So during my little blow-up a few weeks back, I spoke with our representative within NetApp about the issues we were having with NetApp support. Once all the dust had settled and we got the answers we needed and our issues resolved, he called and suggested a meeting between his team and my team so we could work some of these things out and discuss our pinch points and frustrations.
So we had the meeting at the beginning of this week and it went pretty well. We touched on the major points of the nasty-gram CDW penned and we dismissed the points as a combination of straw-man and ad hominem attacks with no real basis or pertinance to the issues at hand. We also discussed that the major issues we had were not design issues but issues with the 2040 and the latest round of patches they were rolling out (8.1.1+.) They also begrudgingly conceded, in our discussion, that FlexClone was pretty much needed for any DR solution that you wanted to test (and as anyone in IT knows a DR solution that isn’t tested is NOT a DR solution at all.) One of the things that surprised me was that they actually have a document detailing how to go about opening a trouble ticket.
Another source of trouble which bothered me but there is no real good solution for is that the timing of opening a case is very important. From what I gathered from our discussion, their data center where they handle trouble tickets for the U.S. is on the East coast. They change shifts at 4 PM. They start turning over current cases for second shift at 3 PM and will not take any new cases after 2 PM. So for a guy like me in the Midwest that means that I best open a case before 1 PM Central time, or it isn’t going to be handled until the next day (or second shift if we indicate we will be available to work on it at that time .) Only ifwe open the case on line can we indicate that we will be able to work on the case into second (or third) shift as necessary.
I don’t know how much this meeting really accomplished, but it was nice to know that at least they were concerned enough to want to meet face-to-face. And if nothing else we got a document stating the official “right way” to open a case with NetApp support. We are still wainitng for the long-awaited white paper on how to perform DR testing. If we can get that, then I will consider this meeting a success.
(UPDATE 9-26-2012): Got word back from NetApp…they really don’t have any information or papers on how to do DR testing or any best practices. Their advise: hire CDW to do it for you.