What software do you use to go to Tape? At work we use Symantec Netbackup, but a) I run Windows b) it costs $$$$
We can regularly recover data from 20 year old tapes. The harder part is keeping a working tape drive that can talk to a relatively modern computer. Of course, if you have a small enough number of tapes, you can probably copy them over to newer tape drives and media when the external bus changes enough (i.e. SCSI to SAS)...
The problem I find is that it's not easy to actually make the 5 servers work together such that the services survive a server failure in the same way that a single server can survive a loss of a redundant PSU or 1 disk from a RAID6. I'm sure it will eventually get there, but if you're midsized and want to run in house (and I think you should) you are better served by reliability and set it and forget it hardware vs planning to replace a new deployment server every year.
Our x86 (non crap, IBM system X servers) have replacement expectations of 4 years, so your method would be 4x as much work at the lowest level. Of course, VMWare is free right? With HA failover?
I'm not arguing that you need a $100k server, but White box commodity only works well if you can buy (i.e. the cost goes to software rather than hardware) really good HA tools or you have the people and experience and time to configure a hash of OSS tools that may or may not actually give you HA. (We use RHEL HA for KVM, but the guest OS still crashes when a cluster member dies, it's just restarted immediately on another cluster member.)
I've looked into OpenStack and Open Nebula, both of which are so complex that we'd need years of time to even consider rolling them out - oh and a bunch of hardware, to do internal cloud like stuff, that I'm not sure is worth the complexity and difficulty.
VMWare licensing (last time I looked) costs makes $10k servers look cheap.
It seems to me IBM just doesn't want to target where their servers make sense (SMB) and Lenovo does - so this hopefully will work as well (maybe better) than the Think* products.
I feel that one of the reasons we've had so many outages recently is because everyone bought into the "hardware is a commodity" mentality. I don't think current software actually makes up for flaky hardware... I just hope that at some point more people realize the man hours, down time, software license expense and complexity of setup and maintenance might just as well be significantly reduced by just using decent hardware.
I don't think their junk. In comparing to the current crop of Dells (I don't look at HP for various internal reasons - I fight to get Lenovo, Dells are preferred and I really haven't thought HP was worth a fight in a long time) the Thinkpads seem to be consistently better for what we want. We pay a bit more - but there always was a price premium for IBM. We still get better customer service (YMMV), better build quality, and optionally better specs available though I'm sure some of that is related to the asinine bundles Dell offers us internally).
For us, if Lenovo keeps up in System X as well as they have in the Think branded products, we'll keep buying them. I am concerned the "cool new stuff" that IBM tended to do may not happen under Lenovo though. But in x86 servers and blades, it may not really be necessary either - I guess they may have reached the end of the line in technology.
I always liked the rules so there was a baseline of consistency - a physics for the game world. So people could have a consistent comparison of physical attributes and skills.
If you just make it up as you go along, it's pretty hard to really have it be a game rather than an interactive story session. Which is fine, but really isn't the same flavor for me.
Plus, as a GM, it's interesting when you have unknowns - otherwise you're just railroading the story even if you don't mean to.
Really, you have to pay shipping back for a warranty replacement? Well I guess I'm glad I got out of the component purchases when I did - Lenovo just sends the replacement part in a box, you put the bad part in the box and slap the shipping label it came with on it and hand it back to UPS.
I feel like IBM is doing something other vendors really aren't, and don't know if anyone but Lenovo would continue to do (I am going by Lenovo's continued excellence in the workstation and thinkpad hardware).
And that is make products that work well for mid-sized businesses. Of course, that's not a market IBM really wants, hence the attempted sale in my opinion. I find their price premium buys you some great engineering as you said, as well as good, no-nonsense support on hardware issues (ESC+ is a revelation over Dell or HP because it's built into the basic warranty - which itself is weird vs how IBM usually does business).
The slight premium price doesn't make sense if you're a huge Enterprise because you'll probably be doing internal + external cloud, so I think RAID for whole computers - so you want super cheap, swap it out if it breaks. It also doesn't make sense if your scale is 5 servers - you don't have the budget, and can just walk up to them to do all the troubleshooting. But it saves my bacon in the middle scale.
Maybe I'm stupid and haven't worked out how to make everything run in cloud like box can fail without taking anything down and you just swap the entire box, but IBM has some real value adds in the x86 space. (I have to guess other vendors do as well, but I use primarily System X).
