Blade innovation and Dell: More than cardboard boxes

A while back, Glenn posted a blog entry about the independent third party study on Out of Box Experience for HP and Dell blades. HP's response on their website was more about the 78 boxes it took to ship their blades (Dell shipped in two boxes), but they missed the point.  The real issue – a number one IT issue according to Gartner – is "greener IT", including design, packaging, manufacturing, disposal, and power use, in addition to packaging.

Certainly HP offers an optional service for a fee that bundles products to reduce packaging.  But there is no opportunity to order this option when you configure an HP system online, so there is no telling how much they charge for yet another solution that Dell provides standard for free.

What happens after the boxes get unpacked is where the real differences become apparent.  As HP noted in their response, "Things really get interesting if you compare HP and Dell after the systems are turned on."

InfoWorld noted Dell's leadership for deployment in their independent blade comparison ("Battle of the Blades", InfoWorld, March 2007):

"Whereas the other vendors spent six to eight hours of their testing day working to get the SPEChpc benchmarks running properly and with the best results possible, Dell ran the full benchmark suite in their 90-minute preparation period the day before their official testing day – and those 90 minutes included their initial chassis power up and system check procedures."

An independent study shows that Dell also delivers better performance and lower power use.  In fact, Dell PowerEdge blades delivered better energy efficiency and better performance than HP in every configuration tested.  The previously mentioned InfoWorld report also noted Dell's performance superiority: "The Dell PowerEdge 1955 produced the best SPEChpc numbers by far of any of the blade systems tested." 

Customers concerned with power consumption or capacity challenges, need look no further than the most energy efficient PowerEdge blades from Dell – Energy efficiency and performance per watt that HP can't beat. 

Even though this was an out of box deployment study, HP never skips an opportunity to bring up their proprietary Virtual Connect hardware and software, as they do in their response.  But when you add it all up it's a pretty tall order from a cost perspective: 

  • $5,499 per Virtual Connect Ethernet switch x 4 = $21,996
  • +$9,499 per Virtual Connect Fibre switch x 2 = $18,998
  • +$9,000 for the Virtual Connect enterprise license per chassis = $49,994

So it's not just about boxes, it's about how Dell Simplifies IT by providing blade solutions to help our customers Get IT faster, Run IT better, and Grow IT Smarter.  Better energy efficiency, faster deployment and fewer boxes are just the start.  Now that's green and simplified IT.  Dell provides simple solutions to empower our customers to combat IT complexity, not imprison them with expensive, proprietary technology. 

About the Author: Aaron Hanson