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Businesses China IBM Hardware

Lenovo To Buy IBM's Server Business For $2.3 Billion 160

Posted by timothy
from the bet-watson-had-this-sewn-up-weeks-ago dept.
itwbennett writes "Well, that was fast. Earlier this week the rumor mill was getting revved up about a potential sale of IBM's x86 server business, with Lenovo, Dell, and Fujitsu reportedly all interested in scooping it up. On Thursday, Lenovo Group announced it has agreed to buy IBM's x86 server hardware business and related maintenance services for $2.3 billion. The deal encompasses IBM's System x, BladeCenter and Flex System blade servers and switches, x86-based Flex integrated systems, NeXtScale and iDataPlex servers and associated software, blade networking and maintenance operations. IBM will retain its System z mainframes, Power Systems, Storage Systems, Power-based Flex servers, and PureApplication and PureData appliances." SlashBI has some words from an analyst about why Lenovo wants the x86 product line more than IBM does.
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Lenovo To Buy IBM's Server Business For $2.3 Billion

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    They must have loved their Thinkpad line of laptops so much that they just HAD to have more!

    CAPCHA: Reinvent

    • Re:Thinkpad line (Score:5, Insightful)

      by dintech (998802) on Thursday January 23, 2014 @09:27AM (#46045595)
      A public consumer buying a laptop is one thing, but I can imagine certain blue chip institutions (banks for example) will be slightly less interested in buying servers from Lenovo as opposed to HP. I have some IBM servers on order right now and there isn't usually a lot in it when deciding whether HP or IBM is better for my use case. If it was Lenovo or HP, that decision would probably only go HPs way.
      • A public consumer buying a laptop is one thing, but I can imagine certain blue chip institutions (banks for example) will be slightly less interested in buying servers from Lenovo as opposed to HP. I have some IBM servers on order right now and there isn't usually a lot in it when deciding whether HP or IBM is better for my use case. If it was Lenovo or HP, that decision would probably only go HPs way.

        This was definitely my first thought--a lot of value is in the IBM mark. If Lenovo can't brand the hardware and services and IBM, they're going to lose a lot of business relative to the value of the sold hardware and related services business prior to purchase. I would think a bunch of people would continue to use them for legacy equipment or when they want new hardware to function especially smoothly with legacy equipment, but for a lot of institutional clients, I think you just wouldn't consider Lenovo.

        • by cayenne8 (626475)
          I have worked with IBM thinkpads...and a year or so ago, I got a Lenovo "thinkpad" for a job, and I was highly disappointed in it.

          More plastic-y and fragile than the old line thinkpads. I found the usb slots to be cheap and noisy, as that I was trying to do some USB to serial communications, and it was not pretty at times.

          I'd guess the servers will likewise degenerate into cheaper states.

          • by SpzToid (869795)

            Say it ain't so. I have had my eyes on a top o' line Lenovo W540 notebook because it specs very well, is Ubuntu Certified, and HP's alternative was rated as 'noisy' in the few reviews available for me to read so far.

            That notebook stuck out for those reasons, while I found no other alternatives; mainly because linux support is such a crap-shoot.

            http://blog.laptopmag.com/leno... [laptopmag.com]

            • I believe you two are talking about different sorts of noise.

              I believe GP was referring to SIGNAL noise on the USB line playing havoc with his RS-232 adapter. It does not mean that the laptop FAN is loud. It's also not certain that you would have issues with normal USB devices, give what a corner case RS-232 adapters are.

              • by SpzToid (869795)

                Sorry, but I should made my concern for fan noise more clear in my text. The HP & Dell reviews I've read for workstation-type notebooks said they suffered from fan noise which seems like a poor design implementation.

                The last notebook I bought was an HP Prosumer piece of junk, and the fan noise was terrible and impossible for me to overlook. I sold the notebook at a loss because it wasn't useful to me at all and would only become less valuable as time passed. If I pay $2000 for a W540 I want it quiet and

                • I was pretty happy with my 2010 Macbook Pro (though the keyboard layout takes getting used to), until it was stolen earlier this month... I'm using a Chromebook for personal use in the interim until I check out the current options, when I got the MBP in May 2010, it was pretty much the best option... I'm not heavily tied to any particular OS, and don't mind doing the work stuff in windows on a VM... YMMV, not a fanboi just happy with that hardware (and I can't stand iOS)
                  • by SpzToid (869795)

                    Some people even run OSX in VMware. Me? I like VMs as useful containers of stuff, and as a dev, I appreciate how well snapshots work. Ubuntu 64bit LTS/ Gnome 3 is my preferred host OS and works really well for that purpose. YMMV, just a thought.

