HPE ProLiant DL Servers Review

Reliable servers which provide good scale and performance for our environment.

What is most valuable?

We value the reliability of these servers.

How has it helped my organization?

These servers have provided good scale and performance for our environment.

What needs improvement?

  • Remote management – the iLO 3 (and 4) are still lagging behind DELL in terms of features and value for money and they still do not have a HTML5 remote console.
  • Firmware reporting is inconsistent – iLO provides no way of loading new firmware for devices other than the iLO itself. iLO has a very basic disk and RAID reporting with no configuration options at all.
  • Out of our many HPE Proliant servers we have had very few failures outside of the common disk failures. We’ve had a few motherboards die but only a very low percentage.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have used this solution for over three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have not encountered any stability issues. These servers have been pretty stable over the years with only one or two minor firmware issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

One issue is the way HPE do their drive cage expansion. With two 8-bay cages you need to use an SAS expander which adds cost and requires a PCI-e slot. Only the factory-ordered 25-bay model has this built-in. Other vendors such as DELL typically have the SAS expander built into the backplane which is better in my opinion.

How is customer service and technical support?

Technical support is good. Most support tickets are handled quickly and replacement parts are generally quick to arrive. Sometimes dealing with language difficulties in their helpdesk can be problematic and often there is downtime with “please send me your logs” back and forth. Hopefully this will improve with the new iLO remote support functionality.

Which solutions did we use previously?

We have used previous HPE/HP generations since G1 as far as I can remember. We typically switch at the time of an asset refresh.

How was the initial setup?

Setup was mostly straightforward, although as I mentioned, the iLO could do with providing more control, e.g. RAID/disk configuration like DELL have. Their intelligent provisioning does help a lot, particularly on their Gen9 range.

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

The worst part about HPE hardware is their pricing and licensing model. Prices are typically 20% higher than other vendors such as DELL and many of their advanced features are licensed separately, such as iLO advanced and Oneview, adding further cost.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated some other options. While we were purchasing a lot of HPE hardware we did consider other vendors but it isn’t always easy when you have invested in HPE tools to manage your server hardware. We have considered DELL and Lenovo.

What other advice do I have?

Get multiple quotes, shop around. Keep your management/monitoring tools as vendor agnostic as possible to allow you to be more flexible in your hardware vendors.

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