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Is there another way of saying you don’t care?

I am sure we have all had horrible things go wrong and then we look forward to an apology of sorts from the vendor.  I have been known to get a bit annoyed when something goes pear shaped but at least its good to get some sort of "I'm sorry, I will do a full investigation…etc.. etc.."

I did something bad once on a Sun 15k where I managed to pull a system board and a bolt inside sort of broke.. It was stupid and I learnt never talk to anyone when doing something very serious.

So we all make mistakes and have to own up to it…… Well that seems to exclude dealing with IBM.  This goes back to at least 1992.  I tend to think that every IBM'er has a random saying flip card dispenser on their desk.  When you say something important, a seemingly stupid response is given.  This goes for products such as SNA, AIX, Tivoli and DS4800's all of which I know a lot about. 

On Monday, a DS4800 went down in a screaming heap thanks to firmware/software/hardware/humanware.  Something like 30 servers and 40 TB were affected and its amazing how important dev and/or pre prod servers are.   So I put in a call and it took me 30 minutes to get some sort of action taken on it and I was to receive a call back within 30 minutes.  Thats still not happened but the local IBM service guy jumped onto the case which is terrific.  It seemed to have been a known issue so we were back up running after about 5 hours. 

I had a meeting with some service delivery manager this afternoon and I feel worse than I did on Monday.  Basically, have a coffee and give me a call if you ever feel like it.  No reason why the DS4800 went down and why it took 30 minutes to ineffectively raise a Sev 1 call with IBM.  If it was a known issue, then why not tell me so I could avoid a major outage.  To compound this, the DS4800 had its firmware upgraded 6 weeks ago and it has completely reset itself 12 times since then.  Again, IBM did nothing other than say they needed to get a wiring diagram??????  I was waiting for the typical statement of upgrade the firmware to stop it resetting but I have the latest.  This time they told me to downrev the latest firmware.  I suggested that controller A might be at fault due to the constant resets but they refused to accept that even though it was very obvious in the logs.  Tonight they are going to replace the controller.  I have had three complete outages during business hours and still nothing concrete to say what the issue is.

Mind you if we had a DS8000 series, then I might have felt better or so he suggested.  I had the distinct feeling that he was there to not say IBM made a mistake/error and it was somehow my fault for not buying a bigger box.  I once put in a complaint about a SNA problem and I was told I was the only person in the world with this issue and it must have been something I did.  That took two years to fix. 

HDS do a good job of making you feel better when something goes wrong and I have had a couple of issues that no one thought could happen.  So much for buying another DS4800.  I wonder if EMC makes medium sized storage as they have more chance of selling me something than IBM ever will and that includes SVC.  IBM could not even give me another array.  Yes, I am angry and this is not unusual.

Stephen

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Posted in Stephen2615.


7 Responses

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  1. the storage anarchist says

    EMC’s CLARiiON lineup holds the #1 market share position in the mid-range, and I’d be happy to hook you up with someone to discuss your mid-range storage needs. Drop me an email with your contact info…

  2. Phil says

    These experiences with IBM are are almost a verbatim copy of what I have dealt with regarding IBM storage.  For some reason, with this product line, they seem incredibly keen on placing blame for outages (of which there are many) firmly on the backs of the folks who run this stuff.  This is why I tell my boss (only half jokingly) that if he ever wants my resignation, just bring some IBM storage onto the floor.  There’ll be a puff of smoke, my chair will be spinning and I’ll be gone…

  3. sharbu says

    I once got a free FT900 replacement out of IBM because the old one kept going titsup on a regular basis. I guess it just back to the old "who you know" (and maybe, how much voltage they can take before they cave)

  4. SteveK says

    In our company, IBM stands for "Idiots Build Machines", at least when it comes to open-systems storage. We have some ESS-800s and can’t wait to replace them with HDS AMS1000. We have had some very strange issues with them. I’ve leared that with the ESS, the one question you don’t ask is: "how long will this take?", as the answer is just a shrug of the shoulders. It can take 30 minutes to 2 hours for the box to start up.
    We’re rather happy with our EMC (Clariion, Symmetrix DMX-3)and HDS (Thunder 9500 and AMS) storage, and will gladly buy from either again.

  5. stephen2615 says

    I had an IBM Storage specialist come out to make me feel better about my possible upcoming purchase of another DS4800.  I told him I would rather cut off my left hand (right one is for beer drinking) than get another one.  I said that I was considering a smallish EMC Clariion (as we only want about 50 TB) and he started ranting (yes ranting) on about what a piece of junk the Clariion was.  Then he told me that my previous job were going to replace the XP12000 and USP 1100 with IBM storage.  He did not know that I worked there and managed the solution.  He said they were not performing..  I asked him to leave.  I think I might chuck 40 TB into our USP, make a second tier with 300 GB 10k disks and get it over with.
     
     
    What can I say other than I am gob smacked.

  6. snig says

    That sounds like a good idea Stephen.  Why complicate matters with another storage array to manage?  Unless you’re looking for the tick on your resume…

  7. Tony Pearson (IBM) says

    Stephen,I apologize on behalf of IBM on your experience.  Please send me an e-mail on the details so that I can deal with the folks within IBM to make this right.– Tony