              • by cayenne8 (626475)

                I believe GP was referring to SIGNAL noise on the USB line playing havoc with his RS-232 adapter. It does not mean that the laptop FAN is loud. It's also not certain that you would have issues with normal USB devices, give what a corner case RS-232 adapters are.

                Indeed....it was not fan noise, nothing audible, I couldn't care less about that, but it played hell with the app I was trying to develop and integrate with an external device.

          • Yeah, I bought a "thinkpad" type laptop about 6 months ago. Decent-ish specs, but absolute shit keyboard. I had to put a large spacer between the mainboard and the keyboard tray base just to get the spacebar to work consistently. I hate that almost everybody is going with the shitty chicklet keyboards nowadays, it feels like you need to either be an elephant or hit the damn keys with a big hammer when typing.

            Other than the shitty keyboard ( one thing I DO like is the full numpad for number entry), I can'

          • I bought a cheap consumer grade laptop from Lenovo who's only standout quality was a core i7 processor (because I was going to use it primarily as a compute server.) I've had zero problems with it. None. Zip. Zilch.

            But I set my laptop bag down gently instead of tossing it on the couch or floor.

            I remember that it's a piece of fragile electronics at it's heart, not some mil-spec tank designed to take a .50 calibre bullet and keep running. It's a trade off -- I'd rather have to take care of it than slug

        • This was definitely my first thought--a lot of value is in the IBM mark. If Lenovo can't brand the hardware and services and IBM, they're going to lose a lot of business relative to the value of the sold hardware and related services business prior to purchase. I would think a bunch of people would continue to use them for legacy equipment or when they want new hardware to function especially smoothly with legacy equipment, but for a lot of institutional clients, I think you just wouldn't consider Lenovo.

          That may be true for American companies, but consider Chinese companies, who have no small concern about the US's spying activities. It's a lot more likely a Chinese company is going to be able to sell into the Chinese market than a US one would. Remember that after the Snowden revelations China cancelled a hefty number of orders for IBM equipment, sufficient to do some pretty substantial damage to IBM's revenues and stock price. I suspect Lenovo is going to be a lot more successful in China than IBM has an

      • by Anonymous Coward

        A public consumer buying a laptop is one thing, but I can imagine certain blue chip institutions (banks for example) will be slightly less interested in buying servers from Lenovo as opposed to HP. I have some IBM servers on order right now and there isn't usually a lot in it when deciding whether HP or IBM is better for my use case. If it was Lenovo or HP, that decision would probably only go HPs way.

        So it will be a choice between MSS and NSA?

      • by Anonymous Coward

        A public consumer buying a laptop is one thing,

        Weird that you got tagged insightful, when your comment shows such a lack of understanding of the Thinkpad line of laptops. The Thinkpad line of laptops were marketed to blue chip institutions, those consumers who bought one generally did so as a result of experience using one provided by a big corp.

        It took Lenovo years to majorly damage the Thinkpad reputation inside big corps.

        • It may have taken them years, but persistance apparently pays off. I don't know of anyone who thinks current generation ThinkPads are anything but junk.
          • by jp10558 (748604)

            I don't think their junk. In comparing to the current crop of Dells (I don't look at HP for various internal reasons - I fight to get Lenovo, Dells are preferred and I really haven't thought HP was worth a fight in a long time) the Thinkpads seem to be consistently better for what we want. We pay a bit more - but there always was a price premium for IBM. We still get better customer service (YMMV), better build quality, and optionally better specs available though I'm sure some of that is related to the asi

      • From my experience with IBM and HP blades you couldn't pay me enough to touch the HP blades. The only positive experience I had with the HP blades were that they were a nice place to warm up behind in the data centre when I was cold.

  • Their dominance in the shrinking PC market has to be a cause for concern regarding future revenue streams.

    Diversify, innovate, or die.

    • Really? Where are you getting your information from?

      IIRC, last year Lenovo was gaining market share. (This was back when Dell was trying to take Dell inc. private, one of the reasons was that Dell was losing market share to Lenovo and HP.)

