How Much Will it Cost me?

By Ron Renwick | Mar 15, 2016

There is one question on everyone’s mind when they buy something, and SmartNICs are no exception. “How much will it cost me?”

One can simply state the list price of an adapter and compare that to the list price of other adapters. The challenge is that adapters are part of a larger solution, and a network adapter by itself doesn’t do much.

A network adapter needs to be installed in a multi-socket server running applications then installed in a rack, connected to a top-of-rack switch and from there to other racks of servers to create a data center solution.

Another challenge occurs when comparing SmartNICs to standard network adapters. SmartNICs, like the Agilio CX product line from Netronome, enable server-based networking and do much more than your traditional network adapter. By offloading the vSwitch datapath from x86 CPUs, Agilio CX adapters enable servers to run more efficiently.

In one application using Agilio CX adapters, a partner was able to run 220 NFV VMs on one rack of servers instead of using 3 racks. The value of the adapter is found in purchasing fewer servers, cables and switches and in the reduction in power needed when fewer servers, cables and switches are installed in a data center.

To help our customers analyze the benefits of Agilio CX, Netronome has several ROI calculators available on our website

Our Rack Level Cost and Power Savings can be found here.

Because data center architecture can vary, sometimes significantly, depending on application we also offer an ROI Calculator for vEPC solutions.

Let’s look at the Rack Level Cost and Power Savings ROI Calculator, which assumes a traditional Open vSwitch (OVS) datapath.

Cost is the key factor in any ROI calculation. How much does my solution cost to purchase it, and how much does it cost me to run it when I turn the power on?

With our tool, you have the ability to enter cost and power for the three main components of a rack - the server, the top of rack switch, and your network adapters. From there you only need to add in the network needs for your virtual machines, and this is done in terms of Kilo-Packets per Second (Kpps). Using your mouse you can adjust each slider until it aligns with your cost and power can easily enter your values.

What are the results?

If you look to the right of the ROI calculator you will see a graphic display of CAPEX and OPEX for both Agilio CX and non-Agilio data centers. The blue column indicates CAPEX cost of server, switch and adapter purchase, and the grey column indicates the annual OPEX for your solution. This is a very quick way to see how much Agilio CX adapters can save you both in terms of purchase price for your data center and in annual operating cost reduction.

Below the input sliders you will see the calculated savings. In addition, we also provide an analysis of how your architecture can be reduced with Agilio CX SmartNICs. With fewer servers you will need fewer top-of-rack switches, and fewer network adapters. Moving to Agilio CX SmartNICs for server-based networking provides many benefits, and reducing your CAPEX and OPEX are merely the beginning.

Try out our ROI Calculators, and let us know if it’s time for you to start using Agilio CX adapters for your networking needs.