AberdeenGroup

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AberdeenGroup

  1. 1. AberdeenGroup Sun SPARC/Solaris Value Proposition versus Dell/Linux Using Oracle 9i RAC An Executive White Paper April 2003 Aberdeen Group, Inc. 260 Franklin Street Boston, Massachusetts 02110-3112 USA Telephone: 617 723 7890 Fax: 617 723 7897 www.aberdeen.com
  2. 2. Sun SPARC/Solaris Value Proposition versus Dell/Linux Using Oracle 9i RAC Executive Overview Today’s IT buyers and managers continue to focus heavily on costs. Aberdeen research shows that key costs for IT groups to consider are not only platform license costs but also maintenance, support, and administrative costs of an application or application portfolio, and especially administrative costs of the underlying platform. In the past, a quick and dirty method of handling the inevitable scaling of applications has been to “scale out”  to add more PCs or entry-level servers in parallel. This has been an apparently low-cost method of scaling, owing to the low up-front costs of PCs. But server consolidation has shown that in the long run, fewer machines with more processors  or “scale up”  cost less than scaling out for some workloads because fewer machines mean more simple architectures, which in turn mean lower administrative costs. Moreover, scaling out simply does not work after a certain number of processors have been added  eventually, any scale-out implementation must be supplemented by scale up. Note that at present, the Dell machines considered in this study do not scale up beyond eight processors, and therefore, when scale-up becomes imperative, Dell is less able to meet the need. This Aberdeen Executive White Paper compares Sun’s V480 SPARC/Solaris architecture running Oracle 9i RAC with Dell’s PowerEdge 6650 Xeon MP-based server using Linux and also running Oracle 9i RAC. This type of configuration is a frequent one for today’s medium- to large-scale architectures seeking to scale three-tier applications with existing Oracle databases. Aberdeen has “loaded the deck” in cost comparisons by contrasting Sun with Dell and Linux, both of which are reputed to have low acquisition costs. Nevertheless, Aberdeen research finds that Sun delivers a superior long-term cost- of-ownership value proposition to Intel/Dell/Linux. It is indeed true that Dell/Linux delivers lower up-front license costs. However, as the application needs to scale, the license-cost advantages of server consolidation using Sun servers equipped with more than four processors begin to match or exceed the license costs of hundreds of PowerEdge 6650s. Moreover, Sun’s support prowess and the ability to deal with two vendors (Sun and Oracle) versus three (Dell, Oracle, and the Linux supplier) ensure that Sun’s administrative costs are less at any level. Finally, Dell/Linux can scale out only to a certain point, beyond which Sun SPARC/Solaris delivers additional scale-up potential. The result is that as the application grows, Sun’s cost and scalability advantages increase. Overview of the Sun™ Fire V480 Solution The Sun configuration to be compared with Dell/Intel/Linux is a Sun Fire V480 with Solaris 9 and the UltraSPARC III processor running Oracle 9i Real Application Clusters (RAC) as the second tier of a three-tier Web architecture. A packaged
  3. 3. Sun SPARC/Solaris Value Proposition versus Dell/Linux Using Oracle 9i RAC 2 application such as SAP or PeopleSoft also runs on the Sun Fire V480 and uses a back-end Oracle database. The Sun Fire V480 server is an enterprise-class, rack-based, entry-level server de- signed for Internet applications, service providers, financial services, and compute- intensive applications (Table 1). Table 1: Comparative Features, Sun Fire V480 and Dell PowerEdge 6650 Sun Fire V480 Dell PowerEdge 6650 Processor 900-MHz UltraSPARC III 1.5-, 1.9-, 2.0-GHz Xeon MP Level 2 cache 8 MB 512 KB; 1 MB L3 (1.5, 1.9 GHz), 2 MB L3 (2.0 GHz) Maximum memory 32 GB 32 GB Binary compatibility with previ- Solaris — Yes Red Hat Linux — No ous generation software Hot-plug disks Yes Yes Field-replaceable components Yes No information on Web site Redundant, hot-swap (N+1) Yes Two hot-plug power supplies power supplies Event notification of hardware Via interactive interfaces, e- Notification of potential prob- and software failures mail, or pager lems via e-mail or paging (Dell OpenManage) Remote internal environmental Via serial, Ethernet, or modem Via Dell Remote Assistant Card monitoring of CPUs (central connection processing units), disks, fans, and power supplies Remote power on, power off, Yes Yes and reset Ability to view boot, error, and Yes Can view some logs run logs Redundant processor Separate RSC processor card No with battery backup and its own IP (Internet Protocol) address Source: Aberdeen Group, April 2003 © 2003 Aberdeen Group, Inc. Telephone: 617 723 7890 260 Franklin Street Fax: 617 723 7897 Boston, Massachusetts 02110-3112 www.aberdeen.com