      • by jythie (914043)
        But... but.. the PC is doomed! 3 months from now there will be nothing but tablets and cell phones!
        • by CastrTroy (595695) on Thursday January 23, 2014 @10:18AM (#46046087) Homepage
          It's not quite that bad, but unless something significant changes, I'm at the point where I buy a new PC or Laptop only when the previous one dies. And I'll only buy a new PC if the old one is unrepairable, or repairs cost more than a new one. The current computer I have is 8 years old, and still works fine for my uses. I have a newer laptop (3 years), but it was a $400 laptop, bottom of the line. Still does everything I need it to. The PC market is definitely different than 10-15 years ago when you need to buy a new machine every 2-3 years just to run the latest OS and Office software. There is nothing interesting about going out and buying a new computer, and there's very little reason to spend more than the minimum amount.
          • by karnal (22275)

            I am with you on this - and nowadays, small upgrades can make an unusable machine very usable! Best bang for the buck as follows in my opinion:

            1. SSD - I bought two in the last six months; one for an older core2duo laptop and one for a core2quad desktop. Both machines run circles around the other hard drive based machines in my house.
            2. Memory - even though DDR2 prices are seemingly through the roof compared to DDR3, still less expensive than a new machine. Max out that memory if you find it hard to op

        • by Anonymous Coward

          But... but.. the PC is doomed! 3 months from now there will be nothing but tablets and cell phones!

          The PC is not "doomed", but it's about as profitable and exciting as selling canned tomatoes. Yeah, people need them, always will, but they generally buy the cheapest ones on the shelf. The only growth comes from buying out your competitors or cutting costs.

        • That is why IBM is selling. Tablets and cell phones running on ARM processors is where it is at. Intel even closed a brand new factory just before they were supposed to open it.
      • by gstoddart (321705)

        IIRC, last year Lenovo was gaining market share.

        But doesn't that translate to "gaining market share in an overall shrinking market"?

        If we're to believe recent stats, and increasingly tablets are outstripping sales of PCs, then in the short term Lenovo could continue to increase their share. But, if the market is correspondingly getting smaller.

        This gets them into the server business, which presumably is a lot more resistant to stuff like tablets -- because, nobody is going to run their enterprise software

        • Fair point – I slightly misread the OP.

          That being said, when I read the tea leaves I see the PC market as stagnant, not shrinking. (Most people who want a PC have a PC, but there is some room for growth. So you are mostly looking at replacement sales, and I can’t think of anybody who has replaced their PC with a tablet.). You can make a decent steady profit in a mature market dominated by commodity products, but it takes different business plan than a growing, dynamic market.

      • They did increase their share of a shrinking market. Yes.

        Which is exactly what the GP post said.

  • Over 30 years (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Koen Lefever (2543028) on Thursday January 23, 2014 @08:59AM (#46045321)
    I remember thinking "too little, too late" when IBM launched its x86 line (the IBM 5150 PC with 8088 CPU) in 1981.

    Damn, over 30 years later and we're still stuck with a variant of that architecture!
    • by ackthpt (218170)

      I remember thinking "too little, too late" when IBM launched its x86 line (the IBM 5150 PC with 8088 CPU) in 1981.

      Damn, over 30 years later and we're still stuck with a variant of that architecture!

      Too little, too late? You missed the target methinks. They dictated the architecture which is on desks these days, and made Microsoft unbelievably rich with that little oversight, letting Gates sell his version of DOS, too.

      Where they utterly blew it, though, was in pursuing the regrettable PS/2 line up. Horrible machines which locked you into horrible upgrade paths. It was shortly afterwards they began shedding people so fast I didn't know which salesman I was talking to from week to week when we were a

      • Too little, too late? You missed the target methinks.

        Yeah, that much is obvious. I really expected the PC to tank - after all we already had superior architectures, like MC68000 (obviously) and Z8000 (that would have been flamebait back then) and NS32000 was just around the corner.

        It was the first time I witnessed how hype and a brand name could trump quality, especially because IBM had deliberately chosen a crippled processor (8088 was a 8086 with an 8-bit bus) - that was a harsh lesson.

        They dictated the architecture which is on desks these days

        Indeed, that's what I'm whining about. I guess I'll have to get over

        • Re:Over 30 years (Score:5, Interesting)

          by nojayuk (567177) on Thursday January 23, 2014 @12:19PM (#46047509)

          The 8086 family including the 8088 8-bit bus version were available to buy in commercial quantities at a time when the MC68000 was still a hangar queen with dev boards running at half the speed of the planned production machines (we tried overclocking our dev board from 4MHz to the production speed of 8MHz, didn't work). The Z8000 was even more of a pipe dream.

