Why IBM is Not Backing Away from Hardware

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Dan Olds from the Student Cluster Competition Blog

Dan Olds

Over at The Register, Dan Olds writes that the notion that IBM is getting out of the systems business is completely wrong. Sure, they’ve sold off their x86 server business and handed off their fab to Global Foundries, but in Dan’s estimation, it’s more about doubling-down on Power8.

The point of all this blathering isn’t to argue that IBM is going to bludgeon the life out of x86 with their Power8 boxes. What I’m saying is that IBM will stay in the hardware business for at least the foreseeable future. The return it gets from hardware and the accompanying ability to sell complete solutions is higher than the cost savings it would realize by abandoning it. However, IBM needs to put all of its considerable resources behind its new hardware initiatives. It has to execute on its plan to build Power based systems into a worthy x86 replacement, meaning it has to hold the line on prices while continuing to improve the underlying technology.

Convinced? Me neither. But you can hear Dan argue his point up and down some more with Henry Newman and I over at Radio Free HPC.

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  1. For the record, I agree with Dan Olds. Power and Power8 speciically has never been stronger. The market is poised for this technology now due to the economic and security conditions. Power controls software licensing with comparable or parity pricing to x86 and a top to bottom integrated security stack that comes with AIX, Power and PowerSC.