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HPE BladeSystem OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

HPE BladeSystem is the #2 ranked solution in our list of top Blade Servers. It is most often compared to HPE Synergy: HPE BladeSystem vs HPE Synergy

What is HPE BladeSystem?
HP ProLiant BladeSystem share power, cooling, network, and storage infrastructure via the blade enclosure. Since equipment is not needed for each server, you get a dramatic reduction in power distribution units, power cables, LAN and SAN switches, connectors, adapters, and cables. And you can add the newest-generation technologies by simply changing individual components.

HPE BladeSystem is also known as HP ProLiant BL Series Servers, HP ProLiant BladeSystem, HP BladeSystem.

HPE BladeSystem Buyer's Guide

Download the HPE BladeSystem Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: October 2021

HPE BladeSystem Customers
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Archived HPE BladeSystem Reviews (more than two years old)

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Orhangazi Yıldırım
System Architect at KT Bank
Real User
Convenient for virtualization and has the ideal server density

Pros and Cons

  • "With just one cable, for redundancy let's say two, you can feed sixteen servers in a single c7000 chassis."
  • "The only side that must be improved is the active-passive interconnect module architecture."

What is our primary use case?

The HPE BladeSystem c7000 is very convenient for virtualization. We have virtualized about forty Blade servers. It is easy to manage and has ideal server density.

How has it helped my organization?

HPE Blade system has the ideal server density that saves your data center space and reduces cable traffic in cabinets.

What is most valuable?

With just one cable, for redundancy it's around two, you can feed sixteen servers in a single c7000 chassis.

What needs improvement?

The only side that must be improved is the active-passive interconnect module architecture. This blocks interconnects so that they can be upgraded simultaneously.

For how long have I used the solution?

Seven years.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is very flexible. You are not limited to any spec like server type, network, or fiber module differences.

How are customer service and technical support?

HPE's customer service is almost perfect, they are number one, at least in this class.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is not so complex, but regardless I strongly advise you to get vendor support.

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

For anybody planning to use the c7000 for virtualization, I strongly advise you to use half-height servers. This gives the advantage of using sixteen Blades in a single chassis.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
EN
Infrastructure Architecture & Planning Manager at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
The virtual connect and network management port is a valuable feature. HPE BladeSystems is an old technology that cannot fit all of the dynamic organizational needs of our company.

Pros and Cons

  • "The virtual connect and network management port is a valuable feature."
  • "HPE BladeSystems is an old technology that cannot fit all of the dynamic organizational needs of our company."

What is our primary use case?

The primary use case of the solution is specifically for application virtualization.

How has it helped my organization?

Before this, we were using rack mount servers. We utilized almost 30% of capacity on those servers. But, with HPE BladeSystem, because of it's small capacity, in comparison to rack mounted servers, it gave us the flexibility to utilize all the hardware that we have.

What is most valuable?

The virtual connect and network management port is a valuable feature. When assigning the bandwidth to servers and segregation between data storage and data connections, it is valuable. An additional benefit is the virtualization environment.

What needs improvement?

HPE has a new solution it's called Synergy. I believe it's the new generation of solutions. It has capability of sharing the storage. It has open blade servers within the same enclosure.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is really reliable and stable. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is scalable and suitable for our organization. We have not reached the maximum that HPE Bladesystem can reach.

How is customer service and technical support?

The tech support is very good, but we usually use our own staff, and revert back to HPE if we are in need of extra support.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

What other advice do I have?

HPE BladeSystems is an old technology that cannot fit all of the dynamic organizational needs of our company.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Learn what your peers think about HPE BladeSystem. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: October 2021.
543,424 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Thierry Gaudin
IT Governance at Globecast
Real User
Top 5
Gives us good server density and a harmonized hardware solution

Pros and Cons

  • "The benefit is the density and the capability for global harmonization on the hardware, because all the hardware chassis are the same. We can also purchase the same network cards too, chassis by chassis, so it gives us a global solution."
  • "The scalability is limited because you only have a 16-server by chassis."

What is our primary use case?

My company is working in media and we offer a solution for TV channels. We use HPE for classic IT usage but also for broadcast systems, to transport and deliver the signals to the TV channel. We use a BladeSystem for TV channel transcoding.

How has it helped my organization?

The benefit is the density and the capability for global harmonization on the hardware, because all the hardware chassis are the same. We can also purchase the same network cards too, chassis by chassis, so it gives us a global solution.

What is most valuable?

The density. It's good to have a sixteen-server chassis.

What needs improvement?

I'm not thinking about what kind of new services we could have in the HPE C7000 because I have made the decision to go to HPE Synergy or Dynamic.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is good. We have used it for more than ten years now, and it has been a very good product.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is limited because you only have a 16-server by chassis, so you have to add more chassis, and you can't have a domain fabric like HPE Synergy, for example. You would need to have a taskforce behind the chassis to make the network possible, between the chassis, rather than a solution which is fully integrated via a domain fabric network solution.

Behind a domain fabric, you can connect something like 20 chassis. With this technology, we will have a real scale-out possibility, rather than the C7000 chassis which does not scale out.

How is customer service and technical support?

We have contract support with HPE.

How was the initial setup?

It was not complex for us. We built our server installation.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend HPE BladeSystem.

I'm satisfied with HPE BladeSystem at the moment but we can imagine consuming Blade servers, metal-as-a-service. We have an entire environment refresh coming up at the moment. We need to make provisions for metal-as-a-service because we have a huge machine. We cannot re-authorize this machine, and we need to make the right provisioning for metal-as-a-service.

We're beginning to look at the Cisco UCS technology, with a domain fabric system. But at the moment we don't have an agreement with Cisco. My company is part of the Orange main group and we have an Orange agreement with HPE and Dell EMC. So we are looking at the HPE Synergy and the Dynamic systems.

Even if we are looking for HPE Synergy and Dynamic in the future, we're also looking for a hyperconverged solution like Nutanix or HPE Simplivity.

So in the future, we will have both technologies, hyperconverged and the classic chassis Blade technology. We have two different needs. We have needs for virtualization, so hyperconverged is enough at first, and Nutanix or HPE Synergy is okay. On the other hand, we need to continue to consume metal-as-a-service, so HPE Synergy or Dynamic as a work product. HPE C7000 is limited in terms of having a real metal-as-a-service. From my point of view, the best approach for metal-as-a-service is HPE Synergy or Dynamic.

The most criteria when selecting a vendor are reliability, and their capabilities for the future: the right research and development for the product to be able to come out with new features in the future. They should also have strong support, of course, and have the right functionality to be integrated into modern information systems.

I rate HPE BladeSystem at eight out of ten. It has strong reliability and, for a mid-range company, it's a very good product.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
IT Infrastructure division manager at LMT
Real User
Can serve different needs from virtualized web servers to dedicated databases
We have had several HPE c7000 BladeSystem chassis for more than five years. They have served different needs from virtualized web servers to dedicated databases and application servers.  They run well. However, there have been some hardware failures with them. These failures have since been solved by HPE support partners.

We have had several HPE c7000 BladeSystem chassis for more than five years. They have served different needs from virtualized web servers to dedicated databases and application servers. 

They run well. However, there have been some hardware failures with them. These failures have since been solved by HPE support partners.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
MS
VMware Software Engineer at a tech services company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Relatively easy to manage; the performance is both good and reliable

Pros and Cons

  • "They are reliable, and it's relatively easy to manage them. They also regularly provide patching for the servers."
  • "The problem is that when want to expand with a new chassis, you have to do everything manually. It's not automatic."

What is our primary use case?

We use these chassis with Gen8 and Gen9 servers, Blade servers for virtualization, VMware servers.

What is most valuable?

They are reliable, and it's relatively easy to manage them. They also regularly provide patching for the servers. It's quite a good product.

What needs improvement?

HPE has told us that the c7000 will no longer be part of its portfolio, so I don't think so they will provide any new features. But if I had to say something it would be some features from the Synergy. They could go to a converged system with the c7000, so everything would be automatic in the system.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's reliable. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The problem is that when want to expand with a new chassis, you have to do everything manually. It's not automatic.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have good support from HPE.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I don't know what the previous solution was, but in our company every four or five years we have a renewal process for the older systems. That was probably the reason for the switch.

For me, when selecting a vendor, the most important criteria are that the system must be reliable, and the support as well. The support is very important because we have a lot of business-critical servers and if something goes wrong with the hardware we need the support.

What other advice do I have?

If you don't want to go to the new technologies, like hyperconverged systems or converged systems, if you want to use only the old-school technologies, I can recommend this solution.

I rate it at eight out of 10. It's a good product, it's reliable, the performance is good. You can expand with the new servers as well. It has been a leading product in the market until now.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Nugroho Cahyo Riadmojo
IT Network And Infrastructure Engineer at a manufacturing company with 201-500 employees
Real User
Top 20
Easy to Manage via Onboard Administrator, the iLO modular network, and the SAN Switches

Pros and Cons

  • "I really appreciate the integrated Onboard Administrator, the iLO (Integrated Lights-Out) modular network, and the SAN Switches."
  • "This product needs a wider range of firmware compatibility matrix from the oldest to the newest blade server."

What is our primary use case?

I Use this solution for my main production server, we use this for VM-hosts, and connected to HP MSA Storage as VM Data-stores via iSCSI targeting.

How has it helped my organization?

This product saved the data center space (only use 10 U Spaces for max 16 servers) and has better performance for the VMware, vCenter, and vMotion.

What is most valuable?

I really appreciate the integrated Onboard Administrator, the iLO (Integrated Lights-Out) modular network, and the SAN Switches.

What needs improvement?

This product needs a wider range of firmware compatibility matrix from the oldest to the newest blade server. Because the blade chassis (C7000) has a 16 blade servers bay (slot), it will be better if we can mix the first generation (G1 Blade server) with the latest Gen (G9 Blade server). E.g.: G1 only can be mixed in same chassis with G8 (max), if we have a new G9 blade server, we need to eliminate the old blade server, or if you don’t want to get rid of the old server you should buy another chassis. The new chassis is so expensive.

So, it will be easier for scalability purposes, and a greater value for
a company with a limited budget, if HPE Blade System has a wider compatibility matrix range.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

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 scalability issues. If we want to upgrade, the oldest version of the blade server cannot be mixed with the newest one. This is a problem of the firmware compatibility matrix of the on-board administrator.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

The Customer service is great!!! As long you're covered by the warranty or maintenance aggreement. the response time is under 1 hour after you raise a ticket.

Technical Support:

It have great technical support with quick response, if you have maintenance contract with HPE (HP Enterprise)

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We used Rackmount, but we switched to this solution because it is integrated and saves space.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward. Just follow the steps in the manual and you’re ready to go.

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

It's quite expensive for the initial purchase. The chassis itself, with no blade server inside, so expensive. The C7000 model costs around $100,000.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

If your company scale is small to mid-enterprise, you could consider the QNAP TDS Series. This can act both as a physical host and hypervisor. There is no need to buy additional VM licenses if you want to create a VM environment.

Or, 

If your company scale need below 16 servers, you should consider the siblings, the c3000 model, it has 8 bays rather than 16 bays, so it won't overkill your budget.

What other advice do I have?

Prepare the budget and be ready to persuade the board of directors as to why you should buy this solution. Don't forget to prepare the data of TCO.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user793950
Sr. Manager / Systems Specialist with 5,001-10,000 employees
User
Virtual Fabric and interconnects are easy to configure and maintain

What is our primary use case?

For an x86 infrastructure.  Databases Virtualized environment Application servers Exchange and analytical applications Linux and Windows are the OSs.

How has it helped my organization?

Ease of use Reliable Scalable Simple  This has drastically reduced our datacenter space, has good cooling and power consumption. Cabling complexity and volume have been reduced.

What is most valuable?

Reliable backplane Excellent throughput Virtual Fabric and interconnects are easy to configure and maintain.  Wide choice in mixing SAN and LAN.

What needs improvement?

Storage capacity could be enhanced. Higher bandwidth interconnects could be introduced. OA updates and upgrades have to be made simpler.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five…

What is our primary use case?

For an x86 infrastructure. 

  • Databases
  • Virtualized environment
  • Application servers
  • Exchange and analytical applications

Linux and Windows are the OSs.

How has it helped my organization?

  • Ease of use
  • Reliable
  • Scalable
  • Simple 

This has drastically reduced our datacenter space, has good cooling and power consumption. Cabling complexity and volume have been reduced.

What is most valuable?

  • Reliable backplane
  • Excellent throughput
  • Virtual Fabric and interconnects are easy to configure and maintain. 
  • Wide choice in mixing SAN and LAN.

What needs improvement?

  • Storage capacity could be enhanced.
  • Higher bandwidth interconnects could be introduced.
  • OA updates and upgrades have to be made simpler.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user784083
Architect with 10,001+ employees
Real User
​The technical support is helpful. I feel like I reach the right person whenever I call them.

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case of this solution is for VMware. It performs well.

How has it helped my organization?

Consolidation.

What is most valuable?

Virtual Connect.

What needs improvement?

We are looking for a new product more inline with our goal. We are looking to switch because of the size formatting and the datacenter. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is really stable, however the motherboard sometimes crashes.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues with scalability. We can scale by adding another enclosure.

How is customer service and technical support?

The technical support is helpful. They changed the PCs when the motherboards crashed. I feel like I reach the right person whenever…

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case of this solution is for VMware. It performs well.

How has it helped my organization?

Consolidation.

What is most valuable?

Virtual Connect.

What needs improvement?

We are looking for a new product more inline with our goal. We are looking to switch because of the size formatting and the datacenter. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is really stable, however the motherboard sometimes crashes.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues with scalability. We can scale by adding another enclosure.

How is customer service and technical support?

The technical support is helpful. They changed the PCs when the motherboards crashed. I feel like I reach the right person whenever I call them.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward.

What about the implementation team?

HPE provided support during the implementation.

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

The price could be cheaper.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

SimpliVity and Dell.

What other advice do I have?

Buy it. I recommend it.

Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: scalability and durability.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
ITCS user
IT Administrator at a tech services company
Consultant
Highly performant, all-in-one solution increased the efficiency of our resource usage

How has it helped my organization?

By implementing VMware on our systems, we increased the utilisation of resources, and the hardware is highly performant with no failures.

What is most valuable?

The C7000 Blade System is an all-in-one; I like blades.

For how long have I used the solution?

Three to five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No issues with stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues with scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

Tech support is good to very good.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We have been using the same products. No switch.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup is straightforward and easy.

What's my experience with

How has it helped my organization?

By implementing VMware on our systems, we increased the utilisation of resources, and the hardware is highly performant with no failures.

What is most valuable?

The C7000 Blade System is an all-in-one; I like blades.

For how long have I used the solution?

Three to five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No issues with stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues with scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

Tech support is good to very good.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We have been using the same products. No switch.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup is straightforward and easy.

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

Use top technology and spare yourself the problems and money lost from hardware failure.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did not really consider any other options.

What other advice do I have?

Go ahead and implement it.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user736917
IT Infrastructure Architect at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Flexible NIC configuration enables us to mix and match speed of our servers' NIC ports

Pros and Cons

  • "We are very happy with flexible NIC configuration features which are possible if you combine the BladeServers with HPE flex switches in the enclosures."
  • "Non-disruptive firmware upgrades in all areas of blade technology."

What is most valuable?

We are very happy with flexible NIC configuration features which are possible if you combine the BladeServers with HPE flex switches in the enclosures. You can mix and match the speed of your servers' NIC ports. Its also very easy and fast to deploy new servers.

How has it helped my organization?

It hasn't really made a big impact on our organization. We are not that big, only three people in the server operations group. The use of blade servers has had no impact on organization.

What needs improvement?

Non-disruptive firmware upgrades in all areas of blade technology.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No issues. They have been running very stable through all these years. Of course we have seen memory module, disk, and power supply failures, but not more than we would expect.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

Tech support is very effective and fast but it depends on the level of your support agreement. We had the P24 level and HPE are very responsive.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We did not have a previous solution.

How was the initial setup?

It was quite straightforward. You have to decide the right power supply option for your enclosure. The best solution is to have PDU in the racks and let the enclosures get power from them. We made the wrong decision with our first enclosures, which were delivered with 3Ph power supplies built in, which made the initial preparation and later relocation more expensive for each enclosure. Today, you can’t buy the 3Ph power supplies.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

None.

What other advice do I have?

  • It’s advisable to maintain and operate an updated HPE management solution along with the BladeSystem, which will assist in failure alerting, operations, automation, etc. 
  • Remember that blades are most cost effective if you can fill all the bays in the enclosures. 
  • It's advisable to use HPE networking switches, if your networking department can accept this.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
AH
Technical Consultant at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
Consultant
Improves diagnostics and monitoring installed servers becomes easier

What is most valuable?

OA management: Easy to manage from one console.

How has it helped my organization?

  • Management
  • Diagnostic
  • Monitoring installed servers becomes easier
  • HW maintenance and management becomes easier 

What needs improvement?

  • Management
  • Monitoring

For how long have I used the solution?

More than 10 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

None at all.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

None at all.

How are customer service and technical support?

I would rate technical support at a nine out of 10.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Yes, HPE DL Servers. We switched to blade for scalability, optimization, and to improve our datacenter power, networking, space, etc.

How was the initial setup?

It was straightforward.

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

Consult and check with the HPE pre-sales team before ordering and selecting the best products needed for your applications.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

No.

What other advice do I have?

Check your actual needs before ordering and starting with fewer number of servers and higher interconnect switches, and then having to add items according to your needs.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
it_user567672
CTO at AFP
Vendor
Facilitates consolidating the maximum system with a small footprint

What is most valuable?

BladeSystem is a way to consolidate in a datacenter the maximum system in a small space because are company is in the middle of Paris, so space is a premium.

It is also good way to run VM, that is the way that we are using BladeSystem. 

It's also a way to manage with our specific tools, to run with it.

How has it helped my organization?

It's improved the factor, increased the number of VMs easily.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see lower consumption of electricity and there are some problems in our computer room regarding the cooling. The power supply and the power unit could, perhaps, be improved, but it's very stable is the main point.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's really stable because we have been using the C2-7000, for a long time. Of course we increased the version of the blade itself, but the rack is still the same. It's a good value.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We can have, if I remember correctly, 16 blades or something like that. We can have a half blade or full-size blade, so it's a way to manage our rack with the maximum scalability according to the power that we need.

How is customer service and technical support?

We're using it. It's really good because the engineers that support our infrastructure are really good and, fortunately for them, there aren't problems very often.

How was the initial setup?

It was not really complex. Straightforward.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We considered Cisco but it's not really a good idea for us because we have worked with HPE for a long time. Hardware is one thing but support, and the people behind the support, is another thing. We are happy with HPE.

What other advice do I have?

It is a good solution. Reliable, stable. Try it and you will see.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
RB
Scientist/Engineer 'F' with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
We have experienced near perfect uptime using this product

What is most valuable?

Ease of use.

How has it helped my organization?

Our requirement is 99.9999% uptime. That is what we have experienced from these servers.

What needs improvement?

With the technology advancements, both the OEMs improve their products for best performance. I would also prefer additional improvements in thermal design and management of servers.

For how long have I used the solution?

HPE Servers for seven years (HP ProLiant SL6000) and HPE Blade for five years (BL460c & Rack). 

All in working condition

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is the best.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We have used SGI, Sun, and IBM and now Fujitsu. The procurement is thru open or limited tender only.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is mixed between being straightforward and complex.

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

We have well-defined process for the technical evaluation of pricing.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluate all the responses to our requirements. After the selection is made for two to three products. Then commercials are checked and the best price solution is selected.

What other advice do I have?

Check the literature and reviews available for the product. Ask and clarify all the queries before freezing on the requirements.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Alfousseynou Bomou
Engineer at Platform Technique
Real User
Top 20
Follow the procedures for a simple and easy setup

What is our primary use case?

Customer installations for 10 years.

What is most valuable?

Virtual Connect FlexFabric

How has it helped my organization?

Simple and easy installation.

What needs improvement?

Networking.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been installing it for customers for 10 years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No issues.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Some bugs, which were solved by a firmware update.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

Good.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

No.

How was the initial setup?

It is straightforward. We followed the procedures.

What about

What is our primary use case?

Customer installations for 10 years.

What is most valuable?

  • Virtual Connect
  • FlexFabric

How has it helped my organization?

Simple and easy installation.

What needs improvement?

Networking.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been installing it for customers for 10 years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No issues.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Some bugs, which were solved by a firmware update.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

Good.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

No.

How was the initial setup?