          In addition the 8086/8088 worked with all the 8080-family bus chips like the serial port, parallel port, interrupt controller, 8087 maths chip etc. The MC68k had to fake all that functionality with separate and expensive silicon (no affordable FPGA chips back then). Software -- the 8086 was deliberately designed with an 8080-family structure of registers and memory access internally which made it easy to port existing CP/M code over to the new platform and Intel wrote compilers and provided other tools to make that job easy. The MC68k was a dream to write new code for but it took a lot more effort to get something, anything working on it.

        • It was the first time I witnessed how hype and a brand name could trump quality, especially because IBM had deliberately chosen a crippled processor (8088 was a 8086 with an 8-bit bus) - that was a harsh lesson.

          I think that you're discounting the mechanical quality in the PC's success. IBM PCs were solid machines that had a resemblance to their mainframe terminals. Unlike many competitors of the time, PCs were neither overly clunky nor toy-like. Many business managers, who were not necessarily all that familiar with microcomputers, probably put a lot of weight into the mechanicals when they made purchasing decisions.

          Sometimes I wish I still had one of those heavy clicky keyboards and that pleasing green long-persi

    • by jalopezp (2622345)
      Duh, it was always meant to be backwards compatible.
    • > I remember thinking "too little, too late" when IBM launched its x86 line (the IBM 5150 PC with 8088 CPU) in 1981.

      Memories! I cut my programming teeth on an IBM 5120, entering Star Traders (like Starlanes [demon.co.uk] only text-ier) and Star Trek [meatfighter.com] from hobbyist coding books. The days!

  • $2.3 Billion (Score:5, Insightful)

    by globaljustin (574257) <justinglobal@gm a i l . com> on Thursday January 23, 2014 @09:01AM (#46045347) Homepage Journal

    So basically Lenovo got a server manufacturer for almost $1Billion less than Snapchat is worth.

    • So basically Lenovo got a server manufacturer for almost $1Billion less than Snapchat is worth.

      Yeah, or Nest.

    • Re:$2.3 Billion (Score:5, Insightful)

      by CastrTroy (595695) on Thursday January 23, 2014 @09:39AM (#46045705) Homepage
      When you put it that way, you start to realize how big the bubble is getting in social and other web platforms. A business that's actually taking in revenue (quit a bit, I would guess) is worth significantly less than a web service that has no way of generating revenue, and who's users can switch to a new, almost identical web service tomorrow, if they start charging money or showing ads to generate revenue. Companies like to keep their servers the same, because things (like remote hardware management ex.HP ILO) don't interoperate between different vendors. So they're going to be able to retain quite a few customers as long as they don't change anything, and just keep on producing boxes that work.
      • Right I hear you. Huge bubbles of valuation still happening.

        I honestly don't know *what* to think about bubble companies like Snapchat.

        On one hand, it's bad for our industry to have such huge misperceptions of value...which filters down to the web designer job at a little design shop or a coder for a startup and even to how the government hires tech contractors.

        On the flipside, it is amazing ammount of money for Snapchat, something which I'm sure alot of /.'ers could create with enough effort & maybe a

      • This is also how the US is screwing itself in the long (or maybe not so long) run. By throwing money at the latest fad or bubble, that's likely here today and gone tomorrow, or which can at least be easily duplicated, we're depriving real industry of investment. Sell them off to China - we'll invest in Snapchat!

        Meanwhile China is investing in industry that produces real products, and the US is outsourcing such production (or even just selling it to China). By "real products" I mean services as well as goods

    • So basically Lenovo got a server manufacturer for almost $1Billion less than Snapchat is worth.

      Which merely tells you that Facebook's acquisition team is very likely incompetent since Snapchat has zero revenue and unclear prospects for profitability. $3 billion is an absolutely absurd price and spending money like that is a big reason why I have no intention of buying Facebook stock. It also tells you that the owners of Snapchat are a bunch of weapons grade morons for turning down an offer like that. The only thing dumber than Facebook offering that much money for Snapchat was when Snapchat declin

      • by tomhath (637240)

        The only thing dumber than Facebook offering that much money for Snapchat was when Snapchat declined the offer.

        I don't know about that...Microsoft's offer of somewhere around $50B for Yahoo comes to mind.

