IBM, Lenovo Top ITIC 2016 Reliability Poll; Cisco Comes on Strong

BM Power Systems Servers Most Reliable for Seventh Straight Year; Lenovo x86 Servers Deliver Highest Uptime/Availability among all Intel x86-based Systems; Cisco UCS Stays Strong; Dell Reliability Ratchets Up; Intel Xeon Processor E7 v3 chips incorporate advanced analytics; significantly boost reliability of x86-based servers

In 2016 and beyond, infrastructure reliability is more essential than ever.

The overall health of network operations, applications, management and security functions all depend on the core foundational elements: server hardware, server operating systems and virtualization to deliver high availability, robust management and solid security. The reliability of the server, server OS and virtualization platforms are the cornerstones of the entire network infrastructure. The individual and collective reliability of these platforms have a direct, immediate and long lasting impact on daily operations and business results. For the seventh year in a row, corporate enterprise users said IBM server hardware delivered the highest levels of reliability/uptime among 14 server hardware and 11 different server hardware virtualization platforms. A 61% majority of IBM Power Systems servers and Lenovo System x servers achieved “five nines” or 99.999% availability – the equivalent of 5.25 minutes of unplanned per server /per annum downtime compared to 46% of Hewlett-Packard servers and 40% of Oracle server hardware.

Those are the results of the latest independent ITIC 2016 Global Server Hardware and Server OS Reliability Survey which polled C-level executives and IT managers at over 600 organizations worldwide in January 2016. ITIC’s seventh annual Global Server Hardware and Server OS Reliability poll indicates that the inherent reliability of server hardware and server operating system software continues to improve. However, the results also reveal that external issues, most notably human error, security breaches and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) are playing a more pivotal and direct role in solidifying or undermining reliability. Overall, the inherent reliability of the majority of server hardware platforms, server operating systems and the underlying processor technology continues to improve year over year.

Survey Highlights

Among the top survey findings:

  •  IBM Power Systems servers 1% — of > 4 hours of per server/per annum downtime of any major mainstream hardware platform.
  •  IBM z Systems Enterprise mainframe had the highest overall reliability, performance, security and manageability amongst all hardware platforms.,
  • IBM Power Systems and Lenovo x86 server hardware running the Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), Ubuntu open source operating systems were either first or second in every reliability category, including virtualization and security.
  •  Cisco, Dell, IBM and Lenovo server hardware received the highest marks for customer satisfaction and overall technical support.
  •  Oracle x86 and HP ProLiant servers experienced the highest percentages — 10%, each — of >4 hours of per server annual downtime.
  • Dell PowerEdge Server reliability notched a measurable increase with only six percent of the Dell servers experiencing in excess of 4 hours of downtime versus 13% in the 2014 survey. Much of the higher outage time on the Oracle, HP and Dell platforms is attributable to a high proportion of users retaining the hardware for four, five and even six+ years without refreshing/retrofitting the servers.
  • Some 51% of survey respondents reported that aged or inadequate hardware (3 ½+ years) has had a negative impact on server uptime and reliability vs. only 31% of respondents that said it has not impacted reliability/uptime.

In summary, the reliability and availability of the underlying server hardware and server OS platforms is more crucial than ever as organisations increasingly deploy leading edge technologies like Big Data Analytics, Internet of Things (IoT) and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and mobility.