New Study Compares Networking Capabilities of Blade Server Solutions

An independent testing company, Principled Technologies, recently released a study that compared the networking capabilities of Dell EMC PowerEdge MX, HPE Synergy and Cisco UCS using VMware vMotion.  Their findings:

“The modular Dell EMC PowerEdge MX solution we tested was more responsive than comparable HPE Synergy and Cisco UCS blade solutions, moving VMs from one server to another in less time.”

Overview of the Findings

  • vMotion Live Migration time (lower time is better)
    • Dell EMC PowerEdge MX: 1 min, 52 seconds
    • HPE Synergy: 2 min, 20 seconds
    • Cisco UCS: 3 min, 14 seconds
  • Average throughput during vMotion (more is better)
    • Dell EMC PowerEdge MX: 19,444 Mb/s
    • HPE Synergy: 15,643 Mb/s
    • Cisco UCS: 11,312 Mb/s
  • Average network latency during vMotion (less is better)
    • Dell EMC PowerEdge MX: .61 ms
    • HPE Synergy: .82 ms
    • Cisco UCS: 2.27 ms

Hardware Used in Testing

All three blade solutions used the same CPU, and memory capacity (although the HPE solution used 24 x 16GB vs 12 x 32GB with Dell EMC and Cisco).  Other minor differences include:

  • Storage controller cache: Dell EMC and HPE – 2GB, Cisco – 1GB
  • # of drives: Dell EMC – 6 x 3.2Gb PCIe SSD, HPE – 2 x 480GB SATA SSD + 6 x 800GB SAS SSD, Cisco – 2 x 3.2Gb NVMe SSD

The I/O modules used were:

  • Dell EMC: 1 x MX9116n Fabric Switch Engine and 1 x MX7116n Fabric Expander Module
  • HPE: 2 x Synergy Frame Link Module
  • Cisco: 2 x UCS2304

To read the full study, including the complete configuration and steps taken, go to

Kevin Houston - Founder, BladesMadeSimple.comKevin Houston is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of  He has 20 years of experience in the x86 server marketplace.  Since 1997 Kevin has worked at several resellers in the Atlanta area, and has a vast array of competitive x86 server knowledge and certifications as well as an in-depth understanding of VMware and Citrix virtualization.  Kevin has worked at Dell EMC since August 2011 working as a Server Sales Engineer covering the Global Enterprise market from 2011 to 2017 and currently works as a Chief Technical Server Architect supporting the Central Region.