What is most valuable?
I think the most valuable feature for us is probably the ability to expand and change, such as adding servers. If anything goes down, they can be changed out quite easily, which to me is a very, very good thing. It's easy to install, maintain, and expand.
How has it helped my organization?
We work with the NHS and we had a big system disaster one time when a system threatened to go down. With the BladeSystem, we were able to move everything quickly from one blade to another. It was fantastic and we averted a crisis.
What needs improvement?
I'm relatively new to my role, so I've seen the BladeSystem up to a point. I've not seen anything in it that we don't already have.
However, the installation probably could have gone even quicker except that we realized we didn't have enough RAM with just 512Mb. In this regard, the installation and setup wasn't as straightforward as it could have been because of the database appliance involved.
What was my experience with deployment of the solution?
Deployment has been no problem.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
Stability has been very good, probably 98% uptime, I think.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
We have about 70 users per site and we have 700 sites. It's scaled nicely for us.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
I don't have an awful lot to compare it to. I've worked with some other systems such as the Oracle DB appliance in another role elsewhere.
How was the initial setup?
The initial setup took about an hour-and-a-half from start to finish, including taking it out of the box. But we did an awful lot of pre-implementation work that wasn't necessarily perfect, though at the end, we had a usable system in under two hours.
What other advice do I have?
Make sure your network is set up correctly -- DNS, all the manual steps, etc. We had to rebuild a system because the DNS was wrong. Check all your cabling and other aspects of your installation process.