Dell EMC PowerEdge Rack Servers Review

Until recently I had the PE2650 and PE4400 when everything got replaced, so it's reliable hardware. However, there's a learning curve setting up the OpenManage server and agents.

What is most valuable?

These servers have been real work-horses. Dell has done a nice job at including more management tools, with OpenManage and the likes. The DRAC Enterprise is an amazing feature, especially when managing decentralized server farms.

How has it helped my organization?

One of the main factors in helping efficacy is having like-branded servers, which have compatible tools. There are are more universal management tools out there, but they are generally pretty costly. The fact that the servers have generally been quite reliable, has really decreased expenditure. I know that when I put a server in place, they will simply run. I had servers that were still from the PE2650, and PE4400 up until fairly recently when everything got replaced. There is something to be said about reliable hardware.

What needs improvement?

Unfortunately, I am now more in the space of IaaS, so I am a little bit removed from that particular area. In my experience when I was actively using Dell's servers, they were always improving their hardware, and coming up with more efficient solutions. One of the things that I had started using pretty extensively is blade servers, as they are more efficient on energy, and can provide the same computing power as racked servers, yet consume much less rack real estate.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used all series of Dell PowerEdge servers for about 12-14 years, through to the 12th generation.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

For the most part, my experience with Dell was in conjunction with VMware vSphere, and VMware View. There were some issues that I encountered with the servers, but it is a result of having multiple server generations with different processors in place, which caused some problems with HA and DRS with VMware, but these don't necessarily quality as issues with the servers themselves. From a hardware perspective, these servers have always been rock solid.

How are customer service and technical support?

I think the customer support at Dell is adequate, at least when it comes to their server support team. Some other areas are more lacking, but over all, and as it relates to servers, I have no complaints.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Most of my experience has been with Dell servers, so I can't comment much on different solutions.

How was the initial setup?

If you're familiar with deploying servers, then it's not really complex. There is a bit of a learning curve when it comes to setting up the OpenManage server and agents, but nothing unsurmountable.

What about the implementation team?

I have always deployed my own servers. If you are operating in an SMB, I would recommend that you get your hands dirty, and learn how these servers are setup, connected, etc., as it is going to be a matter of when, not if, that the server is going to have some failed component, that you're going to want to know how to deal with. Typically, if you have your Dell support, even the basic one, I believe you are able to get a technician to come help with hardware repair/replacement.

What was our ROI?

Well, since this is a discussion about hardware, one would argue that ROI isn't really much of a relevant argument in this case, as the factors for it would depend more than just the actual server purchased. This is really a CAPEX expense, and given today's technology, and the business need and requirements, I personally would much rather start moving my computing resources to the cloud, (i.e: AWS, Azure, Rackspace, etc...), and shift that CAPEX into an OPEX and free up some funds for more fluid cashflow.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I have worked very minimally with HP servers as well, which were also pretty good servers.

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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