It is straightforward. We followed the procedures.

What about the implementation team?

We are the vendor team.

What was our ROI?

Excellent.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer:
ITCS user
Senior Systems Administrator at a tech services company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Consultant
The product allowed us to save physical space and energy.

What is most valuable?

The product's stability, robustness, and support for Integrity blades were valuable because we ran 24x7x365 operations.

How has it helped my organization?

The product allowed us to save physical space and energy. Initially, we only bought this product to use Integrity blades. Eventually we used the vacant slots for HP x86 blades, which we used for Vsphere. This decision allowed us to save even more physical space.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used this solution for 11 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I did not encounter any issues with stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

In general, I did not encounter any issues with scalability. Though we did run into incompatibility issues with a recent blade purchase that was incompatible with our existing fiber channel ports.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is great pre-sales. Technical support is also great for troubleshooting post-sales, but only if you speak with a high-level tech support professional. Their first-level tech support professionals are not great.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I did not previously use a different solution.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was a turn-key installation.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did not evaluate other options for the blade system. However we did evaluate other options/vendors for the storage system.

What other advice do I have?

The x86 blades and Vsphere implementation is relatively easy. The C7000 supports newer HP blades. The product is very robust and we have not experienced downtime within the last 11 years of use.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user630225
Manager Manufacturing Systems Infrastructure with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
Single point of management, redundant management components, reliability, easiness of setup and installation.

What is most valuable?

Single point of management, redundant management components, reliability, easiness of setup and installation.

How has it helped my organization?

Like all the blade systems, they save rack space, power and cooling requirements, cabling complexity and are adding features like the single point of management.

What needs improvement?

It's quite an old product already having it's successor HPE Synergy, which is in every aspect better than the c7000

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Seldom

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Firmware dependencies with older generations of HP servers.

How are customer service and technical support?

Satisfactory.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

No, it was the first blade solution.

How was the initial setup?

No

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

Go with HPE Synergy instead

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Sure, the IBM and DELL alternatives.

What other advice do I have?

To go with HPE Synergy instead

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user317949
IT System Manager at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
It is a good solution, with easy management and setup​​.

What is most valuable?

The two most valuable features are: 1) Centralized Management 2) Compatibility with VMware.

How has it helped my organization?

We created a VMware Cluster with HA, assigned host profiles, and managed the network.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used this solution for more than 6 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I did not encounter any issues with stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I did not encounter any issues with scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

I would rate the level of technical support 7/10.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I previously used the Supermicro Twin server.

How was the initial setup?

The initial…

What is most valuable?

The two most valuable features are:

1) Centralized Management

2) Compatibility with VMware.

How has it helped my organization?

We created a VMware Cluster with HA, assigned host profiles, and managed the network.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used this solution for more than 6 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I did not encounter any issues with stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I did not encounter any issues with scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

I would rate the level of technical support 7/10.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I previously used the Supermicro Twin server.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is easy.

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

While there is a high cost, there is no required license.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I evaluated Supermicro twins.

What other advice do I have?

It is a good solution, with easy management and setup.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user470361
IT Director of Technology at Resorts World Las Vegas
Vendor
We can have a lot of servers in one rack.

Pros and Cons

  • "The density of the BladeSystem, that we can keep adding blades as we need more VMs."
  • "Really look at it closely, but really look at the Synergy product as well. That seems to me like that's the next evolution of the BladeSystem."

What is most valuable?

The density of the BladeSystem, that we can keep adding blades as we need more VMs. The longevity of the system that it creates as well. Right now, we only have our job site, but we'll eventually grow into our large building, and the scalability of the BladeSystem is pretty endless. Now with the new technology like Synergy, it's kind of an offshoot of that almost, and I'm looking forward to utilizing even the Synergy in that whole environment as well. Especially now that the management software can manage all of those platforms.

How has it helped my organization?

I like the BladeSystem. I've been a fan of the BladeSystems for a while, since when they came out way back in the day. My first BladeSystems I used were IBM and then HP. I liked the density. A lot of servers in one rack. There's the backplane. We get a lot of throughput in speed and the ease of attaching it to our networks is very good about the BladeSystems. It's less of everything. It's less cabling coming out of the BladeCenter, so it's easier to manage, it's just a cleaner system.

What needs improvement?

I was looking at the HPE Synergy. What I see there is it's the next evolution of that whole BladeSystem. It pretty much puts compute, it puts storage, and it puts memory all in one pool. It's being managed by the one management module and so it's basically the whole pool data center resource. It also gives the flexibility of utilizing it in a fully virtualized environment or, if you need a physical server, you can utilize a physical server as well. Then extend out to some of the older devices like the c7000 or something, can enter into that whole resource domain. That's compelling as well.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's very stable.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

In my past at a couple director positions I've held, I've utilized Cisco's UCS product quite a bit. I've had experiences with that from when that product first came out. They're both very good systems. I think Cisco makes a solid product there. It might be coming to its life's end now. As things like Hyper Converged is starting to really take off and I like the slant that HPE has with the Synergy platform. That's almost like taking a BladeSystem or UCS kind of technology and moving it to the next level. That's what I see HPE doing with Synergy.

How was the initial setup?

It was very easy.

What about the implementation team?

I had HPE do it.

What other advice do I have?

Really look at it closely, but really look at the Synergy product as well. That seems to me like that's the next evolution of the BladeSystem.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user674343
Systems Engineer-Business Technology at a transportation company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Controls and monitors servers remotely.

What is most valuable?

  • ILO for great control over servers remotely
  • HPE SIM for efficient monitoring and inventory of servers
  • FlexFabric for its flexibility and ease of use

How has it helped my organization?

  • Inventory management
  • Firmware and driver maintenance
  • Server monitoring
  • Server provisioning and uptime

What needs improvement?

I would like to see better scalability.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using this solution for five years.

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?

Sometimes there are scalability issues with relatively older generations.

How are customer service and technical support?

I would rate technical service as moderate to good.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We used a solution previously and we switched because of cost and lack of passion by regional sales and marketing teams.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was straightforward.

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

Do a market survey before and bargain well.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did not evaluate other solutions.

What other advice do I have?

If planned well in advance, it will make your life easier.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Claus Andersen
Storage specialist, Infrastructure Architect at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Consultant
The longevity and modular factors allow for upgrading and continued usage.

Pros and Cons

  • "It also has a pretty solid design and management."
  • "HPE has a replacement system called Synergy, though it’s a more high-end system than the old C7000."

What is most valuable?

The longevity and modular factors allow for upgrading and continued usage. It also has a pretty solid design and management.

How has it helped my organization?

Getting more out of what you purchased. Like the virtualization of the product and especially the virtual connects allows for better efficiency in usage. There is also easy management and easy upgrades.

What needs improvement?

It is nearing the end of its development, so I think the question is a moot point. HPE has a replacement system called Synergy, though it’s a more high-end system than the old C7000.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using this solution since the beginning of 2007.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Generally there are no problems with stability. However, updating firmware in the virtual connect in the older days caused issues. But they have been fixed for a while.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There were no scalability issues. When upgrading to higher speeds, the backplane could be problematic. For example, when going to 16Gb fibre and 40Gb LAN requires one to go from the G1 and G2 to the later G3. Upgrading to the new 32 and 128Gb SAN is not possible.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is good to excellent. It is a solid product with a lot of years behind it and a BIG install base.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

in the old days, HPE had a horrifying type blade system. (I guess they were all horrible before this blade.) That was a long time ago. The C7000 set the bar for blade systems when it came out.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was quite easy to get going, although the virtual connects were a bit more problematic in the beginning.

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

Add OneView and ILO advanced to the base product. Don’t adjust the price, but just include them.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

You have to look at the newer options now, especially Synergy. Keep in mind that existing servers cannot be used in the new model since it’s a completely new type of product redesigned from the bottom up with new case and everything. If you are adding servers to an existing Blade System, go for that solution since it is cheaper and still allows you to utilize your assuages.

What other advice do I have?

If you are looking for a new system and do not have one in place, see the new products like Synergy.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are preferred HPE Partner of the highest level in our country.
ITCS user
Senior Presales Engineer at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
It delivers a modular infrastructure for the data center.

Pros and Cons

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

    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 are 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 solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    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.
    ITCS user
    Senior Network Administrator at a government with 501-1,000 employees
    Vendor
    It allows immediate access to the server management and prompt detection of the access logs.

    Pros and Cons

    • "It provides a secure access to the console and reliable administration."
    • "I would prefer to have changes in the compatibility of the blade servers with the new ones designed by HPE, as the top team's version does not have it."

    What is most valuable?

    It allows immediate access to the server management and immediate detection of the access logs.

    It provides a secure access to the console and reliable administration.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Having implemented this solution, it has enabled to have remote management of the equipment problems, to identify the power for reviewing the status of errors without having to be on-site, but remotely from anywhere required.

    What needs improvement?

    I would prefer to have changes in the compatibility of the blade servers with the new ones designed by HPE, as the top team's version does not have it.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have used this solution for seven years. I have used the following versions of the solution:

    • HPE BladeSystem c7000 Enclosure Onboard Administrator Tray 1.7
    • HPE ProLiant BL680c server blade G5 2.12 July 16, 2012
    • HPE ProLiant BL680c server blade G5 2.06 May 31, 2011
    • HPE ProLiant BL460c server blade Gen8 1.20 Feb 01, 2013
    • HPE ProLiant BL460c server blade Gen8 1.20 Feb 01, 2013
    • HPE ProLiant BL460c server blade Gen8 1.30 July 18, 2013
    • HPE ProLiant BL460c server blade G7 1.20 March 14, 2011
    • HPE ProLiant BL460c server blade G1 2.23 Nov 05, 2013
    • HPE ProLiant BL460c server blade Gen8 1.20 Feb 01, 2013
    • HPE ProLiant BL460c server blade Gen8 1.20 Feb 01, 2013
    • HPE ProLiant BL460c server blade Gen8 1.30 July 18, 2013
    • HPE ProLiant BL460c server blade G7 1.65 Nov 08, 2013
    • HPE ProLiant BL460c server blade G1 2.06 May 31, 2011

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We have not had any problems with the implementation.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    The technical support team has very good answers to our concerns and when cases are opened, escalations are done in a timely manner.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    I have not used a different solution.

    How was the initial setup?

    The solution was implemented by the provider, as indicated it was in a simple way.

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

    I'm the infrastructure manager; with regards to the prices, they need to adapt to the current needs of the country. Licensing has always been timely and it is a prompt solution.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user677685
    System Integration Engineer at a tech services company with 5,001-10,000 employees
    MSP
    I can build a huge compute resource on it. In the case of a disk failure, there is a need to remove the whole disk bay.

    Pros and Cons

    • "The most valuable feature, of course, is its size as I can build a huge compute resource on it."
    • "Currently, in the case of a disk failure there is a need to remove the whole bay and as a result, to disconnect all the other disks."

    What is most valuable?

    The most valuable feature, of course, is its size as I can build a huge compute resource on it.

    How has it helped my organization?

    A couple of those HPE BladeSystem Enclosures can give you a stable and distributed compute resource for a virtual environment.

    What needs improvement?

    First of all, there should be a change in the disk bay. Currently, in the case of a disk failure there is a need to remove the whole bay and as a result, to disconnect all the other disks.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have used this solution for maybe more than four years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    I have encountered a major issue with VMware on Gen8. There is no support for NetQueue, that resulted in network issues with the VMs.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    There were no scalability issues.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I was not satisfied with the support. It seems that the support team does not know their products in depth. Their main approach is to upgrade the firmware/drivers and replace the hardware. They are struggling in giving any type of technical explanation for resolving issues. But, there are not many issues that were not addressed by the support team and I always received a solution this way or another.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    I have used this HPE Enclosure as a part of the design; we are using this solution from the beginning and have not switched to it from any another solution.

    How was the initial setup?

    The setup is not simple but if the low-level design is correct, then it is a straightforward implementation.

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

    Their licensing program is pretty simple.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We evaluated other products such as Dell and Cisco Blade Servers.

    What other advice do I have?

    Pay attention to the HPE's management solution as they are securing the management interfaces of their servers. You need to implement it correctly, otherwise, in a case of a failure, for example, an incorrect network configuration may result in complete loss of the management.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user485052
    Senior Technology Architect at a tech company with 10,001+ employees
    Vendor
    The stability is good and it's scaling where we need to go.

    What is most valuable?

    I think the most valuable features that my management usually worries about are price, reliability, and its ability to be repaired and/or debugged.

    What needs improvement?

    What would make it better from my point of view is if HPE spent more time on testing with the actual built-in Red Hat Linux drivers, as opposed to always trying to say, "Use our driver."

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The stability is pretty good.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It's scaling where we need to go.

    How is customer service and technical support?

    The technical support sucks, would be understating it. Because the first line and the second line support tend to give out stupid suggestions that are completely useless, and they…

    What is most valuable?

    I think the most valuable features that my management usually worries about are price, reliability, and its ability to be repaired and/or debugged.

    What needs improvement?

    What would make it better from my point of view is if HPE spent more time on testing with the actual built-in Red Hat Linux drivers, as opposed to always trying to say, "Use our driver."

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The stability is pretty good.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It's scaling where we need to go.

    How is customer service and technical support?

    The technical support sucks, would be understating it. Because the first line and the second line support tend to give out stupid suggestions that are completely useless, and they aren't listening to anything. It takes a lot of time to get through them, and that is every call I've been on with them. Oftentimes, I've got a very low expectation of HPE, and they go below my expectation a few times.

    How was the initial setup?

    Initial setup was relatively straightforward.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user484740
    Analyst at a comms service provider with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    OneView allows us to manage all of our infrastructure using one application.

    Pros and Cons

    • "When it comes to the BladeSystem, what we love about it most is being able to actually manage it using OneView."
    • "I would like OneView to go over the current limit of 40 instances."

    What is most valuable?

    When it comes to the BladeSystem, what we love about it most is being able to actually manage it using OneView. It's one feature that allows us to fully manage all of our infrastructure using just one application.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We were able to deploy a lot of different operating systems such as VMware and Red Hat Linux, Oracle, Oracle Solaris; also Microsoft's Windows server. All of these are fully supported within the HPE BladeSystem. It allows us to be able to implement and deploy different operating system using one HPE BladeSystem.

    What needs improvement?

    I would like OneView to go over the current limit of 40 instances.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It's very, very, stable. We've got over 40 HPE BladeSystems and so far we've had very, very few hardware problems. Whenever we have a hardware problem, HPE call us right away about our problem, and somebody works on that problem within four hours of generating a call for any type of hardware or software problem.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    You cannot really scale a BladeSystem. If I were using it in conjunction with VMware, then we are able to upgrade or get a higher CPU or memory on a virtual machine or move a virtual machine in a different blade that has a higher CPU and memory. If it comes to that, yes, using other software, scalability is very good.

    How is customer service and technical support?

    Technical support is very good. I've opened a lot of calls over the web or by phone with HPE, and I would say that 99% of the time, they respond to the ticket within an hour of opening an issue.

    How was the initial setup?

    There is no complication at all when setting it up, either setting it up as an experienced user like myself or having HPE set it up for you using their services. No problem at all.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We were based on different hardware vendors. We selected HPE due to the cost of the hardware; also for the scalability of the materials, and the different models that could be inserted or interchanged in a chassis; also the easiness of the deployment. That's how we selected HPE BladeSystem. We also considered Dell, Cisco, IBM, and Oracle.

    What other advice do I have?

    It's because we've been using it for so many years now. It's been very reliable for us. I would say consult your hardware vendor and discuss with them your needs. Sit down with them. Elaborate what services do you need and decide together. That's how I would say it.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Sabrin Freedman Alexander
    Lead Systems Administrator at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Real User
    Some of the key features are modular design and easy configuration.

    What is most valuable?

    • Easy scalability
    • Modular design
    • Easy configuration

    How has it helped my organization?

    Before we introduced the solution, we had 24 cabinets, filled with classic rack servers. We had continuous issues with cooling capacity, power consumption for the data center, high availability, and redundancy.

    After implementing the BladeSystem environment, we went down to four cabinets only for servers, since it's a perfect platform to host a high-end VMware farm.

    Coupled with HP 3PAR SAN devices and peer persistence, I managed to create a 99.99999% uptime environment.

    Currently, we have enjoyed an increase in price/performance of 500%, compared to several years ago.

    What needs improvement?

    • The web interface is Java based and we had issues with different version of Java. We sometimes need to host dedicated machines with old versions of Java just to run the web administration.
    • The LCD panel holds minimal data about the overall BladeSystem and blade server health and error events.
    • I would like to see an error reporting feature in the LCD Panel.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have used it since 2011.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We have not had any stability issues. We haven't had one instance of downtime due to hardware issues of the BladeSystem itself.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We have not encountered any scalability issues. It's extremely scalable. If you run out of resources, just get another blade server and you've added another x amount of RAM and CPU to your environment.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Technical support is good and quick. The engineers sometimes need to consult with experts. I wish the experts would be the front-line support.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    This is the first time we have used BladeSystems.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was complex because of our HA requirements. The installation of the BladeSystem itself is easy and straightforward.

    The modules are hot-pluggable. OA and iLO are easy to configure.

    The most complex part was configuring the Virtual Connect module with VLAN tagging, shared uplink sets, and general network configuration.

    The web UI is good, but it lacks tips and it's a bit complicated.

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

    For first time users, only buy two BladeSystems and fill them up. They are expensive. Apart from that, you get more than you paid for.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We didn't evaluate others, as we were forced to buy this solution by governmental policies. We are part of the Ministry of Health.

    What other advice do I have?

    Get to know the product. Spend time studying its ins and outs.

    You will be surprised by its capabilities. I would not recommend a touch and go strategy, since that won't bring the systems to optimal capability.

    Modular Design: Everything is modular and redundant. Nothing is built-in, from the PSUs to the fans to the modular VCs and SAN modules

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    ITCS user
    Technical Manager with 501-1,000 employees
    Vendor
    I value the higher consolidation ratio.

    What is most valuable?

    I especially value the higher consolidation ratio.

    How has it helped my organization?

    This server comes with up to 2TB of memory which allows us to run more virtual machine on single server. We can leverage it for a higher consolidation ratio.

    What needs improvement?

    It would be better if the boot time during POST would be reduced.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have used it for eight years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    I did not encounter any stability issues. It’s a good product.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    I did not encounter any scalability issues.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I would give them a rating of 9/10.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We used to deploy IBM Blade Servers. The switch was due to company policy, although IBM products are also good.

    How was the initial setup?

    The setup is quite easy once you configure the Integrated Lights-Out (iLO) server.

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

    It depends on the order size of other services we select during the procurement phase.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We evaluated Cisco UCS.

    What other advice do I have?

    It’s advisable to use FlexFabric Interconnect for a converged network.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user497253
    IT Infrastructure Architect at Manitoba Blue Cross
    Vendor
    I value the FlexFabric interconnects.

    What is most valuable?

    I really value the FlexFabric interconnects.

    How has it helped my organization?

    HPE BladeSystem was introduced by me as an architect to boost the performance/server footprint, especially with VMware virtualization.

    What needs improvement?

    The storage blades could be improved.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have used it for eleven years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    There were stability issues in the early versions, Blades G1.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    I did not encounter any scalability issues.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I would give technical support a rating of 8/10.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We used rack mounted servers.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was straightforward using a wizard.

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

    The customer has to decide and evaluate the tradeoff between CAPEX and OPEX.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We evaluated the IBM Blades System.

    What other advice do I have?

    Examine your infrastructure KPIs. This will typically include analyzing a reduction in OPEX, ease of operation, ease of troubleshoot, decreasing cabling, and increasing footprint performance.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    ITCS user
    Technology Specialist at a energy/utilities company with 10,001+ employees
    Vendor
    Gives the administrator the ability to build a processing infrastructure remotely.

    What is most valuable?

    HPE BladeSystem c7000 is a complex piece of engineering.

    • I appreciate its simplified interface that gives the administrator the power to build a complete processing infrastructure remotely.
    • I like the on-board administrator as it gave me a very detailed set of information that allowed me to manage every aspect of the infrastructure remotely.
    • It allowed me to centralize the iLO remote access to every blade in the cabinet with very good performance.

    You can view a Bladesystem like a modern car. The first thing you see is the body and the glossy paint, but under the hood, a bladesystem is essentially a group of servers (multi-core processors, RAM, Buses, storage, etc ), with redundant variable speed cooling blowers, redundant power suppliers, a large set of redundant connectivity options, and a big quantity of temperature and power consumption sensors, all of those connected and administered from a redundant administration module with many configuration parameters that you can accommodate in a bunch of ways to satisfy many different requirements.

