Many customers and friends have been asking me why I am so passionate about the developments with Microsoft flagship operating system Windows 2016. The answer is really simple. It is because of the massive value that has been added free of charge allowing us to build out our own Software Defined Data Center. Specifically, Storage Spaces Direct, is the single biggest feature addition in the core Windows 2016 stack that I can think of.

 

We have been crunching the hyper converged numbers for quite some time now. Basically, I have seen almost every flavor of Hyper Converged infrastructure on the market today. Nothing has come even remotely close to the price per month per server that we are seeing from Microsoft and vendors such as @DataON Storage. The savings are through the roof and you will see exactly why when we play with the numbers.

 


 

Let’s play a little bit of hypothetical math for you with a Storage Spaces Direct Solution and then we will look at a comparative one from other vendors.

Here is an example @Data_Raft configuration using DataON Storage as our example. In my pricing, so far I have found about a 20 % variance between the respective vendors like HP, Dell, and Lenovo compared to this.

#1 – We need some compute and storage – QTY 2

(In this example we will assume we are just using a 2-way mirror)

DataON™ S2D-3212 Hyper-V Host

DataON™ S2D-3212 2U 12-bay 3.5″ Storage Server

Form factor: 2U Rack, 17.6″ (W) x 29.33″ (D) x 3.44″ (H)

Supports Dual Intel Xeon® Processor E5-2600 v4 Series & (24) DDR4 2400 DIMM

Drive Bay: (12) 3.5″ Hot-swappable Front; (2) 2.5″ SATA Rear

Total (6) PCIe 3.0 slots: (3) x8 & (1) x16 Available; (2) x8 For Mezzanine

Onboard NIC: (2) Built-In 1GbE RJ45

(1+1) 1100W High-efficiency redundant hot-plug Power Supplies

IPMI v2.0 Compliant; “KVM over IP” Support; Native SNMP Support

TPM 2.0 Kit Included


 

Compute Node Configuration

2x Intel® Xeon E5-2620v4 2.1 GHz, 8-Core, 20MB Cache, QPI Speed 8 GT/s; Dual Processor

4x Samsung® 32GB DDR4 2400MHz ECC-Register DIMM; 128GB in Total

1x Intel® X550-T2 PCIe3.0 x8 Dual-Port RJ45 10GbE Adapter

2x SanDisk® X400 128GB 2.5″ SATA III SSD – RAID0 Boot Drive (OS Tier 0)

(Note: Pre-Loaded 180-day Eval Server 2016 Data Center with Desktop experience)

37TB Usable Across All Storage Tiers

1x Avago|LSI® 9300-8i PCI-e3.0 x8 8-port Internal 12G SAS HBA

4x Intel® DC S3710™ 6G SATA 400GB 2.5″ HET MLC SSD

Mirror Spaces: Usable Capacity ~720GB (Hot Tier 0)

8x HGST Ultrastar® He10 10TB 3.5″ 7200RPM 12G SAS

Mirror Spaces – Usable Capacity ~36TB (Nearline Tier 2)

2 Column 2 Copy; Fully Populated; SSD/HDD Ratio = 2:98

 

 

Assume a price of $15,000 USD as I like nice round numbers as do most storage vendors.

 

#2 – We need a Top of Rack Switch (TOR) – HP Flex Fabric Switches are good and a budget of around $7,500 USD will be lots.

 

As we decided to go with 10 GbE RJ45 the cost for cables is trivial so we won’t worry about that.

 

#3 – We need a copy of Windows 2016 DataCenter Edition that give us unlimited Operating System Environments (OSE) and Azure Hybrid Use Rights (HUR) – this sells by the processor core and because we were smart when we sized this with 8 Core Intel E5-2640 v4 processors. We only need a single base SKU per processor. $6144 each x 4 processors = $24,576

 

***Now here is where this gets interesting … because of the Enterprise Agreement that has been executed between Microsoft Canada and the Province of Alberta these licenses only come in at around 500.00 each or $2,000. This becomes a very interesting play for customers in Education for sure. Also, you will need to purchases these licenses with any of the respective solutions anyways so does this even count on either side.

 

For the sake of argument we are going to omit the licensing costs from Microsoft because these would be required with any Hyper Converged solution that wants to run Microsoft Servers.

 

 

Let’s take #1 + #2 and see where we end up.

