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IBM Doubles Rewards For Ditching Sun

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 5 years ago | from the go-for-the-jugular dept.

207

Taking advantage of the uncertainty surrounding Oracle's acquisition of Sun, IBM has doubled the monetary incentives they are offering to ditch Sun gear. Offering $8,000 in software or services for every Sun Sparc processor ditched for an IBM Power server, the program seems to be paying off. IBM has helped 1,640 customers migrate from other manufacturers' hardware over the last year. "The program applies to Sparc-based Sun hardware, such as the Sparc, UltraSparc, and Sparc 64 servers, and also to Fujitsu systems that run on Sparc chips. A customer that moves off a Sparc-powered system running, say, eight processors would be eligible for up to $64,000 worth of rewards."

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207 comments

Most of them... (4, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 5 years ago | (#27817741)

I am wondering how many of them would have switched to IBM Anyways?
Or were going to go off Sun, and they saw the value discount.

Re:Most of them... (2, Interesting)

YayaY (837729) | more than 5 years ago | (#27818107)

Seems like the next anti-trust lawsuit.

Re:Most of them... (5, Insightful)

p4ul13 (560810) | more than 5 years ago | (#27818283)

Huh wha? What about that is anti-competitive or monopolistic behavior? If IBM and Sun were the only source of servers out there, then I could understand the anti-trust comment. This is a bit ruthless, but it's completely legal.

Re:Most of them... (2, Insightful)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 5 years ago | (#27818679)

It is pretty clearly anti-competitive.

This is the price for one class of people, this other price for a second class that uses a competitor.

As for the legality I would assume it is legal as IBM does not have a monopoly.

They would have some defense as a benefits consumers argument too.

Re:Most of them... (4, Insightful)

Burkin (1534829) | more than 5 years ago | (#27818719)

It is pretty clearly anti-competitive.

In what way? How does it stifle competition?

This is the price for one class of people, this other price for a second class that uses a competitor.

How is that any different than a car dealer who takes a few thousands dollars off the price of a car when you trade in your old car? Is that also anti-competitive?

As for the legality I would assume it is legal as IBM does not have a monopoly.

They would have some defense as a benefits consumers argument too.

How would it be illegal even if they did have a monopoly?

Re:Most of them... (2, Insightful)

Firehed (942385) | more than 5 years ago | (#27818747)

It's as anti-competitive as trading in your used car when buying a new vehicle.

Re:Most of them... (2, Informative)

gobbligook (465653) | more than 5 years ago | (#27819019)

I disagree, if only it were that simple.

IBM is targeting SUN, they arn't targeting all computer manufacturers.

The equivelent would be: FORD giving everyone a discount on a new vehicle if they traded in a GM. The guy who owned a DODGE would be out of luck.

It's pretty clear here that IBM is trying to scoop SUN's customer base. This could have been the reason they wanted to aquire SUN in the first place.

Re:Most of them... (3, Informative)

Burkin (1534829) | more than 5 years ago | (#27819193)

IBM is targeting SUN, they arn't targeting all computer manufacturers.

So what? That has little bearing on the law. There is nothing illegal in the fact that they are targeting one company's client base.

The equivelent would be: FORD giving everyone a discount on a new vehicle if they traded in a GM. The guy who owned a DODGE would be out of luck.

Which would be neither anti-competitive nor illegal. To run with your analogy there is nothing in the law that obligates a dealer to give trade-in discounts to everyone.

It's pretty clear here that IBM is trying to scoop SUN's customer base. This could have been the reason they wanted to aquire SUN in the first place.

Well of course they are trying to take away Sun's old customer's. That's what you see between any competing companies.

Re:Most of them... (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 5 years ago | (#27819209)

Which isn't illegal. If I want to target customers of a certain company, I'm free to do so. Nothing illegal about it.

Re:Most of them... (2, Interesting)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 5 years ago | (#27818267)

Sun and Solaris are going to be a dead end soon. It's time for vendors to realize that you have to count more on Linux and Windows if you are going to release your software for mainstream use.

There are still vendors that are specialized in Solaris, even though they with little effort could be supporting at least Linux.

And even though Sparc has been an important processor architecture it's likely that it's going the same way as Digital's Alpha - a slow death. The next processor that's going down the drain is probably the Power architecture, even though it's backed by IBM.

And who shall we actually blame for this? Intel? No, it's more the traditional Unix vendors that weren't able to get their cards together but played them against each other instead of providing decently priced and functionally competitive alternatives to the pandemic of Windows.

Unix and closed hardware solutions are a dead end. Linux is today an alternative that is almost always more stable, secure and supported than any randomly picked Unix box.

