We have this discussion all the time at Adaptec … who is using whitebox servers?
Focus number 1 these days is datacenters – and yes a large portion of them use whitebox. Once they get to the numbers that those guys use it makes sense to have them built for you by an ODM in Taiwan etc – the brand name players get a bit expensive in those numbers.
But at the other end of the spectrum, I recently came across a group of organisations who also promote and use whitebox servers and I must say I was a little surprised.
Managed Service providers. A lot of these guys provide total solutions to small to medium business (and some pretty large business as well) … they do the telecoms, the networking, the internet and these days are pushing to provide the hardware for servers and workstations either installed in the customer site with remote management, or servers sitting in their own small/medium-sized datacenters.
So why do they want whitebox? Mainly because they don’t want to have to call the brand name hardware vendor every time they think they have a hardware problem, and they don’t want that brand name player coming to the customer and promoting their own services (lots of competition in this market).
So it’s better to use whitebox (generally cheaper) – they have control over the build of the box to suit the customer, and they have control over all components from software to hardware, and can provide the service they want to a customer without bringing in a third-party brand-name vendor to replace a hard drive etc.
Makes sense to me.
So who else is using whitebox out there and what are you using them for?