    Everyone of this modules are an appliance (a complete computer itself), and you can have a duplicate of the OA and the VC, just for redundancy and high availability purposes.

    Before this brief description, probably you would agree that this is a complex architecture.

    But the most attractive part of that , is that you deal with this complexity through a web portal that concentrate all of the configurations options, easy this tasks and guide the user with several wizards.

    To manage all the parameters related to the Enclosure or Chassis, security access, and monitoring, you have to enter to the "onboard administrator module" (OA).

    To manage all the aspect about LAN or SAN connectivity to the server blades you have to jump into the "virtual connect Module" (VC), but don't desperate, you have an hyperlink from the OA, that open the VC portal, to give you a seamless navigation between modules.

    At last, but not least, you have the blades servers itself. You can have up to sixteen of those servers, with processors, memory, Out of Band management processor (Insight Lights-Out or iLO) and I/O cards (NICs, HBAs, CNAs, etc)

    All of those have several Firmware (BIOS, NIC firmware, Power Regulator Firmware, HBA Firmware, iLO Firmware, Onboard Administrator Firmware, Virtual Connect Firmware, etc ) and you need to solve incompatibility issues between all of those.

    The best part is that HPE give you an utility (HP Smart Update manager) that can manage all those firmware in a consolidated way.

    HPE works hard to provide a centralized administration and good experience with the software, and if you are an advanced user, also can use an add-on to access all the configuration parameters using powershell (the administrator's task programming language that come in every windows operating system).

    How has it helped my organization?

    The first goal was to use blades. This stemmed from a space problem in our data center. We needed to add more servers, but the space became short quickly. The first consolidation approach was a blades server.

    • We administer all the systems remotely.
    • The blade server standardized more of our configuration processes with less manual intervention.
    • We also found that we needed less cabling. Now we can connect 16 servers in 10 rack units with 3 LAN and 2 SAN Fiber, instead of 48 LAN and 32 SAN fiber.

    What needs improvement?

    • Hardware management could be improved.
    • Cisco UCS has a more universal approach. It treats the hardware as stateless and manages absolutely all configurations from the same console.
    • HPE has an on-board administrator to manage hardware aspects and virtual connect to manage LAN and SAN connectivity between blades and the rest of the world.
    • Firmware updates are complex. There are so many components and you need to account for the compatibility of all parts. Otherwise, you can have a blade that cannot start with the new firmware and then it takes extra time to solve the problem.
    • HPE has a utility for firmware updates that tries to provide peace of mind. It takes all these variables into account.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We have been using this solution since 2008. We began mounting an 8 node VMware cluster. We began with one enclosure, a cabinet with 16 blade servers. We now have more than 18 of them distributed in different locations around the world.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We did not have any stability issues. The quality of the server itself enhances stability. Once the server is running, it runs for a long time.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We don’t have issues with computer power scalability. We just add more blades, configure, install and go, or add more memory to an existing blade.

    HPE also supports mixing several blade models in the same cabinet.

    You can have, for instance, BL460c G7, BL460c Gen8, and BL460c Gen9 working smoothly in the same C-Class enclosure.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    In my country, the level of support is quite good. I recommend that you buy the server with a three or give year care pack to receive the manufacturer’s warranty.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    I used rack form factor servers and switched to blades to gain consolidation ration. I also wanted to have better management control over the hardware infrastructure.

    How was the initial setup?

    The setup is easy if you install only one cabinet, and you know what to do and what to expect from the platform.

    When you plan to grow your infrastructure to more than 16 blades, it becomes a little bit complex. You need to think about how to manage Virtual Connect Domains, MAC virtualization, and WWN virtualization.

    If you design your platform based on that, everything will go fine. You will know what to do when a problem arises.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We have only used HPE infrastructure. Previous to blades, we were using Standalone Rack form factor servers like the DL380 model.

    If I were brand agnostic, I would probably select CISCO UCS, but this didn't exist when we decided to use HPE blades.

    Now, with Synergy Composable Systems, HPE probably takes a leap forward in technology and puts itself at the forefront. Please keep in mind that technology.

    What other advice do I have?

    • The product is good and strong. Nowadays, the software works fine. I chose HPE because of the existing vendor relationship and reputation.
    • You can do all of the installation and configuration tasks. However, if you are not experienced, contract your first installation service to a partner with a lot of experience in that kind of equipment.
    • Take the corresponding training, as it is very useful.
    • I recommend taking the official HPE platform support. They have a BladeSystem course.
    • I also recommend users strengthen their knowledge with a Virtual Connect course. With this in mind, you can have a good experience with this kind of platform.
    • I also recommend that you progress further and think about automating the procedures, installations, and decommissions as much as possible.
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    ITCS user
    Senior Network Administrator at a government with 501-1,000 employees
    Vendor
    Allows access for server management and administration.

    What is most valuable?

    • Allows immediate access for server management
    • Allows immediate detection of the access logs
    • Secures access to the console
    • Provides reliable administration

    How has it helped my organization?

    • Enabled remote management of the equipment's problems/issues
    • Helped in remotely identifying the power to review the status of errors

    What needs improvement?

    I would prefer to have changes in the compatibility of the blade servers along with the new ones designed by HPE. The superior equipment does not allow this at the present time.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have used this solution for a total of eight years as the infrastructure manager. Currently, we are using the HPE BladeSystem c7000 enclosure and the BladeSystem c7000 Onboard Administrator Tray 1.7 enclosure devices.

    In the past, we have used:

    • Server Blade ProLiant BL680c G5 HPE 2.12, Jul 16, 2012
    • Server Blade ProLiant BL680c G5 HPE 2.06, May 31, 2011
    • Server Blade ProLiant BL460c Gen8 HPE 1.20, Feb 01, 2013
    • Server Blade ProLiant BL460c Gen8 HPE 1.20, Feb 01, 2013
    • Server Blade ProLiant BL460c Gen8 HPE 1.30, Jul 18, 2013
    • Server Blade ProLiant BL460c G7 HPE 1.20, Mar 14, 2011
    • Server Blade ProLiant BL460c G1 HPE 2.23, Nov 05, 2013
    • Server Blade ProLiant BL460c Gen8 HPE 1.20, Feb 01, 2013
    • Server Blade ProLiant BL460c Gen8 HPE 1.20, Feb 01, 2013
    • Server Blade ProLiant BL460c Gen8 HPE 1.30, Jul 18, 2013
    • Server Blade ProLiant BL460c G7 HPE 1.65, Nov 08, 2013
    • Server Blade ProLiant BL460c G1 HPE 2.06, May 31, 2011

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    We have not experienced any problems with the implementation of the product.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    When cases were opened, we received very good responses to the issues. Escalations were also done in a timely manner.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    I have not used any other solution.

    How was the initial setup?

    The solution was implemented by the provider. It was done in a simple way.

    What about the implementation team?

    It has not been applied from a remote site, only from the current infrastructure. You should have a personalized follow-up for the management/administration of the implemented solution.

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

    In regards to the prices, it should adapt to the current needs of the country. Granting of the licenses has always been done in a prompt manner.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    ITCS user
    Infrastructure Architect at a retailer with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Real User
    Versatile with optional virtual connect module to enhance east/west traffic flow for virtualization.

    What is most valuable?

    Here are the valuable hardware and software features:

    Hardware:

    • Multi-generational blade system which supports all the way from Gen1 to Gen9 without a forklift upgrade or keeping old enclosures around.
    • Up to 16 servers of varying physical sizes (half and full height) allowed in a single enclosure.
    • Multiple scalable backplane options (including 16Gb Brocade fiber switches and 10Gbe Cisco Fabric Extenders) to ensure optimal redundancy and interoperability with other datacenter hardware.
    • Allows the use of network defined architectures without the need for additional training.
    • Allows storage admins, server admins, and network admins access to each component without additional cost or delay due to lack of familiarity.
    • Multiple power options: Single and three phase power for different datacenter layouts.
    • Versatile with optional virtual connect module to enhance east/west traffic flow for virtualization, reducing unnecessary north and south traffic.

    Software:

    • Onboard Administrator
    • Insight Control
    • HPE OneView

    How has it helped my organization?

    This solution has improved our organization as follows:

    • Ease of management and configuration through a single pane of glass for up to 16 blade servers.
    • Leveraging the Onboard Administrator for control over troubled servers without the need for physical access to the servers.
    • Ability to reset blade server fuses remotely if they become completely unresponsive. Removes the need for many calls to a datacenter for support.
    • OneView has taken this a step further with newer generation blades. This cannot be leveraged on the blades older than Gen7.

    What needs improvement?

    The Onboard Administrator (OA) is the heart of C7000 enclosure management, it integrates advanced health and monitoring to the point of even iLo launching through the OA to KVM a blade server that is not responsive. There are two OA modules, one active, the other passive.

    HPE contacted us after identifying the serial number of our active OA module was in a critical recall list.

    While all components are redundant including two Cisco Fabric Extenders (Fex) for Network Connectivity of the blade servers (Our config is 4 x 10 Gbe per Fabric Extender teamed with the second Fabric Extender through Virtual Port Channel). A single OA replacement caused 15 servers with VPC protection to be dropped off the network when the device was failed from active to passive; completely disrupting 200+ VMs and >2000 users; all when it was assured to failover gracefully.

    If I was to physically disconnect all cables in one Fex, or even remove it from a blade enclosure it would operate fine, but for some reason, the bad OA module caused a network reset to occur which eliminated all redundancy on the link.

    For more information on VPC to elaborate it’s power, flexibility and resilience, please see the following links: http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/p...
    http://www.netcraftsmen.com/ho...


    For how long have I used the solution?

    We have been using this solution for nine years, through different revisions.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We only had a stability issue with a defective OA Module. Other than that, most blade servers have only seen odd failures on hard drives or RAID batteries on older generations.

    The super capacitor in newer generations seems even more resilient. No critical outages have occurred at a blade enclosure level in over nine years of use with c7000 generations, other than a single defective OA module.

    There was a legendary update on the chassis itself, in a mission critical ERP/Citrix environment.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We have never reached a threshold on scalability with the c7000. With multiple I/O interconnects on the backplane, we have never maxed out its capabilities.

    How is customer service and technical support?

    I recommend having Proactive Care Advanced Support or Datacenter Care on any critical datacenter infrastructure. When leveraging this level of support, we have had great results hitting the advanced resolution center.

    The Proactive Care and above coverage also grants you a TAM and quarterly health checks including intimate knowledge of your environment, interoperability of your firmware versions, and recommendations to avoid potential conflicts.

    How was the initial setup?

    The tool was up in two hours, fully migrating blades from old to new c7000 included to this timing. Fiber zoning and ethernet configuration is a breeze. As long as you know your products from the last generation, it’s quite intuitive.

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

    Always ensure that you purchase the Insight Control Suite. This will ensure all current and future blades are licensed for iLO and other features. This will ensure ease of use and configuration.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We evaluated IBM BladeCenter and HPE BladeCenter M1000 Series.

    What other advice do I have?

    It is quite easy to setup, configure, and get fully into production. This is the case even when physically migrating old blades from an old c7000 to a newer c7000 chassis. That can happen in less than two hours.

    When placed on the same fiber fabric and properly utilizing aliases, these are completely hot swappable between chassis. This is super-efficient and smooth on the transitions and decommissioning of the older chassis.

    Be warned: Even though G1 servers are supported, having a 2Gb fiber card in the old G1 servers will cause them to be non-functional with new 16Gb fiber switches. This is not an HP issue, but rather a limitation of legacy fiber. Plan appropriately when upgrading older technology!

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    ITCS user
    Senior UNIX Systems Administrator at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Real User
    Provides a single point of management.

    What is most valuable?

    • Easy to add new blades
    • No additional cabling required for network or FC
    • Nice single point of management
    • Easy portal

    How has it helped my organization?

    It has given us a much reduced server footprint with a subsequent reduction in cabling and a lower carbon footprint.

    What needs improvement?

    • Ability to zoom in on the blade system graphic
    • Easy way of reporting all the blades at once

    For how long have I used the solution?

    This has been in use for three years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    In three years, we have not had any issues with enclosures nor with server instability.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We have had no issues with scalability. We have added ProLiant servers to the chassis which shares storage.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Technical support is great, once you get to it

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We previously had rack-mounted HP-UX servers. Our hardware refresh dictated that we move to blade systems in order to keep using HP-UX systems.

    How was the initial setup?

    It was a very straightforward migration.

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

    Ensure that you use virtual connect modules. It is well worth the extra cost over traditional switches.

    What other advice do I have?

    Always go for virtual connect modules from the outset.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user567822
    Enterprise Architect at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Real User
    Due to its programmatic nature, there is minimum downtime.

    What is most valuable?

    The virtual connect side of networking and the manageability through that is by far the biggest win for us. The blades come and go as racks do, but the virtualization back of it means a lot less hands on and a lot more manageability.

    How has it helped my organization?

    The biggest benefit is the minimum downtime due to the programmatic nature of the whole thing.

    What needs improvement?

    There’s nothing that I don't already know is coming out.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We've had them for quite a few years now. Early on it was a bit hit and miss, but more recently it has become far more stable.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We have not gone full scale with it. We only have it in small areas of the data center at the moment.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    We have not used technical support.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We knew we needed a new solution because our data center costs were rising on our racks and we just had to slimline down into a more compact solution.

    How was the initial setup?

    The early stages weren't as smooth as they should have been. I was involved in the initial setup and it was complex because of the nature we wanted to use it in; a very virtualized network and storage capacity. It wasn't quite straightforward and it meant a great deal of complex planning to make sure we got it right in the first place and the initial setup didn't cause problems later on.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We also looked at Dell solutions.

    When selecting a vendor, reputation and pricing are most important.

    What other advice do I have?

    Spend as much time as possible planning before you go anywhere near it.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user567579
    Senior Director, Systems Software Support & Engineering at a tech company with 10,001+ employees
    Vendor
    It provides a consistent level of service and perspective on everything. I would like to see all-around fulfillment availability.

    What is most valuable?

    I get the same level of service and perspective for everything. It is a generic experience with respect to what it's used for.

    What needs improvement?

    I would like to see all-around fulfillment availability from top to bottom in terms of features. I guess the answer is higher availability.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The stability is pretty good. I'd say it's on par with other vendors in the same category.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It scales fine for tens of thousands of things.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I can’t comment on things that I'm not supposed to.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We were using a multitude of vendors with comparable differences.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We considered the typical ones, the big three: IBM, HPE, and Dell.

    What other advice do I have?

    I needed a solution because of my economies of scale. I had the demand and a business need.

    I would advise colleagues not to rush into settling on a solution. When we were choosing a vendor, we considered price, performance, availability, and engagement.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user567654
    System Engineer at a government with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    It gives us a central location to manage all our HPE blade servers.

    What is most valuable?

    The BladeSystems come with 16 blades in one chassis. This gives us a central location to manage all our HPE blade servers. We already apply a virtualization hypervisor layer on it, like Microsoft.

    What needs improvement?

    I would especially like to see a hyperconverged solution from HPE. With technology becoming faster and faster, and everything going to the cloud, I think cyber convergence is very good.

    I’m fine, you know. I think there is no need to improve it.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Honestly, it's very stable. There have been no issues with it during the past five years. It's very, very good. That’s why we would like to expand our data center now to buy many enclosures to accommodate the demands of what we have right now.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It is scalable. I think that it is like HPE Virtual Connect Enterprise Manager Software. You can configure the network from a central location for all enclosures. We have more than four or five enclosures. That is very good for us. 

    That's why I would recommend having one stack of vendor products. For example, we have HPE blade servers, some network devices, and some switches. This way, you can integrate and monitor the health status for all enclosures from a single monitor. You are alerted if any failure occurs. That makes our life easier in IT; so it's good.

    How was the initial setup?

    I wasn’t involved in the initial setup, but my colleague says that it was good.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We compared HPE blade servers with Cisco blade servers. Cisco is good, but expensive. I don’t have experience with them, but one of my friends has it. Later, they decided to go with HPE. 

    From our perspective in IT, you should look for the solution which fits your needs. It doesn't matter who the vendor is; but if you go with HPE, they have a lot of good experience in data centers. 

    We decided to go with HPE blades and enclosures. They are very powerful and they fit our needs. HPE fits our needs, especially because they also have the back-end storage, like 3PAR. 

    I recommend having a full stack with a single vendor, so you only have to deal with one company for support.

    Now our company is thinking about buying new servers. It's called HPE Apollo, I think. It's in progress. It's very good. I hope we will get more experience with HPE, especially from a training perspective.

    What other advice do I have?

    We were looking for stability. It's very powerful. It has huge resources. You can customize it as you like, and it fits our needs. Of course, it takes up little space. It's one rack in which you can put three enclosures. You can build your entire data center in one rack. It's very good. 

    Since I joined my current organization four years ago, HPE did an amazing transformation of our data center. Everything there is an HPE product from A to Z. It's an end-to-end solution, including the hardware, networking, software, and everything. We are very comfortable with it. In five years, we haven’t faced any issues with it. It's very good.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user567759
    IT Executive with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    In terms of application portability, we were able to migrate from a legacy Superdome infrastructure.

    What is most valuable?

    We migrated our entire legacy landscape from old HP Superdome infrastructure to the new x86 infrastructure on blades. In terms of application portability, it was a seamless project from my side.

    How has it helped my organization?

    The main benefit has been in terms of the newer platform having much more computer power. You can see your workloads completing much quicker. Users with feedback in terms of workload performance have reported that a job that typically took 3 or 4 hours to run took a few minutes.

    What needs improvement?

    We're busy with phase 2 of the project. We classify the legacy landscape into simple, medium and complex applications. We've done the simple and medium. We're now going to tackle the complex and will make use of HPE professional services to see how we can either modernize the application code, for which we don't have the skill set anymore, or some subset of the applications.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    In terms of platform stability, the legacy infrastructure was out of warranty and out of support. The new platform was much more stable and reliable.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    We have not used technical support often. HPE worked closely with us on the project. It was a joint initiative. We never had any issues and customers didn't even know they were migrated.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We're a telecom company. We've standardized around HPE, IBM, Oracle Solaris Sun boxes and now we've got VCE Vblocks. In terms of percentage, HPE's still about 60% of our landscape.

    We moved to an x86 infrastructure and we could probably move other workloads from IBM-related infrastructure across to an HPE infrastructure. We could standardize further, but from an x86 perspective, it becomes more or less agnostic regarding which vendor infrastructure is the underlying infrastructure; as long as the operating system and virtualization can take place on top.

    How was the initial setup?

    It did take us quite some time to make the business case and to get the funding, but once we got all of that, the project went smoothly. We never had any issues.

    For the technical part of the setup, we brought in professional services from HPE and they did the initial configuration and the racking and stacking of the systems.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We were looking at VCE Vblock, HPE, Oracle and IBM. We went with HPE because the HPE platform is about 60%, IBM is about 10%, and Oracle is about 30%.

    What other advice do I have?

    We're based in South Africa and we're pretty much dependent on the OEM to help us and advise us. HPE is able to advise us, especially on the architectural designs they can actually vet the architectural designs and give input that has proven to be valuable to us.

    We always try to check supportability of the platform post-project implementation. Trust me, before the project implementation, before they kick up, all the vendors will lobby. Obviously, when you’ve gone live and you start having problems after the fact, the vendors stay far away. So you need to make sure that in-country support is there and the skills are there. For example, we had an experience with Oracle where they didn't even have the skill sets at the right support levels.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user567945
    Datacentre Services Team Leader at NWG (Northumbrian Water Group)
    Vendor
    Everything's hot-pluggable. The way we manage our enclosures, everything's done through one iLO.

    What is most valuable?

    For us, the best feature of the BladeSystems is the plug-and-play capability. We are able to replace one quickly; everything's hot-pluggable. The enclosures are well made. The way we manage our enclosures, everything's done through one iLO. It's really easy to keep on top of things. They are what they are. They do the job they're designed to do.

    How has it helped my organization?

    When we initially went with blade servers, our footprint in the datacentre went down. We still have to use large ProLiant servers. We mainly use it in a Citrix environment, so we use each blade as a Xen host. Although we might have about 400 blades, we've then got four VMs running off that, whereas in the past, we would have had thousands of servers all stacked up on top of each other.

    What needs improvement?

    We have a niggle with the iLO connection. Sometimes you can go from one PC to another and how the iLO reacts depends on the web browser setup. I'd like to see something like HTML5 setup for iLO, so you don't need to install any Java or any of the plug-ins; so it's completely universal.

