HPE ProLiant DL Servers Review

The hardware is very toolless to work with, so when you have to do a part replacement it's very hands-on friendly.

What is most valuable?

We value the ease of management in terms of the firmware. The hardware is very toolless to work with, so when you have to do a part replacement it's very hands-on friendly. You don't have to grab any quick tools nearby to swap out modules and such.

How has it helped my organization?

The layout is quite nice as, for the most part, you don't have to tear the machine half apart to get to a piece. So, sometimes when they have on-site technicians to replace a part, we don't have to send a senior technician out there to do it. They can pretty much easily find it and get the parts swapped.

Parts fail, that's part of the IT business, but the ability to be able to get in there quickly and get parts swapped is a very big benefit.

What needs improvement?

I've already seen quite a bit here at the conference that looks good. Well, one of the areas that I really am excited about is the iLo 5 (integrated lights out technology) on the HP blade technology where they're allowing a lot of the firmware flashing to take place through the iLo, which means I don't have to go through the OS, so that beats a lot of our servers.

Run Unix in a form that we can't reboot them more than twice or maybe less in a 30-minute maintenance window. The fact that I can flash a lot of the hardware from the iLo and not have to go through the OS means a far reduced outage time maintenance window, so that really helps take the pressure off us.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have machines that go back quite a long time in terms of almost back to the mid-nineties on some of the servers. So stability-wise, yes we've had some pretty good results even in the old, old hardware from HP specifically. So yes, we've been happy with them so far.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability has been pretty good. We just buy more. We just buy a lot of everything. So scalability hasn't really been an issue for us because we have pretty sizable data centers, but yes, certainly it has been a good product overall.

How is customer service and technical support?

I have used technical support quite a few times. It has been quite useful.

HP has been very helpful in terms of getting a technician on-site, and parts available if we need them. They have always offered us a technician to actually do the repair, so that takes a lot of the workload off us.

Sometimes on some of the higher-end systems where there is a lot more money involved in the hardware, it just helps to take the pressure off to where we don't have to really put our hands on that equipment, especially when you're talking about a server that costs over $20,000. I'd rather have the HP guy work with it just for liability reasons.

How was the initial setup?

We have a different team that does all the initial setup.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

So the two biggest competitors are primarily, obviously Dell and HP. If I had to compare the two - I was at the Dell conference not too long ago just for investigation purposes - I would say that HP, in the long run, from my experience as I've worked with companies that have both, HP is just more stable, in the long term.

Like I said before, you want to avoid hardware fails, right? That's just a part of IT, but how the customer is being handled is important in terms of if we have a bad blade or we have a bad motherboard, because every now and then we get a blade that's just bad out of the box, right? The fact that the customer or the vendor, whoever that is, if they come out and do the right thing, just swap the part out with very little hassle, that's all right.

I don't have to go through a purchasing program where I have to do a repurchase or return process, and that's really helpful in terms of just doing the right thing, getting the parts swapped out, reducing our downtime, and that's our biggest paying point with the customer. Because we have customers too that scream when our stuff goes down, right?

What other advice do I have?

If they're not using HP today, I would highly suggest them to take a deep look at it, in the long run, even just as a starter. I'm not saying that Dell or others are bad, it's just, in the long run, I like the hardware layouts better in HP.

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