What is most valuable?
The threading, the portability through LPM, the ability for it to easily migrate between the environments, and the power of the chip. The flexibility of the chip, we found pretty nice.
We have the ability to fairly dynamically add resources to the servers, to the LPARS, as we need them; I don't know that other systems have that flexibility. At least from what I've seen.
How has it helped my organization?
It would be the efficiency of the chip, the ability to handle a phenomenal amount of load for not a lot of money. At the end of the day, that's what it comes down to.
What needs improvement?
What I'd like to see would be more of a usage-based licensing model. COD got close, but you still have to buy the basic things, and you can't turn them off really well. Then they came out with being able to use it for 30 days. After that, you might as well just buy the processor.
It would be nice to each month go through and say, "Okay. This is what we're using," pay for it, true up, and be much more like that cloud-ish type thing with an on-prem. With all the benefits of being on-prem.
How are customer service and technical support?
Excellent. They're usually knowledgeable.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
I inherited it. We use it because it's been performing well. In our world, we essentially have POWER systems or Intel-based applications, and we generally find the compute and the processing power, and the ability to handle the load, is far better on the POWER systems.
How was the initial setup?
In terms of upgrades, we've gone through multiple iterations. It was complex, but it was intuitive. We have an AIX team. They were able to upgrade the environment. Stand up the new environment. We were able to use LPM to migrate the load over from the old POWER7 to POWER8. It worked pretty well.
What was our ROI?
We don't really measure because we lease the system, so we have a natural opportunity. I would expect that if we went back and we tracked the performance per dollar spent, we would see a return on investment improvement.
What other advice do I have?
We have two POWER E850s and one E870. Most of our transactional systems, engineering, they're mostly out-of-the-box applications. PeopleSoft, Siebel, engineering applications.
I consider IBM to be a market leader in the server sector. They need to keep creating a price-effective system that competes with commodity hardware, which I believe they've done so far.