    It’s a great system, but it’s not perfect yet.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We've had blade servers for about 10 years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We don't have any real issues with stability.

    How is customer service and technical support?

    We have a HPE support contract. If anything does go wrong, it's just, swap it out, put it back in. I'll be careful what I mention, but sometimes the technical support online isn't great. You're often dealing with people who just ask you basic questions and ask you to check things that you've already checked. You know the fault's there; you wouldn't be logging the call if the fault wasn't there. But the engineers that come on-site are great.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    Initially, we were using Compaq equipment. Then Compaq and HP merged. We did do trials with IBM, but we found it to be a bit of a step back in that the kit just wasn't quite as high tech. It just seemed at the time it was a massive step back in the way we were working. HP seemed like it was a step ahead.

    What other advice do I have?

    My advice is to invest early dollars on higher capacity. In the early stages, we didn't put enough high power kit in and we ended up upgrading all the time, especially on the memory side. I think we went in quite low with RAM and we went through a massive process of upgrading all that.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user567927
    Senior Real Time Architect at Thomson Reuters
    Vendor
    Scalability and flexibility are valuable, as are the networking solutions within the chassis.

    What is most valuable?

    The most valuable features are scalability, flexibility and deployment, as well as the ease of networking solutions within the chassis.

    How has it helped my organization?

    The low cost of deployment is the greatest benefit to our company. It saves us money.

    What needs improvement?

    The only thing we think is on the down side is that you can't push them anywhere near as hard as the pizza-box servers; the rack mounts. We knew this at the very start, but it is something that makes us not totally go down that route. We do have a parallel deployment using those for our more aggressive situations.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The BladeSystem is very stable. Being an architect, I think the down times have been all within the expected goal, so we have not had any issues with that.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It's able to scale very well. That's one of the benefits of it.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I do remember that we had some technical questions on Virtual Connect and technical support was a bit slow in the early days, but that has improved.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    There was a company-wide decision, but we chose BladeSystem on the grounds that we had to do a rapid deployment. We didn't have an awful lot of time to get in to the detail, so we wanted something that knew was going to work. It's something we trusted would work. The scalability offered the fact that we could easily add to our installations in the various data centres that we have fairly quickly and horizontally scale out our applications.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was fine. It was more that we needed to know some of the technical error ins and outs regarding that, because we were using multicast mechanisms across the WAN and wanted to know how good the traffic flows worked; the ingress on the chassis and to the BladeSystems.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We went with HPE because of the performance. We set it against Dell, and evaluated its performance, because we also buy their hardware products. But, to be honest, we found Dell's far slower. We just said, there's no way we're going to go for that.

    In general, when selecting a vendor to work with, cost and performance are the most important criteria.

    What other advice do I have?

    Regarding the connectivity setups, we've done it all now. We could smooth that path. Now it's very simple for us. If there are any difficulties, it's probably of our own making.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user567894
    Sr. System Admins at a real estate/law firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    Manages data and supports the infrastructure. Good tool for database hosting, web hosting, and for applications that run on multiple systems.

    What is most valuable?

    The tool is pretty good in terms of managing data, compiling the system, and expanding the infrastructure. We are involved in property management. We use it for database and web hosting, and use it for applications that run on multiple systems.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It helps our company with backend capacity. It supports the infrastructure. It's performing well.

    What needs improvement?

    I would like to have a single console where we could manage multiple data centers. I'm expecting something like hardware visualization. I have different data centers where different BladeSystems are running.

    Whenever there is an event, I need to get into that system individually and manage from different consoles. I would like to see a centralized console for BladeSystem management.

    We have got multiple blade chassis, that are managed on an individual console. Having a centralized single console to manage all the chassis, would be easy for us to handle them in case of an event or for troubleshooting. For example, Cisco has UCS Director for managing multiple data center, similarly, if HPE can provide some centralized managing as well, then it will be great.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The tool is stable, although we have frequent failures in certain parts of it. This might be because we are using old generation servers, such as the HPE BladeSystem C7000 chassis and B400C Gen6 servers.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We haven't done much scaling. We are managing the individual BladeSystems.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I have used the technical support team and they are good. It is a straightforward process. I have been with them while they provided service.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    Before this solution, we had individual rack-mounted server blades from the DL Series. Those are being consolidated into the BladeSystem now.

    How was the initial setup?

    I was involved in the installation and it was straightforward. We had support from the local vendors as well.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We did not look at anyone else. We did not use any other HPE products, as such. We have bought into the Cisco solutions, as well. That keeps expanding.

    What other advice do I have?

    I would definitely recommend this tool.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user567867
    Senior Director R&D IT Solutions at NXP Semiconductors
    Vendor
    They are scalable. We can assemble​ them like building blocks.

    What is most valuable?

    The HPE BladeSystem is a very stable system. We use them in our data centres for the design and development our systems. We're talking about hundreds of BladeSystems we have in place.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It is very convenient that we can assemble them like building blocks. We can just buy them and put them in the system. They are standard building blocks.

    What needs improvement?

    We would like to see faster processing and more memory.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    BladeSystems are very stable.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Scalability is perfect.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    We use technical support every now and then when we have some hardware problems and I think it's fine. Depending if it's a reseller or HPE itself. I would say in general it's okay.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We have been using BladeSystems for almost six years now. We didn’t really have a previous solution.

    How was the initial setup?

    There's always a learning curve when you start with a new product. When you past the learning curve, then it's straightforward.

    What other advice do I have?

    Have a serious look at this. It brings a lot of value for us. That tells enough. Our company is doing very well.

    When selecting a vendor, the pricing must be okay. But next to the pricing, I want to see a long term road map and know that they will be a trusted partner.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user567909
    IT Infrastructure Projects Manager at a financial services firm with 501-1,000 employees
    Vendor
    Small footprint, scalability, and flexibility are valuable.

    What is most valuable?

    To us, the most valuable feature is space. It's the much smaller footprint of having eight, 10, or 12 blade servers, as opposed to having 10 bigger servers in place. There is also a power savings.

    How has it helped my organization?

    • It enables us to expand easily. The whole blade center's a very plug-and-play type system so we can expand rapidly and increase our farms easily.
    • There are performance benefits to it as well. We've moved up generations of servers with the blade environment.
    • It's very flexible.

    What needs improvement?

    We know that the blade centers probably have a limited life span now. It probably has five years left. Having invested in it, we would like to be able to keep it with new generations of servers, new generations of blades, faster processors, and so on.

    The next real release of the solution has been replaced by Synergy in pretty much every scenario. It's the composable workspace, which is part of the environment in which you can actually make resources available at the touch of a hat; and automatically spin up more disks and more servers. This is currently available, but it's kind of like a next-generation product. I don’t think it will ever make it into a this-generation product, but it would be nice.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    So far, I've had no real stability problems, so it's been good for us. We renewed our licenses about two years ago. I don't think I've ever seen a single error since.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It is excellent on scalability.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    We used technical support on one or two of the upgrades we did. The technical support was very good.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    HPE was in the company when I joined them; but I've used HPE in multiple different companies over many years now.

    We were previously using HPE DL380s, but it was as standalone servers. We managed to take out about 10 or 12 standalone servers, and replace them with eight blades. It took up less than half the rack space.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was pretty straightforward. I've done most of the design work and specifications, but we actually brought in a third-party company to actually do the installation, and worked with them to do it. That all went nice and smoothly.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We didn’t really look at other vendors. We did briefly look at Dell, and some others, but HPE being HPE, it was a “no choice” scenario. It is a really, really good solution.

    What other advice do I have?

    From my experience with HPE and the BladeSystem, I could obviously recommend it. We’ve had no problems or issues.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user567714
    Head Of IT Operations at Raiffeisen Bank - Bulgaria
    Vendor
    Compact, integrates the infrastructure, and easy to configure and manage.

    What is most valuable?

    The most valuable features are that it:

    • Is compact
    • Integrates the infrastructure
    • Is easy to configure
    • Is easy to manage

    How has it helped my organization?

    It saves us a lot of space, supplies, and amenities. That is important for us. The performance of the system is very good.

    What needs improvement?

    We would like to see a more compact and more powerful solution.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We have not had any problems with stability so far.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The scalability is great.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    We have only used technical support for the initial installation. They were very professional.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We were using a similar solution from other vendors, but we found that HPE is much better.

    How was the initial setup?

    It was a straightforward installation.

    What other advice do I have?

    What's most important is to have really good, reliable professionals. You want really good support. We were looking at a couple of vendors, but HPE at that time had a good local presence. They were very good at representing their solutions. They had really good experts, so everything was perfect. They are a good vendor.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user567702
    Infrastructure Engineer at Wellcome Trust
    Vendor
    Good interface for straightforward management.

    What is most valuable?

    The blades have been reliable. They are powerful and flexible. Those are the key features for me.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Reliability means more uptime. We don't get so much dysfunction in the business. Flexibility and memory are good. Managing has been fairly straightforward. It's got a good interface to manage. I don’t have anything bad to say.

    What needs improvement?

    There is nothing much to improve, so long as they carry on with the basics of user views and reliability. There have been steady improvements, but not drastic ones. We have seen steady improvements which have been good for us.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    All good.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    All good.

    How is customer service and technical support?

    I have used it occasionally. It's “okay-ish”. It's always a pain going through the first line of support, particularly when you know what the problem is. You still have to go through all the formalities. I get the answers I need eventually. Sometimes it takes a bit longer, or you have to go through more steps than you hoped for. In the end, they get to it. It probably has a few more layers than other technical support I’ve used. I have been able to get to engineers faster and more directly with other vendors.

    How was the initial setup?

    I was involved in the setup. It was good. We had someone from HPE come in to help us and that was useful. You have to learn the product and use it. It was a straightforward installation.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We've got Dell blades. I'm a little bit more biased because I've used them and I'm more familiar with them. I still prefer the HPE blades. We chose HPE over Dell because the interface manager seemed more intuitive with HPE. Dell didn't seem to put it together as well.

    What other advice do I have?

    For what we use blades for, it was, and still is, the best solution. Although this is a great solution, you still need to look at the rest of the infrastructure to make the most of it. It's not just blades. You have to look at networking. You have to look at your storage in order to make the most use of it. It's taken us a more time to realize this. You want a whole solution. You have to look at it from end-to-end.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user567711
    Systems Engineer at a computer software company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    We get higher density and better hardware maintenance.

    What is most valuable?

    We can better maintain physical servers and takes up only half the cabinet space. We have from 8-16 physical servers in one chassis, so it's better for maintenance in case of hardware failure on one of these BladeSystems. We get higher density and better hardware maintenance.

    How has it helped my organization?

    More physical resources can be added to our pool with better maintenance.

    What needs improvement?

    I would like to see a better UI for configuring the VDX switches.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We are very satisfied with the stability.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    For scalability, it is better to work withHPE Apollo servers, which is not what we are using. I think HPE provides all the products that work better and quicker.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Technical support is very good.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We were using older generation HP BladeSystems. We switched to the new version, because we needed more capacity. We were satisfied already with the existing BladeSystem, so we wanted to continue using it and went with the latest generation available.

    How was the initial setup?

    Initial setup is straightforward for the physical servers, but took a bit more time to configure the virtual connect switches inside the chassis.

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

    The price is affordable for what we want in new physical resources.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We looked at Dell and Quanta. HPE has very good technical support and that makes a difference; at least compared with Quanta for instance.

    What other advice do I have?

    List what you need regarding new capacities of:

    • RAM memory
    • CPU power
    • Your budget
    • High availability limitation
    • Support

    We want a vendor to provide support for any hardware failure. They need to be able to respond quickly and so we can recover from a hardware failure and put it back into production.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user567552
    Head Of Applications at Pentland Brands
    Vendor
    You can upgrade or downgrade, depending on the performance needed for different applications. I'm looking for better stability and real-time performance monitoring.

    What is most valuable?

    At a very high level, it gives us flexibility. Being on a virtual system, you can upgrade or downgrade, depending on the performance we need for all our different applications. We've had situations where we've had downtime, but our application state hasn't been affected because it moved on to the rest of the blades. And then we've switched the faulty blades when we've needed.

    At a very high level, what it does is it gives us the ability to scale up. It gives us redundancy. It's cost efficient in that sense.

    How has it helped my organization?

    As I’ve mentioned, the benefits are flexibility and the fact that we can scale up our environment as and when we want to.

    What needs improvement?

    I'm probably not the right person to provide any information, but I guess I would like to see monitoring, real-time monitoring of the performance of the estate. We do basic monitoring of our estate. I'm not sure how robust it is, whether it can see into the future and understand where there are faults occurring.

    From an application point of view, I want to avoid redundancy as much as possible, and I want to avoid downtime. I want general performance. Anything that helps that situation would be best.

    I haven’t rated it higher because of stability and monitoring capability.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We've been using it for a while now. We've been using it for about four or five years, and we've probably had about three or four critical incidents. Over five years, that’s not too bad.

    Blades have malfunctioned, so we’ve had to switch over. Physically, those blades have had to be replaced.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Every three or four years, we review our hardware estate. We're going through a process right now to increase the capacity in our estate. We do a complete application review and we understand what infrastructure environment is needed to support that.

    How is customer service and technical support?

    We get good service from our reseller; I rate them 7/10.

    What other advice do I have?

    Do your ground work. Understand not only what you need right now but what you need in the future because technology's changing and evolving. Do a fairly good due diligence about what your estate will be needed for the next couple of years, in the future.

    Look around. Shop around with multiple resellers to get the best price.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user165291
    ICT Infrastructuur Architect at Isala
    Vendor
    It is easy to manage and to connect to your other infrastructure

    What is most valuable?

    The HPE BladeSystem is a universal platform for server infrastructure. It is easy to manage and to connect to your other infrastructure, fiber channel network, and so on.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It's mainly focused on management and reliability. It's a fairly reliable platform, almost no outages. It works perfectly.

    What needs improvement?

    It could be improved in terms of management, in terms of uptime. When you do the firmware upgrades, it's not acceptable; we have downtime issues. It’s not good with that, but it's getting better and better.

    We have been working with HPE BladeSystem C7000 since 2007. Until recently, the firmware updates on the connectivity modules (FC and Ethernet) and Virtual Connect could not be done without downtime. For an enterprise system, this is not acceptable. It is only since last year that we did the first online upgrades without any downtime.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It's very stable; just minor issues; no big issues.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    You scale within the enclosure. You get 16 servers and then you can buy extra enclosures. It's scalable.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Technical support is OK. I'm not directly working with support myself, just indirectly. But from what I hear from the engineers, it's OK.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We previously used other HPE servers, just the old ProLiant servers and other lines. We converted to BladeSystems and these products.

    How was the initial setup?

    Initial setup is quite complex. You have to think before you start.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We chose this solution quite a long time ago. I don’t remember what else we considered. We chose HPE because we were already an HPE customer.

    What other advice do I have?

    Invest in preparation. The HPE BladeSystems are being succeeded by the Synergy systems, announced last year. That's the successor, so look at that.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Philip Sellers
    Solutions Engineer at AmWINS Group, Inc.
    Real User
    It's been easy from an upgrade perspective and maintenance.

    What is most valuable?

    We like the wire once approach. We've had to do very little maintenance on the backend connectivity components. We really have been able to basically leave our fiber and Ethernet connections alone. I think in our ten years on two BladeSystem enclosures, we've done one infield upgrade, to raise our capacity limits on Ethernet and fiber channel. But really, the same enclosures have been doing fantastic for that entire time.

    What needs improvement?

    We had a lot of work to do from a management perspective as an administrator to ensure that we had the correct firmware and driver levels, and things like that, between servers. HPE fixed that when they introduced the service pack for ProLiant. OneView has expanded the idea of server profiles and added some additional management ease - including the ability to define firmware levels for blades - the way that a Cisco UCS blade does.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We've been a BladeSystem customer for over 10 years.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    The ecosystem of software the comes with HPE blade has been lacking. HPE's Rapid Deployment Pack (was rebranded Altiris when I used it) is clunky solution for imaging blades and it may have been replaced. Sometimes the NPIV makes it difficult to find WWN in the fibre channel SAN when bringing a new blade online.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Early on, I would say that it wasn't stable. Today, however they test all of the firmware and drivers together now, so when we do a deployment or upgrade for firmware, that service pack has been integration tested across all of the different generations and hardware components, so we've gotten a lot more stability out of the solution since they made that change, and that's something I will say across multiple different solutions. Sometimes if they identify a problem like that as a partner, they tend to try to correct it. It may take them some time to get it corrected, but we went through the same sort of thing with StoreOnce ... Early on we had some issues with the software releases and there were some inefficiencies that in a couple generations they had it worked out and they listened to customer feedback. They try to integrate that into their solutions. That's one of the things that keeps us as an HPE customer, because we do feel that communication and feedback gets heard.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Multiple enclosures at scale can introduce challenges. That's one of the downsides of a ten year old technology. HPE is working on new solutions to really hit scale issues that they have encountered with BladeSystem, but it works fine for us. We are a small to medium sized enterprise, so we've not encountered any major issues with scalability where we are at, but we are running one enclosure per sight, so we're not really trying to do scale things.

    How is customer service and technical support?

    7/10 - it can be hit or miss. We get better luck with our premium support levels. We have a named TAM for some of our systems, that works out well. Escalation managers are always good. There is good technical talent, it's just sometimes hidden by first level support. That can be difficult and frustrating at times, but over ten years working with them, I would say today it's probably a little better than when I first started. Actually, I would say it's probably improved a good bit since I first started working with them, but it's still got some room to go.

    How was the initial setup?

    BladeSystem setup was one of my first projects when I joined the company, there was a learning curve to it. It really actually was fairly straightforward except we were trying to do everything boot from SAN, and that added some complexity and learning curve. The actual hardware solution - it was fairly straightforward and made a lot of sense. Blades were brand new back then too, so it was a foreign concept, but it wasn't terrible. I would say maybe a a six out of ten or something initially, but if I had to do it now, it's probably a lot easier.

    What other advice do I have?

    It really gets the job done well. It's dense compute. We replaced an entire rack of equipment with ten use, twelve use, I can't remember how many use it is, but with a single BladeSystem. It has been a long-sustaining enclosure. We have field upgraded the interconnects twice to add new capabilities as technology changed and those were service affecting but not very difficult. I have worked with Cisco UCS Manager and both have similar concepts. HPE Synergy is also due to launch soon, and althought HPE has a commitment to BladeSystem for the next few years, Synergy is really their next generation of blade technology.

    It really gets the job done. The management is easy, it's been easy from an upgrade perspective and maintenance. So, it works really well for us.

    Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
    ITCS user
    Delivery Assurance Manager at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
    Consultant
    It allows organisations to grow their clusters and environments by adding more blades to the enclosure.

    Valuable Features:

    The simplified design of the blades ensures a effeccient and repair including a replace in the event of a failure.

    Improvements to My Organization:

    Improves capacity and aids organizations in adapting to their growth.

    Room for Improvement:

    The profiles needs a complete rework, the way the profiles and networks are assigned to the blades isn’t user friendly and is often a hindrance

    Stability Issues:

    We've had no issues with the performance.

    Scalability Issues:

    Excellent scalability, good flexibility from both a vertical and horizontal perspective.

    Other Advice:

     Consider implementing HP One-View into your environment to assist in addressing the complicated admin in some areas. Implement where possible a Use Standard to the chassis level, i.e. 1 chassis for hyper-v, 1 for SQL, etc... Segregate the networking set to the network where possible and avoid using the chassis profiles.

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We have a Strategic Partnership with HP
    it_user115215
    System Auditor at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
    Consultant
    It provides an advanced server management system that allows our NOC and server administrator to do their work more efficiently.

    Valuable Features:

    I think the c7000 platinum enclosure is really a great value for the money, especially for centralized data center management. It provides us with an advanced server management system that makes things work faster for our NOC and server administrator.

    Firmware updates for system components are also valuable.

    Room for Improvement:

    I would like to see improvement regarding scalability and deployment in the area of support. I simply mean seeing other fantastic features like built-in humidity or temperature sensors (especially for the market outside Europe and US). With technical support, I'm wondering if there could be some sort of seminar or webinar organised for users and prospective clients that may want to take a bake off on HPE BladeSystem.

    Other Advice:

    The HPE BladeSystem is easy to manage. It is a fantastic product that datacenter managers, cloud services providers, and server room operators should embrace because it has all you could ever think of.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user481986
    Desktop Engineer at a insurance company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    It made it much more scalable for us to be able to spin up architecture with VMware on top of it.

