iSeries Bumblebee For JDE Servers Are Shipping

From midrange server, inc newsletter The Four Hundred
* iSeries Bumblebee For JDE Servers Are Shipping
by Timothy Prickett Morgan
IBM and J.D. Edwards & Co last week began
shipments of the so-called Bumblebee for JDE servers. These machines
were announced back in June as the first in an expected line of IBM iSeries
machines that will be co-branded and sold by independent application
vendors. These particular JDE servers are special versions of the iSeries
Model 270 low-end servers. They are preconfigured to support JDE's
OneWorld and WorldSoftware ERP suites and, to make them more
appealing than regular iSeries servers, are sold with modest price breaks
compared to the regular iSeries servers on which they are based.
Technically (and boringly) known as the IBM eServer for J.D. Edwards,
the two configurations of the co-branded iSeries server are similar in
concept to the iSeries Dedicated Servers for Domino, which were
nicknamed (somewhat inadvertently) as the Bumblebee servers because
they were a black box with a yellow stripe.
The first Bumblebee for JDE machine is based on the Model 270 with
processor feature 2432, which is a single 540 MHz S-Star processor with
2 MB of Level 2 cache memory. This server, which is intended to support
100 OneWorld users, is configured with 2.5 GB of main memory, 228 GB
of disk, and Ethernet links, tape drives, battery-backed power supplies
and other hardware necessary for a real-world configuration. This
configuration is available for $77,689, which is an 8.5 percent discount
over list price for all of the hardware if purchased through the regular IBM
midrange channel as a plain vanilla iSeries server.
The second Bumblebee for JDE is based on the Model 270 server with
processor feature 2434, which is a dual processor server using 600 MHz
S-Star processors with 4 MB of Level 2 cache memory per processor.
This machine, which is intended to support 200 OneWorld users, comes
with 4.5 GB of main memory and 298 GB of disk capacity. The
configuration, with all the necessary expansion frames, networking, tape
backup and other peripherals, has a list price of $117,785, which is 9.7
percent lower than list price for the same configuration when sold as a
regular iSeries server.
These new servers can support either the OneWorld suite, which runs on
Unix, Windows or OS/400 platforms and which is written in C++, or the
WorldSoftware suite, which runs only on OS/400 platforms and which is
written in RPG. That pricing does not include the cost of anything but the
IBM hardware and the OS/400 operating system, which has the DB2/400
database integrated within it.
Let me clear up some confusion about support for WorldSoftware. Back in
July, before the Bumblebees were actually available, IBM offered a special
discount on Model 270 servers that mimicked the JDE-branded servers.
Initially, both WorldSoftware and OneWorld were included in this special
offer, which allowed IBM and JDE to sell the Bumblebees for JDE months
ahead of their actual availability. At the end of July, IBM withdrew the
support for WorldSoftware on this special, short-term deal, and my
sources tell me IBM never intended to offer WorldSoftware as part of that
promotion. But now that the real Bumblebees for JDE servers are shipping,
IBM and JDE wanted to stress that both OneWorld and WorldSoftware
are supported on these machines. Exactly how many WorldSoftware users
are recommended on these two Bumblebee for JDE servers is unknown,
but it would be interesting to see if it is the same number as for the
OneWorld suite.