  4. 4. Sun SPARC/Solaris Value Proposition versus Dell/Linux Using Oracle 9i RAC 3 Like all Sun Solaris servers, the Sun Fire V480 has binary compatibility for applica- tions running on previous — and future — UltraSPARC processor-based servers. The benefits of binary compatibility are many — same applications, same operat- ing system/middleware, same development tools, same system administration tools, and same training. Binary compatibility also ensures that all software that the company develops runs on the V480. And Sun, as usual, delivers data-center- class reliability, availability, and serviceability (RAS). Moreover, many of the features of the enterprise line, such as the Sun™ Fireplane Interconnect with maximum bandwidth of 9.6 GB and unmatched linear scalabil- ity, have been leveraged in the Sun Fire V480. In addition, the Sun Fire V480 can host Sun Open Net Environment (Sun ONE), just like larger midrange and high- end Solaris platforms. All of the above features are standard, and do not require a Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) slot. The Sun Fire V480 offers specific solutions for financial services, EBA (e-business applications), ERP (enterprise resource planning), SCM (supply chain manage- ment), database management, service providers, manufacturing, retail, telecom- munications, government, health care, and education. Overview of Oracle 9i RAC Oracle 9i RAC gives users the ability to improve not only the robustness but also the scalability  scale out as well as scale up  of multiple Oracle database copies or a partitioned database by applying clustering technology to transactional operations on these databases. Founded on technology originally developed by Digital Equip- ment Corp., Oracle 9i RAC offers features such as application load balancing across a cluster that Aberdeen has certified as a major improvement in clustering scalability. Oracle 9i RAC enables greater scalability in numbers of users, as well as faster proc- essing time per transaction in large-scale applications. Industry-standard, high-speed interconnect support allows multiple Oracle 9i RAC instances to concurrently access a shared database. Oracle 9i RAC handles coordination between instances via “Cache Fusion” — high-speed data shipping between node buffers without requiring disk writes. Oracle 9i RAC also supports access to Oracle 9i databases. Oracle 9i itself provides the scalability and power to support any of today’s existing applications at any scale, as well as the Internet technology to meet Internet-OLTP (online transaction proc- essing), data warehousing, and enterprise database-consolidation requirements. Oracle 9i Release 2 evolves Oracle 9i in key areas such as XML and Unicode support, business intelligence and OLAP (online analytical processing) functionality, and En- terprise Manager. © 2003 Aberdeen Group, Inc. Telephone: 617 723 7890 260 Franklin Street Fax: 617 723 7897 Boston, Massachusetts 02110-3112 www.aberdeen.com
  5. 5. Sun SPARC/Solaris Value Proposition versus Dell/Linux Using Oracle 9i RAC 4 The foundation relational technology of Oracle 9i significantly reduces Oracle cus- tomers’ cost of ownership compared with previous versions, regardless of scale. Oracle 9i can support tens of thousands of users, and its powerful management ca- pabilities more easily and cost-effectively manage any amount of data — from a few gigabytes to tens of terabytes. In addition, Oracle 9i’s performance in the areas of transactions and data operations continues to be dramatically enhanced. Overview of the Dell PowerEdge 6650 The Dell/Intel/Linux configuration to be compared with the Sun Fire V480 archi- tecture is a Dell PowerEdge 6650 with Xeon MP and Red Hat Linux Advanced Server 2.1 running Oracle 9i RAC as the second tier of a three-tier Web architec- ture. A packaged application such as SAP or PeopleSoft also runs on the Dell Pow- erEdge 6650 and uses a back-end Oracle database. Dell positions the PowerEdge 6650 as “designed for business-critical applications that need scalable performance.” Dell especially emphasizes the PowerEdge 6650’s Hyper-Threading support for added performance on multithreaded applications — including transactional ones, such as large packaged applications using Oracle — as well as the PowerEdge 6650’s memory, I/O bandwidth, and large cache. The PowerEdge 6650 is compatible with the rest of the Dell PowerEdge server series. See Table 1 for additional specifications and comparison with the Sun Fire V480. The Dell PowerEdge 6650 is targeted at all e-business vertical markets, especially financial services and telco/wireless. It is suitable as a departmental server for small enterprise businesses. Pricing Comparisons Table 2 provides