    What is most valuable?

    Probably the most value there is the compactness and the density you can get into the data center.

    What needs improvement?

    It would be nice if it could have better monitoring in terms of iLO and things like that. Some more interoperability between the different generations of blades.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Most recently, with some of our blades in our VDI environment we've had some stability issues. I don't know if that's a problem of HP or if it's a problem with HP with VMware and the VM-HP virtual connect on the backend of the Blade Chassis, but we have had issues in that environment.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We used VMware as a hypervisor on top of our BladeSystems, on our Blade Chassis, and on our blade server. It made it much more scalable for us to be able to spin up new architecture fairly quickly. What we've done is rolled back or moved, relocated some blades from one Chassis to another that didn't have virtual connect.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    It's just as they always have been. They've been pretty solid in terms of technical support.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    Most everything we had prior to building up our new data center was single server DL380s or 360 single servers. It would take too long to provision a DL380 to give people the access to a single server to be able to then do their development or build a new production environment.

    How was the initial setup?

    We have a gentleman who's primarily our BladeSystem expert.

    What other advice do I have?

    Make sure that if you're using it as a hypervisor, that you're doing all the pre-work on setup such as knowing the interoperability between different product statures that you're going to run on it.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user481857
    Data Center Systems Engineer at Insight
    MSP
    Architecturally, there's no problem adding more as the environment needs to scale.

    Valuable Features:

    I think the thing about BladeSystems is the quality of the engineering that goes into them. They have a long history of being valuable and viable products that are out there. Customers trust them.

    Improvements to My Organization:

    It's interesting because I think, as infrastructure becomes more and more invisible and application becomes more and more important to the business, just not having to worry about that infrastructure is the value on a business level.

    Room for Improvement:

    Customers are always looking for more performance, just trying to get more out of them. I don't know whether they have a blade or whether, but it's a rackmount server, and they're just trying to get more horsepower out of them. Continue to make them more scalable inside the box in terms of CPU, memory and I/O etc. It's just, customers are always looking for more density.

    Stability Issues:

    From the folks that I know that are using them, typically you're not seeing stuff at the infrastructure level. You may have some brittle pieces of the application and the integration, but the platform themselves are solid.

    Scalability Issues:

    Architecturally, there's no problem adding more of those as the environment needs to scale.

    Initial Setup:

    I'm not that hands-on too much on the setup piece.

    Other Advice:

    I think it's the advice that I'd give to anybody that would ask for it. Start with your application, find out what the requirements are, think about what it's going to need in the future, then begin architecting your solution there.

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partners
    it_user252639
    Senior Systems Engineer - Storage and Virtualization at a legal firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    You can quickly deploy a system, move server profiles around at will and swap out hardware as needed.

    Valuable Features

    Valuable features include the speed at which you can deploy a system, the server profiles, and the ability to move those profiles around at will. We can also swap out hardware as needed, which is probably the saving grace for it.

    Room for Improvement

    Most of the issues that I have found have been addressed inside OneView. OneView 3.0 will allows us to do live migration of the Virtual Connect domains, so there isn’t anything big to improve at the moment.

    Use of Solution

    We have used the product since it first came out and since generation one. We went from the P-class to the C-class because the P-class was not very good, and we haven’t had many issues since. Along the way, we went from pass-throughs to virtual-connects to FlexLOM and more, and everything has worked fine.

    Stability Issues

    There were some issues with Virtual Connect not recognizing certain devices in OneView, but they have been addressed. Most issues are addressed quickly. We also use OneView to create the profiles on most of the new BladeServers that are Gen8 and higher. There are no issues with that.

    Scalability Issues

    It’s pretty scalable. I came from an environment that had 60 Blade enclosures. We went to Virtual Connect Enterprise for manageability, because the domains were locked to four when you did a stacking cable. There are some limits inside the Virtual Connect Enterprise Manager, but we couldn't find them.

    Customer Service and Technical Support

    HP support is very good. I've never had an issue with it. HP stands behind their product so they work hard to fix issues.

    Other Advice

    To pick a solution, we generally create a matrix and then fill in what we want out of the product. We pump in vendors and choose whoever meets the targets that we set. I would also note that the migration from rack mount to BladeSystem is not a one-to-one, so read the manual.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user476355
    Sr. Systems Engineer at Cardinal Glass
    Vendor
    The small footprint that they have, the reliability and the ease of use are key factors.

    Valuable Features:

    The small footprint that they have, the reliability and the ease of use are key factors. We've been using them for probably 12 years now. I've been very happy with the product. We have them in a data center, so we have to pay for the power and space. That's two key factors, as far as pricing going, as far as why we wanted a small footprint.

    Improvements to My Organization:

    We don't have to hire as many IT people because of the ease of use. That's key. With the smaller footprint, less power consumption, that saves money, and that's the bottom line.

    Room for Improvement:

    I guess with its ease of use, as far as the configuration of the virtual switches, and things like that all need work. We just upgraded to 10 Gig on a couple of them, and the learning curve for me was a little tough on that.

    Scalability Issues:

    It's easy. If we need to add servers, it's very simple. We don't add and subtract a lot of servers. Our environment is pretty stable. I'm not looking for hyper-quick deployment of servers and things like that. I will look into being able to get into where if a server fails, that profile can quickly go over to another profile on another server. That would be nice to have that feature.

    Other Solutions Considered:

    We looked at Dell and Cisco, and we actually just re-evaluated them again last year. We decided to stick with the HP because we were happy with the product. I guess because I was the decision maker, and I've been happy with HP. Unless there was a real business reason to switch, and there wasn't, so we stuck with HP.

    Other Advice:

    If you're considering it, you want to try out all the 3 big players. Then kind of just go with what feels right for you. I've tried out all three of them, and I've been happy, and the HP is the best. You just got to try it out and see what you think.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user476301
    Director - Data Centre Operations at MCAP
    Vendor
    Provides consolidation of hardware into single or more manageable components.

    What is most valuable?

    BladeSystem provides consolidation of hardware into single or more manageable components. Everything from FlexFabric, Virtual Connect, being able to manage your environment holistically from a single pane of glass, in terms of vCenter, and blade integration. I think the other thing is with HP's OneView, having another standardized management console to be able to manipulate pretty much everything from a blade's infrastructure component point of view as well as networking. Anything in the HP product line, the infrastructure can be managed through OneView.

    How has it helped my organization?

    There's definitely great advantages in the efficiency of time savings, both from a personnel perspective as well as the ability to quickly deliver on new offerings.

    What needs improvement?

    At the time, we were trying to learn the technologies while we were setting up the data center, and that's why we used professional services. We ended up having to collectively learn on the fly in setting up some of the new features we had. This was three years ago when we set up two new data centers and moved our operation out of an outsourced line of business.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It's been really stable, we haven't really seen any problems.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We've been expanding most of it, going with solid state storage has been the latest set of upgrades that we've done to it, and continuing to grow that. From a backup standpoint, we're also looking if we can start to use a lower tiered storage and use that to house all of the backups that we'll do, so we can get off using tapes as part of our whole strategy. We've got nine branch centers that ultimately are consolidating into the data center, so we're trying to fan those down into the data center and back them up.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    In terms of the overall support, you're dealing with enterprise infrastructure related support personnel. If you're paying for enterprise level of support, and again, being such a foundation of your infrastructure, when there's issues they're usually critical, and the expectation is that you get immediate response. The experience that we've had is that sometimes you get right through to a qualified individual from to start, otherwise sometimes you have to play that escalation game, which in an emergency situation can be a little bit of a headache.

    I would say sometimes it's hit or miss in terms of the kind of support you do get. Traditional hardware replacement, usually isn't a big deal. HP's remote support is really responsive in terms of hard drive failures, things of that nature. I find that the level of technicians that you get when you're calling in for any kind of technical support you may need, really does kind of vary. As an enterprise customer who's paying for enterprise level support, when you call, you call because you're in the middle of a catastrophe or you have an emergency situation that you're working through, so having to work through multiple tiers of technical individuals who may not have the necessary levels of strength, does not help the process.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We had HP Blades at the previous location, so we just bought the next generation of blades, but it was the same enclosure and some of it we did actually move across as we bought some initial hardware to seat things, and then as we freed up from our managed site we could then bring some of that technology across and continue to scale up in the new environment.

    How was the initial setup?

    We did use some technical support, like through the professional services. We actually found some good, and some not so good, in terms of the expertise that we had. They didn't know enough. When we came around to setting up our VMs with the network they had, we had some challenges. There was a bit of a learning curve on both organizations. Not all positive.

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

    I would say that the licensing model is probably the one biggest caveat I have. A lot of vendors provide a licensing model whereby you have to license the different functionality and feature sets that you want, but I think that for a lot of customers that's a bit of a stumbling block because you may not always be able to, upfront, understand or know exactly what you want to utilize, and have to make that additional investment later, when the dollars may not be there, is a little bit difficult.

    What other advice do I have?

    If you're looking for a unified management interface where you can manage multiple products through a single pane of glass, like OneView for example, it might make sense. If you're heavily invested in the HP product line, again, it might make sense. But really in this day and age, computing is computing for the most part, so I think it really depends on what influences your purchasing decision, whether it's politics or technical merit.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user485994
    Windows System Administrator at a insurance company with 10,001+ employees
    Vendor
    The ability to manage more infrastructure with less resources is important for us.

    Valuable Features

    Bottom line dollar is a big thing for a company like us. The ability to manage more infrastructure with less resources. When you get in a blade environment, you can do so much more management administration across a bigger scale.

    Improvements to My Organization

    BladeSystem was a huge improvement over rack. We gained an awful lot of productivity when we went to BladeSystem, because we can set up so much infrastructure in one swipe. Then you've got networking capability and storage capability. It really made life simpler.

    Stability Issues

    The stability is key, because I'm talking about the server space. On the workstation space, we have dabbled with some lower cost providers in the past like Acer. Reply, which is probably a company you've never heard of, but I've been in my company a long time. We started out with IBM which was micro-channel architecture. We looked at other architectures, and we found less expensive ones. It ended up being a failed experiment after three to four years, because there's other costs involved. The stability and HP's ability or any big provider, HP's ability to bring us new product in a timely manner is very important in choosing your technology partner.

    When we buy an enclosure, our company puts a seven-year life span on it. We expect to have two iterations of blade servers in that enclosure before the enclosure itself goes out to the scrap heap. That's another way that we look at it as a good, long-term investment.

    Scalability Issues

    We try to keep a blade server on a three-year lifecycle. When that one's ready to come out of that slot in the rack, you can pull out a G64-60, and you can put in a different architecture as long as it's a single form factor. I like that scalability real well.

    Customer Service and Technical Support

    I'm not real happy with their tech support. I wish I had better access. For the level of customer that we are and the amount we spend with HPE, I wish I had better access. I feel like I'm going through the same telephone portal that somebody with a home laptop with an HP logo on it, I don't feel like I'm treated as a valued customer.

    Other Solutions Considered

    We've certainly looked at other providers in the past. We know Dell's out there. We know IBM's out there.

    We were Compaq users before HPE really got into the server space. That acquisition was 10 or so years ago. Due to our relationship with Compaq, we inherited HP as our primary provider of server hardware in the X86 space.

    Other Advice

    It's a good product. As I said, the support isn't the best, but it's a good product. We run them to death. We're supposed to run them for three years, but we have server hardware that's been running six years around the clock.

    Also, I'd go back to my earlier case on total cost of ownership, return on investment, and things like that. If I'm talking to somebody that's from a company on our scale, I'd say absolutely go for it. HP products may not necessarily make sense for somebody in a small business environment, but for all the reasons that make sense for a company the size of mine, I'd absolutely recommend it.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user486621
    Systems Engineering Manager at a aerospace/defense firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    Being able to manage everything from one BladeCenter makes administration costs go down.

    Valuable Features

    The reliability of the BladeSystem, as we've used them for a long time, and the chassis/blades are backwards compatible. I know they're moving to a new BladeCenter, but over time I've seen the reliability with it versus other vendors, so for me that's what it comes down to.

    Improvements to My Organization

    It's the density of the compute power that you get. We've taken the ones that we can, some of the ProLiant systems, and condensed them down into blades. This has helped to reduce are footprint - reducing power consumption and cooling consumption Also, just being able to manage everything from one BladeCenter makes administration costs go down.

    Room for Improvement

    I haven't seen it lately, but I know with OneView, there are still some limitations. It was because the product roll-out last year was still kind of catching on and still kind of debugging, but I think once that gets some maturity and growth, I think that's going to be continued on the right track.

    Stability Issues

    We integrate multiple power supplies. We have redundancy on the back plane with different mezzanines and things like that. It's been very stable. I would have to say on the ProLiant side, where we do have something running that's critical, it's a DNS function on there, there's always a backup. What we can't do maybe through hardware because it's a one chassis, we'll do through software as well to bring clustering and things like that.

    Customer Service and Technical Support

    We have technical account managers, and we call them to handle any kind of maintenance agreement or things like that, and have had very good support from them. If there's something that they can't answer, they're always willing to reach back and get the right point of contact. We've had very good dealings with our technical account manager and technical support.

    Initial Setup

    It was never really a big risk for us, because we've been on HPE for a while, so getting to the new system was pretty low risk, and when it came time to do the migration or the upgrades to stuff, it's always been kind of non-eventful. We've never tried to minimize what we're doing, but we take precautions like calling HPE ahead of time, making sure that there's support there, that they're aware of when we're doing a migration so if anything goes wrong, they're there to support us. We haven't had any issues with that.

    Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

    If we could get the cost down that would be good.

    Other Solutions Considered

    I did a trade study on this, I think HP has a big offering in terms of the number of blades that they offer and the amount of blades they can fit in a chassis, so I think they're actually ahead of the game compared to IBM and Sun/Oracle, and some of the other ones I've seen with Dell. I would say HPE is probably at the top of that game.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user487410
    System Administrator at a construction company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    Since it's modular, we're able to replace parts as needed. Pricing can always be improved.

    Valuable Features

    Being modular and being able to replace parts as needed, is easy without taking systems down.

    Improvements to My Organization

    Less real estate - that's pretty much it. Manpower and time, and even resources, electricity. Bills go down because of BladeSystems.

    Room for Improvement

    Better pricing is always a plus.

    Stability Issues

    It does its job, I haven't had any major problems with it.

    Scalability Issues

    It's scalable.

    Customer Service and Technical Support

    I haven't used it but my colleagues who have haven't had any issues with them.

    Other Advice

    It's pretty scalable, but then again, it's pretty old. It's not as scalable as the Cisco Blades that we currently have, but I'm not going to knock it because of that, it's just because it's old it doesn't have all the technology that Cisco has right now.

    Do your homework. Shop around and look at other vendors. Don't just look at one specific blade system.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user487494
    IT Director at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    Dependable hardware. We don't have a lot of downtime.

    What is most valuable?

    The BladeSystem with the manageability and the reliability of the BladeSystem. I used to work for HPE and with the ProLiant line so now we're pretty loyal to HPE servers, and have been for several years.

    How has it helped my organization?

    The hardware is very dependable. We don't have a lot of downtime. Whenever we do need to call support, support is always very fast and able to jump on things. That's what we like about it.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We pretty much use the blades for everything that we can. The only reason the rack mounts are still around is because we have some fax servers that need fax boards that don't fit in the blades and that's pretty much it.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We've had other vendors trying to pitch similar hardware to us but it's something we don't even consider just because of the stability and the reliability of the HPE hardware.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    That's a non-issue for us. They're easy to scale especially with the blade chassis. We stack several of them into a rack, stick in more blades whenever we need to.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    We don't use them very often. Usually we have a minor issue, a hard drive or something like that so we really don't use it very often but when we need to, it's always very good.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We kind of got in on the ground floor when the blades were first coming out. We decided to make the plunge just to save space and from there, we just fell in love with the blades. A lot of people have, with the space saving and they're just easier to configure than the rack mounts. You put in the blade chassis and you slide in the blades instead of having to rack 12 servers.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We looked at Cisco UCS but the manageability of it and learning a new product wasn't something we wanted to do. We also felt like these were still a superior product.

    What other advice do I have?

    I would tell them to strongly take a look at the HPE. Go ahead and do a bake off if you want to. If they want to prove a concepts with the Dells, Dells will give them a way to you to try them out. If you rack them up side-by-side, I think all the features set and just the reliability of HPE makes them come out ahead.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user485712
    Senior Datacenter Specialist at a aerospace/defense firm with 10,001+ employees
    Vendor
    It's easy for me to use them as building blocks for whatever system I'm working on.

    Valuable Features:

    Probably the biggest thing I like about it is how easy they are, how easy it is for me to use them as building blocks for whatever system I'm working on. Whether it's another node of VMware cluster or another Microsoft cluster, it's really easy for me to be able to do. I can move them real easy around my data center. They're heavy compute but really easy and functional to use.

    Improvements to My Organization:

    For me the benefit is the expandability. I can basically fit 16-blade Chassis inside of a 10U location as opposed to 16 rack mounts would be 32U in my cabinet. It's a lot more power, so I can really shrink my data center down a lot and still provide the same level of complement.

    There's a cost saving, as there's a smaller real estate. It's not necessarily less hardware, but it reduces the power and the cooling requirements within the data center and the space is what I need.

    Room for Improvement:

    They're physically big, about 240 lbs, but it's a minimal issue. I just started to get a BladeSystem that works, and I'd like to to work a little bit more with the ConvergedSystem.

    Cost and Licensing Advice:

    They're not cheap, and for me to buy one is about $75,000 before I put any sort of server inside of it. I'd like the costing to come down a little bit.

    Other Solutions Considered:

    We did look at a few others in the past, we haven't in a long time. Obviously we are an HPE shop. We did look at the Dell blades, the IBM blades, even Cisco's UCS system as well for a while, so we did actually do the proper comparisons across everything.

    We chose HPE as everyone already knew the systems, knew how they worked. Ultimately, going through the other systems, HPE was the easiest one to go in and just start setting up and configuring right away out of the gate.

    Other Advice:

    Part of it is really going to depend on what your use case for it is. If it's just running general server pools, then you get in there really fast, get it set up, run it using OneView obviously, which makes life a lot easier, because then you've got a single pane of glass to manage all your environments. That's the big reason I would use it.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user487455
    IT Senior Manager at a energy/utilities company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    We started using it to standardize our infrastructure.

    What is most valuable?

    We used to have many physical servers spending energy and space in our data center. Now most of our servers are virtually running in a blade server infrastructure. We use the BladeSystem, ProLiant, and 3PAR for storage and we're trying to create a hybrid environment infrastructure. Also, OneView provides us with more visibility and you can manage what you can see.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It's about standardizing the infrastructure. Now we're only using one physical infrastructure and one software platform for the management.

    What needs improvement?

    It would be nice if it could integrate with cloud systems.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We never have downtime caused by this solution. Mainly when we have a downtime it's caused by a planned maintenance or something similar.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    When we need to grow, we just buy another BladeSystem and ProLiant, then add it to the system. It's modular, so we can simply add in devices when we need.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    We have a TS contract with an HPE partner.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We were using many different servers and we needed to standardize our infrastructure.

    What about the implementation team?

    Tecnasa installed the system for us.

    What other advice do I have?

    You will need to determine you parameters and your requirements so you can decide which products will best fit your needs.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user477453
    Sr. Manager Enterprise Services at a venture capital & private equity firm with 501-1,000 employees
    Vendor
    It makes it easier to bring in a new system.

    Valuable Features

    • The space saving which has helped to reduce our cabling.
    • It makes it a lot easier to bring up a new system. When a new blade comes in, we slide it in the chassis and we're done. I don't have to spend time wiring up a new server. It's just there, with my team spending less time racking something and getting it configured. We're just ready to go.
    • It's the speed that which we can deploy new systems.

    Improvements to My Organization

    I would guess it crosses over as the reduced cost on real estate as if we've got less room, there's less cabinets we need to buy at a data center. I don't know that there's really a cost benefit from the hardware standpoint. A standalone server is going to be cost comparable to a blade, maybe even cheaper. I guess the business is going to save money by using less man hours to get it up and spend less money on real estate.

    Room for Improvement

    It'd come from a software standpoint - software support on the BladeSystem, particularly with Helion and OneView in that if you're using the Cisco fabric extenders instead of the HPE fabric extenders, there's a lot of functionality that you can't use. Because our network stack is Cisco, we can't do a lot of that automated provisioning of new blades because it's not supported. That's one thing that we'd really like to see HPE implement - true supportability of the Cisco fabric extenders.

