The 10 missing costs and values of converged/integrated systems

There was some hubbub this week about a Howard Marks (not the other one) post on Network Computing titled, The true cost of hyper-converged infrastructure.

Most comments were complementary to Howard about his methodology but a few others were more spot on when they said the true cost doesn’t just contain the capex and opex of the hardware and software, such as the server cost and the software support costs.

In this post I explain how the true picture is much wider and detail ten missing pieces from Howard’s post.

Starting simple and from Howard’s post, the cost of putting together the bill of materials (BoM) is missing.  I don’t know how much Howard is paid but let’s imagine it’s $50/hour.  Then imagine that it takes multiple people to be involved to help with the BoM.  Then there’s the meetings.  And the changes.  And remember: this is only to put the BoM together.  Let’s say you have three people taking a couple of days to get this done.  That’s 3 x 16 x $50 = $2,400.  I have seen this take a month with six people, which would equate to 6 x (20 x 8) x $50 = $48,000.  Your mileage may vary.

But what about the integration design?  What about the operational aspects?  Who’s going to be responsible for the design, run and support of this home-cranked, franken-system?  How much does that cost?  Remember, that if you work in retail, banking or whatever industry then you are not delivering value by recreating a value chain that you can buy off the shelf from a VCE or a Nutanix.  Those guys do this for a living and they are very good at it.  Think twice before reasoning that you can do a better job.

You see, when you only take a vertical view of one slice of the convergence system value chain, which in Howard’s well worked example it means adding up the line items in a BoM for example, then you only get the “true” cost of part of the solution.

That’s the cost bit, now what about the value?  A couple of years ago, IDC did some analysis and found four main value drivers:

Screenshot 2014-12-10 12.23.09

These can be thought of as business value impacts, but you can break this down further into a value chain and this has more steps you need to cost and for the items that the converged system eliminates then you are reducing your costs and getting value.  For example, walk through these ten value chain items and consider the cost/value when the system provider does this instead of you (because that is the true reason for convergence – it’s a system as a service):

Converged Systems Value Chain.001

  1. Technology management and Product selection (what bits go where in the converged system?)
  2. System design (how to integrate the bits, this is very non-trivial which means expensive).
  3. Quality Assurance (integration testing and everything else).
  4. System-wide version control, roadmap and lifetime management.
  5. Bill of Material management – SKUs, prices, sizes, keeping on top of the constant vendor changes, creating the BoM, making sure it is orderable, procurement compliant and everything else.
  6. Solution collateral to explain to stakeholders why this is a Good Answer.
  7. Manufacturing and Delivery (building it in a factory and shipping pre-built vs. shed built, one box vs many boxes)
  8. Implementation and Integration (getting it up and running in hours vs days/weeks).
  9. Operations and Support (one API, one Ops screen, one support number).
  10. Maintenance over years (system matrix version control and one click upgrades and roll backs).

In summary, the true cost and value of a converged system is calculated by analysing the entire value chain of that system, not tallying up the bill of materials.

And here’s the final thought:  if you can build a converged system better, cheaper faster than a company like VCE or Nutanix then go into business and beat them.  Let me know how you get on.

Why research?

Click on.

You know that meeting when the guy comes into the room and brings something different, yet familiar?

Walk away.

Before the meeting, the agenda was set and the contributions were stated and the outcomes were aspired to.  Simple stuff.  But with complicated technical agendas that match business outcomes.

Turn around.

In the meeting there is a simple horizontal line drawn on the board.  This is that. That is this.  You are him, no her, no, she.  A picture emerges.

Google.

After the meeting we spend time together, sales calls, inside and customer, and we are there at 11pm looking through the numbers.  Did ((WE)) do well?

It’s not possible.

Not worth it.

