For several years Microsoft’s Small Business Server and Windows Server has been the leading server for businesses, especially smaller businesses.
Microsoft’s software runs on Intel (or AMD) systems – which you can buy from a number of hardware vendors.
IBM’s System i Express is being aggressively marketed by IBM to compete head to head with Windows for the server closets of small-medium sized businesses.
Information Week writes At a San Francisco news conference on Tuesday, IBM introduced the entry-level System i Express running IBM’s i5/OS (which used to be the OS400) that would start at a tad less than $8,000 and include a five-user license. Each additional five users would cost $1,250. Tech support would be part of the package, provided calls are made during work hours. Twenty-four-hour support, seven days a week would have to be bought separately.
“This is probably the boldest move we’ve made in the small-business space in a decade,” Mark Shearer, general manager of System i, told reporters and analysts, pointing out that the new offering is about a third less in price than previous versions of the hardware.
It’s not going to be an easy choice choosing which server is best for your business.
From what I understand, Windows is cheaper dollar for dollar and Intel based hardware is cheaper than having to buy “custom” hardware from IBM. For very small businesses Windows is probably the best bet.
HOWEVER, for growing small businesses, those we might be shelling out $10,000, $20,000 and etc on a Windows server, IBM’s offering is quite compelling.
IBM’s System i is NOT just about hardware but comes with a lot of software produced by IBM partners – CRM, finance, marketing, ERP and so much more. Of course System i can also run Windows software.
More information on System i is here, but for some reason the link is not working at this time.