    The other thing is the support. With our initial purchase, we bought three chassis and maybe 15 or 20 blades. Out of that, we had probably a 20% failure rate within the first few weeks. It was really high and enough to make us concerned. We spent a lot of money on the chassis. We're married to them at this point since we don't want to throw the chassis away. The chassis were fine, but the blade servers themselves had a high failure rate, which didn't give us a lot of confidence.

    Since then, everything's been fairly reliable, very few problems as of late, probably on the same frequency as we do with the rack mount servers. Whereas previously the rack mount servers never had a problem, Blades servers come with loads of problems. It could be completely anecdotal coincidence.

    Customer Service and Technical Support

    We haven't had to do a lot of technical support beyond that initial failure rate as it was resolved very quickly. If it's a bad memory issue or similar, the guys are out the same day, and have replaced the broken piece or the entire blade.

    Initial Setup

    Deployment is easy. We just slide the blade in and put an OS on it and we're done. It's a lot easier than dealing with the rack mount servers and it is a lot faster.

    The reliability, has gotten better; initially it was bad. I don't think there's anything bad to say at this point beyond those initial first impressions.

    Other Solutions Considered

    We looked at also using the Cisco UCS platform. The UCS I felt was more complicated than what we needed. Perhaps another customer might choose it over HPs, but the features that UCS had didn't appeal or apply to us. If you're standing up dozens and dozens of chassis on a daily or weekly basis, then maybe those copy/paste features in the Cisco systems would benefit. But for us, I like the simplicity of the HP BladeSystem. I liked it; all of our staff are already familiar with HPE hardware, so they knew they could take it apart and do whatever maintenance they needed to do. With the Cisco, it was learning curve that we didn't want to have to ramp through. We still use it because Cisco requires you to use their play systems for the phone products.

    Other Advice

    If you're somebody who's undergoing rapid growth and not standardized on a platform yet, then I'd tell you that it depends on your environment. If you're already an HPE customer, then I'm going to say your engineers already know it. If you're not deploying 1,000 chassis, then the simplicity of using the HPE blades, it's so familiar to rack mount, the management interface, it's almost identical if you know iLO then it's already there. It's easy to set up and it's much lower cost than Cisco.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user484947
    IT Manager at Continental Currency Services
    Real User
    The way it's designed, you just slide whatever modules you're putting in there and it's pretty much done.

    Valuable Features

    • It's easy to perform an upgrade
    • The failover solutions
    • The blade enclosure system
    • The way it's designed
    • Failover for network connectivity
    • Storage uplinks
    • = it's a pretty solid system.

    I really love the service. We have the HPE care packs - supported contracts are 24/7 response time. It's the piece of mind that if my hardware were to ever fail, I'd be back up and running quickly.

    We've used it for a couple of years already and we're really happy with the product.

    Improvements to My Organization

    It's more about the redundancy. Like I said, their uptime has to be pretty much all the time. They can't really afford to have any down time. The reliability that HPE offers means the BladeSystem are a perfect fit for the company.

    Room for Improvement

    I believe there's a product called HPE OneView that I'm really interested in looking into. Right now we run off of iLO connections or we manage our servers through virtual connects. It would be nice to get them all unified into just one display and then monitor everything from there.

    Stability Issues

    I've never had any issues with the BladeSystems. There's never been a situation where we were down completely. Actually, the experience has been pretty reassuring in that sense. I'm very comfortable with the product.

    Customer Service and Technical Support

    It's outstanding.

    Other Solutions Considered

    We've been an HPE shop for a while. We know the service that HPE offers, so there really wasn't a need to explore another company in regards to blade systems. We are happy with HPE, and for now we're going to stick with them.

    Other Advice

    The product is really simple to install. The way it's designed, you just slide whatever modules you're putting in there and it's pretty much done. HPE give it the iLO IP and you're ready to manage. Once you have it, there's not much advice I can give. It'll work and do the trick.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user469629
    IT Engineering Manager at a hospitality company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    I like the support that comes with it and the ease of getting it in production.

    What is most valuable?

    Reliability. I like the support that comes with it and the ease of getting it in production.

    How has it helped my organization?

    The reliability that is behind it, those efficiencies, that reliability makes sure that my customers have the services they need to support the business at all times.

    What needs improvement?

    Alerting the management could be better. I think OneView is new, I actually used HP SIM a lot in my day as an administrator. Now I'm in management watching my engineers use OneView. It still seems like there is still some room for improvement on that.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    There have been issues but HP has always done a really good job at getting that corrected.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We run a virtual environment, a private cloud. As I need more computer power, we're able to add C7000 chassis Blade servers in, and just add those to the firm. It was relatively easy. It's getting it into production and then adding them into the cluster.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    It was fine. It was pretty smooth.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We were using Cisco UCS and we recently made the change to HP BladeSystem. We changed because of the ease of use. The Cisco UCS platform was more complex to run, and I felt that with my experience with just HP stuff it was really easy to set up and manage and maintain.

    How was the initial setup?

    It wasn't complex because I had prior experience using Blade servers at another company.

    What other advice do I have?

    I would warn you to be prepared to be ready to talk about how you're going to be connecting your BladeSystems to the network. Especially if you don't have a total HP stack from top to bottom. For example, if you're setting those things up or connecting them with Cisco gear, being prepared in working with your partners with your vendors on ensuring that you're connecting that all in best practice.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user471243
    IT Manager for Infrastructure at a government with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    It gives us flexibility for each of our security zones.

    What is most valuable?

    It's reliability. We're using VMware as the backbone on it. We have High Availability so if something happens to one it switches over to everything else. We've had it for about six or seven years with no problems. To me, that's the central core of our business, that we have that connected up to StoreVirtual SANs, but we also have it connected to other SANs, and everything works seamlessly. In fact we've got the C7000 and two C3000's running with two blades. So that gives us flexibility for each of our security zones.

    How has it helped my organization?

    For us, it's the flexibility. We have to look at every nickel, and what we've found is that with the virtualization, we can get a more bang for the buck. We're using everything to it's full potential, and for a number of years we had ProLiant DL380s in the racks and they might be using one application on it. If we can take that and move it into the BladeSystem, then we can run six, seven, or eight servers off of the BladeSystem, and then everything is a lot easier to manage. We've got blades in there and we've never had any issues with equipment. We like the flexibility of being able to make a change without having to go and buy an extra drive. The whole virtual infrastructure is wonderful.

    What needs improvement?

    There's some little nitty-picky things and we're still trying to figure out a couple of things in the background. For functionality and everything, it runs well.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    There haven't been a lot of changes, and we like that. There are newer blades, and they work seamlessly with the others. We don't need to have somebody watching it everyday and all the time. We've seem systems in the past where you've had to dedicate a resource to watching your BladeSystem, SANs, or anything else. I don't want to say "Set it and forget it." It pretty much runs, so, we've been very happy there.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We can change anytime. We can add a blade, or add RAM. In fact we did a process last summer where we went and doubled the RAM in each of the blades. That was the one limitation we had, we don't have to go "Okay, well I've got a few Megs here, I've got a few Gigs here, I can move things around." Making the workload larger, or smaller everything works very well. We're not big on hyperconvergence, but we love the ability to be able to add and subtract if we need to.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    We've contacted tech support on all three phases. I haven't always been impressed with getting some guy in India. I'm sure that's the biggest complaint everybody gets. They're very qualified guys there, but between trying to understand them is difficult. I did have an incident with my blade enclosure where some of it was telling me I had a critical error. I called over and the guy says, "Well, just receipt your onboard administrator." So I did, and it worked for five minutes, and they closed my ticket. But for the most part on other things, such as when a drive dies, we can call somebody and it's there.

    We do have local guys that will come out and work on things if we need it, and we have taken advantage of that in the past. With any kind of technology, it's not going to be a hundred percent. But we've generally been very happy. We've got one guy in town that we kind of like a lot, except for when he screwed up one thing, but that's going to happen anyway. We've been happy with tech support.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    What we had was many, many DL380 Proliants. I had a couple of them configured as VM hosts, and then we decided that to scale building, convergence, and the flexibility of what a BladeSystem could do for you made a lot of sense. It wasn't like I said something such as "Hey, I just want to buy a BladeSystem." But our vendor kind of walked us through all the benefits, and we were very happy with how it came out, and that's where we're going. Now we can't imagine doing business without it. We went from about twenty-five servers up to over a hundred. That would not be possible if I had to put a DL380 for each application. So just having the ability to have sixty servers in a two-by-two space is outstanding. That's been one of the biggest reasons why we went with it.

    How was the initial setup?

    We have a vendor from here in Las Vegas who came up and helped put it together. I kind of watched over the shoulder and stayed out of the way, but that has been more or less my responsibility ever since. The setup was fairly easy. Ever since, any changes have been fairly easy to do.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We were moving from ProLiant, and we have a vendor who has a big HPE shop, and I think they sell more than anybody else in Nevada, and we've been very happy with them. They said, "Well, this is what you need." And we said, "Okay." The price was fair, and we thought, "Okay, we're going to do it." One of the troubles with our systems is we have to plan so far in advance on what we want to get that we kind of target something. We might look around a little bit right at the last minute, but in this case, the name HPE, the support we get from our people and HPE, and the price just made it that we had to go that way.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user471279
    Senior Systems Engineer at a university with 10,001+ employees
    Vendor
    We have a large DSX infrastructure for VMWare and having it uniform and having it compact is a good thing for us.

    What is most valuable?

    The density of servers and their racks, just being able to fit as much as we can in as small space as we can. This is important because our data center space is at a premium.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We have a large DSX infrastructure for VMWare and having it uniform and having it compact is a good thing for us. As we're moving forward towards using OneView I think that'll save us some FT there as well. The older tools weren't as easy to use. I went to a session on OneView and it looked a little bit more like something we were going to be able to take advantage of and save a lot of time and configuration.

    What needs improvement?

    I think some of the stuff may be fixed but one of the issues we have is firmware on virtual connects. There's a little bit of overlap on the timing that causes, you know, if you're not careful it can cause a short outage for the Blade System. I think that may be fixed with OneView management.

    We're working on implemented OneView. We're just barely getting started. I think OneView is addressing a lot of the issues that we have, we haven't been able to get fully into it yet due to limited resources.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It's very stable.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    So really the main thing we've had was just the firmware with virtual connects can be a little touchy. There's another tool, I can't even remember what it's called, you can do a command line and avoid the issue, talking to our hospitalier but we haven't had a chance so what we've kind of done is made a whole chassis of failure domain which is kind of a waste of resources on occasion to avoid that.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    Well to be honest, I haven't ever used another BladeSystem from another vendor. Our organization has an HPE Direct as far as technology goes, so I haven't really been involved in considering other platforms so.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    I know they looked at Cisco a little bit but I haven't myself.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user472221
    Director of Information Systems at a construction company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    I like the ability to add a lot of processing capacity and memory into a small form factor.

    Valuable Features

    • The ability to add a lot of processing capacity and memory into a small form factor.
    • Consuming less rack space and being able to quickly change components in and out as things break without disruption of the network.

    Improvements to My Organization

    We were growing beyond our data center rack spaces with our 1U2U rack mount servers. We had a lot of them. We had a lot of HP DL360 and 380 servers and we were burning rack after rack after rack. When we consolidated to blades we were able to reduce our footprint in the data center.

    Room for Improvement

    They probably already have a lot of the features introduced, I just don't know about them yet. I'm looking forward to using the Security Central console, which I know you do have to manage. It's a console to manage Aruba stuff, all your switches, ProCurve lines, blades, and chassis, all in one single pane of glass. I'll be able to look at all those components and how they're all working in and amongst each other.

    Use of Solution

    I've used it for seven or eight years.

    Stability Issues

    It has been very stable.

    Scalability Issues

    We use about half of each chassis that we have in place and we have redundant chassis just in case a chassis should go down. It has never happened but from a scalability stand-point we continue to increase the amount of blades we use in each of those racks, each of those chassis.

    Customer Service and Technical Support

    I actually haven't had to call them a lot. A lot of the information and issues that I have I've found solutions to online. It seems to be when I have called them and it wasn't about the chassis and the pro-curbs, or the switch line it seemed like they had information. The only downside was when I was looking to do an IOS upgrade, or a firmware upgrade, on the switch the way we had it set up was in a virtual stack and they were supposed to upgrade individually and the tech guy at this time gave me bad information and said they were only supposed to reboot one at a time as each switch upgraded. They all rebooted at the same time and caused an outage, which was unfortunate.

    Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

    The price is acceptable.

    Other Advice

    I'd recommend it. But weigh the pros and cons of the points of failure. Because there are single points of failure unless you have two chassis in place. Also the power and the cooling consumption. Blades in the chassis seem to consume a lot of energy. We use co-location facilities so we don't have to think a lot about how much power and energy we are consuming because we don't owe the data center. It's just a fixed price for the rack. But if you own your own data center and you have to pay for the power and the cooling, blades and the chassis if you have them filled and racked and stacked, they can consume a lot of energy.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    ITCS user
    Presales Supervisor for CME at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Consultant
    Virtual Connect allows me to utilize fewer physical ports to reach the total number of segregated ports

    What is most valuable?

    One of the useful features is the Virtual Connect module as this approach allows me to utilize fewer physical ports to reach the total number of segregated ports that I need, especially for a virtual environment. Also, there is a server profile attached which is similar, but not yet full blown, to stateless computing.

    How has it helped my organization?

    This particular product allows us to mix up the environment - not only x86 but also the HP UX where the critical application were deployed. This particular architecture (BladeSystem) also allows us to have higher density which cannot be reached by traditional rack-mount servers. Currently, the latest trend (hyper converged approach) is still under observation.

    What needs improvement?

    The management is great but there are other competitors that are implementing a better approach. Even HP's own latest products have this composable approach, so if there are any changes that I would like to see, they are within this particular area.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've been using it for two years.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    There were no issues with the deployment.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We've experienced no issues with performance. There are several versions that have issues with the hardware that we need to replace and update firmware to fully utilize the blade.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It's been able to scale for our needs.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    7.5-8/10 because currently our company has a partnership that allows us to provide services and tech support. We get a great response from the HP team, and our local teams are also ready to help.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We chose this product because of the stability and their market share is quite large. This means that older products come from the same principals that makes it easier to integrate, and the second one is that this particular item is good to implement.

    How was the initial setup?

    It is quite straightforward, as there is a wizard. I think newbies with simple documentation can perform the initial setup.

    What about the implementation team?

    If the project is a complex one that includes any other items (storage, network, etc.) I would strongly recommended to hire a vendor team as it is their job to not only initialize the BladeSystem, but also to integrate it with the entire solution.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We also use Cisco UCS and IBM Flex servers.

    What other advice do I have?

    Keep observing the market as new technologies have emerged, but not all are useful yet. It is good if we have a good relationship with the solution integrator as they may also give feedback.

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are a first tier partner - Platinum Partner in Indonesia.
    it_user402516
    System Engineer at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Consultant
    The mail exchange server runs smoothly on the Blade Server. Sometimes we can't run a new Java version or Active X.

    Valuable Features

    I can remotely manage and monitor it easily.

    Improvements to My Organization

    The mail exchange server runs smoothly on the Blade Server.

    Room for Improvement

    With the management software, sometimes we can't run a new Java version or Active X. We have to use an old OS such as Windows XP to get through this. Some features of the Blade still requires you to use a CLI to configure.

    Use of Solution

    I've been using it for two years.

    Deployment Issues

    There were no issues with the deployment. I can use a laptop and configure the Blade from my office room so I don’t have to go to the server room.

    Stability Issues

    We've experienced no issues with performance.

    Scalability Issues

    It's been able to scale for our needs.

    Customer Service and Technical

    Valuable Features

    I can remotely manage and monitor it easily.

    Improvements to My Organization

    The mail exchange server runs smoothly on the Blade Server.

    Room for Improvement

    With the management software, sometimes we can't run a new Java version or Active X. We have to use an old OS such as Windows XP to get through this. Some features of the Blade still requires you to use a CLI to configure.

    Use of Solution

    I've been using it for two years.

    Deployment Issues

    There were no issues with the deployment. I can use a laptop and configure the Blade from my office room so I don’t have to go to the server room.

    Stability Issues

    We've experienced no issues with performance.

    Scalability Issues

    It's been able to scale for our needs.

    Customer Service and Technical Support

    It's good.

    Initial Setup

    It was straightforward.

    Implementation Team

    It was implemented through a vendor.

    Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

    It's expensive and the price should be reduced.

    Other Solutions Considered

    We also use Cisco UCS and IBM Flex servers.

    Other Advice

    You should get it through a vendor.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    ITCS user
    Infrastructure Expert at a local government with 5,001-10,000 employees
    Real User
    The integration with our existing environment, and it's ease of use are valuable.

    What is most valuable?

    The integration with our existing environment, and it's ease of use are valuable.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We went from traditional rack servers, consolidated to blades, making management easier. However, we required better capacity planning due to "blade server" lock-in.

    What needs improvement?

    It needs to be easier to help build OpenStack solutions. It is also lacking container integration which would make adoption easier.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've been using it for two years.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    There were no issues with the deployment.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We have had no issues with the stability.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It's been able to scale for our needs.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Excellent pre-sales, working both with HP and a VAR, and after sales technical support was good after the first level.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We had used HP rack servers previously.

    How was the initial setup?

    It was easy. We leveraged VAR resources to help get up to speed with some skills training after installation.

    What about the implementation team?

    Vendor assistance is a good idea if you are transition from rack mount servers to blades. Some hand-holding is required, but not much.

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

    There wasn't much of a change for our pricing/licensing costs. However, we did have an increase in CPU power meaning there was reduction in the number of CPUs which lowered the hypervisor/socket pricing.

    What other advice do I have?

    Go big or go home, pick a solution, and go with it. There is no wrong way to go - whether you choose rack or blade servers depends on how you grow, and how you want to plan your future capacity.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user366516
    IT Admin at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    Alongside HP 3PAR and VMware hypervisor, it is easy to manage the server.

    What is most valuable?

    As it's modular (a small server) and has redundant hardware such as power, a SAN switch, and an interconnector, we do not need to worry when there is a failure.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Alongside HP 3PAR and VMware hypervisor, it is easy to manage the server.

    What needs improvement?

    It needs to have backward compatibile firmware. Also, the enclosure for Generation 9 canot be paired with Generation 1 or 6 so it takes more effort to perform the migration.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We have used this product since Generation 1 in 2009. Currently, we have Generation 1, Generation 6, and Generation 7. We are currently using a Generation 9 for a refresh and to replace our Generation 1 and 6 (still in progress).

    What was my experience

    What is most valuable?

    As it's modular (a small server) and has redundant hardware such as power, a SAN switch, and an interconnector, we do not need to worry when there is a failure.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Alongside HP 3PAR and VMware hypervisor, it is easy to manage the server.

    What needs improvement?

    It needs to have backward compatibile firmware. Also, the enclosure for Generation 9 canot be paired with Generation 1 or 6 so it takes more effort to perform the migration.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We have used this product since Generation 1 in 2009. Currently, we have Generation 1, Generation 6, and Generation 7. We are currently using a Generation 9 for a refresh and to replace our Generation 1 and 6 (still in progress).

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    There were no issues with the deployment.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We have had no issues with the stability.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It's been able to scale for our needs.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    It's fast and they respond well.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We chose it because we are already familiar with HP products.

    How was the initial setup?

    The setup went smoothly.

    What about the implementation team?

    A team from HPE assisted me.

    What other advice do I have?

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user366768
    Active Directory Specialist at a manufacturing company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    The features that are the most valuable to us are its scalability, performance, and cost.

    Valuable Features

    The features that are the most valuable to us are its scalability, performance, and cost. It's also very easy to use, which is a huge advantage for our IT department.

    Improvements to My Organization

    The biggest improvement to our organization is that we can now expand our IT infrastructure easily. We can seamlessly implement additional IT assets if we want, whether that's to execute different plans or to remain consistent in our operations. We can changes things as we need to as we go along. With blades, it's a lot simpler for us to deploy, expand, and virtualize.

    Room for Improvement

    It lacks a reboot service when the firmware breaks and needs upgrading. It also needs easier installation.

    Deployment Issues

    We have no issues with deployment.

    Stability Issues

    We had a few past issues, but they were mostly the result of old firmware versions and our fear of upgrading them in time.

    Scalability Issues

    It's very scalable as we keep adding more blades as needed. With one enclosure, we can have 16 blades or just three. I don't think we'll ever go back to the old DL3x.