summary pricing information for a comparison of the Sun Fire V480 server and the Dell PowerEdge 6650 server. Interestingly, the PowerEdge 6650 with Red Hat Linux Advanced Server costs $2,330 more than the PowerEdge with Red Hat Linux 7.3. Prices are for systems with comparable configurations and comparable service and support, as far as possible. Dell system prices do not in- clude $10,000 for high-end training. Startlingly, the Sun Fire V480 configuration costs 45% less than Dell/Intel/Linux in the low-end configuration and 8% less in the high-end configuration. Despite the reputation of Dell, Intel, and Linux as low-priced in comparison with other server, chip, and operating-system suppliers, it is clear that in reality, Sun outprices them for a comparable midrange system. Considering the Future Choosing a solution based on the Oracle database is not simply a comparison of one box versus another, but also involves consideration of the future investment © 2003 Aberdeen Group, Inc. Telephone: 617 723 7890 260 Franklin Street Fax: 617 723 7897 Boston, Massachusetts 02110-3112 www.aberdeen.com
  6. 6. Sun SPARC/Solaris Value Proposition versus Dell/Linux Using Oracle 9i RAC 5 decisions of the solution suppliers. Both Sun and Dell offer Oracle database solu- tions  but the two companies offer very different views of the value they provide for customers. Dell’s value proposition for its customers centers on supplying third-party systems and software, with a focus on supply chain management to help customers reduce costs. Dell seeks to provide standardized low-cost hardware that can be quickly re- placed. Dell’s investment in the solutions it provides, going forward, is focused on applying this model to other parts of its product offerings, including services that can be standardized into a consistent package to help reduce costs. Sun emphasizes reducing customer costs via technology innovation. Sun’s R&D investment was approximately 15% of revenue in the fiscal year 2002  $1.8 bil- lion. Dell strives to keep its R&D costs low (approximately 1% of revenue), not considering its R&D results in a comparable value-add for its customers. Sun focuses R&D on new technologies rather than on existing business processes. It is currently developing products to reduce system management complexity by virtualizing more IT resources into a single pool. As Aberdeen research shows, re- duction in system and system management complexity is the long-term key to a lower total cost of ownership (TCO). In addition, Sun offers iForce Solution Centers that provide customers the oppor- tunity to test, tune, and optimize solutions with the support of Sun experts for Table 2: Sun Versus Dell Configurations — Feature and Pricing Information1 Number of Main Disk Model Price Processor Proces- L2 Cache Memory Storage sors Sun Fire V480 Configurations $22,995 US III: 900 MHz Two 8 MB 4 GB 72 GB $46,995 US III: 900 MHz Four 8 MB 16 GB 72 GB Dell PowerEdge 6650 Configurations $32,434 Xeon MP: 2.0 Two 2 MB 4 GB 72 GB GHz $50,584 Xeon MP: 2.0 Four 2 MB 16 GB 72 GB GHz Sources: Sun and Dell, April 2003 1 The pricing information in Table 2 is based on the specified configuration. © 2003 Aberdeen Group, Inc. Telephone: 617 723 7890 260 Franklin Street Fax: 617 723 7897 Boston, Massachusetts 02110-3112 www.aberdeen.com
  7. 7. Sun SPARC/Solaris Value Proposition versus Dell/Linux Using Oracle 9i RAC 6 faster deployment and accurately sized solutions. This defers risk and cost while customers ensure that a particular solution will work in their environments and support their business objectives. Considering Cost of Ownership Aberdeen qualitative research on five-year database TCO in workgroup, departmen- tal (50 users per server), and mass-deployment (50 servers, 20 users per server) midrange environments shows that typical Oracle/Sun deployments may have the distribution of ownership costs shown in Table 3. The most notable finding of these studies is that, with or without the platform, the dominant cost is for “solution ad- ministration,” which involves both database and system administration as integral parts of the administrator’s job. The same Aberdeen research also shows an “experience effect” of approximately a 20% reduction in administrative costs owing to familiarity with the environment to be administered. This “experience effect” is evidenced most commonly where an upgrade to a solution takes time to yield the promised administrative-cost savings. Oracle/Sun implementations benefit from a 15-year “experience effect” that is due to long administrative familiarity with these solutions, the widespread use of these solutions during the Internet boom, and extensive Sun consulting experience and administrative-tool upgrades for these situations. By contrast, Dell and Oracle have a relatively brief history together, and