        • by jddeluxe (965655)

          I don't know about that...Microsoft's offer of somewhere around $50B for Yahoo comes to mind.

          Actually, the only thing dumber than that was Jerry Yang NOT taking the $50 billion...

        • by sjbe (173966) on Thursday January 23, 2014 @10:28AM (#46046207)

          I don't know about that...Microsoft's offer of somewhere around $50B for Yahoo comes to mind.

          I agree it was a really really really dumb offer and even dumber to turn down but at least Yahoo has profits of about $1 billion/year. The valuation was stupidly high but at least you could base it on something. $3 billion for a company with zero revenues is beyond ridiculous and turning it down has to be one of the dumbest business decisions in the last 20 years.

      • the owners of Snapchat are a bunch of weapons grade morons for turning down an offer like that

        You won't be saying that when Google offers $5B.

        • by sjbe (173966)

          You won't be saying that when Google offers $5B.

          Yes I will unless there is some actual revenue and a path to profitability.

    • So basically Lenovo got a server manufacturer for almost $1Billion less than Snapchat is worth.

      Me thinks it was a backhanded plan by Snapchat founders/promoters to get someone interested in the company. Then it did not work as they wanted...they probably expected a bidding war.

  • and not a damn funny things comes to mind. This should however be interesting going forward as IBM always had a knack for getting out of a market just before it went to hell
  • Chinese Rule!!! (Score:1, Insightful)

    by HansKloss (665474)

    Anything left from from good 'ol USA?
    Yes I forgot. Numerous 3 letter agencies, cameras, police, security forces in kindergartens, schools and grocery stores, private prisons with largest population in it.

    • by supremebob (574732) <themejunkyNO@SPAMgeocities.com> on Thursday January 23, 2014 @09:08AM (#46045425) Journal

      I guess that IBM's customers can now stop worrying about the NSA planting bugs in their servers and worry about the Chinese government doing it instead :)

    • Re:Chinese Rule!!! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by alexander_686 (957440) on Thursday January 23, 2014 @09:18AM (#46045509)

      IIRC Lenovo is headquartered in the US and just opened another plant for PCs in the south. I don’t want to dismiss all of the concerns but let us try to put this in perspective.

      • Re:Chinese Rule!!! (Score:5, Informative)

        by hendrips (2722525) on Thursday January 23, 2014 @10:39AM (#46046321)

        Lenovo has "dual headquarters" in Beijing and Morrisville, North Carolina, but it is definitely a Chinese company - stock is traded in Hong Kong, the directors are Chinese, etc. That said, Lenovo isn't really a state-backed enterprise to the same degree as companies like Huawei; they probably don't receive much more government interference than, say, Apple or HP. Admittedly, that's not much comfort...

    • Re:Chinese Rule!!! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by TheloniousToady (3343045) on Thursday January 23, 2014 @09:36AM (#46045667)

      Look at it this way: the Chinese may feel rich enough to pay $2.3 billion for server business, but only Americans feel rich enough to pay $3.2 billion for a thermostat business. So, who has the bigger Nest egg?

  • by slapout (93640)

    ...don't welcome our new Chinese overloads. (Do you realize how hard it's going to be to learn to write/type Manderin?)

    • by jythie (914043)
      Well, if they are making saner investment decisions then American companies right now, a little overlording might not be such a bad thing.
    • by marsu_k (701360) on Thursday January 23, 2014 @10:05AM (#46045965)

      ...don't welcome our new Chinese overloads. (Do you realize how hard it's going to be to learn to write/type Manderin?)

      You already seem to be struggling with English.

    • by wcrowe (94389)

      Do you realize how hard it's going to be to learn to write/type Manderin?

      Especially if you can't even write/type Mandarin in English.

    • by jafac (1449)

      something like 60% of Chinese don't even know how to write/type Mandarin. They seem to get along okay.

    • ...don't welcome our new Chinese overloads. (Do you realize how hard it's going to be to learn to write/type Manderin?)

      Must be hard if you even write the language's name wrong. :P

    • Do you realize how hard it's going to be to learn to write/type Manderin?

      You learn to speak Mandarin, but to read and write Chinese. On the bright side, maybe they'll take pity on us and let us use pinyin.

