There’s only one word to describe business today: tough.
While the economy is strong in most locales, this also means that competition has never been fiercer. Margins are tight. And businesses today are increasingly reliant on technology to help them reduce costs, increase sales, and profitably manage their enterprises.
Companies tend to hold on to technology solutions that successfully handle mission-critical business processes. There’s nothing wrong with this, it’s just a matter of wanting to get the most value out of the money they’ve spent and not chase technology upgrades that might not make that much of a difference.
However, there are situations where customers ride their own platforms too long and lose out on opportunities that offer a short payback for a minimal investment.
There are a lot of advantages to upgrading older hardware platforms to new technology. In a recent blog (“Higher performance? Lower costs? Sign me up!”). we looked at how several older SPARC systems could be consolidated onto a single Fujitsu SPARC M12 system. We found that the new system could handle anywhere from 5.39x to 6.94x the workload of older systems like the Oracle M8000 or Oracle M4000.
These kind of consolidation ratios have very significant implications for the enterprise data center. There are obvious factors, like floor space, power usage, and higher performance. But there are more subtle advantages that some customers might not factor in to their TCO spreadsheets when considering a consolidation move.
One of these factors is software maintenance costs. This is the annual fee that must be paid in order to receive software patches, fixes, and updates. The costs vary from vendor to vendor, but for purposes of this blog, we’re going to take a look at the software maintenance costs associated with the Oracle database.
Oracle database annual software maintenance costs are typically 22% of the total Oracle database license charge. In the table below, we calculated the software costs for a set of older systems compared to the Fujitsu SPARC M12-2S.
While the total number of CPUs for the older systems totals 32 (and 144 cores), the Fujitsu SPARC M12-2S with only two CPUs (24 cores) provides slightly better performance than all of the older systems combined. That’s how far technology has advanced in the past few years.
As seen in the table, customers with the multi-server environment of older systems pay a grand total of $752,400 in Oracle software maintenance per year.
If these workloads were consolidated onto a Fujitsu SPARC M12-2S, these maintenance charges would be quite a bit lower at $125,400, a savings of $627,000 per year. Very impressive and enough money to easily pay for the new Fujitsu system in the first year.
While this is already a compelling analysis, there are more costs to consider, for example, the savings that arise from hardware maintenance costs, software license costs, plus others. We’ll examine these costs in upcoming blogs.