In an attempt to make it easier for businesses to bring VMware virtualization into their data centers, IBM is offering a special financing package for its System x and BladeCenter servers bundled with VMware's vSphere 4 virtualization platform. Key to the financing package is the trading of up-front costs for monthly payments on systems as low as $5,000. One analyst says by eliminating the up-front costs the IBM financing deal removes a key barrier to virtualization adoption.
is offering special financing for its
System x family of servers that are bundled with VMware's vSphere
4 virtualization platform
in a move that aims to make it easier for
businesses to bring virtualization into their data centers.
The financing plan, which essentially trades hefty up-front costs for more
manageable monthly payments and can be used on purchases as small as $5,000, covers
IBM's entire line of x86 systems, including
rack and tower models as well as BladeCenter blade systems.
It also includes the System x3950, which VMware
used as its reference
platform while developing vSphere 4's scalability capabilities.
The goal of the financing package, which was announced June 30 and will run
for the rest of 2009, is to offer businesses a way of adopting virtualization
technology during these recessionary times, when money is tight, according to
Alex Yost, vice president of IBM's Systems
and Technology Group.
"Our new financing options offer access to capital at competitive rates
and monthly payment structures based on fair market value leases instead of
up-front cost to help clients improve the cash flow and financial metrics from
their IT upgrades," Yost said in a statement. "Today, IT projects
need to preserve cash and provide a healthy return on investment."
IBM officials used the example of VMware
technology that would enable a business to virtualize 70 workloads bundled with
a System x3850, which normally would sell for about $59,000. Through the
financing plan, a company could purchase that system with no up-front costs and
monthly payments of about $1,675.
IBM is planning to extend the financing
plan to its iDataPlex
later in 2009.
Charles King, an analyst with Pund-IT Research, said most server financing
offers amount to little more than talk. However, IBM's
plan to offer financing for servers with bundled VMware technology makes sense
because it addresses how to consolidate x86 workloads onto virtual machines and
the fact that many companies are unable to take advantage of virtualization's
capabilities because they can't afford the up-front costs.
"Some might scoff that such 'no money down' offerings are mere gimmicks
that have more in common with used car sales than business computing,"
King wrote in a report issued July 1. "But those voices either ignore or
are ignorant of the deleterious impact that ongoing data center power and
cooling expenses and system complexity can have on IT TCO.
By assisting qualified companies to gain access to combined System
x/BladeCenter and vSphere solutions, IBM is
helping those customers to immediately gain the potential benefits of
virtualization and improve their cash flow by reducing IT costs."
VMware announced vSphere 4 in April and released it a month later. The
platform is an update to the company's ESX Server technology, and was designed
with cloud computing in mind.
Among the new features in vSphere 4 are scalability of up to 512 CPUs on up
to 320 virtual machines, the ability to address 1TB of server memory and
support for 64 processing cores.