HP vs Dell servers

Associate
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Hello all,

What are people's experience with Dell server equipment and their support? I will be sourcing 3 new hosts soon with the intention of sticking with HP. I had not considered anything else really. My supplier however has just got back to me with an equivalent Dell comparison and there is quite a significant saving.

HP will be DL380 Gen10.
Dell will be PowerEdge R740.

Any thoughts?

Thanks
 
Don
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Both are equally as good, and arguably the only 2 brands I would consider (E.g. Supermicro, Fujitsu, Lenovo aren't really on the same level for support, parts availability etc).

Only downside with HP of recent years is locking away firmware updates behind a valid warranty/service contract.

If you already have a significant amount of HP kit, then makes sense to stay with HP, for commonality with Drives, PSUs etc., but if not then go with the Dell if is cheaper as long as it's like for like.
 
Soldato
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Dell is ok, but somethings annoy me. The firmware is always buggy (hence lots of updates).
The iDrac windows installer module and supportassist are crap. The idrac stuff breaks lots of things, supportassist stops working for no reason.

I do like their SCCM integration tools which takes care of all the drivers for you.

This week we took delivery of 8 M640 blades, and had them all updated, imaged, configured and running in the cluster within two days. If it wasn't for troubleshooting the idrac crap, we'd have it all done in a day.

The latest idrac versions use HTML5 now and not Java6 lol so at least that part of it is really good. They get one thing right, yet balls up something else. That's dell for you.

Not used the latest mobile app yet, but heard it's actually really good.
 
Associate
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Thanks for all the input guys, sounds quite promising as I would have dismissed the Dell option otherwise.

The iDRAC stuff is one of the areas our network guy has not had that much experience in and wanted to see how well it worked compared to iLO.
 
Soldato
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Thanks for all the input guys, sounds quite promising as I would have dismissed the Dell option otherwise.

The iDRAC stuff is one of the areas our network guy has not had that much experience in and wanted to see how well it worked compared to iLO.

Don't get me wrong, idrac is good....it's just the windows software side of it which is utter tosh. You don't have to use it though.
 
Soldato
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Were pretty much 50/50 with dell / hp. - Predominantly Dell servers with HP laptops/Switches and a few servers.

In the last 5+ years I've only ever had to call HP support, on that note im still waiting on a fix/replacement for a Laptop that burnt out its usb c port over a month ago. Not to mention the 3 month lead time on some desktops that we eventually gave up on and went elsewhere.

Go Dell! HP seem to have had some serious issues delivering lately!

The Idracs work seamlessly with our monitoring as well. Ilo can take a running jump off a cliff!
 

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Associate
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the dell from our recent tests used less power than hp servers which makes a difference when you buy a lot. it's also cheaper.
 
Associate
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Always used dell servers as found hp to be more expensive like for like. Never had anything major go wrong, have had a couple issues with the idrac software but bug fixes come pretty quickly.
 
Soldato
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Go back to your supplier and see if he can get better pricing, I was looking at Dell server a few years back and the HP guys came back with cheaper pricing once they knew they were going against Dell..
 
Soldato
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To be honest tended to find them both much of a muchness ... both have their annoyances, be that specific technical things or support related issues, but in general it evens out.

Used to find HP hardware seemed slightly higher quality but not really anything in it in the real world.

There was the time I had to argue with a HP hardware engineer that the model of hardware he was supposed to be coming to fix actually existed ... not existed on our hardware in support list but that it was a model of hardware which existed at all. In the end I had to email him the pdf documentation of HP's site before he'd believe me, (iirc it was bl60p blades (horrible itanium things))
 
Soldato
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Both good options. Dell wins in my eyes. Never had an issue with firmware as somebody else mentioned.

For the love of god though, do not go near a lenovo/IBM server. Awful.
 
Associate
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Thanks for all the feedback.

I'll most likely be going the Dell route, as it's coming in just over 30% cheaper than the HPE option!
 
Soldato
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I work for a HPE reseller and we’ve had a couple of Local Government customers buy Dell rack servers in the last 6 months because of significantly better pricing we couldn’t get near. Both customers used us to install and commission the kit - which is where all the profit is anyway.

There’s very little in it in terms of hardware quality. HPE’s SPP or Intelligent Provisioning makes firmware updates much easier and is far more elegant than the Dell solution which is just a batch file run in Windows. Historically HPE RAID controllers have been better regarded than Dell PERC - particularly in larger installs with multiple shelves - but we did a 96TB backup server for one of the customers and it’s been fine.

If it came down to a couple of hundred quid a server I’d stick with HPE, but I’d struggle to justify paying a larger premium for ProLiant kit. In larger environments having some vendor diversity is often no bad thing.
 
Soldato
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Dell for me, mainly because there's a larger KB out there and also the firmwares are available without having a maintenance contract.

> Dell solution which is just a batch file run in Windows

This is not really true, there's many ways to flash your fw. Via IDRAC, direct via the Lifecycle Controller ftp, pushed by openmanage, via a monthly ISO, and finally via exe in windows.
 
Associate
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Dell. Everytime. But make sure you get the ProSupport option if you can.

Stay clear of HPE. Their QA/QC process on their servers is absolutely horrendous
 
Associate
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In what way?
I have a rack full of them and little to no issues in 5+ years of operations

I wouldn't expect you would if its only a racks worth.

At a place I used to work, last year, we had a big overhaul of our datacentre. Shifting everything from Cisco UCS across to pizza boxes. Now this was a massive deployment, over 10,000 physical servers. So decision was made to shift over to HPE (mix of Gen10 DL580 and DL380). The amount of failures we had were astronomical and caused a huge problem with the migration. I always rate the experience on how the technical and customer service was handled. Let's just say it wasn't. It caused such a stink they had to rewrite their internal QA/QC processes as they were so shoddy.
 
Soldato
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Dell - HPE's paywall firmware updates policy and unwillingness to allow non certified hardware to run without cranking the fans to 100% 24/7 is just not for me. Even cards certified for other models of the same generation, or earlier/later generations can do this, it's agro that just isn't required. Support wise, you get what you pay for with Dell, they've always attended with a minimum of fuss when hardware was on NBD cover, with the correct parts and are still pushing out BIOS updates for 8+ y/o kit last I looked (my old R210-ii).
 
Associate
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i had similar concerns, but in my experience Dell on site response is as good and phone support is better (they are keener to make a good impression and it shows) and the kit is cheaper (especially when buy multiples via a vendor who can register for deal support). dells software (eg support assist, driver updates) is not as good/robust/simply to set up but adequate.
 
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