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IBM gives rebates on server packages

Big Blue has begun offering thousands of dollars back on purchases of pSeries models with partner software, as it pushes Linux and Unix software on its lines.

IBM began offering rebates of $15,000 to $110,000 on Thursday to customers who buy high-end Unix servers packaged with certain products from its software partners.

Under the offer, the smallest rebate is for a p670 with eight processors, and the largest for a 32-processor p690, which is the most powerful Unix server sold by Big Blue. The pSeries models, which typically use IBM's AIX version of the Unix operating system but now can also run Linux, cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The rebate applies when a server is bought alongside software from Oracle, SAP, Siebel Systems, Ariba, i2, Retek, PeopleSoft, Manugistics, Lawson, SAAS and others. However, only Oracle's business software is eligible, and not its database products, which compete with IBM's DB2.

To qualify, customers must buy the hardware by June 30 and the software within 90 days of the server purchase.

IBM is battling leader Sun Microsystems and second-place Hewlett-Packard for a greater share of the Unix server market. It's also trying to advance the cause of the Power processor used by its Unix servers, a move that challenges Intel's Itanium processor.

In another promotion launched on Thursday, Big Blue is offering rebates of between $2,000 and $10,000 to companies that buy Linux on the p670, p690 and the eight-processor p650 through Sept. 9. The discount applies to customers who buy a system with a Red Hat or Novell version of Linux.

IBM has begun aggressively pushing Linux on the pSeries machines. It follows Big Blue's shift this year for its Linux work on Power processors from a subsidized project to a business with its own profit-and-loss accountability.