And I suspect that if Apple hadn't been so protective about themselves disallowing clones during the 80's before Microsoft released Windows we would have had a completely different processor architecture as a base for many computers today - the Motorola 68k architecture instead of the Intel x86. And Microsoft would never been able to dominate completely with Windows.

Re:Most of them... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27818651)

IBM originally considered using hte motorola 68000 in their first PC, but went with intel due to concerns about availability.

Anyhow, PPC is semi-popular in the embedded world.

Re:Most of them... (1)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | more than 5 years ago | (#27818907)

Unix and closed hardware solutions are a dead end. Linux is today an alternative that is almost always more stable, secure and supported than any randomly picked Unix box.

LOL

Re:Most of them... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27819205)

Seems pretty clear the GP hasn't worked with Unix in some time.

Re:Most of them... (2, Insightful)

afabbro (33948) | more than 5 years ago | (#27819005)

And even though Sparc has been an important processor architecture it's likely that it's going the same way as Digital's Alpha - a slow death. The next processor that's going down the drain is probably the Power architecture, even though it's backed by IBM.

That's a pretty sweeping statement.

Right now, if you want a commodity chip that does most things very well, you buy something x86 based. If you have a lot of flexibility and want very low power consumption, you might consider Sun's CoolThreads chips. If you want very high performance and have a lot of money, you buy the fastest chip...which happens to be IBM's Power.

The CoolThreads stuff is neat, but never really took off at the volume Sun was hoping. To use them, you had to be very multithreaded and while that's great for webservers, there are already plenty of cheap webserving platforms. Yes, Sun fanboys, I know - keep your shorts on. It's a nice product. But in a market that is dominated by Linux + Apache, just "it takes less electricity" apparently wasn't enough when you consider that running your Ruby on Rails or whatever on Solaris is more work than running it on Linux.

That's SPARC. As for POWER...there will always be people who need the biggest, fastest, baddest processor. A lot less people need them than they used to - x86 commodity keeps getting faster. But there will always be the top X% of the market that needs speed. That's why IBM sells POWER. And hey, while we're catering to them, we can also use it in our run-of-the-mill servers (AIX, AS/400, Mainframe, etc.)

I think POWER has a lot more staying power than SPARC.

I beg to differ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27819173)

Although I agree on the userland side, the Linux kernel is plain trash. I must be able to expect at least multi-year uptimes and rock solid sailing that proper microkernel architectures provide. Dealing with Internet facing systems that are being constantly targeted with 0day vulnerabilities commonly found on Linux kernel, no thanks.

I'll stay old school Unix, tested and true. I'll get back to Linux when the project doesn't choose obscurity over security in vulnerability handling. Also a proper architecture would be a nice bonus.

Re:Most of them... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27819179)

I work in a large datacenter where the switch is being done from pSeries AIX servers to Linux Red Hat and Windows servers. From an administration perspective it has been terrible. We've gone from 20 servers to 200 servers. There is easily four times as much patching. I used to patch core operating system functions; now I am sifting through patches for firefox, bluetooth drivers, seamonkey, etc etc. Our maintenance windows have doubled in size because there is no convenient way to roll back a single patch cycle, and online resizing of filesystems is limited, etc. Furthermore, our paperwork has exploded. Because like many datacenters these days, every fix (even the unnecessary ones) must be documented for auditing purposes. On the surface, it may look like these linux servers are performing the same function but behind it all there is a very different story. Perhaps Linux works for web applications that are easily distributed in parallel across many servers or smaller shops that don't have the same auditing requirements. For us it has been painful.

Re:Most of them... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27819217)

"It's time for vendors to realize that you have to count more on Linux and Windows if you are going to release your software for mainstream use."-- I'm pretty sure that typically the software written for these Sun systems are used for internal applications in corporations, and not "software of mainstream use" effectively invalidating your entire rant.

Re:Most of them... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27818867)

I personally wouldn't do it: IBM's support is expensive and useless.

first (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27817743)

first post

Re:first (-1, Offtopic)

yogi192 (1444697) | more than 5 years ago | (#27817763)

Fail.

The Death of SPARC? (3, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#27817745)

Is this the death of SPARC [wikipedia.org] ?

I would have said murder but I'm not interested in a hardware flame war. I mean, I know Fujitsu and some lesser known companies are using it but I'm not sure in what capacity. Is this the end of SPARC?

Can any hardware experts comment on whether or not this is the end of this architecture? Or does it have some niche market/capability like PowerPC?