 

#1 = $30,000 USD for Compute & Storage

#2 = $7,500 USD for Top or Rack 10 GbE Switch

Total = $37,500 USD

 

Now in a previous blog post I had mentioned the cost of maintenance and support. Well here is the good news there is no additional maintenance and support costs on this solution. (Outside of the Top or Rack Switch but those costs would hit either equation so I am leaving that out of the picture for now)

In case you missed it checkout this blog post by Cristal Kawula that explains the maintenance game a bit more closely: http://www.checkyourlogs.net/?p=20301

 

Just a bit more, quick math. Let’s figure out the total cost of ownership of the base solution over a 5 year lifespan:

 

Assuming we would run a small number of Mid-Sized (maybe some Azure A4 VM’s) workloads 20 Guest VM’s per Host for a total of 40 Guest VM’s.

 

$37,500 / 40 guest VMs = $937.50 Per VM over 5 years

$937.50 / 60 months (5 years) = $15.63 per month. (Excluding the base operating system of course)

 

Interestingly the cost of the base operating system regardless of how you slice it up is almost the same price as the hardware now which is pretty amazing.

$24,576 / 40 guest VMs = $614.40 Per VM over 5 Years

$614.40 / 60 Months (5 years) = $10.24 per month for the Operating System Licensing Costs

 

Total cost for this solution on a per month per guest VM basis is $25.87 if you add both the Hardware Costs and Operating System Licensing Costs together.

 

 

Let’s take a similar solution from a typical Hyper Converged Vendor:

 

 

#1 – We need some compute and storage – QTY 2

For argument sake let’s assume that the hardware was apples to apples and the technology was similar.

 

Assume a price of $15,000 USD no wait it is more like $30,000+ per node because remember as stated in the previous articles they love to give 50 + % off so markup needs to be outrageous..

1st Year Maintenance is not included so we need to add that on as well:

$30,000 x 2 = $60,000

Maintenance is at 20 % give or take

Let’s assume we get a bit of a discount because we pre-purchase all of the maintenance up from. So, 15 % Maintenance and support if purchased for the full 5 years.

Remember kiddos maintenance and support is based off MSRP so regardless of your discount your maintenance is always off list price.

$60,000 x .15 = 9,000 per year x 5 years = $45,000

Now the baseline costs are $105,000 for the hardware.

 

Now if you decided to not pre-purchase you will find your maintenance costs rising by on average of 5 % per year. At least this is what we have found.

 

#2 – We need a Top of Rack Switch (TOR) – HP Flex Fabric Switches are good and a budget of around $7,500 USD will be lots.

 

As we decided to go with 10 GbE RJ45 the cost for cables is trivial so we won’t worry about that.

 

#3 – We need a copy of Windows 2016 DataCenter Edition that give us unlimited Operating System Environments (OSE) and Azure Hybrid Use Rights (HUR) – this sells by the processor core and because we were smart when we sized this with 8 Core Intel E5-2640 v4 processors. We only need a single base SKU per processor. $6144 each x 4 processors = $24,576

 

So for the sake of argument we are going to omit the licensing costs from Microsoft because these would be required with any Hyper Converged solution that wants to run Microsoft Servers.

 

 

So let’s take #1 + #2 and see where we end up.

 

#1 = $105,000 USD for Compute & Storage

#2 = $7,500 USD for Top or Rack 10 GbE Switch

Total = $112,500 USD

 

So just a bit more quick math. Let’s figure out the total cost of ownership of the base solution over a 5 year lifespan:

 

Assuming we would run a small number of Mid-Sized (maybe some Azure A4 VM’s) workloads 20 Guest VM’s per Host for a total of 40 Guest VM’s.

 

$112,500 / 40 guest VMs = $2812.50 Per VM over 5 years

$2812.50 / 60 months (5 years) = $46.88 per month (Excluding the base operating system of course)

 

Interestingly the cost of the base operating system regardless of how you slice it up is almost the same price as the hardware now which is pretty amazing.

$24,576 / 40 guest VMs = $614.40 Per VM over 5 Years

$614.40 / 60 Months (5 years) = $10.24 per month for the Operating System Licensing Costs

 

Total cost for this solution on a per month per guest VM basis is $57.12 if you add both the Hardware Costs and Operating System Licensing Costs together.

 

So let’s compare:

 

Hyper Converged from DataON Storage & Microsoft Storage Spaces direct = $25.87 per month over 5 years

Vs.

The other guys as a sample = $57.12 per month over 5 years

 

 

Now I don’t know about you but this is a pretty significant savings model that Microsoft has provided.

 

So now you know why I am so pumped about these new options from Microsoft.

 

That’s all for now.

 

Dave