  • by nimbius (983462) on Thursday January 23, 2014 @09:11AM (#46045449) Homepage
    eh, greybeard here so maybe its the metamucil talking but IBM never stood much chance in the server realm. not that they didnt make a damn fine x86...most were quiet and powerful, but the market hat was looking toward IBM was too different and weird.

    if you wanted a workstation for simple 2D cad stuff your clear alternative was dell. it was cheap, came with whatever copy of windows you wanted, and didnt bankrupt your small shop with overhead from licensing and support contracts....other than whatever autodesk was gouging you for.

    a litle higher up the chain, if you were doing some composite rendering or computational fluid thermodynamics you had Sun microsystems. they made the bulletproof UNIX the grads from the local alma-mater recognized, and the hardware was dependable. sun servers chugged through the heavy arithmetic but the deskside SPARCstation was the sterling ally of the well-weathered fogie in the corner office who occasionally appeared for his 'laureate engineer' paperweight. the IT department appreciated suns no-nonsense RTFM mentality.

    BIS, corporate informatics and number-crunchery that fed paychecks through the line printers and requisitions across the department heads was the golden child of IBM...heck, its in the name! BUSINESS machines! the AS400 ran cobol and from its cobwebbed confines were excreted every known model and function of how the money made the business and vice versa. "terminals" kept the cost of doing dirty work down and a few cloistered chosen were sequestered into office space to stitch new lovecraftian code whenever an earnings summary needed a tweak or a new way of visualizing things 'outside the box' needed rendering in code. AS400 turned into Z's and E's and I's and soon JDEdwards became Oracle and the new reality of deadlocked transactions and segfaulted Business Objects servers were a daily bain for the IT department but the song never changed. this was to become IBM. Because the reports were a touchstone of the business these machines lived to become behemoths and their triumphs accoladed from on high by watsons and oh so many marketeers that knew no boundaries in the iron they could sell. IBM was the Iron Business Marauder, the Intractable Bloat of the Management, the only way your applications would ever imply support for your way of doing business in the ERP EAP SAP clusterfuck that BIS and management had conceeded was somehow a necessity now. IBM could never hope to sell X86, because IBM sold complicity and approval in the licensing agreements for Oracle and enterprise, not hardware.

    and while they toiled over the iron they sold, Dell and HP slowly absorbed the engineering fallout from SGI implosions and cheap commodity x86 incursion around a SUN that comparatively stood as a more expensive and only slightly quicker means of doing what the engineers had always done. Goosed a bit by linux, no doubt.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      tl;dr: commodity hardware and software, over time, takes over everything, and IBM lacks a unique selling point

      frankly I'm astonished that they outlived Sun, although both were obviously doomed

      taking bets on how long before Lenovo buys the IBM trademark? Or will they not even bother?

      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 23, 2014 @10:16AM (#46046067)
        As soon as IBM's real money makers go away, being System z and p. So, never.
        • by afidel (530433)

          You mean global services and software [ibm.com], right? Because THAT is where the money is.

          • You mean global services and software [ibm.com], right? Because THAT is where the money is.

            You mean until more customers realize that IBM (a/k/a India Business Machines) services and software is overpriced garbage, and that it's better to have it done in the US (often in-house) if quality is your concern, or to deal directly with India if lowest cost is what you want.

            IBM used to be known as the company that nobody ever got fired for buying from. They were expensive, but their stuff worked damn well and their service was phenomenal. Nowadays they're just another ripoff whorehouse living on memorie

        • by bored (40072)

          You mean z and i.... p has been struggling due to the onslaught of x86's with Linux.

          Sure p/i are the same hardware now and can run linux too. But in the end its far easier to switch from linux/power or aix/power to linux/x86 than it is to switch from IBM i/zos to some other platform.

          So, both of those markets are nice, but IBM will continue to try an milk them like HP does with nonstop/openvms/etc. Its only a matter of time before the margins on those start to get squeezed as people decide paying ten million

          • by dwywit (1109409)

            System i is already hosted on x86 - see "Pure Systems". It's a great OS, with granularity of control I've never seen in *nix or Windows.

            Back in the day, I used to think that it would be wonderful when PCs became powerful enough to run OS400. I'd still like to see it, even if emulated.

            • by bored (40072)

              System i is already hosted on x86

              Really? Didn't know that, I thought you had to have a POWER compute node in your pureflex system to run IBM i... Do you have a link indicating that it will run on the x86 compute nodes ?