Full and free 32 bit series on Microsoft Hybrid Cloud

Quick links to Keith Mayers’ series on Microsoft Hybrid Cloud

Getting Ready for Hybrid Cloud

Modernizing Your Infrastructure with Hybrid Cloud – Why is NOW a Great Time to START PLANNING? (Part 1)

Modernizing Your Infrastructure with Hybrid Cloud – Assessing Current IT Infrastructure with MAP Toolkit (Part 2)

Modernizing Your Infrastructure with Hybrid Cloud – FREE Microsoft Azure Virtual Machine Readiness Assessment (Part 3)

Modernizing Your Infrastructure with Hybrid Cloud – Estimating Cloud Costs with Microsoft Azure IaaS Cost Estimator Tool (Part 4)

Modernizing Your Infrastructure with Hybrid Cloud – Common Application Workloads and Scenarios for Microsoft Azure (Part 5)

Hybrid Cloud Architecture

Modernizing Your Infrastructure with Hybrid Cloud – Planning Hybrid Cloud Storage Architecture (Part 6)

Modernizing Your Infrastructure with Hybrid Cloud – Step-by-Step with Storage Spaces in Windows Server 2012 R2 (Part 7)

Modernizing Your Infrastructure with Hybrid Cloud – Hyper-V over SMB (Part 8)

Modernizing Your Infrastructure with Hybrid Cloud – Provision SMB Shared Folders in the Cloud with Azure Files (Part 9)

Modernizing Your Infrastructure with Hybrid Cloud – Cross-Premises Data Mobility with Microsoft Azure StorSimple (Part 10)

Modernizing Your Infrastructure with Hybrid Cloud – Step-by-Step: Backup to the Cloud with Microsoft Azure Backup (Part 11)

Hybrid Cloud Networking

Modernizing Your Infrastructure with Hybrid Cloud – Planning Cross-Premises Networking with Site-to-Site VPN and ExpressRoute (Part 12)

Modernizing Your Infrastructure with Hybrid Cloud – Step-by-Step: Reserve a Public IP Address in Microsoft Azure (Part 13)

Modernizing Your Infrastructure with Hybrid Cloud – Step-by-Step: Building Virtual Networks in the Cloud with Microsoft Azure (Part 14)

Modernizing Your Infrastructure with Hybrid Cloud – Step-by-Step: Cross-Premises Connectivity with Azure Site-to-Site VPN (Part 15)

Modernizing Your Infrastructure with Hybrid Cloud – Step-by-Step: Cross-Premises Connectivity with Azure ExpressRoute (Part 16)

Hybrid Cloud Virtual Infrastructure

Modernizing Your Infrastructure with Hybrid Cloud – Planning Hybrid Cloud Virtualization (Part 17)

Modernizing Your Infrastructure with Hybrid Cloud – Migrating Physical Servers to Virtual Machines (Part 18)

Modernizing Your Infrastructure with Hybrid Cloud – Azure Pack Simplified: Prepping OS Image Disks for VM Gallery Items (Part 19)

Modernizing Your Infrastructure with Hybrid Cloud – Migrating VMware & Amazon AWS to Microsoft Azure (Part 20)

Modernizing Your Infrastructure with Hybrid Cloud – Using Custom VM Images and Resource Groups in Microsoft Azure (Part 21)

Hybrid Cloud Management and Automation

Modernizing Your Infrastructure with Hybrid Cloud – Hybrid Cloud Management and Automation (Part 22)

Modernizing Your Infrastructure with Hybrid Cloud – Getting Started with On-demand Private Clouds using Windows Azure Pack (Part 23)

Modernizing Your Infrastructure with Hybrid Cloud – Getting Started with Hybrid Cloud Automation (Part 24)

Modernizing Your Infrastructure with Hybrid Cloud – Configuration Management with PowerShell Desired State Configuration (Part 25)

Modernizing Your Infrastructure with Hybrid Cloud – Step-by-Step: Monitoring Hybrid Cloud with System Center 2012 R2 (Part 26)

Hybrid Cloud Workloads

Modernizing Your Infrastructure with Hybrid Cloud – Intro to Migrating Server Workloads to Windows Server 2012 R2 and Microsoft Azure (Part 27)

Modernizing Your Infrastructure with Hybrid Cloud – Migrating Active Directory, DNS and DHCP to Windows Server 2012 R2 (Part 28)

Modernizing Your Infrastructure with Hybrid Cloud – Migrating File Servers to Windows Server 2012 R2 and Microsoft Azure (Part 29)

Modernizing Your Infrastructure with Hybrid Cloud – Migrating Web Servers to Windows Server 2012 R2 and Microsoft Azure (Part 30)

