rhev vs vmware – DPM

Well it seems there have been a few blog posts about the relative merits of RHEV powersave modes versus VMWARE DPM.

A couple of the better examples are here and supported by a blog post here.

If you read those articles then it seems that you’re far better off with DPM – but would you be?

Don’t get me wrong I’m a big fan of vSphere and i’m also a fan of RHEV. Competition is a good thing and ultimately the consumer wins – well hopefully 🙂

As things currently stand, vSphere DPM is certainly more efficient (power-wise) than RHEV – powering off servers has to be more power efficient than even the most aggressive cpu frequency scaling.

So what am I going on about here. If you look at the competitive pricing guide between RHEV and vSphere and actually do a quick dollar analysis of the RHEV/vSphere solutions then it can be quite revealing. I should point out I have no idea if the prices in the whitepaper are accurate – i’m just referring to them to demonstrate another way to look at the numbers.

In the windows scenario presented in the whitepaper there are 9 systems running 100 windows vm’s. Over a 3 year period the costs are given as $205,980 using RHEV and $284,382 for using vSphere. The difference being $78,402 in the favour of RHEV

How much of an impact could DPM have on this price difference?

In the 9 systems, i’m going to assume an aggressive 6 systems could be powered down (vSphere DPM) or put into idle state (RHEV) for 5 hrs in a 24 hr period.

Using the power consumption numbers from the above linked blogs (I don’t have my own numbers) then an example active server would run at approx 300 W and an idle server would run at 140 W.

If all 9 servers are on continuously we get 9 * 300 * 24 = 64.8 kWh

If 6 are idle for 5 hrs, then in the case of DPM they would be powered off saving

6 * 5 * 300 = 9 kWh

In the case of RHEV they would run at the lower power consumption, giving us a saving of

6 *5 * (300-140) = 4.8 kWh

Clearly DPM saves us 4.2 kWh in the above contrived case.

Over 3 years that would save us

3 * 365 * 4.2 = 4599 kWh

over the RHEV solution – certainly good for the environment.

If you see how much money that might save you it depends on how much you pay for power. If I use an expensive case of $0.50 / kWh then that would be

0.50 * 4599 = $2299.50 over 3 years – nothing to sneeze at.

However, vSphere is $78,402 more expensive over 3 years and i’ve only saved $2299.50 due to the more efficient DPM.

Hmm, $78,000 can buy me a whole lot of power!

Maybe I should buy RHEV and donate the difference to charity 🙂

Of course, everything above is contrived, but I just wanted to see how the numbers stacked up given the sales and marketing material going around. You have to look at the complete picture in either case as it applies to YOU. If the only differentiator for you is DPM and you’re interested in saving money they why wouldn’t you go RHEV. If there are features you *need* that only exist in vSphere then you’ll have to go that way until RHEV catches up (assuming it does).

Is any of the above data accurate – no idea – the costings come from Redhat and the power savings were just quoted example by people kind enough to measure the power and put their data on the net – the rest is up to you !