HPE BladeSystem Review

In terms of application portability, we were able to migrate from a legacy Superdome infrastructure.

What is most valuable?

We migrated our entire legacy landscape from old HP Superdome infrastructure to the new x86 infrastructure on blades. In terms of application portability, it was a seamless project from my side.

How has it helped my organization?

The main benefit has been in terms of the newer platform having much more computer power. You can see your workloads completing much quicker. Users with feedback in terms of workload performance have reported that a job that typically took 3 or 4 hours to run took a few minutes.

What needs improvement?

We're busy with phase 2 of the project. We classify the legacy landscape into simple, medium and complex applications. We've done the simple and medium. We're now going to tackle the complex and will make use of HPE professional services to see how we can either modernize the application code, for which we don't have the skill set anymore, or some subset of the applications.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

In terms of platform stability, the legacy infrastructure was out of warranty and out of support. The new platform was much more stable and reliable.

How is customer service and technical support?

We have not used technical support often. HPE worked closely with us on the project. It was a joint initiative. We never had any issues and customers didn't even know they were migrated.

Which solutions did we use previously?

We're a telecom company. We've standardized around HPE, IBM, Oracle Solaris Sun boxes and now we've got VCE Vblocks. In terms of percentage, HPE's still about 60% of our landscape.

We moved to an x86 infrastructure and we could probably move other workloads from IBM-related infrastructure across to an HPE infrastructure. We could standardize further, but from an x86 perspective, it becomes more or less agnostic regarding which vendor infrastructure is the underlying infrastructure; as long as the operating system and virtualization can take place on top.

How was the initial setup?

It did take us quite some time to make the business case and to get the funding, but once we got all of that, the project went smoothly. We never had any issues.

For the technical part of the setup, we brought in professional services from HPE and they did the initial configuration and the racking and stacking of the systems.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We were looking at VCE Vblock, HPE, Oracle and IBM. We went with HPE because the HPE platform is about 60%, IBM is about 10%, and Oracle is about 30%.

What other advice do I have?

We're based in South Africa and we're pretty much dependent on the OEM to help us and advise us. HPE is able to advise us, especially on the architectural designs they can actually vet the architectural designs and give input that has proven to be valuable to us.

We always try to check supportability of the platform post-project implementation. Trust me, before the project implementation, before they kick up, all the vendors will lobby. Obviously, when you’ve gone live and you start having problems after the fact, the vendors stay far away. So you need to make sure that in-country support is there and the skills are there. For example, we had an experience with Oracle where they didn't even have the skill sets at the right support levels.

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