What is most valuable?
We now have consolidated solution that can be managed from a single point. Converged infrastructure in one box.
There are a couple of features that are valuable. The first is the On-Board Administrator (OA), which offers the best consolidated solution where you can manage/monitor the blade systems, modules, and the chassis from a single point and is redundant when installing two OA modules. The other one is being a converged infrastructure in one box when having a Virtual Connect (VC) modules installed whether it is Ethernet or fibre offering more redundancy, better hardware utilization and more organization.
How has it helped my organization?
The solution was used for the deployment of a High Availability, Hyper-V cluster of 10 Nodes, it dramatically improved the organization services in terms of performance "having things done faster", availability "services are online 99.99% of the time" ,and scalability "add new and provide more services". Currently the system is able to handle all our organizational requirements, from running Oracle CRM system, a BI system, an ERP system, web-services , and a development/staging platform. The cross functionality and integration between the plat forms are more efficient, fast and almost no down time due to the internal communications backbone in the chassis.
What needs improvement?
The HP BladeSystem has been proven to be the best in the market in terms of blade systems, moving with every generation and you can see that when firmware updates are released. Any lags/issues are always resolved and more features are added and enhanced.
The only missing piece that would be great to add to this converged solution is an integrated KVM system that comes inside the blade enclosure, that will give flexible and easy access to the different nodes in less time.
On the deployment aspect and especially when installing any OS through the On-board Administrator USB port, the installation is slow. I hope they can upgrade the port to USB 3.0 for faster access.
For how long have I used the solution?
I've used it for four years.
What was my experience with deployment of the solution?
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
How are customer service and technical support?
HP Technical Support is very good whenever a case is opened. The spare parts, when dispatched are received with no hassle and on time.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
We were using HP DL 380 G4/5/6 then we decided to moved towards blade systems because it needs less space, while providing more. Also, it's easier to manage, as it's consolidated solution in one box.
How was the initial setup?
The initial setup of a blade system is very straightforward. In less than five minutes from the time you power up the system, you will have it ready to be managed and the OS deployed.
What about the implementation team?
We did an in-house implementation, and my advice is to be very familiar with the HP BladeSystem, and what it can offer as a converged infrastructure solution in order to have a successful implementation to meet your ends need.
What was our ROI?
The ROI is around 25%-30% and it will be higher considering the cost on the long term.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
It would be very smart to know how your are sizing your solution, and what you need to reduce the cost in terms of licensing. In some deployments, it can be done without the need for extra licenses. And as well in terms of the blade units, no need to over size and pay more initially since they can be easily swapped, scaled, or upgraded in the future.
What other advice do I have?
Go for it you will not regret it, and you will be moving to a better consolidated and converged infrastructure that is easy to manage and highly scalable.
For HP Blades, there are many products to choose from, so it is important to tailor your solution to fit your needs and goal in order to achieve an easy implementation and result.