HPE BladeSystem Review

It delivers a modular infrastructure for the data center.

What is most valuable?

Its ease of management, consolidation, connectivity, power, and cooling are the most valuable features.

  • Ease of Management: It provides a simple way to access and manage the whole blade infrastructure through the onboard administrator GUI, where you can deploy the blades and handle the initial configuration (IPs, firmware for ROM, iLO management).

  • Consolidation: It puts all the elements of the modern data center such as power, cooling, connectivity, redundancy, security, compute, and storage into a modular, right-sized and self-optimizing unit with agile intelligence. It includes redundancy for every component and connection inside it, for no single point of failure.

  • Connectivity: The simplicity and flexibility in managing the SAN/LAN configuration from a single management interface (HPE Virtual Connect).

  • Power and Cooling: It consolidates tremendous power capacity that adapts and optimizes itself, to the most efficient level for any solution. It includes more cooling capacity as well as monitoring and control, that adapt regardless of the performance and density that are thrown at it.

How has it helped my organization?

The HPE BladeSystem delivers a modular infrastructure for the data center. The main critical applications and virtualization farm were running on the BladeSystem with great performance and reliability.

What needs improvement?

It provides a higher connectivity throughput with the new releases.

There is better integration with the third-party solutions and products.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used these solutions for around three to four years. We use the following HPE products:

  • HPE c7000 Blade Enclosure
  • HPE BL460c Gen8 Server Blade
  • HPE Virtual Connect of the following:
    • HPE VC Flex-10 Ethernet Module
    • HPE VC FlexFabric 10Gb/24-port Module
    • HPE VC 8Gb 24-port Fibre Channel Module

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There were no stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There were no scalability issues.

How is customer service and technical support?

I would give the technical support a 8/10 rating, although, most of the critical cases are handled by the specialized technical experts.

Which solutions did we use previously?

Initially, we were using the Cisco UCS Blade Server Enclosures. We switched to this product due to the integration with the Cisco Fabric Interconnects and to experience a new technology.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup for the HPE BladeSystem Enclosure is straightforward and you don't need to be an expert in data center infrastructure.

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

The prices for the HPE Virtual Connect Modules are expensive compared to other I/O Modules available. It's better to size the solution accurately and identify which I/O Module is needed for your environment (for example, the HPE FlexFabric or HPE Flex-10).

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated other solutions such as Oracle's Sun Blade and Dell's PowerEdge blades.

What other advice do I have?

The implementation and deployment are easy and straightforward for engineers of basic IT knowledge. However, you need extra information and awareness, when configuring the HPE Virtual Connect as they require networking background (such as VLAN configuration and SAN connectivity).

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