On Monday the hardware giant began selling configured rack-mounted and entry-level Unix servers through the eBay Internet trading site.
Analyst Phil Payne of Isham Research believes that buying over the Internet is ideal for companies that already have a number of pSeries servers, but warned that first-time buyers may need specialist advice. "For a new buyer it would be better to get one from one of IBM's business partners that specialises in your particular industry," he said.
The online auction follows a pilot project last December. Martin Beckwith, IBM's European server channel manager, said, "The Internet has emerged as a powerful marketplace, bringing together buyers and sellers in new and dynamic ways, one of which is the online auction.
"This is very much a case of IBM putting its money where its mouth is."
IBM's online auction will run for a limited period, although this could be extended if the scheme proves to be successful.