Modernizing Your Infrastructure with Hybrid Cloud – Migrating Exchange Server to the Cloud (Part 31)

Modernizing Your Infrastructure with Hybrid Cloud – Migrating SQL Databases to Microsoft Azure (Part 32)

I hope the UK stays whole and grows

Massively interesting times this week in the UK.  At last, the SNP get their referendum to ask “Should Scotland be an independent country?”.  A minority party in government elected through a small turnout gets to make us all go through family mediation on a national scale.  If you think this is just about Scotland then you are an idiot.  Democracy is remarkable and not always what you think it is.

Yes means the UK breaks apart, what could that mean?  A No doesn’t mean the status quo.  What else does it mean?

Read the SNP whitepaper here.

My family, friends and work colleagues are spread across Britain with a fair few in Scotland thanks to the five years I spent in Edinburgh in the nineties, and I still visit Edinburgh on a regular basis.

Emotions are running high: The Yes folks can feel a tingling in their bodies because they feel (without any evidence other than optimism) that a Yes means a change for the positive in their lives.  I detect a bit of socialist and radicalism in the demonstrations.  I also know many Scots that really want to be isolate and unique no matter what the cost.

The No folks are very emotional because they sincerely don’t want to lose our partner of hundreds of years.  David Cameron is genuinely upset at the thought of us divorcing.  It’s not just about his job.  It’s about our whole nation.  I was moved by Cameron’s speech.

Haven’t Scotland and England have always bickered and argued and fought?

But we’ve also been business partners: remember why the Union started?  A messed up investment venture by Scots rich folk to Panama.  The man on the street had no voice then.  Who now runs all the Scottish banks?  I remember working for Bank of Scotland in 1995, the tercentenary, the 300 yr docs boasted of their conservative nature and long life.  Where is it now?  Lloyds in London.

We’re also friends: we’ve fought together in some horrible wars.  Back at home during the wars, our daughters, wives and mothers built industries together.  We’ve always worked together on the rigs, in the yards, and in the city: laughing, betting, fighting, and creating life long friendships.  Our Scots warriors terrified our enemies but they also gave us all comfort and security because we could depend upon them and stand shoulder to shoulder.  When we look left on 19 Sep, is there nobody there?

We’re also family: from the fact that HM Queen Elizabeth has Scots blood running through her veins from her mum and all the way to Robert the Bruce and James I, even a small inconsequential quy like me has family I love spread across the borders.  What happens to my fragile connections?

We are also sporting companions who fight each other with passion on the battlefield: I was shocked to find the passion for cricket when I lived in Scotland, and I loved the Six Nations passion when I lived for five years in Edinburgh, and the years since.

In this time of terrorism and disintegration and disharmony I find it hard to wish my Scottish friends, colleagues, family, warriors and sportsmen well if the result on Friday is to tell me and the rest of the UK that you don’t want to be with us any more.

It will be hard not to take it personally.  It’s not just Westminster you reject, but me and everyone else south of the beautiful borders.  We respect your decision but if it’s no, then we must take some rejection from that.

I hope on Friday we are still the UK and we use the energy of debate and refreshed politics to regenerate all of the UK, devolve power from London and become a great nation.

That will be harder for us all without Scotland.  Because, my friends, family and colleagues, if we are separate nations then I will be competing for real against you and you will be like Belgium to me, or as one spokesman said: Scotland will be like Spain without the sunshine.

If you still think politics is awesome, listen to this guy, he might just change your mind:

Want to Talk like TED? Watch these!

Talk Like TED CoverI’m reading the wonderful book, Talk Like Ted by Carmine Gallo.

She highlights some wonderful TED talks that epitomise great delivery according to her analysis and resulting nine secrets, so go and buy her book now and then lean on this page to help you find the TED talks you need to find.  Her book is inspiring, GO GET IT!

The point of highlighting these talks is NOT THEIR CONTENT but their PRESENTATION.  

It’s about how they deliver their message, not the actual message: nothing wrong with their messages, but I compiled this list as part of learning how to communicate better, and these folks are consummate communicators.

