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Table of Contents

Executive Summary

Voice of the Customer Feedback

TCU Scenarios Analyzed

Two Sides to the TCU Equation

Quantifying Upfront Costs

Quantifying Ongoing Savings

Updates and Consolidations
are Very Green

AlphaServer ES80 Upgrade

AlphaServer GS1280 Upgrade

AlphaServer ES45 Consolidation

AlphaServer DS25 Consolidation


Total Cost of Upgrade for AlphaServer OpenVMS Environments

Detailed quantitative analyses of the costs and benefits associated with upgrading HP AlphaServer OpenVMS environments to HP Integrity i2 servers. (August 2012)

It has been two years since TechWise Research® published a report entitled "Total Cost of Upgrading HP OpenVMS Environments to HP Integrity i2 Server Blades." That report summarized the benefits of upgrading older systems to HP Integrity® BL8x0c i2 blades. Despite these benefits, companies continue to use AlphaServers® for their OpenVMS® environments. In the past two years HP made significant enhancements to OpenVMS V8.4 and introduced the fourth server based on the Intel® Itanium® processor 9300 series, the Integrity rx2800 i2 server. As a result, TechWise Research decided to update its 2010 paper with current information. As before, this paper does not discuss all of the features of Integrity i2 servers and OpenVMS V8.4 in detail. Rather, this paper provides a detailed Total Cost of UpgradeTM, or TCUTM, analysis for upgrading OpenVMS AlphaServers to Integrity i2 servers running OpenVMS V8.4. It quantifies the costs and benefits from the upgrade and provides detailed cash flow analyses for two upgrade and two consolidation scenarios. There continues to be very compelling reasons to upgrade or consolidate. In all four scenarios the payback period is less than one year.

Three sources of information were used for this paper. The first source was findings from previous TechWise Research studies that surveyed companies for the operational characteristics of AlphaServer and Integrity OpenVMS environments. The second source was in-depth qualitative interviews TechWise Research conducted in 2012 with system administrators who have direct experience implementing these upgrades. Finally, HP provided sizing and pricing for the Integrity i2 systems as well as out-of-warranty support costs for the AlphaServers. The analyses identified multiple ongoing savings that would offset the initial cost of the new Integrity i2 servers. Potential savings included reduced costs for HP service contracts, system management, downtime, and energy.

Respondents pointed out several non-financial benefits from the upgrade. These include greater performance (application performance increased 800% to 1,000% for one company), servers that are far easier to manage due to HP's iLO remote management software, the ability to boot from USB drives, and simplified remote disaster recovery site setup due to expanded support for up to six member host-based volume shadowing sets.

System performance is doubled in all four scenarios studied. Despite this boost in performance, the four scenarios have the potential to reduce energy usage between 69% and 85%. This saves money and reduces the total amount of heat that needs to be removed by server rooms' HVAC systems.

Each company has unique criteria to consider when deciding whether or not to upgrade their OpenVMS environments. Any company that plans on using OpenVMS for the foreseeable future should seriously consider upgrading to HP Integrity i2 servers. The upgrade has the potential to pay for itself in less than a year, dramatically reduce energy usage, improve system performance, and offer the ability to easily expand capacity in the future.

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