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Lenovo’s performance claim? Take it with a grain of salt


Guest post by Peter Schrady, Senior Vice President and GM, HPE ProLiant Servers


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You may have seen, floating around social media, an unbelievable claim from Lenovo – that HPE servers have 10x the failure rate of Lenovo’s System x products.

We’ve seen these numbers before, back in May of 2014, from a one-person Boston operation called Information Technology Intelligence Consulting (ITIC). Not that the claim was any more credible back then than it is now. There are many issues with Lenovo’s claim:

1. It was not based on any technical comparison between HPE servers (HP as we were then) and Lenovo products (i.e. IBM products, before the sale of its x86 business to Lenovo). Instead, what ITIC claims to have done is to poll people at some organizations to get their opinions on server hardware and OS reliability. I can’t find anything at the consulting firm’s website to tell me what the survey questions actually were, what the answers to those questions were, or what types of users responded to the survey.

2. We have no way of knowing how many HP customers ITIC based its results on. Did they poll 10 customers, 50, 60 …? Of course, a small number would dramatically skew the results.

3. Whether or not the findings were statistically relevant, the bigger issue is the big picture. In the end, it’s not about any single metric. It’s about all the metrics and the quality of the experience that we (or Lenovo for that matter) provide to a customer.


HPE ProLiant’s long history of quality, innovation and leadership
Understandably, Lenovo is trying to establish their brand and reputation in the server market. With only 7.4 percent of worldwide market share for Q4 2015 (according to IDC’s March report1), they need to establish themselves in the market as a hardware vendor people can trust.

Fortunately, HPE ProLiant has a long history of server industry leadership and is a well-established brand that customers trust – in fact, HPE ProLiant is the x86 server market share leader in both revenue and units shipped for 79 consecutive quarters, more than 19.5 consecutive years, according to IDC.2 We have customers who have purchased our servers for decades because of the confidence they have in HPE ProLiant. Server quality has always been a relentless focus at HPE – it is what customers have come to expect. We have a rigorous testing process that has been well tuned and proven over the last 27 years of server manufacturing. In fact, we use our deep engineering expertise to invent high availability technologies, such as Persistent Memory, to provide higher levels of availability every year.

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Industry recognition and customer endorsements
Our customer experience and quality approach is paying off in a big way, and the industry, and again Lenovo, knows it. Among the many awards we have won in the last 6 months, HPE ProLiant Servers won SmallBizWindows’ 2015 Server of the Year awards in the hardware, blade, tower, and rack-mount categories; and HPE Moonshot System took InfoWorld’s 2015 Technology of the Year award.

Awards are great, but we are most interested in how we are helping our customers. Here are a few examples of product reviews that you can check out at IT Central Station, an independent knowledge platform for technology professionals:

• “Redundancy, wherein one system can go down and the other is still fully functional, has given us the ability to withstand an outage we wouldn't have been able to before. We have been extremely stable. That is the reason we placed these servers in our environment. We decided to go with HP [now HPE] because of cost, stability and ease of use.” By Hercu Rabsat, Director of Infrastructure & Service Management at Mansfield Oil Company (go here for the full review; requires a simple sign-up).

By the way, here’s where you can read about Mansfield Oil’s great experience with HPE ProLiant Server Blades. The industry-leading fuel supplier replaced an aging IBM infrastructure that lacked the reliability and scalability that the company needed with an HPE solution, increasing productivity tenfold.

• “We use a lot of HP [now HPE] products, in fact, and so HP is a big partner of ours. It makes things in our organization run more efficiently and with less interruption when we run the BladeSystem with our other HP solutions. … HP is stable and reliable. The initial setup is always stable and reliable.” Mario Maldini, ICT Infrastructure Architect at a comms services provider with 1000-plus employees (Mario’s comments are here).

• “It’s scalable and reliable. We’re able to add as much as we can to it without worrying about it going down. It’s improved our operation and efficiency with its great uptime. Since implementing it, we experience very little downtime.” Seaporo Pala, CIO at a government agency with 1000-plus employees (see his comments here).

I could go on … in fact, I think I will, because I can’t resist this quote from Tony Hsu, Chief Business Officer, Nippon Paint China: “With HPE we not only have hardware that accelerates the speed of our business, we have a reliable technology partner that can help us navigate future innovation as well as ever-changing consumer needs.” Read how the paint manufacturing giant revamped its ERP environment with HPE ProLiant Servers here.

Funny how that word “reliable” keeps coming up …

1 Source: IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker, March 2016
2 Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Server Trackers



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About the Author


Editor and writer with 12+ years experience in the corporate software and technology sectors.