Thursday, October 25, 2012

New HP Integrity Servers Live Up to Their Name

It looks like the HP’s high-end server line standardized on Intel’s Itanium platform is living up to its name – NonStop. After a lengthy court battle spurred by the software giant Oracle's claim that they would stop developing the enterprise software required to support the Intel Itanium processor platform, HP has emerged victorious. While prospects looked gloomy for the HP’s Intel Itanium-based server line before the trial, with quite a few customers preemptively jumping ship, now that Oracle has been court-ordered to continue supporting Intel Itanium technology, there’s nothing to stop HP from continuing its dominance in the Itanium server world and expanding its Integrity NonStop server portfolio.

And HP didn’t wait long to get back to work. Arriving just a few short weeks after the end of the court battle, HP has released the new HP Integrity NonStop NS2100 server. The HP NS2100 is designed for small to medium-sized businesses with high transaction workloads (think manufacturing or health care), but offers the same exceptional high availability offered by its enterprise-targeting older siblings. Even though they are manufactured as entry-level servers, HP NS2100 servers come equipped with all of the traditional NonStop server benefits, like full fault tolerance, tight hardware and software integration, incredible scalability, and high flexibility – all at a price point that won’t put the hulk smash on your IT budget.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Becoming an HP Virtual Connect Believer

Does HP’s new Virtual Connect technology make you want to simultaneously yank at your hair, throw your pen, and groan in frustration? Well, that might just be me, but coming to a solid understanding of this technology was not an easy task. However, once you get it (and finally, I did!), you realize what incredible benefits this technology can bring to your data center.

Some of the features that really caught my eye are:
  1. Vendor-Agnostic – This is what I consider to be the most important feature of Virtual Connect technology. Here is one technology solution that allows you to uplink to Cisco, Brocade, HP, Juniper, Force10, QLogic…you name it! 
  2. Cost-Efficient – When HP Virtual Connect technology is used with a FlexFabric Converged Infrastructure architecture, it is proven to be the most cost-effective solution in the industry for servers needing 4 or more NIC’s in combination with 1 or more HBA.
  3. Simple – Since HP Virtual Connect technology connects server blades to LAN's and SAN's through a virtualization layer between the edge of the server and the edge of the network, it allows you to consolidate individual networking components by up to a deeply impressive 95%. 
  4. Change-Ready – Again, taking advantage of the converged infrastructure architecture provided by HP FlexFabric, HP Virtual Connect technology allows your data center to add, replace, and recover server blades on a moment’s notice.
If this doesn’t sway you to the benefits of HP Virtual Connect technology, check out our webinar on the subject, located on this page in the right-hand corner under "Have Questions?". All I know is, regardless of who’s selling what product to whom, I’m a believer in HP Virtual Connect.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Where to Turn When Products are Discontinued - IBM x3550 M3, x3650 M3 & HS22's

Have you ever been put into the position where technology that you depend on is no longer being produced by the manufacturer? Unfortunately, it’s a pretty common dilemma amongst the technology-dependent. One group of users that’s being targeted right now are IBM customers, since IBM has recently announced that their System x3550 M3, System x3650 M3 and BladeCenter HS22 servers are going end-of-life.

Being replaced in production by next-generation IBM x3550 M4, IBM x3650 M4 and IBM HS23 servers, the M3/HS22 generation might not have some of the bleeding-edge features and technologies, but they do have a few key things going for them that the M4/HS23 generation doesn’t.

Some examples being: hey, you’re standardized on them, you need them to fill out your existing clusters, or you don’t have the budget. Whatever it is, you shouldn’t HAVE to get “the next best thing” if it’s not the best thing for you at this time. After all, “planned obsolescence” should be dictated by your needs, not a manufacturer’s product development schedules.

When a manufacturer puts a product end-of-life they leave their faithful customer out in the cold, along with the older generation technology, forcing those previously faithful customers to look beyond the traditional distribution channel and to the independent/secondary marketplace for a trusted, reliable technology partner. This was the very catalyst that caused us to establish our IBM business over 10 years ago.  Since that time, we have been able to successfully meet the needs of variety of companies using the IBM platform. Accordingly, we have made a substantial investment in IBM x3550 M3, IBM x3650 M3 and IBM HS22 servers so that you don’t have to feel left behind by a one-dimensional, future-facing technology manufacturer.

Check out our press release for the full details including the SKU's for all of the discontinued models.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

You Asked, We Answered: "What Does Refurbished Really Mean?"

A frequent question that we receive here at Great Lakes Computer is, “What does refurbished equipment mean?” The fast answer to this question is that it means you’re going to save money – and I mean a lot of money. This is because refurbished equipment costs significantly less than new equipment, while offering the same technology and performance, and often the same warranty and support.

Let me break down why this is true:

    1. It’s important to note that contrary to some old wives’ tales, the majority of refurbished equipment is 1-3 years old and in good to new condition. Typical sources include: off-lease equipment, trade-ins, company bankruptcies, liquidations, or a number of other sources.  Depending on the reseller, the product is usually re-tested and prepared for resale before being put in inventory to ensure that it’s in good-as-new working condition.

    2. Some of the equipment that finds its way to the secondary/refurbished equipment market comes from distributors that want to liquidate excess inventory positions. This product is unused and often has warranty coverage by the manufacturer. This is not an uncommon practice as there are nationally known warehouse clubs and consumer goods retailers that source some of their goods in this manner. You’d shop in those stores, right? Great Lakes Computer does the exact same thing with SMB to enterprise-level technology equipment.

    3. While - like any industry - there are unscrupulous operators, the best way to protect your company is to deal with an established reseller possessing an excellent reputation. Be sure to go with an established reseller (say a 26-year established reseller…) and there’s no reason to fear what they have to offer, especially the savings – they might be too good to be true, but they are true! Not only will you save on price, but you can also recoup previous expenses by trading in used equipment.

There is a vast amount of high-quality, refurbished equipment that is available in the secondary/refurbished equipment market. So give your IT budget a break, and don’t just sprint for the new – consider refurbished alternatives in your purchasing decisions.