Thursday, October 08, 2009

DOJ Investigating IBM Mainframe Business: Report

Read More on DOJ

DOJ Investigating IBM Mainframe Business: Report

By: Jeffrey Burt 

Federal antitrust regulators reportedly are investigating IBM’s dominance in the mainframe business, which has long been ibm-logothe target of complaints from others in the industry. According to the report, the DOJ has notified at least one IBM critic that it was opening an investigation. One industry group has accused IBM of using punitive measures against competitors in the mainframe space.

What does this mean to Technology Consumers other than lot’s of fees for lawyers?  It is only the recent assault on Big Blue’s dominance (monopoly actually as they own 99% of the market space) in the Mainframe Market.  (See Related Articles in Blue, Below)

If successful, even in any small way, it could signal a whole new marketplace of competition for IBM (good thing for the industry) from players such as HP and Oracle/SUN.  Why wouldn’t corporate mainframe consumers want a choice for hosting mission-critical applications.  This would be huge as the current trauma for moving applications off a mainframe are tremendous and also come along with a lot of risk.  Having a “plug-compatible” alternative to IBM’s Mainframe for their software might be very attractive.  “Plug-compatible” means that the consumer can merely swap out the Mainframe hardware (without the current trauma and RISK of re-writing the application(s) to a different OS) for an alternate platform architecture such as

  • A similar, yet more cost effective solution at comparable capacity (a leverage of Moore's Law Equivalent Processing power, less cost, lower Run-Rate)
  • A more nimble (“going wide”) platform architecture with greater capacity at similar costs (another leverage of Moore's Law Greater Processing Power, More Nimble, Flat Run-Rate)

A few things here are certainly true:

  1. IBM will not like this new market competition
  2. Consumers can only benefit from new found competitionhp_invent_home
  3. Competitors such as HP, will like it very much 
  4. New Mainframe OS architectures could likely be developed, spurring competition and innovation in the mainframe marketplace.

"competition is a wonderful thing"

Melius tarde, quam nunquam

(Better late than never)



Related Story : Prior Story

This goes back a long way: Article

Oh By the Way, IBM Acquired the Plaintiff: Article

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ASB said...


Based on the article I read, IBM appears to be using its dominance in that sector to constrain competition. To the extent that this is something we still want the government to regulate, it would seem that this is a good time for them to be doing so.

More choice (to a point) is better for everyone, ultimately.

Providing Competitive Advantage through Effective IT Leadership

geocliks said...
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