I guess OS support could have been a cue that it was on the way out but is there any reason to be concerned that it's apparently done?

Re:The Death of SPARC? (2, Insightful)

andyfrommk (1021405) | more than 5 years ago | (#27817953)

Is this the death of SPARC [wikipedia.org] ?....Or does it have some niche market/capability like PowerPC?

The OpenSPARC [wikipedia.org] certainly serves a niche market, those with fab plants who are able to fabricate enough cpu's so that the per-cpu cost is cheaper than buying them from $cpu_mftr

Re:The Death of SPARC? (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 5 years ago | (#27818381)

Oh come on that is not in the Spirit of Open Source. Free is Free no matter what the real overhead it.

Re:The Death of SPARC? (4, Interesting)

teflaime (738532) | more than 5 years ago | (#27818055)

SPARC was a dying hardware platform anyway. Sun was shipping far more Intel product than SPARC. It's too bad. SPARC was pretty good for the level it was designed to operate (mid-range area). IBM and HP have somehow convinced everyone that P5/6 and Itanium somehow fit in that environment, but they are really out of the price range and overpowered for those needs.

I'm just hoping Solaris survives the Oracle take over. I still like Solaris better than Linux for webservers and such, personally.

Re:The Death of SPARC? (5, Interesting)

fm6 (162816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27818471)

Sun was shipping far more Intel product than SPARC

I work at Sun on x64 products (both Intel and AMD) and this just isn't true. The x64 products are doing well, but our sales are still predominantly SPARC. The long-term strategy has always been for Sun to place more emphasis on x64 products, but not to the exclusion of SPARC systems. And so far, x64 hasn't even achieved parity with SPARC, or anything like it. Why? Not something I'm going to comment on in a public forum.

A lot of Slashdotters seem to think that Sun has turned into a kind of white box server vendor. Even if we we totally abandoned SPARC, that's not going to happen. Our market niche is high-end computing, and always has been. In the x64 world, it means that in order to compete we have to do stuff that white boxes can't. This includes fancy lights-out remote management, really high computer density (anybody else have an 4U system with 8 processors and a half-terabyte of RAM?) and a greener machine with few plastic parts and a lot of power-conserving measures. These things require a lot of clever engineering, and are the only reason we have any successful x64 systems at all.

I have no idea what Oracle has in mind for Solaris. Contacts with them are, if anything, more circumscribed than they would be under normal circumstances. But in my own inexpert opinion, it's not a coincidence that we've been acquired by one of the few software vendors that's still serious about Solaris/SPARC application.

Re:The Death of SPARC? (1)

TheSunborn (68004) | more than 5 years ago | (#27818849)

If you work for sun can you give the inside story for the UltraSPARC T1 chip?

Was T1 really a x86-64 chip until sun bought the company that designed it and converted it to Sparc? And if so WHY?

If sun had taken the x86 version of T1 given it an hyper transport and sold it to third parties(In the same way that Amd and Intel sell their chips)
it might have taken a good part of the server world. Now it's just yet an other effective but far to expensive chip that can't beat Intel/Amd in $/performance
for any workload.

Re:The Death of SPARC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27819127)

(anybody else have an 4U system with 8 processors and a half-terabyte of RAM?)

The IBM p575 with the Power6 processor is a 2U node, containing 32 processors at 4.7 GHz, and 256 GB of RAM.

http://www-03.ibm.com/systems/power/hardware/575/specs.html

Re:The Death of SPARC? (2, Interesting)

afabbro (33948) | more than 5 years ago | (#27819137)

I work at Sun on x64 products (both Intel and AMD) and this just isn't true. The x64 products are doing well, but our sales are still predominantly SPARC.

More importantly, the profits came overwhelmingly from SPARC. Selling high-end proprietary kit to big businesses is always going to be more profitable than selling volume x86 white boxes to the masses a per-dollar basis.

The long-term strategy has always been for Sun to place more emphasis on x64 products, but not to the exclusion of SPARC systems. And so far, x64 hasn't even achieved parity with SPARC, or anything like it. Why? Not something I'm going to comment on in a public forum.

Post anonymously.

Re:The Death of SPARC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27819207)

Is 384G and 64 processors in 4U of space acceptable?
While super micro's twin2 systems don't quite squeeze in as much RAM....

Re:The Death of SPARC? (1)

Tibor the Hun (143056) | more than 5 years ago | (#27818109)

capability like PowerPC?

You should have your RDF receptor re-calibrated, friend.
PowerPC has no capability! Intel is 32 X faster!!!

