“How much does it cost?” is usually the first question following any suggestion you make, including when your team is considering Converged Infrastructure. “It needs to be affordable – that’s our first checkpoint,” says your exec. Without a price range, how can you tell whether it’s worth your (employer’s) time to consider any alternative to the way you do things now?
And – like my parents taught me – if the price isn’t listed, I assume it’s too much.
Getting a “starting price” on Converged Infrastructure isn’t child’s play. You can check the usual suspects’ websites. The BEST case is that you fill in a form, and someone calls you back within a few hours or days. WORST case, you have to browse a list of people, and pick whom to contact for a quote (making me think like that is WAY too time-consuming).
If you’re like me, that’s not what you want. I want the at-a-glance shopping experience, where my eyes scan the price tag – and I instantly know whether I should move on with my life. (You might, for instance, think the FlexPod At-a-Glance document would answer a burning question like this, but no; you’d be kidding yourself. Ditto on Vblock documents over at the VCE website.)
I’d be happy with a price range, too. An order of magnitude, even. There’s a huge difference between 106 dollars and 104 , for instance…Which is why I was so glad to hear Kent Erickson quote some real price ranges in this interview about where Converged Infrastructure is going in 2013.
I wish everyone would put their pricing on their websites. I like that you can price out public-cloud capacity over at the Amazon Web Services site. Yes, I’m sure they’ve programmed it such that it always recommends their cloud over anything else, but at least you get a ballpark. And yes, I realize that it’s hard for a multi-national company to put prices on everything in multiple currencies. But still, help a growing organization out, and don’t make it so hard to plot a course, you know?
And lest I be called a hypocrite, we’re adding our Zenoss pricing to our website, too. An annual subscription starts at $12,000/year for 100 devices (larger volume discounts available) for monitoring network, server, storage, virtualization, and – of course – Converged Infrastructure. Long live at-a-glance pricing. Because nobody has time to dig for pricing & gauge feasibility of an alternative, while still juggling the *insert applicable expletive* they’re currently putting up with.
Other Posts in this Series
- An Expert’s Take on Converged Infrastructure Learning Curve – Part 1: What the Business Wants
- An Expert’s Take on Converged Infrastructure Learning Curve – Part 2: The Trouble with “Agility”
- An Expert’s Take on Converged Infrastructure Learning Curve – Part 3: Two Very Naughty Words: “Chargeback” & “Showback”
- An Expert’s Take on Converged Infrastructure Learning Curve – Part 4: How to Talk About “The Squeeze” of Converged Infrastructure
- An Expert’s Take on Converged Infrastructure Learning Curve – Part 5: What’s Wrong with Best Practices for FlexPod and Vblock?