Choosing a New Blade Server


Choosing a New Blade Server: Advice from Real Users 2017
What do users say about their Blade Servers?

What advice do enterprise tech users, such as systems engineers and storage professionals, lend to other IT pros that are either using or researching blade servers?

Real users of HPE BladeSystem, Cisco UCS B-Series, and Lenovo Blade Servers reflect on their experiences and provide tips and suggestions to their peers.

Read their insight in the following excerpts from the latest blade server reviews on IT Central Station.


HPE BladeSystem

Advice from Joey Frias, Senior Systems Administrator at a tech services company with 5,001-10,000 employees:

Question: “How has HPE BladeSystem improved your organization?”

Answer:

“The product allowed us to save physical space and energy. Initially, we only bought this product to use Integrity blades. Eventually, we used the vacant slots for HP x86 blades, which we used for vSphere. This decision allowed us to save even more physical space.”

Question: “Have you experienced any scalability issues with HPE BladeSystem?”

Answer:

“In general, I did not encounter any issues with scalability. Though we did run into incompatibility issues with a recent blade purchase that was incompatible with our existing fiber channel ports.”

Advice from Kamel Halabi, Senior Presales Engineer at a tech services company with 51-200 employees:

Question: “What are some of HPE BladeSystem’s valuable features?”

Answer:

“Power and Cooling: It consolidates tremendous power capacity that adapts and optimizes itself, to the most efficient level for any solution. It includes more cooling capacity as well as monitoring and control, that adapt regardless of the performance and density that are thrown at it.”

Question: “What can you advise regarding HPE BladeSystem’s cost and licensing?

Answer:

“The prices for the HPE Virtual Connect Modules are expensive compared to other I/O Modules available. It's better to size the solution accurately and identify which I/O Module is needed for your environment (for example, the HPE FlexFabric or HPE Flex-10).”


Cisco UCS B-Series

Advice from Bob Whitcombe, Technical Sales Architect at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees:

Question: “What do you advise potential or existing users of Cisco UCS B-Series?”

Answer:

“At the end of the day, the UCS product requires planning before just jumping in, due to its ability to scale. As a user, you need to evaluate naming conventions, IP addressing models and so forth – think about the entire enterprise as opposed to a single server or rack of servers.

Use very good hardware and innovative network elements, such as the VIC 10Gb cards that allow for traffic sequestration and partitioning across multiple virtual channels in a single link and of course, UCS Manager. Cisco took a network-vs-compute-centric perspective as they embarked on their server designs and, with a clean sheet of paper, evolved a centralized manager for deployment and systems management that enables huge scales in management productivity.”

Advice from a Technical Solutions Architect at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees:

Question: Where do you see room for improvement in Cisco UCS B-Series?

Answer:

Cisco is behind as far as SSD qualifications and options allowed, relative to other vendors, but that is in keeping with their philosophy of a stateless working environment. If I add a unique storage attribute to my blades, I encumber it with a state that requires manual intervention to move around.”

Advice from Brad Fluit, Data Center Systems Engineer at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees:

Question: “How has Cisco UCS B-Series improved your organization?”

Answer:

“I have deployed 2-3 dozen UCS systems and managed many more for customers. Customers always love the unified management, speed of setup, and the improved performance after migration of workloads to UCS servers.”

Question: “What do you advise potential or existing users of Cisco UCS B-Series?”

Answer:

“Cisco UCS is a fantastic product that is widely deployed with excellent support. Additionally, Cisco has developed CVD’s (Cisco Validated Designs) that assist partners and customers to properly deploy Cisco UCS with most major storage vendors. CVD’s are highly detailed deployment guides which are comprehensively tested by Cisco to ensure quick, highly reliable and predictable deployments.”


Lenovo Blade Servers

Advice from Muhammad Sajid, Sr. System Administrator at a Consumer Goods with 501-1,000 employees:

Question: “What can you advise potential or existing Lenovo Blade Servers users when it comes to initial setup, cost, and licensing?”

Answer:

Initial hardware setup is bit difficult regarding interconnectivity and the firmware upgrade on the blade chassis and servers. I recommend that it should be done by the IBM tech team...

For servers, proper sizing should be done in terms of processing, memory, storage, etc., along with the IBM team. Sometimes the cost of product increases if it is oversized.”

Advice from Peter Muchiri, System Engineer at a tech services company with 51-200 employees:

Question: “How have Lenovo Blade Servers improved your organization?”

Answer:

The servers have enabled us to run critical applications, backup of critical data, and storage systems on the same products without downtime issues that could otherwise be caused by hardware/software issues.”

Advice from Amirreza Yaseri, Design and Development Engineer at a comms service provider with 501-1,000 employees:

Question: “Where do you see room for improvement in Lenovo Blade Servers?”

Answer:

The storage part of this product needs to be improved. If storage is also attached to this bundle, it would be a good solution for the databases.”

Read more blade server reviews, written by real users at IT Central Station.

Related Categories: Blade Servers

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