I know similar questions have been asked in the past, but I'd like to get a fresh take on this.
We are in a virtualization project (VMWare ESXi4) for a mission critical environment and I had planned a full HP solution: 2 x DL380G6 servers with their Lefthand P4300 G2 SAN, but another SAN option came up in the 11th hour, which is SAN Melody from Datacore, and the reseller usually use Dell servers for their installations (due to a very substantial price difference).
Comparing the Dell servers (PE R510s) to the ProLiants, the price difference is about $2,000 / server. The specs are more or less the same.
With the SAN Melody solution (with 2 servers for the ESXi and 2 servers for the SAN), the price difference is about $8,000, which is quite substantial.
We currently have a couple of HP servers and are happy with them. But if the Dell servers have the same quality and offer the same quality of support, I find it hard to justify the extra cost.
So to summarize:
* Are today's Dell servers as robust and reliable as HP's? This is the most important part, of course.
* Is their support as good? Getting replacement parts quickly without hassle?
* Does Dell have something equivalent to HP's ILO2 with Advanced pack (=full KVM functionality and remote disk mounting, etc.)? If so, is it as good?
Lastly, if you have experience to share regarding SAN Melody (especially versus on HP's Lefthand SANs), it would be much appreciated. I have more research to do on SAN Melody, but one thing that stands out is that the reseller quoted 3 days of professional services for setting this up (something I would prefer to do myself, using support as needed). If it takes 3 days for a SANMelody expert, it might be a more complex SAN solution than we are looking for (we need something that is easy to setup and manage).