HPE BladeSystem Review

The ability to manage more infrastructure with less resources is important for us.

Valuable Features

Bottom line dollar is a big thing for a company like us. The ability to manage more infrastructure with less resources. When you get in a blade environment, you can do so much more management administration across a bigger scale.

Improvements to My Organization

BladeSystem was a huge improvement over rack. We gained an awful lot of productivity when we went to BladeSystem, because we can set up so much infrastructure in one swipe. Then you've got networking capability and storage capability. It really made life simpler.

Stability Issues

The stability is key, because I'm talking about the server space. On the workstation space, we have dabbled with some lower cost providers in the past like Acer. Reply, which is probably a company you've never heard of, but I've been in my company a long time. We started out with IBM which was micro-channel architecture. We looked at other architectures, and we found less expensive ones. It ended up being a failed experiment after three to four years, because there's other costs involved. The stability and HP's ability or any big provider, HP's ability to bring us new product in a timely manner is very important in choosing your technology partner.

When we buy an enclosure, our company puts a seven-year life span on it. We expect to have two iterations of blade servers in that enclosure before the enclosure itself goes out to the scrap heap. That's another way that we look at it as a good, long-term investment.

Scalability Issues

We try to keep a blade server on a three-year lifecycle. When that one's ready to come out of that slot in the rack, you can pull out a G64-60, and you can put in a different architecture as long as it's a single form factor. I like that scalability real well.

Customer Service and Technical Support

I'm not real happy with their tech support. I wish I had better access. For the level of customer that we are and the amount we spend with HPE, I wish I had better access. I feel like I'm going through the same telephone portal that somebody with a home laptop with an HP logo on it, I don't feel like I'm treated as a valued customer.

Other Solutions Considered

We've certainly looked at other providers in the past. We know Dell's out there. We know IBM's out there.

We were Compaq users before HPE really got into the server space. That acquisition was 10 or so years ago. Due to our relationship with Compaq, we inherited HP as our primary provider of server hardware in the X86 space.

Other Advice

It's a good product. As I said, the support isn't the best, but it's a good product. We run them to death. We're supposed to run them for three years, but we have server hardware that's been running six years around the clock.

Also, I'd go back to my earlier case on total cost of ownership, return on investment, and things like that. If I'm talking to somebody that's from a company on our scale, I'd say absolutely go for it. HP products may not necessarily make sense for somebody in a small business environment, but for all the reasons that make sense for a company the size of mine, I'd absolutely recommend it.

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