therefore a minimal “experience effect.” As a result, it is reasonable for IT managers to expect a 20% reduction in adminis- trative costs for the Sun Fire V480 with Oracle 9i compared with the Dell Power- Edge 6650. Combined with a 45% reduction in hardware costs in the 50x20-user case and an 8% reduction in the 50-user case, IT buyers may conservatively expect an 11% overall ownership cost reduction in the 50-user case and a 20% overall ownership cost reduction in the 50x20-user case. Note that this analysis does not consider the added costs of scaling  which would widen the Sun advantage sig- nificantly. The Sun Fire V480 Offers the Best Value Propositions for the IT Manager The pricing information in Table 2 and benchmark and cost-of-ownership studies indicate the following: • The Sun Fire V480 costs about 25% less on average and has better scal- ability than comparably configured Dell PowerEdge 6650 models. • The Sun Fire V480 offers advantages in administrative costs that surpass its advantages in price when considering cost of ownership. It is clear that the Sun Fire V480 is a winner in terms of saving money and scaling to meet inevitable new demands. © 2003 Aberdeen Group, Inc. Telephone: 617 723 7890 260 Franklin Street Fax: 617 723 7897 Boston, Massachusetts 02110-3112 www.aberdeen.com
  8. 8. Sun SPARC/Solaris Value Proposition versus Dell/Linux Using Oracle 9i RAC 7 Table 3: Oracle 9i and Oracle9iAS Enterprise RDBMS and Infrastructure Five-Year TCO 50 Clients 50×20 Clients Database and Application Server License Oracle 9i Standard Edition and Oracle 9iAS Release 2 13% 11% Hardware Purchase Cost Sun Fire V480 11% 9% Dell PowerEdge 6650 12% 13% Development Tools (one copy) Oracle Internet Development Suite 2% 0.05% Deployment Oracle (includes $4,000 for application server deployment) 24% 2% Database Administration Cost Oracle 9i Standard Edition on Sun (20% experience effect) 36% 68% Oracle 9i Standard Edition on Dell 43% 82% Server Administration Cost Sun Fire V480, Oracle 9iAS Release 1 (20% experience effect) 12% 7% Dell PowerEdge 6650, Oracle 9iAS Release 1 15% 9% Training Oracle 3% 1% Three Upgrades over Five Years Oracle 0.5% 1% Support/Maintenance Oracle 0.5% 0.7% Visible Cost of Solution Ownership Sun/Oracle 100% 100% Dell/Oracle 111% 120% Source: Aberdeen Group, April 2003 © 2003 Aberdeen Group, Inc. Telephone: 617 723 7890 260 Franklin Street Fax: 617 723 7897 Boston, Massachusetts 02110-3112 www.aberdeen.com
  9. 9. Sun SPARC/Solaris Value Proposition versus Dell/Linux Using Oracle 9i RAC 8 Aberdeen Conclusions Most enterprises want to host their Internet-based applications on systems that of- fer low TCO, headroom to grow, investment protection, support for key databases such as Oracle 9i, robustness to handle growing demands, and risk reduction through standards-based, open computing environments. An analysis of the pric- ing information and benchmark results for the Sun Fire V480 Solaris-based servers versus Dell’s PowerEdge 6650 with Linux clearly shows that the Sun Fire servers offer significant cost of ownership and scalability advantages over their Dell counterparts. Although this White Paper has emphasized cost, IT buyers should note that scal- ability is an equally key feature of these systems. If the system cannot scale, it does not matter what the relative price is; if it can scale, scaling faster means that the user requires fewer machines to scale to a given level, saving license and adminis- trative costs. Over the next few years, the importance of administrative costs will continue to grow as a criterion for system acquisition, and the cost and availability advantages of single-vendor solutions should continue. As a result, Sun is in a strong position to maintain or increase the advantages of the V480 versus the Dell PowerEdge 6650. Likewise, a previous Aberdeen White Paper has noted the advantages of the Sun Fire versus IBM pSeries systems. As IT managers review their midrange plat- form requirements, they should look at the Sun Fire V480 first. Methodology Appendix Aberdeen product assessments attempt to capture and respond to the concerns of the typical IT buyer in whatever market segment the products address. This Aber- deen Executive White Paper compares Sun’s V480 SPARC/Solaris architecture, run- ning the Oracle 9i database with the RAC (Real Application Clusters) option, with Dell’s PowerEdge 6650 Xeon MP-based server, using Linux and also running Oracle 9i RAC in a clustered configuration. Specifically, each machine in the cluster would include a copy of a packaged application, Oracle 9i with the RAC option, and Linux or Solaris. List prices were for one machine; whereas the costs of the database, the application, and the other software were not considered in list prices, and the license and administrative costs of the application and the other software were not considered in the TCO assessment. This type of configuration is frequently used in today’s medium-scale architectures when scaling to three-tier applications with existing Oracle databases. © 2003 Aberdeen Group, Inc. Telephone: 617 723 7890 260 Franklin Street Fax: 617 723 7897 Boston, Massachusetts 02110-3112 www.aberdeen.com
