i-Series beginner: Current cost of i-series systems? NFS/iSCSI access?

Hi, what would be the average cost to purchase an entry-level IBM i-series system, capable of running 7.1?

Is NFS/iSCSI access reliable on i-series? for example, can it store user data on NetApp over NFS?

Also are there companies that provide access to hosted/shared i-series systems?
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sk391Asked:
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tliottaCommented:
From a reseller, I bought a model 515 two years ago with i 6.1 for almost $15k. 2GB memory, 4-70GB drives/RAID, and with UsageLimit=*NOMAX for the OS, SQL, ILE&Legacy compilers & legacy toolset, and System i Access, plus first year 24/7 support and software maint. It'll be upgraded to 7.1 and then 7.2 soon.

Hard to say what might actually be available from any given reseller at any moment.

Tom
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sk391Author Commented:
thanks, would the 515 be considered a capable system today overall?
i've invested quite a bit in netapp storage, would the 515 be able to store data on the netapp (nfs/iscsi)?
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tliottaCommented:
IBM i can access NetApp storage via NFS and CIFS protocols for user streamfiles. However, due to the general architecture of IBM i, the use of NetApp/iSCSI for generalized system storage has had significant restrictions -- IBM i must be the iSCSI target rather than initiator. Things are simply stored differently by IBM i. You probably should wait for Gary to see if he has current info on specifics of IBM i + NetApp/iSCSI. Things could've changed during the past year or two.

For my uses, the model 515 blows away both of the even older model 170s I have; but it is definitely an "entry level" system. It's not a good choice for purchase if significant growth is expected. I'm an independent developer, so growth isn't a big issue. Though it's licensed for many users, it's essentially just me coding/testing software.

I do run various stress tests, and I'm not disturbed by results. But I wouldn't run a significant web site off of it without adding a lot more memory, etc., first. And I'd still probably look to at least the next tier up instead of putting the 515 out for wider access.

It's not clear what you want to know about "access to hosted/shared i-series systems". Since your question seems business related, I'd say look at iInTheCloud.com and iDevCloud.com. I've been using them for some remote access through much of the past year and been pleasantly impressed (for my uses). Some others exist, but I haven't used any of them in at least a few years.

Tom
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Gary PattersonVP Technology / Senior Consultant Commented:
As I understand it, IBM i can access certain NetApp configurations via VIOS.  Until recently, IBM was a big OEM buyer of Netapp equipment, but they broke that deal back in May, so the future as a supported configuration may not be bright.

I don't have anyone running in this configuration, however, so I can't speak to the specifics.
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