Dell PowerEdge M Review

It offers high density and low cost. It is easy to manage.

What is most valuable?

  • Density
  • Cost
  • Feature set
  • Manageability

How has it helped my organization?

The low cost and high density of the solution has allowed us to place more compute assets per data center rack and increase our virtual machine count. Our customers rent VMs and compute space from us via a traditional IaaS model. The more VMs and the more compute per rack, the better.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see a broader range of chassis networking options. Cisco was an option at one time and then not. I am not sure if they are again.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used it for 3+ years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have not encountered any stability issues. Our only issues with the solution have revolved around firmware interoperability between networking firmware and storage array firmware.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have not encountered any scalability issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is 10/10.

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

We were using 1U rack mount servers. We switched for density reasons at the time. But now, today, 1U servers are able to accommodate larger amounts of memory and 22-core processors. Additional data center deployments have moved back to 1U designs.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup was straightforward. The chassis is easy to use and manage. Easy-to-use interfaces allowed for rapid deployment.

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

Blade chassis can be found on the used market super cheap. If a company already has the M1000e chassis and support under contract, I would advise buying additional chassis on the refurb and second-hand market. If that is not an option, Dell pricing starts high and ends up low after negotiation. They seem to have a large amount of room to move on the initial quoted pricing.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at options from Cisco. Pricing was too high for 1/2 the density.

What other advice do I have?

It’s a solid solution. I recommend it. But in today’s always-on environments and virtual deployments in redundant designs, used hardware is not a bad option. We have quotes on the table for fully populated chassis with 16 blade servers and 4 MXL switches for around $40,000. Compared to about $9k for a single new blade. Given that today’s blades are higher density with newer processors, 1-2 year-old equipment is still a valid solution for our needs.

Which version of this solution are you currently using?

**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: My company is a Dell Partner and it resells hardware to its customer base.
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