Re:The Death of SPARC? (1)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 5 years ago | (#27818741)

What I thought was funny was how after years and years of touting the PPC superiority over the X86 chips, as soon as Apple switched to Intel, they were bragging about how much better and faster their new Intel chipped products were over their old PPC systems. I guess in the end processing speed of the CPU does mean something after all!

Re:The Death of SPARC? (1)

Burkin (1534829) | more than 5 years ago | (#27818865)

they were bragging about how much better and faster their new Intel chipped products were over their old PPC systems. I guess in the end processing speed of the CPU does mean something after all!

You mean except the fact that the Core2Duos/Quads they sell are usually of a lower stock clock speed than the ridiculously shitty P4s they used to compete against? Yes, these new Intel CPUs are faster but it's because they are multicore and have a better IPC performance not because of raw gigahertz speed.

Re:The Death of SPARC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27818175)

Is this the death of SPARC?

I would have said murder but I'm not interested in a hardware flame war. I mean, I know Fujitsu and some lesser known companies are using it but I'm not sure in what capacity. Is this the end of SPARC?

Can any hardware experts comment on whether or not this is the end of this architecture? Or does it have some niche market/capability like PowerPC?

I guess OS support could have been a cue that it was on the way out but is there any reason to be concerned that it's apparently done?

ROFL, could have fooled me.

Re:The Death of SPARC? (3, Interesting)

ILongForDarkness (1134931) | more than 5 years ago | (#27818755)

At my work we have a couple dual socket T2 sparc servers (T5140) that we are using as fileservers for 30 disk arrays, 150TB of disk space. We went with them because we liked SAMFS (Sun's hierachial storage management system), and the T2 chips have 8 cores X 8 way threaded for a total of 128 simultaneous compute threads in a 1U server.

They can push a lot of I/O(60GB/s of I/O bandwidth per chip) but I wouldn't want it for compute intensive stuff because they only have 1 FPU per core, and 2 integer units per core (ie 8 threads have 1 FPU and 4 threads have 1 ALU). Anyways the current generation seemed to be targeted at I/O intensive stuff especially highly threaded protocols(eg. samba/NFS).

Ditching Sun servers (3, Interesting)

OolimPhon (1120895) | more than 5 years ago | (#27817807)

Does this mean that there will be a market full of cheap(ish) second-hand Sun servers your average geek might be able to make use of?

Re:Ditching Sun servers (1)

SalaSSin (1414849) | more than 5 years ago | (#27817895)

No, this means that you should gather your second hand SPARC servers you have laying around, and cash them in.

Re:Ditching Sun servers (1)

ToasterMonkey (467067) | more than 5 years ago | (#27818301)

I'm pretty sure this is only for trade-ins for P-series, which are not cheap.
This is no different than trading in a car for a new one. They're still taking your money, one way or another.

So go ahead, buy a bunch of second hand SPARC systems, I'll get a better deal on ebay down the line.

Re:Ditching Sun servers (2, Insightful)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 5 years ago | (#27818619)

They're not just giving you thousands of dollars for SPARC systems. They're giving you $8,000 worth of consulting services for every IBM server you purchase to replace a SPARC box. Not quite as exciting.

Re:Ditching Sun servers (2, Insightful)

Rakishi (759894) | more than 5 years ago | (#27817901)

No, the opposite probably. IBM is likely sending those servers straight to the junk heap (or recycling heap nowadays).

Re:Ditching Sun servers (2, Interesting)

blhack (921171) | more than 5 years ago | (#27818659)

The only logical thing to do in this case is raid the recycling heap.
Or make a media fiasco out of IBM not allowing a bunch of starving geeks the opportunity to put a bunch of garbage to good use.
BAD, IBM, BAD!

Re:Ditching Sun servers (1)

andyfrommk (1021405) | more than 5 years ago | (#27818181)

Does this mean that there will be a market full of cheap(ish) second-hand Sun servers your average geek might be able to make use of?

Yeah,SUN ENTERPRISE 450 DUAL 300MHz SERVER WITH WARRANTY [ebay.co.uk]
A snip at £1,695.00 (although prices on Sun hardware do seem to have come down a bit)

Re:Ditching Sun servers (1)

bsdaemonaut (1482047) | more than 5 years ago | (#27818425)

Lol, you can pick those up for $200, maybe less. I have one sitting right here that I use to teach kids about other architectures. Whoever that is is hoping for an idiot to come walking along. You can get a much, much nicer system for that kind of cash.

Re:Ditching Sun servers (2, Interesting)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 5 years ago | (#27818517)

I've seen the 3000 series with 8 procs or so go for prices near that. Plus you can get similarly configured Sun workstations for less money. (I inherited a two processor 4GB Ultra 60 myself.)

