Converged Infrastructure

Back to car radios…just because someone says it’s free, is it really?

By Guest Blogger Brad Kirby, Group Manager, HP Converged Systems

 

I posted an article, Is your car radio free? Of course not… Neither is your management software, on the Eye on Blades blog that readers here on Converged Infrastructure may want to check out.In it, I cautioned that you should understand the costs associated with your infrastructure management. Sometimes vendors like HP bundle certain items in packages and offer a lower price for the bundle. And it is true that HP charges for HP OneView and other infrastructure management software components.  Some vendors don’t add additional license fees for management software which is sometimes promoted as “free”. The cost of the free stuff is simply embedded in other products.

 

Such is the case with Cisco and the UCS Manager product. Cisco also charges for UCS Manager, but the price is part of the UCS bundle.  You pay for UCS Manager whenever you purchase Cisco UCS fabric interconnects (FIs), expansion modules and port licenses. But we often hear in the RFP process that involves Cisco UCS that UCS Manager is “free”, while HP charges for its management software.

  

So, just for fun, let’s see if UCS Manager is really free.

 

The Cisco Nexus 55xx switch and the Cisco UCS 62xx fabric interconnect are architecturally the same hardware with different port license fees.  So, if you configure both would it be fair to say that the difference in price is the cost of the UCS Manager?


Let’s find out using simple math.

 

Our assumptions

 

Pricing example

 

CDW pricing for UCSM.jpg

 

So it seems that UCS Manager really isn’t free.You pay an additional cost for UCS functionality above and beyond the features in the underlying Nexus hardware. Actually your cost may vary based on bandwidth (ports).Need more ports for bandwidth intensive applications? Your cost per UCS server goes up.  Look at this table of costs for varying levels of bandwidth for 8 servers.

 

FI Northbound ports(FI-LAN/SAN)

Southbound ports (FI-FEX)

Fabric Interconnects

Total Ports

Port Costs@$810 per port

UCS Manager Cost per half-wide server

1

1

2

4

$             3,240

$             405

1

2

2

6

$         4,860

$          608

2

2

2

8

$         6,480

$          810

1

4

2

10

$         8,100

$      1,013

2

4

2

12

$         9,720

$      1,215

1

8

2

18

$           14,580

$         1,823

2

8

2

20

$           16,200

$         2,025

4

8

2

24

$           19,440

$         2,430


For the most commonly used chassis configurations, customers pay anywhere from $608 to $1215 per server for the UCS Manager.

 

But it’s one thing to debunk the ’free’ myth and another to determine the value you’re getting in your datacenter. In another article on this blog, 5 Reasons Why Customers Choose HP OneView over the Competition, I wrote about why customers are choosing HP OneView over the Cisco UCS Manager. And price aside, what it boils down to are the improved productivity, greater efficiency, ease of use and better ROI – all of which you get with HP OneView. Unlike multi-tiered management stacks of different applications, HP OneView is specifically designed to deliver end-to-end converged management across server, storage, and network domains, providing end users with a consistent management experience. We are still early in the convergence journey, but in 7 short months since the release of HP OneView 1.0, HP is delivering some of the most comprehensive converged management in the industry (See my blog, Got storage? Eliminate Complexity with Convergence and Automation.)

 

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, so send me a comment!

 

Brad

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Technology marketing professional with over 25 years of experience in energy, semiconductor and IT industries.


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