apr 2001 11:40:27 -0600

>In my opinion, the appropriate place for Windows is on the desktop.  The
appropriate place for OS/400 is for hosting database applications, Web and
otherwise.   One of the obsticles, is this issue of price vs. performance.
The true cost of ownership argument makes sense to me, but that kind of
thing is hard to define.  Price and performance are real easy to understand.

Microsoft, and others are doing a good job of spreading the message that PCs
handle large volumes of transactions, cost less, and can be deployed in
farms.  People get the impression that a server is a simple commodity.  If
it fails, just get another one and plug it into the rack.

In raising this thread, I've been looking for answers to counter-balance the
price vs. performance advantage offered by Intel.  Thanks to those who have
answered.  Hopefully, more will respond.

Nathan.


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