  10. 10. Sun SPARC/Solaris Value Proposition versus Dell/Linux Using Oracle 9i RAC 9 The typical IT shop that would find this analysis of greatest use has the following characteristics: 1. A substantial number of solutions already running with Oracle databases (but not Oracle 9i RAC) on Sun, typically running for 3 years or more and most were acquired as part of a Web site implementation 2. No solutions and no experience with Dell servers running Oracle databases running on Linux 3. The buyer is more often an SMB (small-to-medium-scale business), or a de- partment/division or LOB (line of business) in a large enterprise, rather than a large data center in a large enterprise. Pricing The study examined “low-end” and “high-end” systems. Aberdeen ascertained prices via Dell and Sun Web sites on March 13, 2003. Because the Sun and Dell products often differed in detail and features, Aberdeen chose the standard low- and high-end Sun configuration as the starting point for comparison. Aberdeen then chose a Dell configuration that the above-mentioned typical IT buyer could reasonably assume was comparable in his or her real-world operating environ- ment. In making this choice, buyers would take into account their relative experi- ence with the two systems and their needs and concerns. Thus, in the Dell case, we chose hardware and software with high performance (and, therefore, typically higher cost) for the given configuration. A 4/28/03 100 GB TPC-H result shows that a Dell PowerEdge 6650 configured similarly to our Dell high-end system achieved 1,984 QphH, whereas a 3/31/03 100 GB TPC-H re- sult shows that a Sun Fire V480 configured similarly to our Sun high-end system achieved 1,760 QphH  comparable performance. Note that these configurations differed from the one examined in the White Paper in the database used (Micro- soft SQL Server and Sybase IQ, respectively) and in being non-clustered. Likewise, in the Dell case, we chose high-end support, training, and other services. This reflected the likelihood that an IT buyer with the above characteristics would feel little or no need for additional Sun services, whereas the same IT buyer would feel the need for extensive help in implementing and maintaining the Dell/Oracle/Linux solution, because the IT buyer’s DBAs, system administrators, and operators would have no experience with Dell/Oracle/Linux. On the low end, as described above, we chose a Sun Fire V480 server with two 900- MHz UltraSPARC III Cu processors; 8 MB of external cache per processor; 4 GB (16 @ 256-MB DIMMS, or dual in-line memory modules) of memory; two 10,000 RPM FC-AL disk drives @ 36 GB each; one DVD-ROM 10 Drive; a 2-gigabit Ethernet port; one RJ45 serial port; two USB ports; two 1440-watt power supplies; and the © 2003 Aberdeen Group, Inc. Telephone: 617 723 7890 260 Franklin Street Fax: 617 723 7897 Boston, Massachusetts 02110-3112 www.aberdeen.com
  11. 11. Sun SPARC/Solaris Value Proposition versus Dell/Linux Using Oracle 9i RAC 10 Solaris operating system; as well as all other standard features for that configura- tion. These features included high-performance Ethernet, multipathing support for networks, Sun Clusters support for switching between systems, DIMMs with multibit error correction, three years of repair support, and phone support with unlimited calls. The low-end system did not include a monitor but did include a network firewall and a UPS. The high-end system differed only in that it contained four processors and 16 GB of memory. On the low end, we chose a small-business Dell machine with two Pentium 2.0GHz processors, 4 GB of DDR SP ROW memory, monitor, two 36GB SCSI hard drives, primary controller (2i/2e), Red Hat Linux 2.1 with a three-year network sub- scription, mouse, keyboard, two network adapters (Intel Pro 100+ dual port NIC), remote access card V3 with modem, 24X IDE CD ROM, user manual and troubleshooting guide on CD, add-in RAID 0 card, three-year Gold support with four hours of on-site service, software support, TAM (Technical Account Manager) service, DLine Plus direct line (three-year, 3o resolution), 2 day workshop for DCEE PE (Dell Certified Enterprise Engineer PowerEdge) server, cold spare power supply, Foundation DCEE certification package for training and certification, Sy- mantec antivirus SMB security software, and Dell 2124 24-port unmanaged switch (Dell Powerconnect network switch). It did not include fiber NIC, network fire- wall, high-end switch, “power peripheral” UPS, or