What Hardware Would I Buy in 2011/2012?

In the past I’ve always said that I pick manufacturers based on:

  1. Support for System Center (Operations Manager management packs, Configuration Manager/SCE plug-ins, PRO management packs, etc)
  2. Price/quality/met requirements/etc

HP and Dell always top the chart there, and I’ve tended to prefer HP because:

  1. I know their stuff
  2. The build quality and SupportPack support are excellent

IBM is always bottom of my hardware charts Smile

Ask me last week what servers and storage I’d recommend and I’d have said HP ProLiant rack/blade servers and either P4000 or EVA storage.  Now that has changed.

The announcements of last week leave me thinking that HP is a headless chicken.  They are the number 1 PC maker and they’re getting out of the market.  The morons on the board spent over $1 billion on Palm so they could spend billions more on a tablet that they pulled after 1.5 months of sales, and a phone that was “on sale” (or in warehouses) in Europe for less than a week.  I’d hate to invest in server and/or storage system from HP to find that suddenly they decided to focus on the manufacturing on ice cream – I wouldn’t put it past the former CEO of SAP to do this:

  • SAP effectively fired him by not renewing his contract according to the BBC
  • When you say SAP to me I think of over priced, overrun, and failed projects – funnily enough, HP went through this in 2003 when it was taking up to 6 months just to get a monitor from them, allegedly thanks to a new SAP installation

So now I look to Dell.  I’m not a fan of their build quality compared to HP desktops/laptops.  Storage-wise, the Compellent has been getting great reviews.  The R-series servers are mature – and in the end they use the same NICs, CPUs, and memory as everyone else.  And Dell are “all in” on System Center.

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4 thoughts on “What Hardware Would I Buy in 2011/2012?”

  1. Agreed, Dell server and storage hardware has been good to me for many years. I always preferred their pro support to HP’s ‘scripted’ call centres.

  2. Personally i like my Dell servers, i appreciate the tie in to system center and dell has been a very good solution for me. HP makes a great server but i always found dell to be on par or better IMO. I like Dell blades a lot and their SAN’s have been awesome, so not much complaint from my end on any of that. Really its like buying any decent car, you will have a problem with anybody, go with what you feel is best, and everybody is going to feel something different.

  3. I support Hyper-V and System Center for Microsoft at Dell. The Compellent storage line is great and gives FC and iSCSI connectivity. The Dell Equilogic arrays offer iSCSI and have their snapshot tool ASM (Automated Snapshot Manager) that integrates into Hyper-V and VSS for consistant snapshots. If you need even lower cost storage there is the MD Series available in SAS, iSCSI, and FC connections. I agree that servers are pretty generic commodities using the same basic components.

  4. I’m pretty stunned about the HP news in regards to Palm. I’m a big fan of the Palm Pre and our work is on Sprint so I’ve had that mobile for a couple of years now and love WebOS. I’m sad to see it go w/out even getting a chance to see a Pre3 here in the states. Anyone score a Touchpad for $99 US?

    We’re primarily a Dell shop so I cannot give an unbiased comparison. But some things I really appreciate about Dell are the efforts they put into their support site (for inventory info, warranty, drivers, and other system lookups). Whenever I have to do the same for an HP device (which is not often I admit) it’s not very intuitive and difficult to find the info I need. As well as Dell’s purchase/configuration site for business. Very simple and details what the warranty services provide in plain terms.

    It’s funny you mention the internal components being the same. Here in the states, whenever we need Dell service for their servers, the outsourced Dell tech will come to our site. They handle a lot of the major brands including HP as well. We ask them which vendors break the most, they say it’s about the same across the board but they always say Dell is the easiest to deal with in terms of support. Same components, better support.

    But for printers, HP for life! 🙂

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