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IBM so confident in supply chain, it's frozen storage prices and has freebies for late shipments

Big Blue tries the Domino's approach

IBM is so confident in its hardware supply chain that it's promised to ship storage arrays by the end of 2022 – and if it's late you get free software as compensation.

The Big Blue offer applies only to five models of its FlashSystem arrays, but is nonetheless notable as the company will accept orders until December 16 (December 1 in Latin America). That leaves it just eight or nine business days to get an array on the road.

If the array doesn't ship before it's time to sing Auld Lang Syne, customers get a one-year freebie license for IBM Storage Insights Pro.

Big Blue's even offering to sell you this kit with three years of monthly payments, and the first three months waived. Again, you gotta order by the end of 2022. The company's also promised not to hike prices between now and the end of the year.

That's a suite of offers that stands in marked contrast to other enterprise hardware vendors.

In its most recently quarterly earnings report, HPE advised of record backlog for storage products. Dell said demand for storage is outstripping supply and it must therefore pass on price rises. Cisco has advised that customers face not only months-long waits for products but that prices will have to rise.

Big Blue hasn't explained how it can make the offers above, other than to say "the hard-working supply chain team at IBM has once again successfully positioned us to pass on our optimizations to you."

Well played to that team … but it's perhaps a shame they're working for a storage vendor that our sibling site Blocks and Files believes has lost market share in the last five years and is probably the sixth-largest storage vendor by revenue.

Shipping fixed-price kit quickly might help IBM to get ahead of some rivals.

IBM also recently shunted Red Hat's storage products into its own portfolio. Red Hat's wares are software-defined – an approach felt to be more useful than arrays like the FlashSystem in these days of hybrid cloudiness.

Suggesting that IBM is offloading the arrays as it goes deeper on software-defined storage is probably nasty cynical journalistic thinking, especially as Big Blue still rakes in billions from its mainframes and POWER systems businesses. ®

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