We've been using BCD for years, zero complaints! They treat us like a partner and are always responsive. While they offer turnkey server and storage solutions, there are just some things as an integrator that you want to do yourself, and they've always been very accommodating with our build-to-order requests.
If I don't build my own box I use BCDvideo they have a good game. I have tried others Arbitech, VVSST should you want Supermicro. I am not a fan of security manufacturer built boxes such as Husky, Exacq, VideoEdge, Vicon, Salient, LNL-NVR. It's not that they do not work, they just don't work forever. Stay sharp on deploying your VMS with cloud, NAS, San storage and on local VM hosts.
The Con - Why Competitors vs BCD sections has been updated with a note related to BCD pricing.
The 15-20% pricing differential comes from my experience from many years as a BCD partner, until 1 year ago. As a sales engineer quoting comparisons between Dell, HP, BCD (and other manufacturers), BCD was typically higher than COTS offerings by that amount (while including a higher level of service and warranty than could even be priced out from many COTS manufacturers).
Integrators/partners can provide comments or feedback about BCD related to pricing, support or general experience.
We've quoted out a lot of BCD-- I can run a price comparison. The hard thing and knock against BCD now is literally everyone is selling the same dell hardware with Dell's push into video surveillance. Check out the NVR specs for 2019-- everyone is running the same 12bay box with an intel 4110 either 16gb or 32gb of ram. Your larger servers are the 18 bay 4116 e.g. Avigilon etc.
The good thing for BCD is since this is the exact same equipment and their overhead is lower you can get your server for a lot less than direct from the video manufacturers. That being said-- you can still probably source Dell a few points less 5-10% if you know how to work the phone sales reps or dell discount game.
Question I have: I have heard in a seminar that BCD Video are actually cheaper than Dell for larger video surveillance requirements as they actually remove standard components that are available on Dell Isilon storage equipment (which may be required for general data center storage requirements but not necessarily needed for video surveillance storage requirements)? I don't know how far that is true or if it is just marketing claims by a vendor?
We now use BCD almost exclusively( including all of the Genetec servers we sell) for surveillance and the price factoring the all the warranty and components is pretty inline with our direct Dell pricing( we are actually a Dell OEM partner ourselves) and we get most of the BCD servers within a week while it takes longer just to get a quote from Dell. Their customer service is outstanding and worth any extra cost if there is any. Also, since most of our client base is in the SLED vertical, they already are mostly standardized on Dell.
I would argue that any increased costs from BCD are somewhat dramatically offset by both the technical support you get from BCD as well as the substantially-faster turnaround times you get from them compared with going direct to Dell. BCD tech support can (and will) help you diagnose and repair random things that don't even stem from failures of their product, i.e. OS updates that break things on the VMS application side. Plus, Dell servers can take weeks to receive at times. The real issue is that it's such an unknown, which isn't a problem with BCD.
hp or Dell. Unfortunately, those are the only major OEMs in the server business. Each company has its pluses and minuses. In terms of their equipment build quality, I would give a very slight nod to hp. In terms of customer support, though, I would heartily recommend Dell, especially its Enterprise ProSupport group.
hp's Enterprise support appears to be manned by a bunch of poorly trained people who only know how to read from a script. Their response to every support request was "Upgrade your firmware and software.". It didn't matter what the reported problem was, I literally always got that same canned response.
Failed HDD? "Upgrade your firmware and software."
Failed Fiber HBA? "Upgrade your firmware and software."
And Level 1 support often refused to accelerate an issue to the next level. I had to argue with the same stupid Level 1 agent for literally months when I ran into an issue with the replacement for the fiber HBA. Despite the server self-rebooting daily and being unable to capture a dump file, the Level 1 guy just figuratively threw up his hands and couldn't suggest any fixes.
Finally, I just happened to be standing in the server room monitoring the situation when the server BSOD'd right in front of me. The blue screen stated something to the effect that storport.sys had caused a problem. I had suspected that but the Level 1 guy offered nothing in response to my questions. When I told him what was displayed during the BSOD, he stated "Yeah, hp software has a problem with storport.sys."
Dell, on the other hand, gets support engineers involved fairly early in the process, at least when ProSupport is in effect. They are far more knowledgeable about their products and have no qualms about enlisting the help of even higher levels when attempting to solve particularly stubborn problems.
We paid for the same level of support when we purchased both the hp and Dell products but Dell support was far superior.
BCD vs ????? You might be able to get a "CHEAPER" price from some other place. But remember; you get what you pay for.
We've been using BCD for about a decade or more. We used to buy the majority of servers direct, but the pricing, service and support we got and still get from BCD is equal to none. Custom builds, delivery turn-around, pre-sales support, post sales support and they stand behind any storage calculations that they make. I don't know who else is up to their level of service and support.
Did anyone stop by BCDVs demo room at ISC West to see their new hyperconverged offering? While I admit it was not possible to do a deep dive on all the details in the time allotted, the overall interface and responsiveness of the system was compelling for anyone who is looking for hyperconverged offerings. They had a neat demo showing live failover while streaming from a Genetec server and it was nearly seamless.
It sounds like BCD's customer base is happy with the level of support they get, and that's great. But I'm confused as to what else BCD provides from a technology standpoint. Are they not just loading Genetech on top of a Dell server and confinguring it? The "hyper-converged solution" is just BCD loading somebody else's hyperconverged software, right? Hey, I'm all for great service and support, that is conceded, but I'm just trying to sort out what the actual technology offerring is?
BCD said they are not trying to sell something magic or special from a technical standpoint. They claim differentiation by making the hardware selling/delivery and support experience easier for integrators:
Pro - Why BCD versus Competitors
BCD acknowledged that are not selling a 'magic solution' or special secret sauce, emphasizing being an "Easy Button for integrators" by offering:
5-year next business day, on-site warranty with their systems, including a program called "Keep Your Drive", which provides replacement hard drives without the end user having to return the original failed drive, which BCD notes could create data privacy or GDPR issues.
Taking back servers that have not been installed at no cost to the integrator (minus shipping)
Build times are typically weeks shorter than Dell or HP