    Customer Service and Technical Support

    Technical support is good. We initially went with a partner for support, but we now use HP services for going live of some environments, especially around some light-wear blades.

    Initial Setup

    The initial setup was complicated. You have to understand your environment before you let yourself expand through it.

    Other Solutions Considered

    We're an HP shop with hardware and software, so we stick with them for all our IT.

    Other Advice

    Plan, plan, and plan some more. Really understand what you want to do because it can be a great integration opportunity. Make sure you work with a partner who understands your infrastructure well. Understand also how products from different vendors like NetApp, EMC, Cisco, etc. work together, especially with different firmware versions.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user362715
    Principal - Head of IT at a financial services firm with 501-1,000 employees
    Vendor
    The stability and support are most helpful to us.

    What is most valuable?

    The absolute number one thing that is the most valuable to me with all my HP products, BladeSystem included, is stability. They're all very stable. Secondly, HP offers excellent support.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It takes away our employees' worries about having to disconnect. We don't use HP's services, but in terms of hardware, we're happy with it.

    What needs improvement?

    I'd love to see more collaboration between HP, Cisco, and Microsoft. Those are the big names to us in the market. I'd like to see them work together and not compete and be nasty.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We've been HP customers for 15 years now.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    Deployment has been fine for us.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We've had no issues with stability.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Scalability comes without saying. HP has scalable storage and I'd like to thank them for requisitioning 3PAR as that's actually added good technology. They worked with us to migrate from old systems.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Support is excellent and I can see a natural growth in their product. There is no decrease in quality from when we first used it 10 years ago to now. Everything is naturally growing up. Their features and return of the features and also accommodation of new accounts. That's something that they do.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    HP has a heritage you know. As I say, we love their solution. We trust their capabilities to innovate.

    What about the implementation team?

    HP appreciates discussions. Whenever we've started new projects, they bring the sales guy, engineers, and senior solutions specialist. We sit and talk and we set objectives and accordingly we define the projects to execute and monitor.

    What other advice do I have?

    I don't think that there is anything else that's better.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user365946
    IS Infrastructure Manager at a manufacturing company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    The ease of management allows us to see issues related to server problems and the functioning of VMware products on those servers.

    Valuable Features:

    The most valuable features are its stability, reliability, ease of management, and high performance. In fact, the reason we buy HP products is because of their stability. The are very, very dependable in that regard.

    Improvements to My Organization:

    The ease of management allows us to see issues related to server problems and the functioning of VMware products on those servers.

    Room for Improvement:

    Scaling comes at a high cost, and it can be complex to set up. I'd also like to see how HP Synergy can improve the performance of BladeSystem.

    Use of Solution:

    We switched from the DLs to the BLs about 10 years ago.

    Deployment Issues:

    Deploying it is not a problem.

    Stability Issues:

    It's highly stable and we have no issues.

    Scalability Issues:

    It's scalable, but expensive because you have to buy additional blades.

    Initial Setup:

    The setup is easy or complex depending on what you want to do.

    Other Advice:

    It's the best product for the time being so there's no reason not to buy it.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user363378
    Chief Information Officer at a government with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    We're able to add as much as we can to it without worrying about it going down.

    What is most valuable?

    It's scalable and reliable. We're able to add as much as we can to it without worrying about it going down.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It's improved our operation and efficiency with it's great uptime. Since implementing it, we experience very little downtime.

    What needs improvement?

    I'd like to see HP move more towards software-defined solutions because we're looking towards software-defined networks.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    It deploys perfectly.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We haven't had any technical issues, so it's very stable.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We only need to add more blades, which makes it as scalable as we can need or afford.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    They have the ultimate knowledge of their products.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We were using Dell, and we switched because they couldn't provide us with service turnaround time for our environment that was sufficient for us.

    What other advice do I have?

    If you're looking for a solution that has near 100% uptime, these blades provide that.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user360378
    Lead Architect - Infrastructure at a energy/utilities company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    It provides us with connectivity, saves us rack space, and enables us to have mobility for bring-your-own-devices enabled by Microsoft.

    What is most valuable?

    We got the C7000s because of connectivity and the rack space we save. You don't need one hundred cables. We're also able to have mobility for bring-your-own-device enabled by Microsoft.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It's a space saver and easier to manage, as we've gone from hundreds of cables to 13 racks. Previously, there were so many wires with 180 servers that we could trip up or fall over them.

    What needs improvement?

    The technical support itself is good, but you pay a lot of money for active services.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    We've had no problems with deployment.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It's been stable for us.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It's just about connecting more, so it's scalable in that way.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    We have a service contract, but we don't need it as we're small enough that we can deal with our own issues.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We're also using HP Brocade SAN switches.

    What other advice do I have?

    It's good and functional and there's a firewall on each.

    My advice would be to go for it, but never mix vendors. We got HP servers and then added Dell servers and had to deal with double management of all the servers.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user359817
    Head of Production Service Delivery at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    We have several thousand servers and users, so it's been scalable and we're able to expand more if necessary.

    Valuable Features

    We have a "super contract" with HP, which combines HP hardware, HP service, and HP maintenance. It's all combined, making it easier for me to manage the system and network team.

    I have bunch of parts and a local team from HP sitting five meters away from me. All the relevant people are there -- support, outreach, etc. It's very easy to have one interface that covers a very wide scope.

    Room for Improvement

    One way to improve would be in the monitoring and reporting. We get one report per server and it's ten pages long. But at the end, there's no aggregate showing the order of the infrastructure. So, I have no idea how large a percentage of my CPU is used overall in the infrastructure. I'd like reporting that takes into account all the servers.

    There are also some tools missing. We started with the basics and moved up to more high-capacity resource management. The existing tools will help with this, but if we wanted to get more complex, we'll need some tools it just doesn't have yet.

    Stability Issues

    I regularly get emails about incidents, disc replacements, etc., but so far we haven't seen any bug issues with the Blades. It's very stable.

    Scalability Issues

    We have a thousand servers and five thousand users, so in terms of scalability, yes, it's been scalable and we're able to expand more if necessary.

    Customer Service and Technical Support

    Most of the time they're responsive, we have a service contract that covers all areas. There's no ping-pong between service providers.

    Initial Setup

    It's quite straightforward. This is also outsourced to HP, so we just send the requirements; we want this kind of server, it is to be installed in that place, and then it's all processed by HP.

    Other Advice

    If you have a big company, big enough to get these kinds of contracts, it saves a lot of time and a lot of money because it's all outsourced to HP. It's very practical.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user359763
    Co Founder at TaskPutty
    Consultant
    Scalability: You can get a blade that uses up to four slots, and put Integrity or Titanium blade systems on the chassis as well.

    What is most valuable?

    We're using different blades for different load purposes. We can decide if we want to use storage blades for storage or we can use compute modes for compute performance, and you can also upsize them. You can even combine different blades servers for greater effectiveness.

    We're very satisfied with the system. I'm a Linux administrator and we quite enjoy the flexibility of the blade system.

    What needs improvement?

    I suppose new chips would be an improvement, but they do get new Intel chips every year. This provides better throughput on CPU workloads. 

    Additionally, our network is constantly getting saturated, so I would suggest also a faster network of fabrics as another improvement.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We've been running the system for three years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It's very stable. We haven't had any network issues on the flexed fabric ends.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    You can get a blade that uses two slots instead of one. You can even put Integrity blade systems on the chassis as well, or the old Titanium systems. They can use up to four slots, actually. It's quite scalable.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We've been an HP shop for so long and that's why we stick with them. We previously used EMC.

    How was the initial setup?

    I wasn't involved in the setup.

    What other advice do I have?

    Go for it, you'll be happy. If you're a technical person, it's quite easy to manage and operate.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user361521
    IT Operations Manager at a retailer with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    The manageability of the BladeSystem is its most valuable feature for us.

    What is most valuable?

    The manageability of the BladeSystem is its most valuable feature for us. Within a single blade enclosure, we can manage all of our infrastructure.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It's saved space and, I suppose, cost. There's less maintenance, less wires, and smaller footprint by quite a lot. There's also virtual management as opposed to physically plugging things in.

    What needs improvement?

    Although we can manage from a single blade enclosure, the interface is usable for the CPU and memory aspects, the storage goes to our 3PAR, and that requires learning a different tool. We want to be able to use the same tool to provision storage from our blade management application.

    Also, I'm concerned that the chassis will only last so long. New blades will comes out at some point and the chassis won't be compatible anymore. We can upgrade it, but it's easier to change the blades than it is to change the chassis.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I can't remember the exact model of the blades, but we have full-height blades and half-height blades. We've had them for four years.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    We've had no deployment issues with them.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    They've been stable.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We went from 60 physical servers to 10 blades. We've been able to add more blades in our recent projects as well as to upgrade them. So, no, there have been no scalability issues.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I haven't really had to use technical support.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We trust the solution. We've used HP physical servers for 10 years, and never had any issues. We looked at different storage vendors, but in terms of servers it was the reliability of the HP products that led us to these blades as well.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was quite straightforward.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    I've worked with other vendors in the past, but not in a recent project.

    What other advice do I have?

    Plan ahead. If you zone your network for active-active, you're going to get more throughput.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user362250
    ICT Infrastructure Architect with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    We're able to scale by adding more blades into our organized environment.

    What is most valuable?

    The most valuable feature is that we're also using HP software, so the BladeSystem fits together nicely with that.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We use a lot of HP products, in fact, and so HP is a big partner of ours. It makes things in our organization run more efficiently and with less interruption when we run the BladeSystem with our other HP solutions.

    What needs improvement?

    There could be some improvements that have to do with CPU architecture, but that's not really an HP part. There's some virtualization we'd like to do that would need better CPU design. It is, however, a little bit difficult to move reams above BladeSystem.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We're using the HP Blade C7000 and BL460 plates. As connectivity modules, we're using FlexFabric.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    It's deployed fine for us.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The only thing that would be defective or would need to be replaced is just the discs. The plates just keep running and running. They're pretty stable.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We have lot of space to go with new blades and the whole environment is organized, so it's really easy to put in the new hosts, or new Blades in this case, into the new regular machines.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We switched because HP is stable and reliable.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is always straightforward.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user362013
    Solution Architect at a logistics company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    We're able to provide a platform where we can start offering services back to the various groups within our organization and our external customers as well.

    Valuable Features

    I'd say it's the turn-to provision as a replacement server in our consolidated fiscal data center. It comports with our general rule of consolidation and flexibility quite nicely.

    Improvements to My Organization

    BladeSystem has allowed us to create our own service area or banking area. We're able to provide a platform where we can start offering services back to the various groups within our organization and our external customers as well.

    Room for Improvement

    I think some improvements could be made on the switching side. We just transitioned from the Cisco 3120 switches, which were at end-of-line, to the HP switches, but only because they were the only option for the HP blades. That gave us a bit of a minor challenge from a skills and networking team perspective.

    Use of Solution

    We've used it for eight months.

    Deployment Issues

    Deployment has been issue-free for us.

    Stability Issues

    It's a really good system. I've used it before with previous companies as well, and we've had no stability problems.

    Scalability Issues

    We're just about to purchase our second place in the primary site. I expect to be able to scale.

    Customer Service and Technical Support

    From previous experience, technical support is very good.

    Initial Setup

    The initial setup was pretty straightforward.

    Other Solutions Considered

    We also considered Dell. We had a big conversation over what to do and ultimately decided to get something that could cover a huge service area. The best thing for us, we determined, was to go with HP servers. They fit our needs the best.

    Other Advice

    It will change your operations. It's a good option you should consider.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user361566
    Senior Infrastructure Engineer at a computer software company with 501-1,000 employees
    Vendor
    I think the most valuable feature for us is probably the ability to expand and change, such as adding servers.

    What is most valuable?

    I think the most valuable feature for us is probably the ability to expand and change, such as adding servers. If anything goes down, they can be changed out quite easily, which to me is a very, very good thing. It's easy to install, maintain, and expand.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We work with the NHS and we had a big system disaster one time when a system threatened to go down. With the BladeSystem, we were able to move everything quickly from one blade to another. It was fantastic and we averted a crisis.

    What needs improvement?

    I'm relatively new to my role, so I've seen the BladeSystem up to a point. I've not seen anything in it that we don't already have.

    However, the installation probably could have gone even quicker except that we realized we didn't have enough RAM with just 512Mb. In this regard, the installation and setup wasn't as straightforward as it could have been because of the database appliance involved.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    Deployment has been no problem.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Stability has been very good, probably 98% uptime, I think.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We have about 70 users per site and we have 700 sites. It's scaled nicely for us.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    I don't have an awful lot to compare it to. I've worked with some other systems such as the Oracle DB appliance in another role elsewhere.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup took about an hour-and-a-half from start to finish, including taking it out of the box. But we did an awful lot of pre-implementation work that wasn't necessarily perfect, though at the end, we had a usable system in under two hours.

    What other advice do I have?

    Make sure your network is set up correctly -- DNS, all the manual steps, etc. We had to rebuild a system because the DNS was wrong. Check all your cabling and other aspects of your installation process.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user331413
    Director at a real estate/law firm with 51-200 employees
    Vendor
    We managed to reduce our 8x cabinets into 1x 42U cabinet saving huge amounts on power, energy, while we became more flexible, scalable and efficient.

    Valuable Features

    • Centralized management
    • Number of features
    • Flexibility

    Improvements to My Organization

    High consolidation and density was achieved with a single C7000 enclosure and 8 BL460c G8 series servers that took over the workload of 8x .42U cabinets previously used for processing workloads. In combination with Flex-10 and Flex-Fabric technology we managed to reduce our 8x cabinets into just 1x 42U cabinet saving huge amounts on power, energy, while we became more flexible, scalable and efficient.

    Room for Improvement

    Number of supported VLANs on virtual connect technology limits the number of VLANs you can deploy in your network.

    Use of Solution

    I've used it for six years.

    Deployment Issues

    No issues encountered.

    Stability Issues

    Absolutely no problem. Only some HDD failures which were replaced in under 4 hours due to our Care Pack program signed with HP.

    Scalability Issues

    No issues encountered.

    Customer Service and Technical Support

    Excellent, provided you end up having your support issue handled by a good HP services provider partner.

    Initial Setup

    Very easy to setup and maintain, one to two days of training is sufficient for an expert to understand the philosophy. In case the level of the user is medium to low, some extra training might be required which is more to cover the basics of networking, consolidation and interfacing in an efficient way various systems together.

    Implementation Team

    We have two in-house engineers trained on HP solutions that perform the implementation and maintenance. Our experience shows that the implementation is really straightforward provided you have a plan in place already.

    ROI

    The ROI was within 2 years, as the electricity bill was about 60-70% more efficient while our computational and storage capacity increased by at least 400%.

    Other Solutions Considered

    Yes, IBM Blade Center with HS22 blades and DS series storage. We preferred HP due to a combination of facts involving better prices, better support and better interoperability with other systems.

    Other Advice

    Be careful with pre-Sales and Sales team of HP, they do make mistakes so do not hesitate to engage a third party experienced person or firm to get some extra advice.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user331317
    IT Manager at a wellness & fitness company with 501-1,000 employees
    Vendor
    It's a converged infrastructure solution that's manageable and scalable, though an integrated KVM system with the blade enclosure would be a great addition.

    What is most valuable?

    We now have consolidated solution that can be managed from a single point. Converged infrastructure in one box.

    There are a couple of features that are valuable. The first is the On-Board Administrator (OA), which offers the best consolidated solution where you can manage/monitor the blade systems, modules, and the chassis from a single point and is redundant when installing two OA modules. The other one is being a converged infrastructure in one box when having a Virtual Connect (VC) modules installed whether it is Ethernet or fibre offering more redundancy, better hardware utilization and more organization.

    How has it helped my organization?

    The solution was used for the deployment of a High Availability, Hyper-V cluster of 10 Nodes, it dramatically improved the organization services in terms of performance "having things done faster", availability "services are online 99.99% of the time" ,and scalability "add new and provide more services". Currently the system is able to handle all our organizational requirements, from running Oracle CRM system, a BI system, an ERP system, web-services , and a development/staging platform. The cross functionality and integration between the plat forms are more efficient, fast and almost no down time due to the internal communications backbone in the chassis.

    What needs improvement?

    The HP BladeSystem has been proven to be the best in the market in terms of blade systems, moving with every generation and you can see that when firmware updates are released. Any lags/issues are always resolved and more features are added and enhanced.

    The only missing piece that would be great to add to this converged solution is an integrated KVM system that comes inside the blade enclosure, that will give flexible and easy access to the different nodes in less time.

    On the deployment aspect and especially when installing any OS through the On-board Administrator USB port, the installation is slow. I hope they can upgrade the port to USB 3.0 for faster access.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've used it for four years.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    No issues encountered.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    No issues encountered.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    No issues encountered.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    HP Technical Support is very good whenever a case is opened. The spare parts, when dispatched are received with no hassle and on time.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We were using HP DL 380 G4/5/6 then we decided to moved towards blade systems because it needs less space, while providing more. Also, it's easier to manage, as it's consolidated solution in one box.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup of a blade system is very straightforward. In less than five minutes from the time you power up the system, you will have it ready to be managed and the OS deployed.

    What about the implementation team?

    We did an in-house implementation, and my advice is to be very familiar with the HP BladeSystem, and what it can offer as a converged infrastructure solution in order to have a successful implementation to meet your ends need.

    What was our ROI?

    The ROI is around 25%-30% and it will be higher considering the cost on the long term.

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

    It would be very smart to know how your are sizing your solution, and what you need to reduce the cost in terms of licensing. In some deployments, it can be done without the need for extra licenses. And as well in terms of the blade units, no need to over size and pay more initially since they can be easily swapped, scaled, or upgraded in the future.

    What other advice do I have?

    Go for it you will not regret it, and you will be moving to a better consolidated and converged infrastructure that is easy to manage and highly scalable.

    For HP Blades, there are many products to choose from, so it is important to tailor your solution to fit your needs and goal in order to achieve an easy implementation and result.


    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user317949
    IT System Manager at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
    Consultant
    Its adaptation to existing software models has allowed our cloud environment to grow.

    What is most valuable?

    Among the most important features, is the possibility to manage all the systems from a single web UI, the ease of working with networks through the Virtual Connect devices, and finally the huge information offered in relation to the monitoring of the different elements and alarm systems

    How has it helped my organization?

    The scalability of these solutions and its great adaptation to existing software models has allowed our cloud environment to grow easily. The physical volumes with data combined with its performance, has enabled us to reduce our pool of conventional equipment, and converge High Availability solutions in our cloud environment with powerful hardware.

    What needs improvement?

    We expected more processing power, with more CPU cores and a greater number of cores per CPU.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    Our company currently uses hardware solutions from different manufacturers. In relation to the HP Proliant products used for our cloud environment, these are primarily equipment BL and ML generations G4, G5, G6, G7 and G8. Our cloud environments also feature HP 3PAR storage solutions. The HP Proliant solutions have been used in our cloud environment for over five years. It was the best option available on the market, and we believe that it now enjoys the best reputation for such solutions.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    The only problems encountered in the implementation of these products is that there are always more updated versions of the firmware supplied with the products, which requires revision and updating equipment before putting into production. Some versions of HP Blade require additional drivers for installation or special software distributions designed for these products.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Customer Service:

    Our satisfaction with the Customer Service is high, both the attention and availability as the solutions offered have always met our expectations.

    Technical Support:

    The service availability of technical support gives us great peace of mind because their response times are minimal.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We actually had different solutions, and still do. Solutions such as Cisco UCS, which has a very similar philosophy, beaome more complex and less effective. Solutions from manufacturers such as Supermicro, and Dell do not reach the expectations, and require more supervision and maintenance by our technicians.

    How was the initial setup?

    The installation was easy. It's usually quite intuitive since their operations team, and our team both have extensive experience in this type of facility, so that did not involve a special effort.

    What was our ROI?

    I can not evaluate the return on investment, as I don't work in accounts, but I understand that if we continue to invest in these solutions, we will get good economic results.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user313830
    Principal Systems Engineer at a individual & family service with 10,001+ employees
    Vendor
    It has scaled and performed well in the six-plus years I've used it for a particular project.

    What is most valuable?

    • Scalability
    • Performance
    • Out-of-band management
    • Support

    What needs improvement?

    Java version dependence for its out-of-band management. This is also an issue for other vendors, as well.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    HP Proliant Servers have been used on this project for over six years. I’ve managed them since I came on the project, so for almost five years. We used the BladeSystem alongside the DL servers.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    There won't be any issues as long as you have followed the guidelines to ensure that the firmware was up to date prior to deployment.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    There was an issue before I came on the project, where a firmware update was not applied and had caused a few systems to become unstable under certain conditions, but HP support was able to identify the cause and provide a solution.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The systems scale well for our environment.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Customer Service:

    Mostly very positive. The only issue I’ve encountered has been with pre-sales support (i.e. getting accurate quotes to purchase systems).