  1. Get the book.
  2. Watch the videos.
  3. Become a better communicator.

Brian Stevenson on We need to talk about injustice

In an engaging and personal talk — with cameo appearances from his grandmother and Rosa Parks — human rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson shares some hard truths about America's justice system, starting with a massive imbalance along racial lines: a third of the country's black male population has been incarcerated at some point in their lives. These issues, which are wrapped up in America's unexamined history, are rarely talked about with this level of candor, insight and persuasiveness.

In an engaging and personal talk — with cameo appearances from his grandmother and Rosa Parks — human rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson shares some hard truths about America’s justice system, starting with a massive imbalance along racial lines: a third of the country’s black male population has been incarcerated at some point in their lives. These issues, which are wrapped up in America’s unexamined history, are rarely talked about with this level of candor, insight and persuasiveness.

Brene Brown on how data has a soul, when you tell the story.

Brené Brown studies human connection — our ability to empathize, belong, love. In a poignant, funny talk, she shares a deep insight from her research, one that sent her on a personal quest to know herself as well as to understand humanity. A talk to share.

Brené Brown studies human connection — our ability to empathize, belong, love. In a poignant, funny talk, she shares a deep insight from her research, one that sent her on a personal quest to know herself as well as to understand humanity. A talk to share.

Andrew Stanton on ‘Toy Story’ telling

Filmmaker Andrew Stanton ("Toy Story," "WALL-E") shares what he knows about storytelling — starting at the end and working back to the beginning. Contains graphic language ... (Note: this talk is not available for download.)

Filmmaker Andrew Stanton (“Toy Story,” “WALL-E”) shares what he knows about storytelling — starting at the end and working back to the beginning. Contains graphic language … (Note: this talk is not available for download.)

Sir Ken Robinson on how schools kill creativity

Sir Ken Robinson makes an entertaining and profoundly moving case for creating an education system that nurtures (rather than undermines) creativity.

Sir Ken Robinson makes an entertaining and profoundly moving case for creating an education system that nurtures (rather than undermines) creativity.

Seth Godin on “This is broken”

Why are so many things broken? In a hilarious talk from the 2006 Gel conference, Seth Godin gives a tour of things poorly designed, the 7 reasons why they are that way, and how to fix them.

Why are so many things broken? In a hilarious talk from the 2006 Gel conference, Seth Godin gives a tour of things poorly designed, the 7 reasons why they are that way, and how to fix them.

Malcolm Gladwell on “Choice, happiness and spaghetti sauce”

"Tipping Point" author Malcolm Gladwell gets inside the food industry's pursuit of the perfect spaghetti sauce — and makes a larger argument about the nature of choice and happiness.

“Tipping Point” author Malcolm Gladwell gets inside the food industry’s pursuit of the perfect spaghetti sauce — and makes a larger argument about the nature of choice and happiness.

Peter Gabriel’s passion for Witness

Musician and activist Peter Gabriel shares his very personal motivation for standing up for human rights with the watchdog group WITNESS — and tells stories of citizen journalists in action.

Musician and activist Peter Gabriel shares his very personal motivation for standing up for human rights with the watchdog group WITNESS — and tells stories of citizen journalists in action.

Isabel Allende on passion (and more!)

In one of the most beloved talks from TED2007, novelist Isabel Allende talks about writing, women, passion, feminism. She tells the stories of powerful women she has known, some larger-than-life (listen for a beauty tip from Sophia Loren), and some simply living with grace, dignity and ingenuity in a world that, in too many ways, still treats women unjustly. (Recorded March 2007 in Monterey, California. Duration: 18:02.)

In one of the most beloved talks from TED2007, novelist Isabel Allende talks about writing, women, passion, feminism. She tells the stories of powerful women she has known, some larger-than-life (listen for a beauty tip from Sophia Loren), and some simply living with grace, dignity and ingenuity in a world that, in too many ways, still treats women unjustly. (Recorded March 2007 in Monterey, California. Duration: 18:02.)

Amanda Palmer on The Art of Asking

Don't make people pay for music, says Amanda Palmer: Let them. In a passionate talk that begins in her days as a street performer (drop a dollar in the hat for the Eight-Foot Bride!), she examines the new relationship between artist and fan.

