In this article we’ll be going over HPE vs Dell servers, and comparing and contrasting some of the different features and qualities that the procurement officer, system admin, or data center manager may be considering when making their decision. If you are in the market for upgrading your servers, make sure to plan appropriately so you can make the money you deserve off your used servers.
HPE VS Dell Servers: The Factors
Dell does not require a paid support program to download any updates or firmware, and they also provide an extremely intuitive site to find any updates for your sytems.
Additionally, Dell Prosupport is regarded in the IT sphere as one of the more reliably helpful support programs around. If you can afford it, pro support is a worthwhile investment. That being said, word has been going around that Dell will soon be requiring a support contact for downloads in the future, though nothing concrete has surfaced as of yet.
HPE requires you to have a service/support contract to download any new firmware or updates. It can also be difficult to find support drivers and firmware through HP’s platform even if you do. Additionally, the parts replacement supply chain is not always the most reliable with HPE, though this has improved in recent years. HPE’s website is also fairly difficult to use for any information or support in general.
It is not uncommon to hear of Dell servers running without a single breakdown for years. Dell EMC is very vigilant as far as continuously improving their servers, and the more recent lines generally reinforce that fact.
According to a survey done mid-2017, HP proliants had about 2.5x as much downtime as dell poweredge servers. That being said, HPE systems do a good job with predictive alerts for parts that are liable to fail. This allows the enterprise to repair or replace parts before they go bad. Additionally, HPE’s superdome line showed incredible reliability. So for mission critical big data workloads, HPE’s solution does seem reliable. HPE’s Apollo line is likely too new for users to determine long term reliability yet, so keep that in mind when you’re comparing HPE vs dell servers.
Most users report less flexibility on price when negotiating with Dell, though with larger, consistent customers they’re typically willing to cut more of a deal. In years past dell was more affordable, but the price differences are much less clear cut these days.
HPE is usually more flexible on price, though initial quotes are similar to Dell in most cases.
If you’re a longstanding customer with either one of the two companies or you have trade-ins, you’ll probably be able to get a much better deal.
As far as Out of Band Management systems go, HPE’s Management tool is iLO, and Dell EMC’s is iDRAC. They both give remote access similar to a NVM (Kernel based Virtual Machine) setup, though with much more comprehensive capabilities.
iDRAC in the more recent generations is very impressive. It no longer uses Java after iDRAC 7 which is nice, and the web interface is intuitive and easy to use. However, the console is not ideal. As far as licensing goes, iDRAC uses a physical license, which can be bought on the secondary market and prevent being locked in again with the OEM after end of life. However, some users have reported occasional issues with iDrac reliability and crashes.
ILO’s console is subjectively better, though the web interface isn’t the easiest to use. ILO requires a license key for ILO advanced, which can lock you in with the OEM if your servers go EOL, as you can’t buy them from the used market.
The Final Roundup
At the end of the day, HPE and Dell are both fairly similar companies with similar offerings, and so when comparing HPE vs dell servers, there is not clear cut winner. There isn’t a huge difference between the companies as far as build quality, price, or reliability, so those are going to be best evaluated on a case by case basis. However, the ease of replacing parts and receiving effective support makes Dell our server provider choice when we evaluate HPE vs dell servers.
If you enjoyed this article, check out our recent roundup for the best all flash array in 2018
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