Check out http://www.anysystem.com/ [anysystem.com] sometime. You can get REALLY cheap Sun hardware there.

Re:Ditching Sun servers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27818545)

This listing will _never_ sell. You can get a much, much, much nicer SPARC server for less than that. It's like the lsiti

Re:Ditching Sun servers (1)

blueskies (525815) | more than 5 years ago | (#27818225)

No. There is going to be a rush on cheap second-hand sun servers so people can trade them in for $8k a pop. (ebay has sparc20s for $140 buynow price).

Re:Ditching Sun servers (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 5 years ago | (#27818475)

No. This means that the average selling price of sun equipment on ebay just jumped.

Cheap (1)

ultrabot (200914) | more than 5 years ago | (#27817873)

Sun may not the friendliest company around (CDDL and all that), but still, this seems like a cheap trick from IBM's side. What with all the generous contributions by Sun to open source movement (OpenOffice comes to mind)...

Re:Cheap (2, Interesting)

ultrabot (200914) | more than 5 years ago | (#27817969)

Since slashdot doesn't allow editing your previous message - perhaps there is a bit of bad blood w/ IBM and the failed buyout attempt. In that case, this makes perfect sense.

Re:Cheap (4, Insightful)

blitzkrieg3 (995849) | more than 5 years ago | (#27818089)

These are two computer companies trying to make the most of it in tough economic times. They have an obligation with their shareholders to try to make money. Goodwill in the community frankly doesn't matter.

Re:Cheap (4, Insightful)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 5 years ago | (#27818201)

The CDDL is an OSI approved, Free Software, Copyleft license. It may be incompatible with the GPL but I'd hardly cite it as a reason to not like Sun.

Business as usual (3, Insightful)

raftpeople (844215) | more than 5 years ago | (#27818523)

This is not a cheap trick, just normal competition. The term "friendly" should not be considered when thinking of any of these companies or transactions, it's all about money.

Re:Cheap (1)

D Ninja (825055) | more than 5 years ago | (#27818549)

Sun may not the friendliest company around (CDDL and all that), but still, this seems like a cheap trick from IBM's side. What with all the generous contributions by Sun to open source movement (OpenOffice comes to mind)...

I don't know why you would consider it a cheap trick. It's business. The Oracle/Sun merger is full of doubt at the moment and IBM is taking advantage of that doubt. Seems perfectly reasonable to me.

Re:Cheap (1)

dimeglio (456244) | more than 5 years ago | (#27818923)

all the generous contributions by Sun to open source movement (OpenOffice comes to mind)

What is the difference between what IBM is doing to Sun vs what Sun is doing to Micrsoft with OpenOffice? Is that also unfair competition?

IBM is just being smart and try to capitalise on the uncertainty around Sun's future. It's an easier sell to the manager who bought Sun. Gives them an incentive to switch vendors and not lose face.

Same old story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27817913)

The dangers of IBM are that they are highly unstable requiring an enormous investment when things go wrong. e.g. MQSeries, SP2, OS360.
Just about anyone who has written about how software fails was an engineer working for IBM.
What IBM really wants is a cut of your business. it seriously doesn't want to sell you a machine and support. It wants its cut or its machines value to your business model.
They really put the machine first rather than the people who use them as a tool.

who wrote this BS (3, Funny)

rs232 (849320) | more than 5 years ago | (#27818235)

"The dangers of IBM are that they are highly unstable"

Dangerous, how ,who, do the engineers spontaneously self combust if put under pressure?

"Just about anyone who has written about how software fails was an engineer working for IBM"

That's a positive, as they should be good at spotting bugs by now.

'What IBM really wants is a cut of your business"'

Best stick to Open Source and third party hardware and your own in-house support people!

Re:Same old story (1)

earlymon (1116185) | more than 5 years ago | (#27818297)

Just about anyone who has written about how software fails was an engineer working for IBM.

So, are you saying (in your loud exclusion of Sun):
a) Engineers working for Sun didn't produce failed software or systems?
b) Engineers working for Sun didn't write about their failed software or systems?

You've made the case for IBM's engineering incompetence. Are you making the case that Sun engineering is pure genius or are you making the case that Sun is obfuscating scum?

It rather seems to me that you're making an entirely different case, but I'll keep that opinion to myself.

Re:Same old story (1)

bsdaemonaut (1482047) | more than 5 years ago | (#27818607)

>>The dangers of IBM are that they are highly
>>unstable requiring an enormous investment
>when things go wrong. e.g. MQSeries, SP2, OS360.

