Re: The end of Intel white box servers?
Sad to see them go personally, and their "vanillaness" was a feature not a bug for some of us, still I respect your position. I for one was always relieved to work with them in smaller deployments. No half assed java based mangement tools that only ran on IE 6. No bizarre screwdrivers needed. No cheapskate nonsense like saving the motherboard BIOS settings to a hard drive instead of flash.
And all of the drivers tended to just work out of the box. Extra points for that as some of my clients stretched them for years and you could usually just upgrade the OS to latest version without sweating vendor support windows.
Happy to keep buying them from someone it Taiwan as long as they play nice. It's been a great way to cut out a ton of graft from the major server vendors over the years. "oh you want an all flash storage box, let me tell you about our $8000 ssds..." I have shaved ten grand off server builds and ended up with a better solution at the end(money for cold spares on the shelf, not after 24 hrs of arguing with support to dispatch a tech with the wrong parts 4 hrs later. Stuff like that.
That said I can understand that missmatched guts could trip someone up depending on their use case. So if you have a good relationship with your rep and need matching hardware and firmware for the entire server farm, you may find better options elsewhere. Also the vmware HCL is the devil, and I never want to have to "fix" an unvalidated server config ever again. Dell can just take my money for that one, please.