IBM Power Systems Review

Scalability allows very small and Fortune 100 companies to take advantage of the reliability

What is most valuable?

I think that it's reliability and availability. Also, the ability to scale and do some of the newer things with replication, with the storage. They help the Power to really stand out.

How has it helped my organization?

For me, personally, I've been around Power, IBM i, since it was System/38. It's been a long time. Personal knowledge of it is my strength. I can relay that into solutions for our customers.

What needs improvement?

For the i customers, I think that Power, the horsepower, has always been there. So, I would like to see something more on the lower end, where they would make it more cost effective for the small guy, rather than the big guy.

They need to work a little bit more with the smaller guys. Help to make it easier for them to move, to get going into the system. They need to be a little bit more competitive with the Intels of the world.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I think they still claim "five 9s" availability. I would have to agree. In my experience, starting out as a CE back in the day, they were always very reliable, very easy to fix when they did break. With some of the other RAS things that they've put into these boxes, they're the best.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is the great thing. You go from very small systems, mom-and-pop shops, to Fortune 100 companies. That's the biggest thing, the scalability.

How is customer service and technical support?

We have worked with tech support for issues that have arisen. Sometimes, it's not really hardware related. A lot of times it's code related, but they're always very responsive and able to resolve the problems quickly.

How was the initial setup?

In terms of the upgrade from different versions, I think after we got past the jump from Syst ARIS, back in the day; and then, when we went from versions like 6 to 7, or 5.4 to 6, those were the really tough versions. 

Now, the version upgrades are very smooth.

What was our ROI?

We do see return on investment by upgrading from version to version.

I don't think that it's so much power, speed; it's the feature functionality. Some of the newer things that you are able to do with the newer versions, more so than the old days, when it was, "We get X amount of speed." That doesn't happen as much as the new features that are available.

For example, some of the Java things they're doing. Some of the things security-wise, there are a lot of great enhancements.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We are strictly IBM.

We go with Power Systems because the reliability and the availability of the systems are key. They are the best systems, as far as reliability and availability go.

What other advice do I have?

We are a business partner, so many of our customers use different versions from 5.4 up to 7.3. Most use IBM i. We do have customers that run POWER8, but we have other customers that are running on POWER5, POWER6. We're trying to get them to move to POWER8.

I would say IBM is a market leader in the server industry. It's hard because, for what my company does, as a business partner, we're not really placing too many new servers. But the customers we have are very loyal and very committed to the platform. I think that, as long as IBM takes care of the customers that they have - there is no better customer than the one you have - take care of those customers and they'll be fine.

**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
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