Don’t make people pay for music, says Amanda Palmer: Let them. In a passionate talk that begins in her days as a street performer (drop a dollar in the hat for the Eight-Foot Bride!), she examines the new relationship between artist and fan.

Tony Robbins on Why do we do what we do?

Tony Robbins discusses the "invisible forces" that motivate everyone's actions — and high-fives Al Gore in the front row.

Tony Robbins discusses the “invisible forces” that motivate everyone’s actions — and high-fives Al Gore in the front row.

Colin Powell on Kids need structure

Colin Powell

“I didn’t do well at all … straight ‘C’ everywhere,” says Powell, revealing that he felt lucky to be accepted into the City College of New York given his grades. “Then I found ROTC. I found something that I did well and something that I loved doing … From there, my whole life was dedicated to ROTC and the military.” Powell says that it was the army’s sense of order that allowed him to change his course and become one of CCNY’s most famous graduates. And it’s a phenomenon he sees repeated whenever a new class of shows up for boot camp.

Jennifer Granholm on a new clean energy proposal

Kicking off the TED2013 conference, Jennifer Granholm asks a very American question with worldwide implications: How do we make more jobs? Her big idea: Invest in new alternative energy sources. And her big challenge: Can it be done with or without our broken Congress?

Kicking off the TED2013 conference, Jennifer Granholm asks a very American question with worldwide implications: How do we make more jobs? Her big idea: Invest in new alternative energy sources. And her big challenge: Can it be done with or without our broken Congress?

Robert Ballard on the hidden world of the deep ocean

Ocean explorer Robert Ballard takes us on a mindbending trip to hidden worlds underwater, where he and other researchers are finding unexpected life, resources, even new mountains. He makes a case for serious exploration and mapping. Google Ocean, anyone?

Ocean explorer Robert Ballard takes us on a mindbending trip to hidden worlds underwater, where he and other researchers are finding unexpected life, resources, even new mountains. He makes a case for serious exploration and mapping. Google Ocean, anyone?

James Cameron…a curious boy

James Cameron's big-budget (and even bigger-grossing) films create unreal worlds all their own. In this personal talk, he reveals his childhood fascination with the fantastic — from reading science fiction to deep-sea diving — and how it ultimately drove the success of his blockbuster hits "Aliens," "The Terminator," "Titanic" and "Avatar."

James Cameron’s big-budget (and even bigger-grossing) films create unreal worlds all their own. In this personal talk, he reveals his childhood fascination with the fantastic — from reading science fiction to deep-sea diving — and how it ultimately drove the success of his blockbuster hits “Aliens,” “The Terminator,” “Titanic” and “Avatar.”

Hans Rosling on best stats ever seen

You've never seen data presented like this. With the drama and urgency of a sportscaster, statistics guru Hans Rosling debunks myths about the so-called "developing world."

You’ve never seen data presented like this. With the drama and urgency of a sportscaster, statistics guru Hans Rosling debunks myths about the so-called “developing world.”

Susan Cain and the power of introverts

In a culture where being social and outgoing are prized above all else, it can be difficult, even shameful, to be an introvert. But, as Susan Cain argues in this passionate talk, introverts bring extraordinary talents and abilities to the world, and should be encouraged and celebrated.

In a culture where being social and outgoing are prized above all else, it can be difficult, even shameful, to be an introvert. But, as Susan Cain argues in this passionate talk, introverts bring extraordinary talents and abilities to the world, and should be encouraged and celebrated.

Edi Rama on Taking back your city with paint

Make a city beautiful, curb corruption. Edi Rama took this deceptively simple path as mayor of Tirana, Albania, where he instilled pride in his citizens by transforming public spaces with colorful designs. With projects that put the people first, Rama decreased crime — and showed his citizens they could have faith in their leaders. (Filmed at TEDxThessaloniki.)

Make a city beautiful, curb corruption. Edi Rama took this deceptively simple path as mayor of Tirana, Albania, where he instilled pride in his citizens by transforming public spaces with colorful designs. With projects that put the people first, Rama decreased crime — and showed his citizens they could have faith in their leaders. (Filmed at TEDxThessaloniki.)

