Compaq has followed Hewlett Packard (HP) in introducing a pay-per-use pricing model for its AlphaServer and Non-Stop Himalaya servers.
Called Computing On Demand, Compaq said on Tuesday that it would extend the programme to cover its ProLiant servers this autumn. The service ranges from flexible financing to a pay-per-unit model based on application usage rather than the power of the processors in the servers.
Parts of the plan resemble HP's strategy revealed earlier this month, which was criticised by analyst Gartner for being too limited but was welcomed for starting the ball rolling.
Compaq installs and manages the systems, reacting to customer usage patterns. Customers can buy computer or storage systems with extra power installed but not switched on until demand surges, or connect to high-speed network links to off-site IT data centres where the extra power kicks in and the customer is invoiced.
The initiative is part of Compaq's shift towards software and services. The company wants services to account 30 per cent of revenues, helping to drive hardware sales. They currently account for 21 per cent.
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