Seriously? You support your argument with three technologies, one close to 40 years old and the newest being 7 years old?

I promise, IBM does very much want to sell you a machine and support -- you just made a lot of salesman cry. :P

What a load of old Cock & Bull (3, Interesting)

RotateLeftByte (797477) | more than 5 years ago | (#27818937)

I work on MQSeries and have been involved with message queueing systems since 1982.

WMQ is very reliable and has been since V5.1 came out. Pretty well every large financial organisation in the world uses it to move trillions of $$$, ££££, Yen, Euros around their companies & beteween them on a daily basis without error.

Please backup your statement with a list of 'Showstopping' bugs in WMQ.
And no (before you ask), I don't work for IBM.

Great news! (3, Funny)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#27817973)

I have four SPARCstation4s [wikipedia.org] in my attic. With one CPU each, I could switch away from all of them. I wonder if I could get $32,000 of software and services from IBM...

Re:Great news! (1)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#27818087)

If you have a camera, please get a few good photos for that Wikipedia article!

Re:Great news! (1)

seanadams.com (463190) | more than 5 years ago | (#27818095)

I have four SPARCstation4s in my attic. With one CPU each, I could switch away from all of them. I wonder if I could get $32,000 of software and services from IBM...

Sure, if you're going to buy four of their boxes at list price. But don't expect to sell those "software and services" on ebay for $32,000.

Re:Great news! (1)

exhilaration (587191) | more than 5 years ago | (#27818157)

lol, me too - I have a Sparcstation IPC [obsolyte.com] serving as a monitor stand.

IBM, where's my $8,000???? I have a 25 Mhz [sunstuff.org] CPU I'd like to trade in!

Re:Great news! (2, Funny)

aoheno (645574) | more than 5 years ago | (#27818245)

I have four SPARCstation4s in my attic.

Tough machines. Temperatures can swing over 100 fahrenheit up there, not to mention birds nesting in enclosures, rats feeding on cables, snakes feeding on rats, and Bear Grylls feeding on snakes.

Make sure IBM guarantees the same level of durability.

Re:Great news! (1)

alexborges (313924) | more than 5 years ago | (#27818839)

Sure you can. At their rate, youd get about three hours worth of support.

Did IBM really want to buy Sun . . . ? (3, Interesting)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 5 years ago | (#27817983)

I never really believed it. But the "due diligence" gave the opportunity for IBM to take a peek at what Sun has underneath its fingernails.

Sun is down on the ropes, and IBM would like to give it a knock out.

Yeah, IBM might have wanted to control Java, but the hardware . . . they've got enough hardware of their own.

$64,000 worth of Linux! (5, Funny)

droidsURlooking4 (1543007) | more than 5 years ago | (#27817987)

What a deal!

Re:$64,000 worth of Linux! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27818683)

Lol @ whoever modded parent insightful. Linux is free.

Re:$64,000 worth of Linux! (2, Funny)

huge (52607) | more than 5 years ago | (#27818983)

Lol @ whoever modded parent insightful. Linux is free.

What!?! Are you saying that I have been paying SCO for nothing?

Linux runs very nicely on both SPARC and Power chi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27818727)

Linux runs very nicely on both SPARC and Power chips. I've loaded SuSE into an LPAR during a week of IBM training on LPARs. It feels odd at first, then very nice as everything "fits together."

On SPARC, I tend to use Niagra systems and use "containers" to reduce the overhead involved with each OS instance. That is unless I need more power ... then larger servers are the answer and linux probably doesn't fit anyway.

Wow IBM, (2, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#27818005)

Way to put your money where your mouth is. "Software or services" dollars are pretty much weasel dollars, aren't they?

Re:Wow IBM, (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 5 years ago | (#27818259)

Yeah, I'd be more impressed if that was redeemable in hardware. What are the IBM consultants really going to say "Good job ditching Sun! Now ditch Oracle for DB2!"

Re:Wow IBM, (2, Insightful)

raftpeople (844215) | more than 5 years ago | (#27818689)

Way to put your money where your mouth is. "Software or services" dollars are pretty much weasel dollars, aren't they?

The goal isn't to "put their money where their mouth is", the goal is to provide an incentive to switch to IBM hardware at a time when more companies would consider it due to the unknown future regarding Sun hardware. The reason it's "weasal" dollars is because hardware is down and they don't want to show a bigger drop in hardware, so the money is given away from the services part of the business where profits are high and thus the financial statement still looks good at the end of the quarter.

