A few notes on the IBM XWork Server

IBM XWork Server logoEd and others have started to blog about the new IBM XWork Server offering.

IBM XWork Server banner

First up, I think the new IBM XWork Server licence deal is GREAT for customers and ISVs alike.  I think IBM has made some super decisions on how it will be licensed and Ed and the team should be congratulated.  They’ve listened and delivered.  KUDOS!

So, a few points from me:

  • If you need more than the 4 x apps (4 x NSFs per app, total 16 x NSFs) on your IBM XWork Server, you can purchase a second XWork license and apply it to the same server.  You might expect this to give you a maximum of 8 x apps and 32 x NSFs (4 x NSFs per app).  However, IBM gives you a bonus when you double-license an XWork Server – it becomes (my term) an IXS2!  Your 8 apps can have a maximum of 8 x NSFs each in this configuration, meaning a maximum of 64 x NSFs (8 x apps with 8 x NSFs).  Make sense?
  • I think the fixed-term, per-install pricing model is terrific (i.e. you pay list price of $2,000 per server per year. Stop paying and you stop using!).  This matches more closely the payment model that most businesses will be used to with other services – both cloud/hosted IT and other business services.  In fact, I’d be inclined to say that all the other IBM PA software should move to the same model, or at least offer this as an alternative.  The existing perpetual licenses and front-loaded license/renewal costs confuse customers and cause tricky deals and special bid discussions.  A flat-rate per-year model is more relevant in 2011!
  • IBM should abandon PVUs ASAP.  Per server or per-user works much much better.
  • Ed has already said that this server will not be heavily marketed, instead flying ‘under the radar’ as part of IBM and ISV solutions.  I’m fine with that in the short-term – I can see this being a massive success, despite the lack of advertising and marketing.  However, I would love to see the IBM XWork Server being a true supported and validated application server offering from IBM, alongside IBM WebSphere Application Server (WAS).  List XWork alongside WAS!  When WAS is suggested as a platform for development and solutions, offer XWork too!
  • IBM, you need to validate this offering too.  Drink your own champagne!  Before Lotusphere 2012, announce (and ideally ship) a number of offerings that are based on the XWork offering.  ISVs will support it I am sure, and that is great. But customers look to IBM for direction and the lack of recent IBM solutions based on Domino tells its own story.

I really do embrace this new offering. Once again, well done to the team, and thank you!

Stuart McIntyre is a Senior Strategist at Fostering Community Limited. He curates a number of product-focused news sites, is a lapsed podcaster, founded the Social Connections user group and regularly speaks at conferences and events. This blog represents his own slightly-eccentric and usually-controversial opinions!