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I’m going to the first ever EqualLogic User Conference! (And my gripe list)

So I’m getting more and more jazzed to head to Dallas for the EL User Conference. I’m guessing I will learn a lot of stuff that I will wish that I had known before our install but hey that’s life. So my gripe list and conference conversational starters are for the moment this:

Why is it so hard to google documentation about EqualLogic? I understand if this top secret proprietary stuff, but all I want to do is be able to find manuals. Why is all of this stuff hidden behind the support site? No offense to Dell or their web developers but Google is very good at searching stuff… why don’t you let it do its job and you spend your time making your product better. When I go to buy a product the first thing I like to do is read as much about it as I can. I couldn’t get to a lot of the answers until after we brought the product… it could have swung the other way, we could have chosen something else. So, I can’t think of any reason to ‘hide’ this stuff. Get it out there!

Being able to download and then update the firmware from the EqualLogic box itself would be nice

So using an EqualLogic box is simplicity itself but everything else surrounding it is a lot more difficult! What I would desire is a ‘cookbook’ type of setup. So, for example if I bought a PS6000 and had future plans of buying more EqualLogic SANS (who wouldn’t) then (I think you would) would most likely recommend two 48 port 6224’s that you would then stack (we unfortunately ended up with the 24 port version which we will have to upgrade soon since we outgrew it, this sucks. I mean the whole point of EL is to be able to add, add, add to the virtual storage pool… well if I run out of ports I can’t very well do that can I?) Also, be very clear of the ramifications of total number of iSCSI connections to a pool! With just a couple of ESX servers you can easily blow that number out of the water!!! This is a great post about that BTW http://www.2vcps.com/2010/02/16/iscsi-connections-eq/

of course 10 gig ethernet will help this out tremendously, but we were caught with our pants down on it once and I hope others are not!

So the cookbook would have all of the information that I would need in order to actually set this up. And for the love of Pete make it so that I can find it on the Internet…. you know using something like Google!!! It sounds like this was the way EqualLogic used to function before the acquisition so I would like to see more of this type of hardware ‘bundle’ come back into play. When your customer asks what should we buy, you can have the answers, and a setup guide to make it happen!

Hmmm I’m sure I will think of more, and don’t get me wrong, our EqualLogic is working great for us!

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6 Responses

  1. Reference the EQL User Conference
    We hear you loud and clear on the documents, and will look into the option of placing them on the public side. As for the Cookbook… stay tuned. We are very excited about the efforts around collecting and publishing the great solutions we and our customers have built. I look forward to seeing you at the Conference next Monday!
    Darren (VP GM Storage, Dell)

  2. Michael,

    Thank you so much for being an EqualLogic customer, coming to our first ever User Conference and most importantly for your valuable feedback. I manage Dell’s EqualLogic product line and my team is putting on this event. We love that our customers are always giving us great ideas on how to make the product better. We are listeing and are looking forward to seeing you in Dallas. In fact, we’re hoping that you get some of the best practices you’re looking for at the event itself. That’s one of the reasons we created it. Please look for me at the event and we can discuss your input in detail.

    Best,

    Travis Vigil

  3. I have been EQL customer for just under a decade and have deployed a couple dozen units across 3 companies i’ve been employed with. I remember once in Louisiana, before Dell, we had an issue with a SAN and the EQL guys were on a plane, onsite, and on the phone back to New Hampshire engineers until problem was resolved. Recently, we are experiencing a catastrophic failure of a SAN due to crap firmware. The EQL guys acknowledge the crap firmware, however, we are 2 weeks without a resolution and in a down state with regards to these units. Now Dell/EQL want to send us boxes to load up the units and send back. I can’t tell who destroyed my favorite product Dell or EQl themselves. Even the hardware has lost it’s rugged/industrial feel for Dell’s plasticy fragile feel. This recent experience is akin to a betrayal by a best friend. I definitely equate EQL with Dell now and that isn’t good.

    NetApp, 3PAR, IBM, EMC…..HERE I COME!!!!

    • Wow Brent! very sorry to hear! I do know that the 5.0.0 and 5.0.1 firmwares looks like they were pretty bad, but EQL scrambled to make good with numerous phone calls, letters, and emails. I think they might be experiencing some growing pains, I know that the 5.x firmware has a lot of really good additions, and I know that Dell is taking them very seriously by infusing a lot of cash into letting them grow. I hope you are able to come to some sort of resolution with them because otherwise it sounds like EQL is losing a stalwart customer 😦

      • Yeah. I think at the end of 2008 myself and a consultant accounted for the more deployed/sold units than any single EQL salesperson (I purchase through Xenigy). Places we have worked continue to buy and deploy. I was actually excited at first about the Dell branding as I didn’t foresee having to do so much convincing with regards to a platform I have loved. To say “I am going to implement a Dell SAN” is far easier than battline the lack of EQL name recognition and the constant ISCSI jabs. The sad thing here is that we lost our primary SAN and it’s redundant SAN at the same time. The response has been so different as far as support and I have to believe it is Dell’s fault. The passion seems so squashed or forced into the closet now with the boys in New Hampshire. I despise having to look to IBM and their NetApp rebrand or to Xiotech, etc….but this last experience is going to force us seriously re-evaluate EQL. Steve Veret (Dell VP of support) completely washed his hands of this situation and said it’s EQL’s fault and there was nothing he could do. I think that is complete BS.

  4. 😦 it is sad to see it start to slip. For me I called tech support once and could tell the guy didn’t really know much, so I just hung up and called again and the next time I got a knowledgeable guy. I think with selling a lot more EQL they have had to expand out their support which means they possibly have a lot of L1’s that aren’t up to speed on EQL. I had another recent support issue where the L1 completely ignored what I had written… it was frustrating. After asking to escalate, his manager got in the email chain and wanted to get to the bottom of it which is nice to see. But if dell want’s to keep the insanely high sanctification rate of the EQL, they need to remove some obstacles between customers and EQL support that knows their stuff!

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