The ILM (IPMI/ IMM whatever it's called) is really really useful if you don't want to have to be in the server room (or haul it out of a rack and then haul it back in) to do OS installs or BIOS configuration or low level troubleshooting.
Light Path diagnostics over the IMM is really useful for finding a part that's bad so you can get the new part shipped without masses of on site troubleshooting. When you go to replace the part, it makes it dead simple for a tech to see by the LED which part to replace. The "indicate" LED blink from the IMM makes it quick to find the correct server.
Enterprise reliability is noticeably better than whitebox tower chassis(at least the one's I've tried), and you're assuming space isn't an issue, which this entire thread is about.
Now, the Flex system x222 (the high density mentioned) is pretty cool (I have one I'm evaluating now). It is two 2 processor Xeon servers, each with up to 384GB RAM and multiple 10Gbit ethernet ports in a 1/2 width 1U space.
You must have especially bad sockets or bad electricity or something cursing your CFLs, because I certainly have had a different experience - all last at least 5 years, many last 7+ claimed. Including the cheapo 6 for $10 ones at lowes.
Do you dim all your lights? In most houses I've seen, there are 2 or 3 dimmer switches in specific locations, but the vast majority of switches are on / off. In those outlets, there's really no argument based on dimming the bulbs. And as said below, if you get LEDs that support dimming and have dimming switches that support LEDs, it works. So over time, dimming will be a non-issue, even if it's not today.
Go on Amazon and look at G7 LEDs. Though I always used 60W bulbs, I can't tell if most people on the Internet who post used 100W and I and my family are aberrations for having used 60W, or if they use 100W for easy math, but it does throw the math off a bit for my use case...
Anyway I got 4 870 Lumen G7 LEDs for $40 on Amazon. Using 3K light (I got used to whiter light with CFLs and like it, so I admit I'm unusual), that 870 Lumens is plenty bright enough for me. I imagine double that would be blinding in my house (white ceiling probably helps)...
Moderate LEDs at the 60W equivalent (i.e. not so cheap ones as the G7 which are fine, but take a second to actually light up) are ~$15 if you shop around, and you have LOTS of choices.
LEDs go to full brightness almost immediately if not instantly (depending on if I get cheap or moderate priced LED). They also (and this is why I like them) massively reduce how often I need to get on a stepladder to change a bulb. The amazing thing for me is in my Laundry room with a CFL (maybe someday an LED) is I have to think about messing with it from say every 6 months to I might move first... Some of us will pay for convenience even when the straight cost is more expensive.
It's like Microsoft has suddenly forgotten everything they used to know about their bread and butter, business users. Firefox learned the hard way and were forced into an ESR respin. Same for Ubuntu and needed LTS releases. Is Microsoft going to have Windows 9ESR which is good for 5-10 years?
Because it's a PITA to manage updates to an application yearly, an OS takes years to test, create build procedures and management and then deploy.
Knowing how to use a CLI isn't being a supernerd, it's being a competent admin. If you can't script a bit on your platform (or better 2 or more platforms), you're going to be making many tasks that are routine much harder. You're also going to be trapped in that level job - more advanced or larger scale operations that often pay better aren't going to hire a GUI monkey, because that hasn't ever scaled.
Now, knowing Powershell is less necessary IMO, but being able to hack it a bit with help from google is probably required for modern MS OSs - though personally I still prefer AutoIT that I compile to EXEs.
For me it's because I am potentially
a) running a utility app like calculator and want to keep looking at what I want to calculate. Blasting full screen takes me out of my train of thought, and makes me less productive as I try and figure out (1) what happened, and (2) how do I undo the mistake - and then realize I'm just in the take over what you're doing because you wanted to run a program. I hate hate hate the lose what you're doing because you wanted to do an "aside" function. It's like if physically getting to a calculator required you to sweep all your files and documents off your desk to get to it.
For me, it's like the difference between a weather ticker under a news report and a full weather report. The latter takes over from the other, the former adds some glanceable information.
(b) I may be trying to follow instructions from a web page or PDF manual. When you obscure my ability to see the instructions, it's much harder and I end up switching back and forth a lot. I hate that. Now, I could solve this with money (i.e. buy a second monitor or print out the instructions), but why should I? Windows 7 doesn't do this.