lsc at prgmr
Apr 10, 2012, 6:10 PM
Post #21 of 25
On Tue, Apr 10, 2012 at 12:39:49PM -0700, Todd H. Foster wrote:
> Buy Dell, HP, or IBM and get a service contract. IBM will even sell you
> a contract on used equipment.
> The software is really very easy and has tons of support on the
> internet, but you could buy the support for that too.
Look at it this way. In my weeks spent talking to dell and HP support,
I not once encountered a person that I'd hire as an entry-level $15/hr
hardware tech. I mean, this is kinda my thing, so I wouldn't expect
a front line person to be particularly useful to me, but these people
actively stand in my way, and even once I get the client to escalate
me a few levels up, they still just don't have the values that a hardware
person needs. reseat failed raid drives? are you nuts? I mean,
even if there's a good chance the drive is okay; you don't test iffy
hardware in a production array.
I don't want (to pay for) support. I've got a big spare pool, and I can
get to it a hell of a lot faster than dell, IBM or HP. Unlike those
brands, I also am able and willing to diagnose an intermittent problem.
(God, I hate dealing with dell support. Sure, they are fine if it's an
obvious repeatable problem and you are okay waiting for them to get you the
part, but that's easy. They are worse than useless when it's a hard
(intermittent) problem. "what, it comes back after you rebooted it? fixed!")
Sorry if I sound a little hostile, but I have wasted /days/ (and many times
the value of the hardware in what my client was paying me) trying to get
dell to fix servers with support contracts. I mean, my client, first, paid
twice what I would for the server to get the support costs, then they
had to pay me to find the problem, then rather than being able to just
fix it, they had to pay me to talk dell into fixing it.
And this didn't happen once; over and over. Dell thinks it's acceptable
that sometimes servers "just reboot" - They tell you to re-seat drives
that have been kicked out of the raid. They complain when you send
back too many drives. They don't complain that you are sending back good
drives, no. they say that you are sending back too many drives.
I'm sending back so many drives because I just got here and before
I was hired, you told my client to re-seat drives that failed out of
RMAing a part directly to seagate, cruicial, kingston, supermicro,
western digital, tyan, or any other board vendor I've used is way easier
than dealing with dell support. And you have a far better chance of
getting a good part back.
So yeah, spend a lot more money to make it so that instead of just
solving the problem, I have to convince someone else what the problem
is, then wait hours (or even days, depending on the contract) for them
to get the part, vs. just using my own spare pool that is right here,
and solving it directly?
I have had good (but very expensive) experiences with RHEL support; part
of that is I am just weaker on software than hardware, but I think part of
that is that when RHEL says you are talking to a top level person, you are
really talking to a top level person. My experience has been that this is
not the case with dell or HP. (my experience with netapp support have been
okay; I mean, I can still replace drives faster myself, but they haven't
stopped me from solving a problem. I have funny stories about EMC support;
they sent 3 greybeards that looked the part and tried really hard to solve
our mysterious network problem; eventually one of our fresh out of
school kids figured out the stupid simple and embarrassing to me
networking problem that was causing the fuss.)
Of course, the issue is moot; all that experience was from working for
clients with money. I don't have the kind of money required to buy those
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