We've all seen the PowerPoint slide that depicts the relative pricing of 10 Gigabit Ethernet, InfiniBand, and Fibre Channel. Usually, the upshot is a plug for the presenter's wares.
Central to the argument is the calculation of price per gigabit/second -- the sum of per-port costs of host adapters and switches, divided by the Gbit/s delivered by the technology. Marketing math? Maybe, but the results can prove interesting.
It's an intriguing exercise overall, and after viewing a few of these slides, we at Byte and Switch decided to undertake our own comparative worksheet of per-port pricing. The results are in the table below:
Table 1: Storage Connections Compared
|Server adapter or HBA price per port||Switch price per port||Price per Gbit/s (sum of adapter port and switch port costs, divided by Gbit/s)|
|10 Gbit/s InfiniBand||$586||$300||$89|
|10 Gbit/s Ethernet (CX4)||$738||$1,380||$212|
|10 Gbit/s Ethernet (fiber)||$1,600||$1,420||$302|
|Gigabit Ethernet (copper or fiber)||$112||$110||$222|
|4 Gbit/s Fibre Channel||$900||$110||$252|
|2 Gbit/s Fibre Channel||$736||$483||$309|
|Source: Byte and Switch|
By way of comparison, here are two price-per-gigabit worksheets from vendors with axes to grind (names have been withheld):