An enterprise resource planning vendor has become the first to launch software to take advantage of IBM Corp.’s promised computing-on-demand services, but users are still in the dark on how much it will cost.

J.D. Edwards said Monday that upcoming software bundles for version 5 of its software will include the ability to use the on-off processor capability in a new line of IBM’s iSeries servers, which will be released February 21.

“”Our customer base, who have limited resources and not a lot of people to run their IT shop, can take full advantage of not having to license more processor power than they’re utilizing,”” said Kay Peterson, director of IBM alliances at JDE. “”They can really pay as you go.””

The capability is part of a hardware/software bundle that JDE hopes will appeal to small and mid-sized businesses. It will install a full set of manufacturing, distribution and financial applications on certain iSeries servers, which will include pre-configured technical setup.

Through a licencing agreement users will be able to turn on applications they need instead of having to install and configure them themselves, or have a consultant do it. In addition, Peterson said, the ability to turn on server processors as need when applications are added should be another time and money saver.

J.D. Edwards and IBM will announce pricing of the packages when they are released in March.

Also on Monday, IBM announced two upcoming multiple-processor iSeries servers, the 825 and 870. Users will be able to turn these processors off and on depending on their computing needs.

However, the announcement gave no details on the servers’ pricing, or on how customers will pay for the enhanced capability.

Peterson said J.D. Edwards won’t charge its customers for using extra processing power on IBM servers.

IBM has been talking for months about its on-demand computing strategy, which promises to give companies the ability to pay for processing power only when they need it. But it has yet to tell users what the bill will be.

Its iSeries servers are run by up to 32 Power4 processors, depending on the model. They can run OS/400 or Linux operating systems, or Windows with an added xSeries server card.

IBM also announced one and two-way iSeries 800 and 810 servers as the low-end members of the family. The single-processor 800 will start at US$9.999.


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