systems management associate level DCEE training at the customer site ($12,000). The high-end system differed only in that it contained four processors and 16 GB of memory. Scalability Aberdeen’s typical IT buyer assesses both the number of systems that can be clus- tered or otherwise combined to support his or her solution  “scale-out” scalabil- ity  and the highest scalability of the product within the supplier’s product line to which each system can be easily upgraded, or “scale up” scalability. Note that Aberdeen considers scale-up scalability not only within a particular product but also within the supplier’s product line, when appropriate. In this case, both Dell and Sun systems offer easy scale-up scalability beyond the particular product. Therefore, all references to the scalability of a particular product in this paper should be taken as references to the scalability of the supplier’s product line as a whole, not of the Sun Fire V480 or PowerEdge 6650 alone. Aberdeen, in accordance with major suppliers such as Microsoft, believes that scale-out scalability is highly effective but has its limits, beyond which scale-up scalability should be applied. Therefore, Aberdeen considers both scale-out and scale-up scalability in assessing scalability. In this case, Aberdeen finds that the IT buyer can see no clear differences in scale-out scalability, whereas the Sun product © 2003 Aberdeen Group, Inc. Telephone: 617 723 7890 260 Franklin Street Fax: 617 723 7897 Boston, Massachusetts 02110-3112 www.aberdeen.com
  12. 12. Sun SPARC/Solaris Value Proposition versus Dell/Linux Using Oracle 9i RAC 11 line clearly scales higher in numbers of processors and, thus, in both scale-up and overall scalability. In addition, IT buyers should consider carefully whether or not his or her systems are likely to need the “last ounce of scale-up scalability” in the next few years. They should also consider whether or not either supplier is likely to extend its sys- tems’ scalability over the next few years to meet the need. TCO Over the past five years, Aberdeen has performed extensive database and server TCO research based on in-depth user interviews that involve hundreds of real- world user experiences in order to estimate cost of ownership. Aberdeen’s key findings include the following: • Estimating cost of ownership before implementation can miss the mark by a wide margin. Users report that actual costs can vary widely from even the most fine-grained estimates based on license fees and user- supplied estimates of “typical development and maintenance costs.” The two most likely reasons include cutting a deal with the supplier that reduces acquisition costs and misestimating administrative or mainte- nance costs. • Cost of ownership can vary widely from the average, depending on the type of architecture. For example, typical observed cases in which data- base costs can differ sharply from each other and from the overall aver- age is “use embedded in packaged applications” versus “use with multi- ple in-house-developed applications” and “workgroup or mass- deployment use” versus “use in enterprise-scale data warehousing or online transaction processing (OLTP).” • Costs without context are not as valuable to buyers. If an IT buyer can- not compare the average situation on which the cost-of-ownership esti- mate is based to the user’s own situation, a TCO study is less useful than a case study. Therefore, Aberdeen has chosen to implement a more focused and user- experience-based cost-of-ownership estimate that we call visible cost of ownership (VCO). VCO gives IT buyers a way to estimate the cost of ownership that they might reasonably expect before the sales process starts. The IT buyer can then modify this estimate according to the deals that suppliers offer, as well as the user’s experience of using and administering these environments. The TCO per- centages in this study follow this VCO approach, reflecting costs that the IT buyer described above might reasonably expect, based on the database and server re- search that we have performed in SMB, department/division, and LOB situations. © 2003 Aberdeen Group, Inc. Telephone: 617 723 7890 260 Franklin Street Fax: 617 723 7897 Boston, Massachusetts 02110-3112 www.aberdeen.com
