My first experience with Dell Server was to implement a half a million (RM) SAN storage. Below are 10 reasons why I will NOT buy from Dell anymore
1) 2m Standard Rack Power Cable
Dell does not have anything longer than 2m for their rack power cable in their inventory. This is quite hard to believe that Dell actually expect everyone to place their Rack 2m away. In reality, after the cable management, we get only less than 1m of power cable from the rack to power point. I called up Dell support and log in a call if I can purchase a longer one and was shocked to be told that there is no such cable ? It's not hard to get the cable, but I get to know that using a non Dell cable might void my warranty. After along discussion with the account executive, technical support and project manager, they finally agreed that I can use a male-female cable which I get from local electric shop and hook it up to the 1m power cable to the power source.
2) No network cable
Brought the whole rack from the server, rack, switches, servers, hook up everything, but, I was not told that i need to purchase the network cable. Seriously, it is definitely not hard to get the network cable, but I can't seems to know why the Project manager from Dell which was assigned and we paid 5 figure, failed to tell me this. If I have to project manage this, they might as well hire me instead. What I want is a SAN storage solution. It's like I wanted a car, but you don't sell me a car with no tyre. At least, you let me know if it doesn't ! I'm expecting to go there get my car and drive it. Accessories can be add on, but necessity has to be there !
Now that we have all the hardware in place, the Cisco switch take another 1 more month to arrive? I was lucky that they manage to get me a loan unit. The vendor, the project manager and me were in the same meeting and for some reason the vendor still deliver to my office in TPM (where we had the meeting) when insisted tho the vendor that my data centre for this proejct is at Cyberjaya. Luckily the guy called me and I diverted him to Cyberjaya.
4) Dell storage fibre spoil
New and it is spoilt out from the box. No connection, change cable nothing. LED not blinking. Call for hardware replacement and problem solved. But this is something new out of the box. And it cost 6 figure for that.
5) Dell server HDD failed
One of the RAID controller in a 2U server failed within 1 week. Was told to run some tools to send Dell some hardware reports before they come over to check on the HDD failure. However, we have reformat those servers to run on Linux. They send me a tool to my email and ask me to boot into Dos/ Windows and run it from there. I ask them how to boot when there's no floppy and they don't know how to do it. Luckily i'm technical enough to get Dr. Dos to work, boot and run the tools and get send them the report. Dell gave alot of CDs, but none can be used to boot to Dos/Windows to do this. How difficult is it to get a CDs with all the tools and make it bootable? I need a solution not an application!
6) Backup license start when purchased not activated
Was quite surprise that I was told the 1yr backup license support start from the day we purchase and not activate/use. This is due to the fact that the backup doesn't come until later stage when the platform is setup and running. That could easily take 2 weeks to 1 month. Because we implemented the backup 3 months later, we just lost 3 months of support. How ridiculous to expect someone to setup and run the backup job from the date the customer purchase without even installing OS and application?
7) Symantec backup exec doesn't work on Linux
I specifically told them that we will format the server to run on Linux instead. I even asked them if there is a license for MySQL (as MS SQL require a different one), they told me no and there is no such license for MySQL. The same vendor who is doing the switch first forgot my delivery address, now even forgot that those servers are Linux. She told me that during the meeting, she thought I will run MySQL on Windows platform. Project manager keep quiet as he is too busy and forget about the conversation during meeting. Big disappointment because they do not listen to their customer.
8) NFS not working
Technical sales person told me how good their EMC SAN Storage is, 4GB fibre front back, expandability, management and etc. They confirm me it will work on NFS and Linux. The SAN gateway are windows servers, while the clients are Linux. Now that I can't mount it to the NFS, it took us almost 1 month to make it work.
9) Project manager
We was assigned a project manager from Dell which was part of the delivery. We were billed 5 figures for a project manager. The server and storage hardwares arrived and install without him even looking at it. The design and architecture was worked out earlier by me and the technical sales person. Personally, after two mishap ( as above), I am very upset that I still have to project manage this. He has done absolutely nothing in helping me deliver this project. Well he did organise a meeting for the switch and backup solution to be implemented, but he never follow up until I asked him when they are going to implement it. It is hard to catch him as he is so busy. Never keep up on the progress of the project. Failed ! Finally he done something, he helped me to get network cables. Hahaha.
The finance called me for payment when I was waiting for the Project manager to revert on a date for the backup implementation. I can't possibly sign off on the project as it has not been fully implemented yet. Since the PR come in 1 sheet, it is just not possible for my finance to pay for the implemented hardware. They insisted me to chase for payment and that give me no choice but to give my best blast on them.
Updated 08 Feb 2008:
11) Caught them Lying
Referring to reason no.7 as above, I manage to get the proposed implementation diagram which the Dell technical sales sent to me when I send them my requirement earlier for a quotation on the servers. It is clearly written that it's Linux server. I'm not sure where the communication failed. Even the project manager is not sure/forgot if i told him that. Now I'm really disappointed that Dell and its vendor who were in the same meeting failed to listen to their customer. It is the same vendor which got us the switch (see reason no.3). I'm not sure if i'm speaking a different english, the vendor first failed to get the address, then the linux server. Hello, are you sleeping during your work?