Leadership

Which brand of server would you recommend?


Baseline has an article that caught my eye just the other day. It was a provocatively titled piece on Opinion: Why CIOs Should Pay Attention to Hewlett-Packard.

Essentially, the author noted that the designation of No. 1 IT vendor now belongs to Hewlett-Packard, which has seen its sales climb past IBM's.

The reason for the rise of HP was attributed to various management and policy changes within HP, and it was full of praise on how HP operates (excerpt):

Move[d] away from decentralized and dispersed internal IT operations to a network-central environment.... and coupled with internal restructuring, has become a telling testimonial to IT effectiveness.

I personally have my own reservations about some of the decisions HP made, especially under its prior management -- you know who -- but perhaps things are indeed turning for the better. Anyway, I found the furnished statistics for the 2006 server sales to be of interest.

Sales of Servers for 2006 (Last quarter)

1) HP: 8.2 million

2) Dell: 7.72 million

3) IBM: 7.2 million (Extrapolated)

4) Sun: 1.36 million (Extrapolated)

I figured it would be really interesting to see what TechRepublic’s IT professionals, many of you I am sure have years upon years of solid experience, would recommend. So here we go.

(*) I included Supermicro in additional to the normal “big 4” because my contacts in the hosting industry: ReadySpace -- an excellent host by the way -- swear by them.

And before you go, remember to share with us your tips on the things to look out for when acquiring a new server. Anecdotes about the various vendors are welcomed, as well.

About

Paul Mah is a writer and blogger who lives in Singapore, where he has worked for a number of years in various capacities within the IT industry. Paul enjoys tinkering with tech gadgets, smartphones, and networking devices.

6 comments
ethierba
ethierba

We used to be a Dell shop, but we had some serious service problems with them. Whenever a server had a hardware problem, it was down for a week or more while their "tech support" kept sending out board after board. One server went through 5 motherboards (all refurbished) before they sent one that didn't have a defect. By contrast, HP tech support has been stellar. They've been easy to work with, always send the right part(s) the first time, and their support techs go way beyond reading a checklist and checking with their supervisor.

paulmah
paulmah

Share with us your tips on the things to look out for when acquiring a new server

patrick_hulst
patrick_hulst

100% of the servers we sell are based on Intel parts. Chassis, boards, CPU... all available as kits or individual with Intel tech support behind it. Hard drives are either WD or Seagate (for SATA or SAS), Fujitsu for SCSI. Why? Because their support programs are first rate for server-based products. RAM is usually Kingston. Can't beat lifetime warranty on products certified to work with the boards. SCSI/RAID adapters are usually Intel, with the odd adaptec thrown in. The standard stuff that _works_. Basically we use stuff that works, with a great team of support behind it. I've never had an outtage for more than a day waiting on parts. Always next-day delivery, or if we have it in the shop, 4 hours to get it up and running. Funny, when you look at a system from other suppliers, many are re-branded Intel systems... why put some other supplier's name on something when you can put your own brand in front of the customer? I want my customers coming to me when they want stuff, not any old Joe selling stuff on the corner. We manage our customers, partner with them on these decisions & give them informative choices. We know what's available and what works.... the last thing I want to see is a customer who went out and purchased a $700 Dell server that doesn't do the job (or is underpowered or whatever), then have to upgrade & fix it to make it work the way it should have to begin with.

apotheon
apotheon

Well, iXsystems is pretty good. Much better than something you'll get from a commodity vendor like HP or Dell, certainly. Quality hardware, custom specs, and excellent support terms are high on my list. So too is a wide range of software choices (which does [b]not[/b] describe Dell and HP).

Don Ticulate
Don Ticulate

Slender tones with sleek sloping lines. Curves that defy the eye and a good pair on the front.

Haas
Haas

I like to buy a product that has strong and reliable vendor support, this is the most critical and defining factor in purchasing the server(s) in the first place. I would also take into consideration the performance of servers we previousely bought (to try to avoid that brand) I am very happy with HP support and products because I had a nothing but a good experience with them. hr