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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    604

    Post Supermicro // Dell // HP

    I know this topic has been brought up before and I wanted to revisit this again. We are a growing hosting company looking to expand our Dedicated server offerings. So far, we have been renting servers and reselling but now we have begun colocating our equipment and are looking for hardware vendors.

    Would you recommend us to...

    ...build our own servers using the Supermicro platform?
    ...purchase pre-built servers from Dell?
    ...purchase pre-build servers from HP?

    Pricing is of major concern along with speed to provision new orders. Although we don't have a dedicated resource for putting together servers, this is something we can look into should the volume of orders increase. Scalability and Flexibility is a MUST

    Thanks for chiming in...

  2. #2
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    Sep 2008
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    Hello Jason, you'll save a lot of money if you have someone build the servers for you, there is a drawback to it, the ability to have the manufacturer come and help you out in person and fix the issue(Like dell's ProSupport)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
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    I save money and time going with Dell. Can't beat their pricing.
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  4. #4
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    @OP, Jennifer Rainwater is a great sales rep at Dell. They build great quality servers, probably the most notable provider who uses all dell is The Planet. You rarely hear about Hardware problems at The Planet.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
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    Lynnwood, WA
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    All 3 are very reasonable.

    Many shops don't standardize on one, but multiple vendors (personally I recommend this, so you can never find yourself getting beaten up by your single vendor, and instead you are the one doing the beating).

    SuperMicro and HP have one benefit on Dell; density. Dell is notorious for having less CPU, RAM, and ESPECIALLY hard drive bays and PCI slots per U as compared to similar chassis from their competitors. They can often make up this difference on price if you're buying bulk, but not always. And be careful that the $300 you save on the server is worth the fact that, across a cabinet, you ended up having 20-30% less available resources for your task (if you're not constrained by PCI slots or hard drive bays, it is not an issue).

    I have seen nothing to suggest that HP, SM or Dell have better quality hardware than their competitors. They all seem to have their share of problems, and in all cases is fairly low, percentage wise.

  6. #6
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    Apr 2009
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    We see a lot of our customers leasing to own direct from HP, through distributors like CDW or Softchoice for local delivery and service. Seems to be a nice balance of keeping up growth without massive one time purchases.

    Quality wise I dont think either stands above the rest.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
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    Supermicro gives the most flexibility if you can add your own components. I've also worked Dell and HP boxes, and have found that "propriety" solutions are usually not the best.
    Ray Womack @ atOmicVPS LTD
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    Toronto, Ontario Canada
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    It comes down to your business model.

    i think your best solution is typically of having a Hybrid.
    If you are doing a decent amount of hardware, you will eventually fall outside your standard of using ONLY 1 hardware manufacturer.

    Dell, HP, IBM.. all very very reliable and stable boxes. CONSISTANCY is the key with them.

    SuperMicro.. Excellent as well. FLEXIBLE, EXPANDABLE to YOUR OWN standard.
    BUT, there is NO STANDARDIZATION as with the Teir 1 Manufacturers.

    You choose. No Right or Wrong. Just what ever you think you can work best with.

    Paul.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Thanks folks, keep em coming...

    From comparing quotes between Supermicro and Dell, it definitely seems that Dell is on the higher side for the exact same configuration. Is it just the sticker price we're paying? I mean the internal components must be somewhat identical right? Like CPU, RAM, HDD etc.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Denver, CO
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    We do all SuperMicro systems that we build in house. Reasons for this include:

    1. Flexibility. We can leverage one vendor and get systems that go from 1 - 24 drives, Atom based systems up to quad hex processors. Intel. AMD.

    2. Pricing. You will get a lower price on your systems.

    3. We get *exactly* what we want, down to the brand of memory, brand / model of HDD, etc.

    4. We don't have to play games with upgrade pricing. It's no secret that Dell likes to screw you over on upgrades. Often times, the Dell upgrade costs 100-300% more than the actual cost of the component, if not more. Need rails with that rackmount server? Cha-ching. Need 8 1TB HDDs? Cha-ching. Sure, some of these issues can be resolved with a good Dell rep, which brings to my next point.

    5. We buy through distribution channels and have had the same rep for several years now. For a while, our Dell reps were changing monthly. Clearly, turnover can be an issue for any sales type job, but ...

    6. Shipping. Many distribution channels will waive shipping charges for minimum order amounts. Sure beat paying $50-$150 per machine in shipping charges that Dell wants to charge.

    7. Spares. Who wants to pay through the nose and wait 4+ hours for Dell to show up with a spare motherboard? Have you ever tried to source a spare motherboard from Dell? Good luck with that, if you expect to get it at a reasonable cost. Stock your own spare parts and save money and reduce downtime.

    8. Moving targets. Dell pricing can vary widely from one week to the next, depending on the promotion they are running. Order during the wrong week and pay extra.

    9. Why spend time doing online configurations? Send your distribution channel rep an email with exactly what you need and save time. No quotes going back and forth. No checking the price your Dell rep gives you against the Dell web site to see if you can get a better price there. Email, Order, Pay Fair Price, Done and Done. In a hurry? No problem, submit your order with late afternoon cut off and get it at your door by 10AM next day. No need to play your order first thing in the morning and hope that it ships same day, or pay an expedite fee to ensure it goes out quickly.

    10. Proprietary non-sense. Why throw out good parts? We were able to re-use dozens of chassis and stick new motherboards and CPUs in them (same memory and HDD worked fine), allowing us to leverage existing inventory to roll out new products with much smaller capital costs. Good luck doing that with Dell systems or HP.

    The downside is: if you build your own, there is definitely a learning curve. Some chassis and mobo combination require split cable adapters, custom heatsinks, etc.
    Jay Sudowski // Handy Networks LLC // Co-Founder & CTO
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  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
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    I think you need to blend all 3 in your model. End user customers might want to see a brand name such as Dell or HP - others only want to know specs.
    Rebel Networks
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  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Suds View Post
    We do all SuperMicro systems that we build in house. Reasons for this include:
    I am not sure if you get this same treatment... But I have worked with Supermicro system builders and they really bend over backwards for your needs to show they they will beat Dell, IBM, HP, etc.. I have needed a PSU before late in the day and a guy from the Supermicro retailer is more than happy to find the part (even late in the afternoon) and drive it out to the colo himself and hand it to me. Probably falls under your point 7 also

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