What is most valuable?
We've got a whole lot of DL380's which are the standard 2U server. We've been switching more over to the blades using the BL460's. But, the ProLiant line all along just works, they're tanks. About the only thing we've ever had to fix is drives that go bad after a while, but usually that mostly happened after a heat incident. They just run. We've got some that have been out of warranty for four - five years and they're still running. G4s we go back to and love we have no reason to change.
How has it helped my organization?
For certain applications that we have to have for external connectivity it runs great. Our main security system has one of these little USB dongles that starts off the back end, I could make it on the blade, but then it'd block up one blade, so having a DL380 is great for us. It does everything we ever need.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
I think we started buying HP servers ten years ago, and we've got a couple that may have been from that time that are still working. They're running great. Now we're not running it really heavy, but it's solid. I still like the 3.5 inch drives better than the 2.5 inch drives. They seem to last longer. Other than that, we've been very stable, very solid. You don't have to worry about, "Hey, is my server down today?"
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
ProLiant's a little tough. We realized that the other day, that we were running out of space on our C: drive. It's like, I can't just add to a physical drive. We ended up having to move that thing, making it a physical to virtual conversion. As far as other parts, if we need more storage on it, you can always add RAM. For the most part with the ProLiants, we generally buy it for a certain purpose and that's what it does so we don't have to do as much. On the SANs, we can always add an extra node, they'll allow you to connect that way. If we need to get larger, we can.
How are customer service and technical support?
Most of them, we don't really have any issues there, but if you lose a drive and it's still on warranty, we get one. It works.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
We were using Dell. Dell was the state recommended choice. Everybody said, "Oh, you got to buy Dell because we've got a relationship with them." They got my boss really mad over some stupid stuff. It was like two-hundred dollar set of rails, and so we said, "Okay, let's try HP's." We loved the first one, and we've been buying them, and Dell has been trying to get back in the door ever since and we just tell them to go away. It's like, "No, I'm not fixing what isn't broken. This works great, so we don't care what you've got."
How was the initial setup?
We've been doing the ProLiants forever. It's getting a little tougher now. It used to be, you had everything on a CD or DVD, you pop that in, you run. Or you had the SmartStart disk. Now, you got their onboard administrator. They got the intelligent deployment guide or whatever the heck it's called. Sometimes it's a little less intuitive. Sometimes it's where technology can bite you, and it might be helpful to have a guy go on and say "Do this." Otherwise you pull it out of the box and go, "Okay, now what do I do?" We work through it, but some of my techs have had a little bit of trouble. I gave them a new server and said,"Deploy it.", and they're like "Well, how do I put an OS on it?" It took us a little while to figure that out. I know that somebody's thinking, "Hey, this is really great. It's all here, it's all inside." Great, some of us need a little more direction sometimes.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
I think we looked around, but really it was Dell servers or HPs were about all that we had considered. Since we weren't going to buy Dell anymore, we said, "Well, we want to go with HP." We were never going to be one of those, "I'm going to go buy parts and make something." And, I know some guys do that and it's great, but we like to have at least the ability to go call somebody to get somebody to come and help. That's been probably chief on why we did that.
What other advice do I have?
We've been extremely happy all along. I don't see a reason to go anywhere else. I don't see a reason to even try different things. For us right now getting adventurous is we bought a DL360 instead of a 380 and it's like, wow, that's a little small.