IBM has several chassis sizes with different specs and sizes to meet the special requirement of every organization and options which can be interoperated between different chassis, where HP is only offer the c-class chassis and their older p-class chassis without any interopobility between them at all.
ITComparison Team Comments IBM are offering more blades platforms than HP specially with them including Power and Cell BE blades while HP are not offering any equivalent to these platforms, which can be a great advantage to customers who care to run operating system and applications which best supported on these platforms (Ex: AIX and Linux for power).
ITComparison Team Comments It seems HP has succeeded to fit more blades per single chassis 16 blade vs 14 for IBM. As well HP can fit 16 blades with hotswap HDD where IBM can only fit 7 of them as IBM Blade requires an expansion unit to fit hotswap HDD, but when it come to redundancy IBM has a long wining of the race. IBM chassis can fit 14 redundant blades where HP only can fit 8 semi-redundant blades in their chassis. We called HP semi-redundant blades as they are not fully redundant as explained under the redundancy comparison.
- Dual power connections to each blade
- Dual I/O connections to each blade
- Dual paths through the backplane to I/O, power and KVM
- Single power connections to each blade
- Single I/O connections on BL460c and BL465c blades
- Single I/O paths for mezzanine slots 2 and 3 on the BL480c and BL685c
ITComparison Team Comments It seems IBM is a clear winner on blades redundancy at the moment. This can be a major decision factor for large enterprises, as it can be a major availability factor.
ITComparison Team Comments It seems HP are having an advantage in being able to fit larger number of blades which includes HotSwap HDD into their C-class chassis, but IBM has a valid argument as most blades customers depend on boot from SAN which provide them with stateless blades and all kind of advantages including the ability of taking snap shots of their blades. In addition, with IBM introducing Solid State Drives it has even reduced the need for hotswap harddisks even further as these have no spinner and their reliability are way better than SCSI HDD. It seems HP still not offering Solid State Driver at the moment, but might be in the future.
It seems a decision of more blades with hotswap HDD per chassis versus a real redundancy is the greatest comparing factors between HP and IBM blades. HP can fit more blades with hotswap HDD where only IBM can offer a fully redundant blade and Chassis.
- Light Path Diagnostics uses battery to help diagnose even without power to the blade.
- HP offer diagnostics LEDs beside some components, but will not led without power.
ITComparison Team Comments Better and faster serviceability in the IBM Blades with the ability to pinpoint the problem even if the blades is not powering up, which is not offered by HP.
- First Failure Data Capture
- Nothing Equivalent
ITComparison Team Comments IBM Blades got a better non over-lapping error reporting through their Management Module which help in resolving cascaded problems faster.
Integrated 4X InfiniBand® switch modules
ITComparison Team Comments IBM offer easier deployment and management of their InfiniBand switches as they are managed through the management modules where the ones offered by HP are unmanaged.
Blade deployment and redeployment
- Open Fabric Manager, Uses standard switches, single login across 100 chassis
- Virtual Connect, Uses proprietary switches, single login across four chassis
ITComparison Team Comments
IBM Open Fabric Manager Feature HP Virtual Connect
All Ethernet and Fibre Channel switches—Cisco, Nortel, Brocade, QLogic Switch support Single proprietary HP Ethernet switch, Single proprietary HP Fibre Channel switch
Automated and integrated with resource pooling Failover support Requires manual intervention
Virtually all BladeCenter chassis, blades Compatibility Single c-Class chassis support
Single login via Advanced Management Module across 100 chassis Interface and capacity Separate login to Virtual Connect Manager across four chassis
Built-in Management Module Yes No
ITComparison Team Comments IBM offer a hardware management module which fit in a special management slots of the IBM Chassis. It does not use up any Blades slots and does not require any software installation.
HP does not offer a hardware MM, but provide a management software that will require you to install it on a blade or two if redundancy required. It can be installed as well on independent servers. Its disadvantage for HP as it will use up blades slots and require the customers to do installation.
Efficient utilization of available power resources
- Power Regulator, a bit Less functionality and over $400 charge
ITComparison Team Comments HP and IBM power management software are offering almost the same functionality with IBM leading with few enhancements. In addition, IBM is providing their PowerExecutive as freebie where HP is charging for it. As far power consumption go it seems both vendor are doing almost as good and the difference in consumption depend on the configuration ordered by the customer. Most of our testing resulted with power difference less than 5% of the two with IBM consuming a bit less in most scenarios.
- Across Chassis compatibility
- Each chassis is a fully different game
ITComparison Team Comments IBM has been successful in making their chassis totally backward compatible with their older modules and blades and most of their newer modules and blades fit in their older chassis with performance restrictions in rare cases, but that offer a great investment protection to customers who is upgrading their chassis comparing to HP which forcing their customers to toss their old blades and modules out as none of it is compatible across chassis. Who knows if the next HP chassis will follow up the same path as their current one, which mean a total lost of investment when upgrading.
Other than Power, have you seen any real customers use or adopt Cel? No. Can it offer an edge over the traditional x86 platform for HPC? Only specialized applications, with a long and challenging development cycle could they prevail.
What does the term redundancy mean? More than two. Does IBM offer redundant traces for *EVERY SINGLE PORT*? No they do not. Just because they have two connectors to their backplane does not make it a redundant solution. Ask yourself this. Why did IBM stick with their same backplane design of combining active components (they have over 60 of them on their backplane) and power on the same PCB? If there is even one short the entire backplane is lost; So much for redundant connections.
...This issue is extremely rare; however, if it does occur, the power supply may fail and
this may result in the unplanned shutdown of the enclosure, despite redundancy, and the
enclosure may become inoperable.....
http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/Te ... OMER/alert
ServerSlinger wrote:I notice this has not been updated since the Nehalem release and IBMs new support of Hot Swap HDDs on the HS22 blades.
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