  13. 13. Sun SPARC/Solaris Value Proposition versus Dell/Linux Using Oracle 9i RAC 12 Additional key findings include the following: • License fees are based on published prices available via the Web or in supplier publications. Administrative cost estimates are based on both qualitative user de facto research and Aberdeen’s estimates of how new software releases will vary from historical precedent. Buyers should take special care to note the differences between their administrative situa- tions and those presented in case studies. • In most cases, Aberdeen’s estimates focus on a particular type of envi- ronment — mass-deployment/workgroup, for example, or cus- tom/enterprise. Estimates for one environment should not be taken to apply to other, quite different environments. • Aberdeen tries to note additional factors — potential benefits and/or criteria — that the buyer should consider in the buying decision. TCO studies apply strictly to the products considered. Moreover, TCO is strongly dependent on the type of environment considered. Therefore, readers should not generalize this study to a case where one server is serving 10,000 end-users. There is extensive TCO-study data on an “experience effect” involving a database supplier introducing a new version — typically, average reported administrative costs in the first year of ownership dip by more than 20% between the first year that the version is introduced and the second year. The reason appears to be that both the supplier and the enterprise “learn where the rocks are” in the new ver- sion in the first year of its life. Because upgrades to new versions also occur in the third and fifth year (5-year TCO), the overall effect on TCO of buying a new data- base version rather than one that has been available for a year or more is typically around 20%. In this study, the IT buyer described above encounters familiar Oracle on familiar Sun/Solaris systems, while encountering familiar Oracle on unfamiliar Dell/Linux systems. The “experience effect” on TCO from implementing a Dell/Linux/Oracle system is clearly not 0%, and is unlikely to be too much above the “experience ef- fect” derived from a new database version. Based on Aberdeen’s TCO data, there- fore, the “best guess” of the IT buyer as to the amount of the “experience effect” is therefore likely to be 20%. The reader should also note the following in assessing any TCO analysis: 1. The reader should consider TCO, and not merely license costs, in making any server buying decision. 2. TCO considerations will often “narrow the gap” between alternatives in costs, and, therefore, make other factors (such as manageability and likely future cost reductions) more important in the buying decision. © 2003 Aberdeen Group, Inc. Telephone: 617 723 7890 260 Franklin Street Fax: 617 723 7897 Boston, Massachusetts 02110-3112 www.aberdeen.com
  14. 14. Sun SPARC/Solaris Value Proposition versus Dell/Linux Using Oracle 9i RAC 13 3. The reader should consider carefully whether or not the types of environ- ments assessed in the TCO are the same as the ones in his or her shop. 4. The reader should remember that his or her mileage may vary. To provide us with your feedback on this research, please go to www.aberdeen.com/feedback . Aberdeen Group, Inc. Aberdeen Group is a computer and communications 260 Franklin Street research and consulting organization closely monitoring enterprise-user needs, technological changes and market Boston, Massachusetts developments. 02110-3112 USA Based on a comprehensive analytical framework, Aberdeen provides fresh insights into the future of computing and networking and the implications for users and the industry. Telephone: 617 723 7890 Aberdeen Group performs projects for a select group Fax: 617 723 7897 of domestic and international clients requiring strategic www.aberdeen.com and tactical advice and hard answers on how to manage computer and communications technology. This docu- ment is the result of research performed by Aberdeen Group, which was underwritten by Sun. Aberdeen © 2003 Aberdeen Group, Inc. Group believes its findings are objective and represent All rights reserved the best analysis available at the time of publication. April 2003
  15. 15. Sun SPARC/Solaris Value Proposition versus Dell/Linux Using Oracle 9i RAC 14 To provide us with your feedback on this research, please go to www.aberdeen.com/feedback . Aberdeen Group, Inc. Aberdeen Group is a computer and communications 260 Franklin Street, Suite 1700 research and consulting organization closely monitoring enterprise-user needs, technological changes and market Boston, Massachusetts developments. 02110-3112 USA Based on a comprehensive analytical framework, Aberdeen provides fresh insights into the future of computing and networking and the implications for users and the industry. Telephone: 617 723 7890 Fax: 617 723 7897 Aberdeen Group performs projects for a select group of www.aberdeen.com domestic and international clients requiring strategic and tactical advice and hard answers on how to manage computer and communications technology. This docu- ment is the result of research performed by Aberdeen © 2003 Aberdeen Group, Inc. Group. It was underwritten by Sun. Aberdeen Group All rights reserved believes its findings are objective and represent the best April 2003 analysis available at the time of publication.

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