HDS – Frustrated from day 1

If you know me well you know that I couldn’t care less about what badge your gear wears, as long as it works. On the motocross track I started on red then ended up carrying both yellow and blue in my trailer. I couldn’t tell you which color was my favorite, the all have their own special place in my heart and they all did their job well. The reason I never rode green, I didn’t like the folks who sold it. That fact will play into the remainder of my diatribe.

Paul (my direct peer at work) and myself are trying to make use of the fancy new machine that was set on our floor. HDS came in and configured up our VSP. The tech promised a day to set it up, it ended up being 3.5 days to do 2. I don’t blame the tech that made the promise as he isn’t the one who ended up doing the work; not his fault. That said, if it takes HDS 2 days to set up a paultry 30T (don’t ask how much paultry 30Ts cost!!!) usable array they’re never going to make it in datacenters the likes of a big organization like Microsoft, Google or Amazon. You’d never guess this based upon how much they love boasting how amazing their gear is. Mind you this is our first Hitachi box. We had to listen to endless beating of their own drum Hitachi staff did about how happy we’re going to be getting off IBM and on Hitachi.

Finally the tech is done with the initial setup and it’s ready for us to login to the box and start creating pools, carving LUNs and presenting disks. Probably the most exciting thing for a storage admin, logging onto a fresh array and digging in.

Direct quote from the Hitachi Storage Navigator User Guide:

To log in to Storage Navigator as the super user:
  1. Call your local service representative to obtain the superuser ID and default password.

Yup, here we are. We have an E-mail string going back and forth with pre-sales and the guys who spun the wrenches last week doing the initial config. Meanwhile, Paul and myself are seeing our deadline to have this array online creep closer and closer and the brick is sitting in the datacenter heating our cold air and being very green by wasting 100% of the electricity it’s consuming.

Thus far, I’m not leaping out of my chair with happiness because of our new vendor. If you happen to know the username and password to logon to my array, let me know. I certainly don’t.

2 thoughts on “HDS – Frustrated from day 1

  1. I understand. My company changed from a VMAXs to a VSPs. They have been on the floor since August and still not right yet. Project manager isn’t helpful. I am also very tried of everyone at HDS saying how wonderful and great they are.

    1. We’re a little over half a year into being production on the VSP. Our HDS environment is growing and I truthfully couldn’t tell you why. I won’t lie, the boxes do a fine job of delivering data, but nothing any greater than 3 out of 5 stars. There were a lot of promises of increased performance, amazing data agility, etc. – none of them fulfilled.

      Our experience is just what I expected, it performs as well as the disks you put behind it; no magic. In our case that would be worse than the DS it replaced as the DS had 3x the spindle count to serve the same data.

      User experience in my mind is awful. There are some pitfalls in the UI that could cause some pretty serious disasters. I’m sure if you’re well versed in HDS’s suite of tools it’s great. I’m not, I’m just Joe SAN admin and to me the UI for management of our HDS gear is clunky, buggy, slow and ugly to be certain.

      There are other quirks. I feel no need in sharing, my opinion remains the same. There is nothing wrong with the equipment per-se, it does work. There is a lot wrong with the personnel selling and supporting the equipment (not all, but most). I just can’t understand how they maintain a large market share facing the ninja-like staff of some of the other storage vendors I’ve worked with in my day.

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