If you’re intending to buy a System i 515, there are a few pitfalls IBM has built into the product to lower it’s price a bit.
The model usually advertised comes with 2 70GB disk drives, without any console, 1 GB of RAM, and a 4mm 36/72 GB tapedrive.
Here are the pitfalls:
- i5/OS is very I/O intensive. Two 70GB disks will give your a very crawling system if your datasets don’t fit into RAM. Make that you have at least 4 disks – and use RAID5 if possible. Mirroring only makes sense if you can afford enough disks (8).
- i5/OS also needs enough RAM because of the first point. I would consider 4 GB to be a fair starting point for a standard configuration. You might get away with less if you’re using legacy applications, but remember that all the new System administration stuff is still in Java.
- Remember to buy a Console. The HMC is the best technical solution, but far too expensive. You can got with OpsCon (requires a PC) or with the Thin Console (a special Neoware appliance).
- The low end model only includes 3 months of software maintenance, and does not include CRU (Customer replaceable unit) service. Make sure that you have SWMA as long as you’re using the machine (it’s a support contract and a license upgrade contract). The CRU service is also important if you do not have on-site IT staff.
If you fix all these things, remember that you’ll probably increase your system price by about 50%-75% – but that’s just the way this game works. It exactly the same in the System x world, or even when you’re buying a car – all upgrades add extra cost.