When virtualizing, is it better to select a server from a big-name vendor, or can I use a white box server?
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive emails regarding relevant topic offers from TechTarget and its partners. You can withdraw your consent at any time. Contact TechTarget at 275 Grove Street, Newton, MA.
There is no technical reason to prefer a name-brand vendor over a generic white box server when it comes to choosing hardware for virtualization. As long as the workload's system requirements are met, either server (of adequate design) should be capable of supporting the workload. However, the choice of server brand involves more than just a measure of hardware.
It is important to evaluate factors like a vendor's reputation, expertise and product roadmap. Shop around, ask questions and discuss experiences with technical peers at conferences and user groups. For example, many organizations rely on vendors for on-site maintenance and service, so a server vendor that cannot reliably provide better than 24-hour on-site service might not be the best option. Similarly, a vendor looking to shift away from x86 platforms in order to focus on ARM or Power architectures might not be the right choice for dedicated x86 organizations.
Look at the technical issues involved in system integration -- heterogeneity -- between new and existing systems. An organization that has standardized on name-brand servers might have trouble integrating white box systems into the systems management platform. For example, imagine a scenario in which a Dell shop is using integrated Dell Remote Access Controller (iDRAC) management or a Hewlett-Packard shop is using Integrated Lights-Out (iLO) management. Certain management features and capabilities accessible by name-brand managed systems might be unavailable to newly added white box or name-brand systems from differing vendors.
The potential loss of management insight can be a critical deal-breaker for new servers. This is one of the reasons that converged infrastructure platforms have grown in popularity over the last few years. These hardware platforms allow organizations to acquire pre-integrated and optimized servers, network and storage components from a single vendor.
Dig Deeper on Server hardware and virtualization
Stephen J. Bigelow asks:
What type of server do you choose for virtualization?
1 ResponseJoin the Discussion
Related Q&A from Stephen J. Bigelow
Depending on the scenario, hyper-threading can help or hurt processor performance in a virtual server. The trick to good performance is figuring out ...continue reading
AWS Directory Service provides three options for running Active Directory in the cloud: Microsoft AD, Simple AD and AD Connector. What are the ...continue reading
Our enterprise connects resources in AWS to a local directory. What support does AWS Directory Service offer for messaging, and how can notifications...continue reading
Have a question for an expert?
Please add a title for your question
Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.