BlueCat’s Second Generation Hardware by the Numbers

BlueCat formally launched the company’s new line of hardware this week.

BlueCat formally launched the company’s new line of hardware this week. It’s not easy to put out a family of servers that can make everyone happy, and can work in as many situations as your customers can dream up. That said, we think we have made a massive step forward to both fit the different sizes of the companies we support, and the methods they choose to deploy our hardware – in central and remote locations. Beyond improving deployment options, the new servers have a whole lot to offer:


The really compelling story is what has happened with gains in performance over the last generation. The across-the-board improvements in DNS Queries per Second average more than a 90%. Our top-end server is now capable of hitting a massive 200,000 QPS. DHCP performance was also increased an average of 71% to ensure that our customers can provision and support thousands of devices with ease. Those are big increases and will make a huge difference in high turnover environments like wireless networks and private clouds.

Huge Value Gains

Of course any performance gains need to be translated into costs metrics. It would have been easy for BlueCat to push the price of our boxes up by the same percentage as the performance, but that would have alienated some smaller customers who need big-box scalability with increases in WiFi and VM usage. Instead, we aimed to ensure that our appliances and VMs are the most cost-effective in the market. We used a cost-per-query (DNS) metric to establish that the average cross-class improvement in price/performance over our first generation servers is over 30%. In the marketplace we believe that BlueCat’s cost-per-query now runs at around 33 – 50% of the cost of equivalent systems from our competition. This allows organizations to spend the same on a BlueCat appliance that they might on a competitive appliance, but know that it will support their growth for many years to come.

Redundancy & Manageability to the Fore

Customers typically require a mix of server models to carry DNS and DHCP requirements. However, even if the workloads thrown at them are different, the requirements for hardware redundancy and remote manageability are the same. For BlueCat’s new appliances we have extended our hardware redundancy and lights-out management to our lower tier of appliances. BlueCat even provides customers a unique XMB2 appliance with data center performance but that is in a small form factor allowing two units to be rack mounted in a 1U rack, side-by-side. This gives customers with limited rack space a full hardware redundant solution (dual PSU, drives, backplane, etc…) at an unheard of price.

Same Great Support

One thing we didn’t want to change about our new generation of appliances was how we support them. BlueCat still offers 4-hour onsite hardware repair in hundreds of centers worldwide. This speeds recovery time and avoids unnecessary asset management updates. The five year hardware support program is unchanged from the past generation and gives this generation of appliances a 7-9 year lifespan – this is still the best coverage in the market. If you happen to have a problem, you are in good hands.

Easy Transition for Our Customers

At BlueCat we never stop thinking about our loyal customers who have invested in us and still depend on us for their critical systems. Customers running our previous hardware have the confidence that we will support their hardware through its full lifecycle, regardless of when it was purchased. This is the same commitment we gave and lived up to with previous generations which is one of the many reasons we’re favored by large organizations.

We have also made it easy to manage cross-generational environments (which are always the norm in customer environments for several years from the announcement of a new hardware generation) because BlueCat software will continue to be supported on those older appliances for a full five years.

We’re excited to be able to bring the market an appliance generation built to handle today’s biggest challenges and backed by a support policy that has been proven in the most demanding organizations. We feel that the world is only getting more complex and want to help you simplify it.

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