Thanks to Chris and Dave, whom I've worked with for almost 4 years, I've sung the praises of IBM's server kit. It was well built, full of features, well supported, not too expensive (although they are more expensive), and they have the “prestige”. In the last 1 or so years things in IBM have changed, from my point of view. They don't seem to care as much in the very rare occasions when we need to get parts replaced, the replacements come back faulty and calls get closed in clearing with poor quality and unsatisfactory answers in a few instances. Previously Dave ended up at some sort of manager and we actually got the issue sorted, but kicking up that much fuss shouldn't be warranted.
So, the news that IBM is due to be handing off at least part of it's x86 server tech to Lenovo doesn't fill me with hope. Prior to the Lenovo desktop and laptop take over we put in many IBM desktops and laptops in for customers. Once the switch over occured we saw the speed in responses for hardware faults change drastically overnight, and not for the better in my opinion. No longer was it cost effective to actually use them. It's because of this that worries me. When you get a server and build it with a RAID array, and the customer can't stretch the budget to an additional hotspare, you can occasionally see multiple hard drive failures in a very short time. Granted this is a very sweeping statement, so feel free to shoot me. Even so, it's a possibility. If we have to wait more than a few days to get a replacement, I'd be itchy all over. The last thing you want to have to do is a restore. And we all know how fun they can be, no matter how well planned and practised you are.
Whilst we'll all have to wait and see what they come out with at the end of this, I honestly can't see any value added features from IBM for resellers or the SME any more.
The question then becomes, where do you go? Dell? HP? Fujistu Siemens? I can forsee problems with each, sadly.