IBM is leasing on-prem System i servers

IBM offers a flat-fee subscription for single-core System i servers.

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IBM has jumped on the consumption/leasing bandwagon by offering a low-cost subscription for its Power 10-based System i.

For $50 per user per month, IBM will place a quad-core POWER S1014-based System i server on-premises. Extra licenses can be acquired in lots of five. Leases are for three to five years, and IBM service the machne either remotely or on-site.

The specs are fairly modest but aimed at SMBs. The machine will come 64GB of memory, up to 6.4TB of NVMe storage, and both Ethernet and fiber channel connectivity. However, it may come with a quad-core processor, but just one core will be active.

Who in the world uses a single-core server in 2022?

Dylan Boday, IBM's product management vice president for Hybrid Cloud, Systems and AI, says single-core System i customers make up 76% of the user population, and the number who have two cores active is less than 10% of that population.

He said those users are running various ISV applications for everything from inventory to operations to banking apps. “It's kind of all over the map based on these uses,” he said.

The subscription bundle includes all hardware, software and services, with the option of a one-year renewal when the subscription ends. Remote and on-site support can be available in as little as 30 minutes, said Boday.

“All of this content is delivered in one annual payment. You sign up, you get your bundle, you make your first payment on your anniversary date,” he said.

This arrangement is a flat rate no matter how much employees use it, which is different from HPE’s GreenLake and Dell Apex where the customer is charged basedon use.

“It makes a lot of sense, especially when you think about the challenges associated with a small budget that they may have,” said Boday. “A large run could put [customers] into negative cashflow or some other territory for that quarter or month, so getting them to a consistent payment, I think is very top-of-mind for them.”

And for those who prefer it, the option to buy the hardware instead remains.

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