              Frankly, i'm skeptical. I've seen the presentations and I don't ever remember seeing anything about IBM i/i5/i5OS/as400 nodes being hosted on x86, only on POWER. Sure you can put them in the same cabinet, but that is really nothing new, just now you can manage them from the same console. Wit

              • by dwywit (1109409)

                Whoops - I think you're right. I've only read the sales summaries. I thought it was a bit strange at the time - x86 is kind of anathema to the design of IBM i/OS400.

    • by iggymanz (596061)

      real IT greybeard here, those x86 commodity crap wintel boxes aren't real servers. Let me give you a hint, the world's money and your insurance and stocks are on real big iron, and IBM dominates that market.

  • Is IBM just "Global Services" now?
  • One day I'll be driving past a strip mall and see the familiar blue sign. It will now be the trademark of a shoe store.

  • Great (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FuzzNugget (2840687) on Thursday January 23, 2014 @09:36AM (#46045669)
    Now Lenovo can fuck up that product line too, just like they did with the ThinkPad.
    • I think you are too harsh on Lenovo.
      I am using the Thinkpad X series and T series for the last 12 years...from the IBM days to the current iteration. I am yet to see a significant drop in quality on those two lines after Lenovo started rebranding. I am not sure about their entry models though.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I just went through the entire Lenovo line - every laptop/ultrabook they produce - and they offer only ONE machine that:

        • * doesn't have a reflective screen
        • * has a centered keyboard and trackpad
        • * is a 15" screen or higher, 1920x1080

        That machine is the W530 [lenovo.com], and it doesn't even have the new Haswell i7 processors. It's one generation behind and they're still asking $1300 for the base configuration.

        The rest of the Lenovo models have characteristics which impair usability - basically, doesn't meet the bulleted l

        • by rdnetto (955205)

          Take a look at the T440p (i.e. the flagship thinkpad). They've removed the mouse buttons, but apart from that it meets all the criteria on your list. At the rate things are going, it's probably going to be the last model with physical function keys.

      • I think you are too harsh on Lenovo.
        I am using the Thinkpad X series and T series for the last 12 years...from the IBM days to the current iteration. I am yet to see a significant drop in quality on those two lines after Lenovo started rebranding. I am not sure about their entry models though.

        Agreed. The X and T series (which are the descendents of the old Thinkpad lines) have held up nicely. The other series, which don't have the same "genes," I don't really care for.

  • If the future of commodity servers is low-powered ARM64 running Windows RT Blade Edition then IBM exits at the right time can focus on their own 'high end' and leave their competitor Intel's Xeon arch to Lenovo.

    • Troll, really mods??

      Much server code (e.g. Linux based) is processor agnostic from LAMP to JBoss. High performance stuff Oracle/Weblogic/Solaris on Sparc or DB2/Websphere on POWER is tuned to run on vendor specific hardware. That leaves Windows and SQLServer/.net. With MS investing in ARMv8, even Windows server applications on the CLR won't be Intel dependent.

      so if the future of the data center is parallelized ARM64 for performance/watt and IBM's own POWER for grunt work then x86 becomes a diminishing marke

  • by tekrat (242117) on Thursday January 23, 2014 @10:05AM (#46045963) Homepage Journal

    "No One Ever Got Fired for Buying IBM"

    Except now, you can't buy any IBM hardware, right? So, how are you going to avoid getting fired?

  • by shadowknot (853491) * on Thursday January 23, 2014 @10:25AM (#46046163) Journal
    The truth is that IBM's primary server market has never been its x86 offerings. The pSeries and System z market is much more lucrative what with engine licensing (CP, IFL etc) and massively expensive platform specific operating systems (z/OS, z/VSE, z/TPF, AIX etc) along with decades old products like CICS powering the vast majority of the financial world. I work closely with a contractor who worked for IBM for nearly four decades and his attitude to the distributed world is likely representative of a general antipathy to x86 on the server side within IBM (though I have no evidence other than him to back that up!) I suspect though, that the fact they can focus on "real" servers on the hardware side will probably be seen as good by most in Endicott.
  • I can see the sale of the System x and Bladecenters, but the sale of Flex Systems surprises me. I thought that was supposed to be their new hotness of 2012 - the magic box that lets you fire all your sysadmins. Maybe people didn't like having to develop using websphere?
    • by DiSKiLLeR (17651)

      We were planning to buy a bunch of flex system chassis... (after all, bladecenter is now obsolete and replaced by flex.)

      Guess we'll be looking at HP now.

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