The features of this product that I value most are:
A datacenter in 8U; you can accommodate 14 servers in a BladeCenter H chassis.
Total redundancy in all its components: power, cooling, communications, fiber, administration and blades
Stacking features, you can configure several BladeCenters to have redundancy
Excellent support in case of any failure (and I am not saying this because I worked for IBM)
One point of management
The ability to combine Intel, AMD, and POWER blades
Use of Solution
I have been using, installing, and implementing this solution for eight years.
I had no problems installing the equipment.
So far, I have had no stability problems.
If we talk about scalability, it is quite expensive , especially when you need to buy more blades. It's even more expensive if you configure them for high performance parts.
Customer Service and Technical Support
Technical support is excellent.
I had some experience with its direct competitor, the HP Blade line. In my opinion, the HP product has a higher rate of failure than IBM Blades.
Initial setup was not complex at all. The wizard integrated in the administration module (AMM) made things fast and easy.
I implemented the chassis by myself.
Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing
My recommendation is to always have your maintenance contract up to date. This product has been on the market for more than 10 years; it is the obvious thing to do.
Other Solutions Considered
I try to implement the options of both Cisco and HP, I was convinced the superiority of the IBM proposal
Despite the fact that we are living in the cloud era, in my opinion, we still need hardware in our own datacenters. I believe that the hybrid cloud is the future, and we are going to keep buying hardware adequate for this solution, even more so in third-world countries, where computing power needs are not as big.
In my opinion, modular hardware technology is disappearing. There is a tendency to buy standalone servers that are much cheaper and offer similar or better performance.
IBM replaced the BladeCenter line with the Flex Chassis. However, that Flex system is way more expensive than the BladeCenter, and it doesn’t sell as well as Blades.
My recommendation is, if you have the money and you have significant experience with modular servers, go for the IBM Flex System Chassis.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.