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    Dell or IBM Blades

    ablej Hot Shot

      We our currently looking at implementing Blades in our VI3 environment. So I just wanted to see if anyone had any comments or complaints about their experience with Dell or IBM blades.





      David Strebel



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        • 1. Re: Dell or IBM Blades
          malaysiavm Expert


          Personal experience, is depend what you want to achieve. Blade might not suit for big number of consolidation you would like to do example when we talk about 30:! or 40:1



          If I have to pick both of them, I will choose DELL instead of IBM. Just because of the cost, support and reliability. Btw, if you have the budget for blade, you may have enough budget to look for some bigger server example like hp proliant, DELL poweredge R900, IBM 4 way cpus servers too. I think it make more sense for long term solution.






          Malaysia VMware Communities - http://www.malaysiavm.com



          • 2. Re: Dell or IBM Blades
            mreferre Virtuoso





            can you be more specific with this:



            > support and reliability



            We for sure want our product to be (at least) as good as Dell's so whatever complain/experience you have I'd like to hear.......









            • 3. Re: Dell or IBM Blades
              Aceh_King Novice

              BladeCenter H with LS41's - proper good kit (with an NetApp rebadged storage backend) ROCK SOLID

              • 4. Re: Dell or IBM Blades
                kingsfan01 Enthusiast





                You'll find that the responses to your question are largely going to be driven solely off of the equipment people work with and most don't work with multiple vendors. I have the IBM BladeCenter H with HS21 & HS21XM blades that I am very happy with in my DR site and will soon be implementing at our Datacenter as well. I cannot comment on Dell blades having never used them, however, my experience with Dell support in the past has been nothing but negative (even with their upgraded support contracts). My past experiences were enough to drive me from them to HP and IBM because at the end of the day, all vendors produce a product that is going to do the same thing... but when it breaks, it's all about who can give you the best support. I've had nothing but good luck with IBM, but that may just be my experience.



                I wrote a reply about my systems and a few challenges encountered here:  http://communities.vmware.com/message/1076272



                Let me know if you have any questions or want any additional information.



                Good luck!






                • 5. Re: Dell or IBM Blades
                  MikeCampabello Lurker

                  I do work with multiple vendors hardware. My personal opinion is any of the top companies are going to work well and its a personal choice. I've had HP/Compaq, IBM, and Dell. Things do change over the years. So having a bad experience with one companies support can change over time. One pain that HP/Compaq had at one time, which I don't know if they do any more or not, is you needed a service contract number that was on paper format. Any time I called support I would have to riffle through all these support contracts to find the machine that was having trouble. Other than that the support was good. IBM I had no issues with either...servers ran good and never had any major issues. I have mainly Dell servers now and I've had one drive failure in a machine that has been running for 5 years (24/7) year round. I do like the service tag system they have and the support website. I rarely need to call them for anything.


                  Bottom line is I do consulting work for our clients and really never had any major issues with any of the big three. It really comes down to what you prefer, IMO. I'm happy with our Dell servers. And I was also happy when I had IBM, HP/Compaq servers in house other than the support contract library I had to maintain.



                  My .02

                  • 6. Re: Dell or IBM Blades
                    ablej Hot Shot

                    We are currently looking at the Bladecenter H with H21's. I think the most important aspect with the Blade system will be support, since we are new to the Blade arena. We currently have all Dell servers no Blades though so right now we are dealing with a IBM solution provider to help implement the Blade system if purchased. Also as a side note I noticed that the IBM's have Cisco switches with fiber uplinks as where the Dell only has Ethernet Uplinks. What kind of performance will we loose if we go with a Ethernet Uplinks? Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.








                    David Strebel



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                    • 7. Re: Dell or IBM Blades
                      mikepodoherty Expert


                      We've been on IBM LS20s for a couple of years - over 100 ESX hosts and no major problems.



                      Tech support from IBM has been quick and effective.



                      Don't have experience with Dell blades.



                      • 8. Re: Dell or IBM Blades
                        kingsfan01 Enthusiast


                        I don't think you will lose any performance by going copper ethernet vs. fiber... your environment should dictate your decision. For example, if you are interconnecting the blade center with a switch (with RJ45 ports) within the same datacenter, distance shouldn't be an issue and you'd be fine with copper. If you are interconnecting between devices at runs over 300', you should look to fiber. If you are connecting to a switch that is populated with fiber ports and has no available copper ports, go fiber. The one performance issue to note is that typically, fiber ports on switches are line speed and don't have issues with shared memory of the other ports so if you are planning on doing something like iSCSI and using the fiber switches for interconnection, you may get better performance (you probably wouldn't notice any difference in all actuality though).



                        If it were my call, I'd go copper and save some dough.



                        • 9. Re: Dell or IBM Blades
                          ablej Hot Shot


                          Does anyone know if IBM will be realeasing a new Bladecenter H or new H21's that will scale to at least 64Gb of RAM in the near future?




                          David Strebel



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                          • 10. Re: Dell or IBM Blades
                            depping Champion
                            User ModeratorsVMware Employees

                            dell + emc san -> rock solid.


                            it's all a matter of personal taste and experience. I had some bad experience with IBM support over the last years, but I had the same with Dell and HP. In the end they're not that far apart from each other. Try to do a site visit somewhere who got the actual setup you are looking into...



                            Blogging: http://www.yellow-bricks.com


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                            • 11. Re: Dell or IBM Blades
                              mcowger Champion

                              We are running great on a bunch of M600 blades from dell.






                              • 12. Re: Dell or IBM Blades
                                williambishop Master


                                I second the HS21 IBM's. Great for us, they've been in production for a couple of years, with no issues that I remember. Nearly a hundred hosts, running 2400 vm's(yes, you can get high density on blades, I never cease to be amazed when someone says you can't--It's much more expensive to build up with 4 and 8 ways than out with blades). Blades=density....PERIOD.



                                My recommendation if you do the IBM's is to put in some extra money and get the extra ethernet modules(going from 2). It makes it more flexible, though it will perform fine with the 2 standard switches.



                                I'd also recommend a decent storage array, with a lot of cache...it's a game changer.



                                • 13. Re: Dell or IBM Blades
                                  ablej Hot Shot

                                  We are leaning toward the IBM H21's they just meet are requirement better. We are also looking at adding a IBM  6040 N Series SAN. The biggest issue with the HS21's is the Max memory of 32Gb. I know the LS41's allow up to 64Gb, but we are really looking to stay with a Intel chip to help smotth the migration from are current enviroment.





                                  David Strebel



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                                  • 14. Re: Dell or IBM Blades
                                    williambishop Master

                                    I would imagine they will end up supporting 64G at some point(probably in the near future on the XM blades), but it's always been my experience that memory is your cap until you hit about 32G. After that, it swaps and CPU becomes your limiting factor. Oversubscription of memory(a good thing) means that 32G supports more than 32G of allocated memory. One of the few reasons in my book to go to a larger box(4 or 8 way) is for this (though it is very seldom necessary). However, it's far cheaper to simply put a very few vm's on a new blade with 32 G than it is to buy the much more expensive 4 or 8 way.






                                    That said, if you do need to go this way, I recall that HP and Dell both can go higher. Personally, I like HP blades, but they do tend to change chassis designs so frequently that you get whiplash. Meanwhile the HS chassis supports a lot more(including P series blades---which we're in the process of buying for AIX support) for a lot longer.






                                    As a storage administrator, Blades have made my life far easier....I'm happy with them.

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