The Hyper Converged Solution

When it’s time to choose a hyper converged infrastructure (HCI) solution, it’s important that you weigh all your options. One of the most important aspects to hone in on is your total cost of ownership (TCO). When it comes to an IT system such as a hyper converged infrastructure (HCI), the TCO includes the system’s storage performance and its capacity for work—crucial details that factor into project success.


In a recent study, Evaluator Group took the top two competitors of NetApp® HCI and performed a TCO analysis on all three solutions. In this analysis, Evaluator Group compared, at varying levels of scale, how the three different competitive architectures affected TCO.

How Was Performance Testing Evaluated?

In this analysis, to calculate the number of virtual machines (VMs) that are supported for a given structure, Evaluator Group used the IOmark benchmark tool with the IOmark-VM workload.


For storage performance, NetApp HCI had a 3:1 differential, meaning that NetApp HCI had 3 times better performance than the HCI solutions from the two other competitors. This higher performance contributes to a lower total cost of ownership for your system.


In compute performance, NetApp HCI was found to be lower than the other two competitors’ solutions. The NetApp HCI compute nodes, using an 18-core processor, were found to have lower compute performance than the two competitors, which were using 22-core CPUs.

How Was TCO Tested?

Evaluator Group used the following components to test TCO:


  • Acquisition, which includes the list price of each HCI node, one VMware vSphere enterprise license for each node, any management software licenses that are not included in the base price, and deployment costs plus cables.
  • Support, which includes the hardware and software maintenance costs per year.
  • Overhead, which includes administration time and the costs for power and space.

So, Why Does NetApp HCI Have a Lower TCO?

Higher Storage Performance

Testing of NetApp HCI showed that, per node, it provides 3 times the storage performance over the other two competitor systems. Ultimately, this higher performance means that your NetApp HCI cluster requires fewer storage nodes to support a given number of VMs, which helps lower your costs as a whole.


Flexible Architecture 

Most HCIs combine storage and compute in each node, which can be limiting over time. With the NetApp HCI architecture, however, you get separate storage and compute nodes. So, you can build clusters based on the number of nodes that you need instead of having a fixed quantity of storage and compute. With this parceled architecture, your NetApp HCI clusters can take full advantage of the system’s performance without sacrificing quality.


Get started on the road to HCI today. To learn more and to take a deeper dive into Evaluator Group’s analysis, read the full report.

Caitlin Knight

Caitlin is a social content creator for NetApp’s Cloud Infrastructure marketing team. Working alongside the content strategy and the social media teams, Caitlin creates content that is paramount to helping customers understand how to harness the power of their data.

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