    Technical Support:

    It's excellent.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    Before coming on this project I had used Dell servers. The performance of the HP server has an edge over the Dell systems I had used.

    What other advice do I have?

    HP Proliant servers are rock solid and when you need technical support HP’s team is there to support you with answers, no matter how long it takes to properly identify the root cause and then propose a solution.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user284154
    Director of Infrastructure & Service Management at Mansfield Oil Company
    Vendor
    Redundancy, wherein one system can go down and the other is still fully functional, has given us the ability to withstand an outage we wouldn't have been able to before.

    What is most valuable?

    • Ease of use in terms of setup
    • No need for configuration
    • High Availability
    • Profile copying
    • Auto-tiering
    • One system can go down and the other is still fully functional, so you have redundancy
    • Removes a lot of administrative hassle

    How has it helped my organization?

    It’s reduced, by about 50%, our administration time in terms of server maintenance. We have the ability to withstand an outage that we didn’t have before.

    What needs improvement?

    I would like to see, now that HP has acquired Aruba, all my HP devices connected.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I’ve used it for almost two years, we deployed our first system in Feb. 2014 and second in July 2014.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    No issues encountered.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We have been extremely stable. That is the reason we placed these servers in our environment. We decided to go with HP because of cost, stability and ease of use, and we have been able to hire over a hundred people a year due to the stability within the organization.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    No issues with scalability.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Customer Service:

    10/10.

    Technical Support:

    10/10.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We were using IBM and they were horrible.

    How was the initial setup?

    It was very straightforward, seamless and very easy. My team did not have a lot of experience, and within a day they were experts. They were able to figure out the system and deploy.

    What about the implementation team?

    We did it in-house.

    What was our ROI?

    I would say it’s a considerable amount of dollars, we lose about $160,000 a day when we're down, and with the amount of time of downtime we’ve had being so little, we’ve saved a good deal of money.

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

    It wasn’t expensive, and the purchase of the equipment was not bad at all. The total investment was under half a million, which is a drop in the bucket compared to what we’ve gained.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We looked at a ton of other options, some within HP, and some from Cisco. The HP Blades made the most sense for what we were getting.

    What other advice do I have?

    Understand your environment, and make sure it’s the right fit for you. You know the uptime you need, the type of compute you need, and a formal understanding of 'do we have what we need in the data center to push this.' This may not be the right solution for everyone, but know your business and whether this solution is applicable to you.

    Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
    ITCS user
    ICT Manager at a aerospace/defense firm
    Real User
    It is a single integrated solution -- storage, networking, and management -- that can be deployed anywhere.

    What is most valuable?

    It provided integrated storage, networking, servers, and management.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It is a single integrated solution that can be deployed anywhere. Best solution for our mobile tracking station.

    What needs improvement?

    Nothing that I can think of. We can always upgrade.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've used it for three years.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    It's easy to deploy and the HP command-line interface is, in my personal opinion, similar to Cisco.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    No issues encountered.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    No issues encountered.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Customer Service:

    I haven't had to deal with HP yet.

    Technical Support:

    I haven't had to deal with HP yet.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We are also using Dell servers. It is not a switch, and we switched because this is more fit for our purposes.

    How was the initial setup?

    It was not easy as we had to get vendor for deployment because of lack of internal skills and time constraints.

    What about the implementation team?

    Through a vendor and they are well experienced.

    What was our ROI?

    It's high.

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

    I believe it's worth the price you pay.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We also evaluated options from Dell.

    What other advice do I have?

    Get experienced vendors for deployment and you won't have issues later, that is, if you don't have the skills In-house.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user251850
    Senior Director, R&D at a comms service provider with 10,001+ employees
    Vendor
    We considered going with an internally-developed product or HP.

    What is most valuable?

    The ability to configure it in a highly reliable fashion.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We don’t have to worry about manufacturing it ourselves. We can take advantage of HP’s scale to achieve much shorter delivery cycles.

    We’re just introducing it in the middle of this year, so in my labs I’ve got about 200 blades in many different chassis.

    We’ve placed another order for a 20-blade system, and I expect by next year we’ll have hundreds of blades.

    What needs improvement?

    I would like to see them support G10 blades on the C7000.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It’s been very stable for us. We’re using KVM on top of the hardware, and it’s been very good and has done everything we need it to do thus far.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It’s scalable enough for our purposes.

    We can put 2 chassis together in a rack, 16 blades per chassis. With this scalability, we can see that it provides all the capacity we envision needing for the foreseeable future. We’re also evolving our software to take further advantage of this platform's scalability (part of 4G LTE systems).

    How are customer service and technical support?

    There are different kinds of technical support. The kinds of things we need in R&D are answers to fairly arcane questions regarding the product, and support has been so-so. It takes a long time to find the right guy.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We were using expensive, in-house-developed hardware. From an R&D perspective, there was not enough critical mass to keep the investment going. In addition to the expense, order to delivery was six months for our in-house solution. In contrast, HP can turn around in two weeks, which is a huge advantage for us.

    How was the initial setup?

    Setup was fine. The installers didn’t complain.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    It was a decision between the internally-developed product or HP. There was a synergy with other products already using HP, so we went with HP.

    What other advice do I have?

    You need to look for high reliability, duplex power servers, and networking. If you’re looking for carrier grade reliability, the C7000 is an excellent choice.

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are partners of HP, and we go to market together on some products
    it_user251238
    System Administrator at SNL Financial
    Vendor
    As our company quickly grows internally and through acquisitions, we replace old systems with these blades because they're easy to configure and are immediately usable upon installation.

    What is most valuable?

    HP’s blades are by far the most configurable of all the ones we’ve tried. We're a company that deploys less than 60 blades a year in the data center, so it wouldn’t make sense to have a stand up UCS because we’re only standing up half a chassis of blades every year.

    HP’s chassis is modular, so it’s economical. The architecture and model make sense for us -- and for other small-medium sized companies like us -- to stay with HP.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It would be good to see the driver support improved as this has been the weakest feature of the system. Despite this, we are still 2 points better than anyone else in the market.

    Also, the learning curve for configuring the first UCS blade is very steep. The difference is that with HP, if you understand the principles of how to get the blade to talk to the outside way, it’s difficult to not get it to work just by poking around the HP switch.

    What needs improvement?

    I’m glad HP doesn’t do configuration wizards, because they make a lot of assumptions of what you’re trying to do today (only works if they know what your model is). Keep the cookbooks going, because they work a lot better.

    One word of advice for UI: don’t let the web devs decide what features you need.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    If I were a generic IT support guy and had a complaint with deployment, it would be that it’s hard to get to the bench and pull somebody off it who can timely fix a detailed technical problem.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Stability, overall, is very good, and it’s kind of like an old jazz song -- when it’s good, it’s very good; but when it’s bad, it’s terrible.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    For small/medium sized businesses, the C-series blade chassis are great for the reasons I’ve said (they come in the right-sized bites).

    If you’re a small business, you don’t want a blade chassis; but if you’re enormous, then you’re buying them by the rack (so perhaps UCS makes sense).

    But for us, we needed the right-sized chassis, for which HP is the right fit. We’re going to go heavier into it, and I’m leaning toward us standing up the next production database in blades.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Once, we had a machine fall over, and we were quickly escalated up to the appropriate level of support. The bad news is that they didn’t tackle the problem quickly. We couldn’t afford to have servers down, and HP didn’t deal with it quickly. They first said to upload the logs, which we did. We were told to deploy an updated package of software – which we did not want to do since we wanted to stick with a stable release that was working for us.

    It was a bit of a struggle to get Level 3 support to pay attention to our problem. The field technician was eventually the one who fixed it.

    However, it’s good that HP still has a dual support platform (one for IT professionals and one for non-IT), unlike Dell, where it sometimes feels like you are wasting time talking to support teams that don’t understand your technical experience.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We use both BladeSystem and RackMail System a lot. By utilizing the computing capacity of both systems, we have more cores of HP’s BladeSystem than anything else. Our company’s growing so fast that we’re age-ing stuff out and replacing it very quickly.

    I am not interested in new and shiny; I need usability right now. We switch whenever we do a hardware replace, and we tend to prefer HP’s computer platforms as they’ve proven to us that it's best not to mix and match in the computer space.

    So far, we've bought only small devices, so it's not painful to change storage devices. Because of how we grow (acquisition and internally), we own mostly Dell the vast majority of the time, and as those systems go out, we replace them with HP hardware.

    How was the initial setup?

    Pretty straightforward. The tech talk documentation is very good (cookbook). They have standard scenario templates for blade chassis and they walk you through the whole configuration for whatever your needs are. They’re not brand-centric, so we can use whatever switch we’ve got, we can configure all the ports very easily, and it's straightforward to do so.

    HP’s tech talks are significantly better than the market, especially Dell’s, and it’s easy for me to compute my blade chassis without too much headache.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We casually looked at Cisco UCS (we’ve currently got a running installation, both fairly young machines right now), which completely loses to HP on ease-of-blade configurability. We’ve also got some Hitachi blades that are even worse.

    The hardware is perfectly good hardware, unlike Cisco where I don’t like some of the design, and Hitachi’s blades just aren’t economical for our growth and configurability uses. You only have to configure the amount of blades that you need with HP.

    What other advice do I have?

    We often do a rack-and-replace on hardware at a site we buy, and we need products that can keep up with our growth rate. We replace anything that's rendered obsolete when we grow, often replacing them with HP products.

    The other thing that keeps us coming back to HP is the ease of support (ease that we have in supporting the server hardware and maintaining it). Ease of configurability and configuration for VMWare are very important.

    We’re in the process of buying 14 new HP products.

    Remember to take into account your business size when looking at the solution (see above). First, I would listen to peer reviews and figure out what your sizing needs are, because architecture decisions are not obvious.

    I want to see VARs think more analytically regarding company needs. HP could differentiate itself more effectively by getting its VARs to think more like consultants.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user251859
    SRE OPS Manager at Criteo
    Vendor
    The implementation was very efficient as we just had to plug the box in.

    Valuable Features:

    HP is very aware of and adaptable to our market. They've been able to provide the best technology to fit our market.

    Improvements to My Organization:

    HP is a good partner, as they really try to understand and build trust with our market.

    Valuable Features:

    HP is very aware of and adaptable to our market. They've been able to provide the best technology to fit our market.

    Improvements to My Organization:

    HP is a good partner, as they really try to understand and build trust with our market.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user252630
    IT Manager at AIMCo
    Vendor
    Central management of my blades is fairly important for me. It’s important for me to be able to manage them all centrally and quickly.

    What is most valuable?

    Institutional memory-- we used it previously and stuck with it.

    What needs improvement?

    I want to see a standardized interface for managing blade chassis when they’re not virtual connect. Also, I'd like to see a return to the program in which you can purchase different skews for your chassis needs. That was a great program, which they should bring back. I'm disappointed that the current purchase program isn't quicker.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I use everything from G5 to G9 and ProLiant blades.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    I’ve had some recent issues when doing hardware and simple memory upgrades. When I pull out and put back a blade, they system has a tendency to shut down random blades in the chassis. When working on our production system, this issue messes up our clustering and systems.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The scalability is great.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    It’s been decent. When we’ve had our issues, they tell us how to resolve them. They always tell us to update the firmware, but in our production environment, it takes me many months to get that done.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We were previously affiliated with the government, and they were using HP.

    How was the initial setup?

    I’d say that setup complexity depends on the type of system you get. We went for the blade chassis, and they were great. We recently dropped virtual connect and initially went with more traditional blades from Cisco, and they seemed to be fine. They were very clunky to set up, however, and I was disappointed. But setup for HP blades were fairly simplistic.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    Dell, Cisco, ans briefly Hitachi. HP came out on top primarily for its knowledge in our organization. On the server front, everything is similar, and there was no real need to jump ship.

    What other advice do I have?

    We looked at our what our guys already knew.

    Single point of management is important. If you were to step back five years ago, HP was very strong in that, when Dell and Cisco weren’t quite as good. Now, they’re all pretty good, so central management of my blades is fairly important for me. I’m running hundreds of these servers, and it’s important for me to be able to manage them all centrally and quickly.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user251865
    Windows Server Support at Nationwide
    Vendor
    Setup is pretty straightforward. It’s all automated so that their tools are deployed for us.

    What is most valuable?

    Their reliability and their integration. I’ve been working with HP solutions since the 90s, and they’re great.

    How has it helped my organization?

    They do what they’re supposed to do. They’re very flexible.

    What needs improvement?

    In the future, I'd like to see more manageability. They keep adding features which are nice, so I can’t think of anything else.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Relatively stable and reliable for the amount that we have. I’ve been working with HP hardware for decades, and as with all hardware there’s always problems, but for the years that I’ve been working with them they’re always been very reliable.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We haven’t really had to scale, but we can provision them usually from the get-go for what we do.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    It’s okay. Working in support myself, their response times for us (we have a couple thousand servers) didn’t seem to be great. A lot of the time, there’s no concessions for response times not being met.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    They’ve had servers forever, and we’ve always had HP. So we just continued using the existing solution.

    How was the initial setup?

    They’re pretty straightforward. It’s all automated so that their tools are deployed for us.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We’ve been with HP forever, so I don’t think so.

    What other advice do I have?

    I’m pretty opinionated, but first look at pricing and see which option is right for you. HP is a good bet, but it really depends. I can only speak about HP, but they’ve been very good.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    SrEngineer672
    Consultant at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
    Consultant
    Ahead of other vendors. Minor improvements are needed for registration of licenses and access to updated drivers.

    What is most valuable?

    iLO (Remote Management) is probably the best in the market, their RAID Cards (SmartArray) are also very good.

    How has it helped my organization?

    1. iLO even in its basic form can get you out of hot water as you can just do a remote power-cycle. iLO Advance can get you to remotely troubleshoot the OS even if its in a defunct state
    2. RAID I have found useful as its quite easy to remotely expand the array
    3. Upgrading of firmware is very easy as well, even in a VMWare vSphere (ESXi hypervisor)

    What needs improvement?

    I believe they are ahead of the other vendors (IBM, Dell and Cisco). Probably what they can improve on are minor things -

    1. Registration of licenses, this includes iLO advanced and upgraded support. This requires you to log on with HP and activate the key that has been given to the server. Its just a convoluted process that I rather as a technical engineer not have to do.
    2. Access to updated drivers and firmware. They now require you to logon and have the device serial number to get to drivers. Even new devices requires this. If the device is 3 years old OK, but new devices just frustrates the customer and slows down deployments.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    Full time the last five years but I have been around them for eight years.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    Generally no. We did have issues where a RAID card would not work with array build until we updated the firmware. Even after getting HP to replace the RAID card, the replacement card came with the same faulty firmware. This was for a bottom end server though. All the mid and high range servers have had no problems with deployments.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    If there is ever a problem with stability, generally firmware has fixed this, We've had a range of issues, probably the most common issue has been SAS cards and tape drives staying up (both in Windows and ESXi environments). We did have an issue where during a power outage, the BIOS lost the boot sequence on a sever that was using an SD Card as its boot device, a firmware update fixed that. Teamed NICS having dropouts also required updates.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    No, these servers when specified can host incredible amounts of VM's. The CPU options and RAM expansions are very good.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Excellent, they are happy to trust you in raising the issue and supply you with replacement hardware with minimal fuss. They are also helpful if you require technical assistance for configuration.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We used to use IBM. I wasn't part of the decision for the change but to be honest I'm glad we moved away from IBM. They had moved to LSI for RAID and their UEFI Bios meant every reboot took 10 minutes. Also their technical support was rapidly going downhill.

    How was the initial setup?

    Straightforward, 90% of all installation you can just refer to the server cover for RAM sequence, CPU installations or RAID expansion.

    What about the implementation team?

    We are a reseller.

    What was our ROI?

    Its hard to say but if you count the improvement of remote access (iLO) and ease of upgrading firmware means we don't have to organise serious downtimes when we had previously dealt with other vendors.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We previously used IBM Servers and we may revisit this if Lenovo fixes the issues with the IBM servers. We also haved used Cisco UCS servers where the deal suited. I still believe HP is still ahead of both Cisco and IBM.

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are a HP partner
    Elliott Scott
    CEO at Scott Solutions LLC
    Real User
    Top 5
    I have found that the HP Proliant series servers have lived up to their moniker, in that they have always been reliable.

    Valuable Features

    * High Performance

    * High Reliability

    * "Insight Management" of the hardware

    * Compatibility with all of the major Network Operating systems

    Improvements to My Organization

    It has provided us with a platform on which we have been able to create innovative solutions for our customers at very reasonable prices.

    Room for Improvement

    It would be nice if they were a little lighter in weight.

    Use of Solution

    I have used Proliant series servers since they were first introduced.

    Deployment Issues

    On rare occasions, I have experienced hardware failures out of the box, but HP, and Compaq before that, were quick to resolve the problem and get the hardware up and running the next business day.

    Stability Issues

    On very rare occasions, instability was experienced due to driver incompatibilities or firmware maladies. HP provided updates or workarounds to get the system stable fairly quickly.

    Scalability Issues

    I've never experienced an issue with hardware scalability.

    Customer Service and Technical Support

    Customer Service:

    Customer service is outstanding.

    Technical Support:

    Over the years, technical support has gone from outstanding to "needs improvement", and back to "reasonably good". Typically, I've had to push the front line support team to escalate the issue to the back line, and the issue from there was quickly resolved. For hardware failures, it's been necessary from time to time to convince the front line that all of the diagnostic steps needed to isolate and identify the failed component have already been performed, and that what is needed is to get the replacement part. That process has also improved.

    Initial Setup

    The initial setup has been straightforward in that HP has provided "Smart Start" kits to assist in getting their systems up and running very quickly. These kits typically prepare the systems for NOS installation and provide the necessary drivers to successfully discover all of the hardware components installed.

    Implementation Team

    I am a Value Added Reseller, working with the end-user to acquire and build the solutions.

    Other Solutions Considered

    I have evaluated Dell and IBM products as part of an overall review of possible solutions for the customer.

    Other Advice

    If you need assistance in deploying Proliant servers, please feel free to contact me.

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: I am a Value Added Reseller, working with the end-user to acquire and build the solutions.
    it_user1020
    Head of Data Center at a university with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    HP ProLiant servers are one of the most durable and reliable servers ever made. Just make sure to stock-up on parts which might fail in the long run.

    Valuable Features:

    The HP ProLiant line has proven to be a very durable and reliable product. This is the greatest thing that I love about HP servers. They just work and keep on working. We have HP ProLiant servers which are almost 10 years old and is still working until today.We bought HP ProLiant servers as they offered us the best value for money in our part of the country. HP also has great support countrywide, and we didn't have any problem that the local support could not handle. This for me is the number reason why selected HP ProLiant for our servers in our part of the country. We felt more at ease with HP ProLiant rather than with IBM System X, as HP has better support.

    Room for Improvement:

    The only con I can think off with using HP ProLiant is the limited parts of the old servers. This is understandable though, as it is also not feasible for vendors to stock parts which might never be sold.There is also this thing about server management. Other vendors like Cisco has really taken leaps and bounds in overhauling server manageability and make it work. HP has had new products as of late, but I think they must have innovated sooner as they are now behind the competition in this regard.

    Other Advice:

    I would definitely recommend HP ProLiant servers. They are very reliable and very easy to configure. Just make sure that you stock-up on parts which you think might not be available any more in the foreseeable future. From experience, stock on the hard disks especially if you are still using the older technology, and buy redundant power supplies as these are the ones that normally fail after years of continuous operations.
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user1266
    Network Manager at a local government with 51-200 employees
    Vendor
    Great product. Does what it's supposed to; however blades aren't the most cost effective solution.

    Valuable Features:

    These are the servers I use to host my virtual desktops and virtual servers. They outperform the older Dell servers that only had one system on them. I have about 10 machines on each physical blade. The HP ilo Management Interface is very useful and user friendly.

    Room for Improvement:

    Blade servers are fading away. I shouldn't have bought these. Overall value is less than traditional rackmount servers. Scalability is limited; restricted by the chassis.

    Other Advice:

    These work great for what I'm using them for, but they are not future proof. XenServer has great features allowing me to have heterogeneous pools. Blades are a good solution for organizations that have limited space and don't want to virtualize.
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.