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By | Ashlee Vance 8th April 2008 23:05

IBM offers 4,000 frequent flyer miles per core to abandon HP

Dump a Superdome. Go to the Bahamas

Oh, baby. IBM is hitting its "move off HP and Sun" program harder than Amy Winehouse hits a crack pipe.

During a launch event today for new Power servers, IBM reminded customers and press again and again and again about its pay-to-port effort. IBM will hand customers up to $4,000 per core if they shift from a rival box to one of IBM's Unix systems. So, junking a 128-core HP Superdome will bring in $512,000.

The payments, however, arrive via IBM's version of funny money. Customers must direct the credits toward the purchase of software or services from IBM. And, according to our reading of IBM's material, the software and services are tied to processes involved with migrating off the rival gear.

It's unclear if the porting payout can also be used to cover dough nut supplies for the Global Services team's visit.

"It is kind of a frequent flyer system for the IT industry," said IBM systems chief Bill Zeitler.

(We assume then that this means you can only use the software and services points from October 12-17 during leap years.)

You can tell that IBM really has it in for HP, since it's offering the frequent flyer super saver deal at $4,000 - 4,000 points - per PA-RISC core. Meanwhile, Alpha, SPARC, Itanium and even SGI MIPS (What? Now that's just mean - Ed) customers must settle for $1,000 per core.

IBM, HP and Sun have long had similar programs in place to woo each others' customers, although IBM appears awful aggressive now that it's rounded out the Power6-based server line. The company claims to have stolen helped 1,000 Sun and HP customers move over to Power in the last two years. ®

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