Re:Wow IBM, (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 5 years ago | (#27818799)

I was at a large (in its day) unix workstation vendor, not sun but one very similar and close by, many years ago.

we were doing network management and some vendor wanted us to yank out what we had and install their stuff instead.

I think it was some pig pkg like tivoli or CA unicenter. some gigantic pig of an 'app suite'.

they said they'd give us a million dollars in software credit if we switched entirely over to them.

that, in itself, pretty much gave their intention away. it was to sell us HUGE support contracts and that 'million dollars' was fake money measured in bogus or not-needed software pkgs and 'consulting'.

I leaned there, that any one who offers that kind of 'incentive' has some evil stuff planned.

we never did use their software (we used MY software, 100% locally written and supported) and we basically told the vendor 'sorry, not interested'.

DB2 (0, Redundant)

wonkavader (605434) | more than 5 years ago | (#27818033)

Does this mean every one of those customers ditched Oracle in the process, or is there an IBM POWER version of Oracle?

I don't see one on Oracle's standard downloads page.

WHOOPS!!!! Yes, they do have one. (3, Informative)

wonkavader (605434) | more than 5 years ago | (#27818111)

Should have looked further down the page. Oracle does indeed have a "Linux on Power" download.

Re:WHOOPS!!!! Yes, they do have one. (3, Insightful)

aixguru1 (671173) | more than 5 years ago | (#27818439)

Why is it people assume you have to run Linux on Power hardware for Oracle? AIX fully supports Oracle RDBMS solutions, including combining them high availability products such as HACMP. You buy Power hardware for the reliability and performance in mid-large scale computing. Someone that can afford to put Oracle on that kind of hardware usually runs AIX vs Linux.

Re:DB2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27818411)

Oracle have an Power/AIX version

Anti-trust (1)

Twillerror (536681) | more than 5 years ago | (#27818053)

Intel just got in trouble for providing incentives to not offer a processor.

This is definately a bit different then that, but does this not seem like an anti-competitive type of move?

Any tech lawyers read slashdot?

Re:Anti-trust (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27818227)

These are two different things. Intel got in trouble for trying to block consumers from purchasing AMD products. Nothing in IBM's incentive program prevents people from staying with Sun or even leaving IBM for Sun. Now, there are anti-trust laws about price wars. Can't say how those would come in to play

Re:Anti-trust (1)

justinlee37 (993373) | more than 5 years ago | (#27818527)

IANAL, but it should be legal if the end result is not selling the hardware for less than it's production cost. Which is entirely possible, considering that $8,000 of IBM products doesn't actually cost IBM anywhere near $8,000.

Re:Anti-trust (1)

Burkin (1534829) | more than 5 years ago | (#27818511)

but does this not seem like an anti-competitive type of move?

No, it sounds like a very highly competitive move on IBM's part. Exactly what in this offer is anti-competitive?

a reward (2, Funny)

nimbius (983462) | more than 5 years ago | (#27818065)

naturally implies there is some type of punishment for not upgrading to IBM servers...

not a good year for McNealy (4, Informative)

rs232 (849320) | more than 5 years ago | (#27818131)

We love Linux, we love community development and we love open source," McNealy told The Register in an interview. "We just don't like Red Hat.'

"We think we are the good guys. Who has donated more code than us? IBM keeps donating end-of-life code - remnants of roadkill [theregister.co.uk] they've bought .." Oct 2004

"a year ago is when Sun and MS bought licenses from SCO and SCO filed its lawsuit against IBM [groklaw.net] . And in March a year ago, SCO sued IBM, while Ballmer and McNealy had a round of golf and discussed how to work together. What a coincidence"

IBM licenses (0)

mugnyte (203225) | more than 5 years ago | (#27818195)

  Anybody want to reveal the license costs for comparable IBM products? 'Cause I sure don't them see doing it. This is sour grapes.

  IBM rakes us over the cost/performance coals. We're rushing to get out.

Back to their old tricks eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27818213)

Can't sell your hardware? (I haven't seen an IBM piece of hardware I'd want to buy in 10 years), so now you try and buy your way in???

yeah... like that will help...

IBM's pSeries, xSeries so far as I've seen / personal experience pretty well bite...

Is this legal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27818309)

While certainly not a moral way to do business, is this kind of incentive legal? Could Sun sue for anti competitive practices?

Re:Is this legal? (1)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | more than 5 years ago | (#27818453)

So long as the end result is not selling the servers for less than the production cost, it should be perfectly legal.

Re:Is this legal? (1)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 5 years ago | (#27818797)

So long as the end result is not selling the servers for less than the production cost, it should be perfectly legal.

Unless Microsoft were doing it, of course.

