Dell EMC PowerEdge Rack Servers Review

Enables provisioning and managing of RAID virtual disks. You can load new firmware and build templates to push to multiple hosts.

What is most valuable?

  • OpenManage Essentials: Loading new firmware is easy, either via OpenManage Essentials, OMIVV, or the iDRAC. It’s just so easy.
  • OpenManage Essentials facilitates the build of a desired template (including disk configuration) and pushing this out to multiple hosts at once. This greatly speeds up our deployment times.
  • iDRAC 8: Being able to provision and manage RAID virtual disks from the iDRAC is a huge bonus. You don’t have to boot the machine via the console to do this.
  • The firmware rollback is great. The iDRAC can store previous versions to make this very quick.

How has it helped my organization?

  • iDRAC 8 allows you to configure so much of the server without having to use a console. For example, RAID configuration, disk health, and SSD wear.
  • It also displays a great amount of environmental history, including temps and power usage, with up to a year of history stored in the iDRAC.
  • The vFlash capability is handy, allowing multiple SD partitions to be created and mounted. Being able to load all kinds of firmware via iDRAC is great, e.g., disk, controller, BIOS.
  • OpenManage Essentials is better than OneView in my opinion. While it lacks the visual finesse of OneView, it has far more functionality.

What needs improvement?

OpenManage Essentials could do with a visual “birthday” as it still requires the Silverlight plugin.

OpenManage for vCenter integration is powerful, but also a little buggy. Hardware-wise, they are great. I much prefer the iDRAC architecture over HPE iLO.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have used the solution for about nine months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have not encountered any stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have not encountered any scalability issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

So far, the technical support has been very good. The self-service portal for requesting replacement parts is extremely easy to use and it is fast.

For technical support tickets, the experience isn’t quite as good. There were some delays in communication.

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

We used HPE ProLiant. We switched due to significant cost savings in capex as well as operational improvements.

For example, having OpenManage Essentials is better than OneView, at least for rack servers.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was extremely simple.

iDRAC is easier to configure, with the front LCD panel, on the non-XD models, being very handy.

The NFC option for the front bezel combined with the mobile app is great for on-site troubleshooting.

For a small, extra cost, you can get OpenManage Essentials with configuration management. This allows you to deploy pre-configured hardware templates making mass deployment easy.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

DELL is typically much cheaper that HPE, for example. Their licensing is far more transparent and simple.

iDRAC licensing is significantly cheaper. Extended support costs are also lower.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated HPE ProLiant.

What other advice do I have?

It is a great product. Just be mindful of some of the current bugs in OpenManage and OpenManage Integration for vCenter. Other than these, we’ve had a great experience.

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