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IBM Halves Key Software Licenses For Quad-Core Servers

IBM is knocking 50 percent off select middleware sold with its quad-core pSeries servers in an effort to bring price parity to its multicore server offerings.

Karl Freund, vice president of IBM's pSeries server line, said business partners can immediately offer up to 50 percent off IBM software, such as WebSphere Application Server and DB2 Enterprise Edition, when sold with an IBM quad-core p5 5100Q, 510Q, 520Q, 550Q or 560Q.

The discount harkens a similar promotion offered a month ago by rivals Sun Microsystems and Oracle. In a high-profile press conference intended to reaffirm the two companies’ working relationship, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison and Sun CEO Scott McNealy announced a free Oracle Enterprise Edition database license available to Sun's high-end customers using UltraSparc IV or IV+ processors. Customers would be responsible for paying annual support and maintenance fees.

Additionally, Oracle recast its own software licensing policy for multicore processors in December by charging 50 percent of its database license fee per core, down from a previous 75 percent per core. Oracle is charging 25 percent of a license per core for servers based on Sun's eight-core T1 processor.

Freund said IBM's discount on licenses is designed to bring price parity to its multicore offering as companies seek to reposition licensing costs for dual-core and higher CPUs. "Our quad-core products are targeting a price-sensitive market, and they expect lower-priced software to come with it," he said.

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