Re:Is this legal? (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 5 years ago | (#27818637)

What's immoral about it? Why should it be illegal for IBM to buy SUN products? SUN already got money for selling it the first time.

If you buy a new car, they will offer you some money for your old one, no matter who made it, and that is normally considered legal. This is the same thing.

Re:Is this legal? (1)

GuyverDH (232921) | more than 5 years ago | (#27818883)

If you buy a new car, they will offer you some money for your old one, no matter who made it, and that is normally considered legal. This is the same thing.

only if you consider trading in your car for 8k worth of cabin-air filters, or oil-changes/tire rotations...

they aren't offering 8k worth of ibm hardware for sun hardware...

not the same.

Re:Is this legal? (2, Interesting)

Burkin (1534829) | more than 5 years ago | (#27818793)

While certainly not a moral way to do business,

What is immoral about their offer? Is it also immoral for a car dealership to offer you a discount on your purchase if you trade in an old car? Because what IBM is offering is no different.

Re:Is this legal? (1)

Huh? (105485) | more than 5 years ago | (#27819043)

Bad choice of business for your analogy. Somehow, a car dealer being on the right side of moral discussion just seems......well, wrong.

Re:Is this legal? (1)

Burkin (1534829) | more than 5 years ago | (#27819081)

Somehow, a car dealer being on the right side of moral discussion just seems......well, wrong.

While the car dealer himself may be immoral, there is nothing immoral (or anti-competitive) in a trade-in discount which is all this is.

I'm not switching... (4, Interesting)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | more than 5 years ago | (#27818327)

We use excludively OpenBSD on UltraSParc servers for our financial transactions processing. I am not switching - I want uptimes of a year and I certainly dont want to port our software to another OS or hardware. $8k wouldnt go near that. (We have over 20 CPUs, but porting is not going to happen while my Sun kit works). I have never paid Sun a penny for support. Their kit is reliable.

Re:I'm not switching... (1)

xdor (1218206) | more than 5 years ago | (#27818437)

I'll second the OpenBSD + UltraSparc combo

So they'll give me (1)

mongolian (768610) | more than 5 years ago | (#27818469)

$16k for the old sparcstation 2's I found to buy some IBM crap?

the cost of IBM (1)

jeffc128ca (449295) | more than 5 years ago | (#27818525)

Based on the rates IBM charges, these customers will need it. $8,K will get you a round of golf with one IBM consultant for the afternoon.

Well that's very easy (2, Interesting)

JamesP (688957) | more than 5 years ago | (#27818749)

It's no problem for IBM to shave 8k in their overpriced sw or services... It's a drop in the bucket comparing to the usual amount you'll get charged...

Taking advantage? Seems more like desperation... (4, Insightful)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 5 years ago | (#27818889)

Taking advantage of the uncertainty surrounding Oracle's acquisition of Sun, IBM has doubled the monetary incentives they are offering to ditch Sun gear.

If I have to double the bribe I'm paying to get somebody to abandon a competitor's product from what I was previously offering, that doesn't sound like there is uncertainty in the market that I am taking advantage of, it seems like I've suddenly become desperate that if I don't convince people to leave right now I'm never going to be able to.

And it makes sense: Oracle with Sun, once it finishes integrating its product lines, is going to have a lot more capacity to compete with IBM in offering complete solutions than pre-Sun Oracle or pre-Oracle Sun on their own could.

Solaris has been a good buddy... (3, Insightful)

dogsbreath (730413) | more than 5 years ago | (#27818895)

.. but most freaking industrial apps are essentially single threaded and the best speed I can get on SPARC is 2.6 G or so ( for mucho $$$)... and Sun is not going anywhere with the h/w research. IBM meanwhile has P6 cpus at 4.7 GHz and much higher in the works. Sun won't survive on Jave, DTrace, and sentimentality.

The T series rock for web and other // processing needs, and they are low power (relatively) but most times I'm better off looking at RH and a Dell.

So... Sun h/w is dying, the Solaris o/s ain't so special anymore (kudos to linux and BSD flavours), and Sun has just been bought by a company headed by a bigger freak than Scott McNealy. And: Oracle doesn't speak o/s or h/w development.

A lot of our vendors are tied specifically to Solaris and SPARC. We're telling them to find another mainstream platform: Linux/x86 or AIX/P. Oracle has a window of opportunity while a lot of apps are still tied to Solaris but those apps are more and more available on alternate platforms or specialized industrial apps without much market effect.

Sad, but Sun and the SPARC/Solaris products are in various stages of death.

Almost makes Nortel look good.

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