Mary Roach on 10 things you didn’t know about orgasm

"Bonk" author Mary Roach delves into obscure scientific research, some of it centuries old, to make 10 surprising claims about sexual climax, ranging from the bizarre to the hilarious. (This talk is aimed at adults. Viewer discretion advised.)

“Bonk” author Mary Roach delves into obscure scientific research, some of it centuries old, to make 10 surprising claims about sexual climax, ranging from the bizarre to the hilarious. (This talk is aimed at adults. Viewer discretion advised.)

Helen Fisher on Why we love, why we cheat

Anthropologist Helen Fisher takes on a tricky topic – love – and explains its evolution, its biochemical foundations and its social importance. She closes with a warning about the potential disaster inherent in antidepressant abuse.

Anthropologist Helen Fisher takes on a tricky topic – love – and explains its evolution, its biochemical foundations and its social importance. She closes with a warning about the potential disaster inherent in antidepressant abuse.

Dan Pink on Motiviation

Career analyst Dan Pink examines the puzzle of motivation, starting with a fact that social scientists know but most managers don't: Traditional rewards aren't always as effective as we think. Listen for illuminating stories — and maybe, a way forward.

Career analyst Dan Pink examines the puzzle of motivation, starting with a fact that social scientists know but most managers don’t: Traditional rewards aren’t always as effective as we think. Listen for illuminating stories — and maybe, a way forward.

Ben Saunders on Why did I ski to the North Pole?

Arctic explorer Ben Saunders recounts his harrowing solo ski trek to the North Pole, complete with engaging anecdotes, gorgeous photos and never-before-seen video.

Arctic explorer Ben Saunders recounts his harrowing solo ski trek to the North Pole, complete with engaging anecdotes, gorgeous photos and never-before-seen video.

Bill Gates on Mosquitos, malaria and education

Bill Gates hopes to solve some of the world's biggest problems using a new kind of philanthropy. In a passionate and, yes, funny 18 minutes, he asks us to consider two big questions and how we might answer them. (And see the Q&A on the TED Blog.)

Bill Gates hopes to solve some of the world’s biggest problems using a new kind of philanthropy. In a passionate and, yes, funny 18 minutes, he asks us to consider two big questions and how we might answer them. (And see the Q&A on the TED Blog.)

Bye bye VDI? See you, EUC? Was 2013 was the LAST year of VDI?

rip-tombstone-hiIn my skim across the interwebs today, especially seeing how BASF in Germany are deploying 112,000 employees on Office 365 in the cloud, a thought struck me: has VDI had it’s day?  Some of us have been doing it for over 10 years.  TEN YEARS.  It has always been a hack to solve a number of problems caused by people trying to use Microsoft Windows and Windows-based applications in scenarios that are very un-Personal Computer.  Windows was designed to be installed locally and accesses locally.  Let’s not go into all the whys-and-wherefores of VDI, that’s old history.

Consider this piece as a tapas food for thought.  I’m not presenting deep research, but I am seeking to kick off a meme….

We have a maturing kid on the block, called Cloud, and it might just shove VDI (or End User Compute, or whatever marketing name you want) to the side.  Why?  Because it solves the original problem!  You run your apps, data, identities and everything else in a cloud (public, partner, private, or combo) and then just give a nice dumb connection to that cloud… or a rich one even… but you don’t need all the VDI expense in between.

What you need these days is a cloud back end (like BASF chose Microsoft Office 365) and then access management with things variously named as Enterprise Mobility Management.  But you don’t need all the VDI/EUC fat in your DC.  That massive VDI-optimised Vblock / FlexPod or whatever Storage device it is… Monday morning boot storms etc… gone.

Cloud and Mobility is removing the love handles of IT, and that is great news for customers!

This has huge implications for the industry that have developed solutions to solve the problems that VDI/EUC created (yes, like coding when you fix a bit of code you create more problems, well the VDI/EUC solution created further problems in identity, storage, network and more).  Any company that has VDI or EUC as a core revenue strategy might be a worry, but I’m sure they have smart enough people to have avoided the cloud iceberg that is about to sink their VDI/EUC Titanic.

It’s worth doing a little more digging on this…. see what the community thinks…