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Hardware Thread, What is your opinion of IBM servers? in Technical; Just looking at getting some new servers for a school and have the option of either hp or IBM servers. ...
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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    Question What is your opinion of IBM servers?

    Just looking at getting some new servers for a school and have the option of either hp or IBM servers. I am familiar with the hp stuff and so more inclined to go with it but the IBM stuff does work out cheaper all be it with a much lower spec RAID card. I'm after the opinions of anyone who has dealt with or has IBM gear.

    How is the build quality?

    How good is the iLO?

    How would you rate it against hp gear if you have experience with it?

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    I would go HP... Got an IBM server and it arrived it 3 parts: The Server, 2 weeks later the hard drives, 3 months later the ram (they had apparently run out of generic ram)

    Also when installing an OS you have to use one of their disks to start of the install and things - it's a faf

    Also HP now have their G6 Servers with the new Xeon CPU's (ME WANT!!!!!)

    What is your budget on the servers and what role are you looking at for them?

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    tmcd35's Avatar
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    As I've (constantly) said elsewhere, I've grown a little despondent with HP's build quality and customer support of late. Been using Lenovo kit on the desktop for a while and have been very happy with them. So I for one I'm seriously looking at IBM for the next round of server purchases.

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    RobFuller's Avatar
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    Never been blow away with HP myself, though the SUN hardware I had recently seems very good! Support seemed expensive but then again that was only because I was more aware of the cost compared to our Dell kit.

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    Theblacksheep's Avatar
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    Not used IBM, but very, very impressed with our new C7000.

    Shame they've up the population requirements for free enclosures.

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    jj99's Avatar
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    I have to say if thats my choice that i would go for the HP. Much better software for loading the software plus monitoring and updating. I have never really had a problem with build quality. Any problems they sent out the part next day.

    The 4 IBM servers i used to work with on the other hand i hated, they were very prone to overheating and the support was hit amd miss sometimes it was great, other times you just ended up pressing buttons!

    However if you are on a budget have you looked at the Dell's? I would never have thought of looking at them before i came to education but now that i have had experince with them i would have them as a top contender. Good build quality and the It assistant software has been dramtaicly improved of late.

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    mattx's Avatar
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    I'm a fan of IBM servers - built a few citrix farms using them a while back, also built OS/2 Servers, NT Servers, in fact most things on them. When I joined this school I managed to get hold of a few second hand ones really cheap to run a few things and touch wood, nothing has gone wrong on them hardware wise.
    Would love to get hold of a IBM rack as the Prism one we have is complete and utter toilet.

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    Ric_'s Avatar
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    I've used HP and IBM... they both seem very similar build quality wise. SmartStart is probably slightly better than IBM's equivalent but I wouldn't say it was a reson not to go with IBM.

    I haven't had a chance to try the full blown ILOM interfaces on HP or IBM.

    I know that the OP has given HP and IBM as the two options - if a third option could be thrown in, look at SUN. The build quality is better and the ILOM is amazing - all have standard remote KVM and out of band management! The price isn't as much as you would think either!

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    AngryTechnician's Avatar
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    I'm not a fan of HP but that's based more on their consumer and printer hardware than on servers. We use IBM BladeCenters here and are very happy with them.

    Full disclosure: I used to work for IBM.

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    Butuz's Avatar
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    RM/HP/IBM/DELL in the process of being dumped in favour of SUN here.

    Butuz

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    SUN kit certainly looks appealing but i'm a little worried what will happen when IBM takeover which is looking likely.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tallwood_6 View Post
    SUN kit certainly looks appealing but i'm a little worried what will happen when IBM takeover which is looking likely.
    Their deals look like a clearout of old stock to me, getting ready for a takeover and to discontinue the old hardware.

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    Thanks for all of your input, I wish I could get a hold of the G6 but that is not avalible here for another 6 months so we are limited to the G5. I did look at Sun but they have zero supply chaing in NZ and no matching grant like you luck lot have so they work out at at least three times what you would have to pay in the UK. I might almost consider Dell but this particular place is hostile towards Dell and from some of the issues with PERC RAID controllers and other faults with the Dells I am very weary of them when compared with, well anything else.

    The main sticking point at the moment is the RAID controller that is avalible on the IBM is junk (ServeRAID-8k 256mb) in comparison to the P600-512mb in the hp and for the moment we don't have any additional options on that front for the IBM. The IBM warrenty also worries me as this is 3 year part replacement where as the hp is 3 year 4 hour responce on site. I think that with compareable hardware and warrenties the hp may end up cheaper or quite close to the IBM and as we have mostly hp stuff at present would be a safer option.

    At the moment we are looking at DL380 g5s or IBM x3650s and they will be virtualised taking over from two ageing servers that run domain, file, print, exchange, clickview, web server, ......

    Oh and the IBM - Sun deal fell through the other day so it is now just a matter of whether Sun survives alright as they were on the hunt for capital and may have to downsize without it.
    Last edited by SYNACK; 6th April 2009 at 08:15 PM.

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    Oops_my_bad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DAckroyd View Post
    Got an IBM server and it arrived it 3 parts: The Server, 2 weeks later the hard drives, 3 months later the ram (they had apparently run out of generic ram)
    This is normal practice with most brands - choose your server and the hard disks. Both sold seperately unless specified. Can't say the same for the memory though

    Quote Originally Posted by DAckroyd View Post
    Also when installing an OS you have to use one of their disks to start of the install and things - it's a faf
    you can choose to install your OS with IBM Serverguide if you wish - it's a preference thing but it ensures you have the latest drivers available to the operating system before it begins the install. I've never had a problem with it personally, however the HP "surestart" equivalent has never worked for me.

    The IBM configuration tool is also quite useful. I've used the HP one in the past only to need something else which the configurator didn't pick up on You might find a better RAID controller available in there too.

    Never really had a problem with support either - you ring their support line and a part (or engineer with part) turns up the next day. This is UK support though, can't speak for NZ

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    Mixed review - my couple of IBMs have been so solid it is painful to think of decomissioning them BUT the fact they tried to charge many pounds for a plastic drive tray really obtains my hircine, so I am disinclined to go anywhere near. Liking the new HP though. Is nice.



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