[Micronet] support of Sun systems by Oracle

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[Micronet] support of Sun systems by Oracle

David Johnson-2
Just a warning to folks - if you have Sun systems and are now relying
on Oracle for support, be aware that things are very different from
the Sun days.  This is especially true if you are a small department
and don't make service calls very often and don't have someone from
sales pushing hard on your behalf.

Firstly, make sure your systems are in My Oracle Support (MOS).  It
took us more than 2 months to get all of our warrantied hardware and
support contracts registered in the system after the full transition
to the new support system took place (although I did have control over
numerous systems run by other folks).  That was with weekly reminders
to Diane Smith - i.e. I had to pester her almost 10 times before it
got fixed.  Only threats to never buy Oracle hardware or software again
finally got them to fix it (and still the records in the database have
wrong dates on them).  It also became apparent that our Solaris
support contract that we'd purchased after the Oracle takeover hadn't
even been registered at all, despite us having been invoiced and the
invoice paid many months ago.

Secondly, the service from the support guys is terrible (as has been
reported online in various places).  I called up the 800 number when I
was trying to sort out the support contracts and the support
representative said "I don't know how to do that - all they do is give
us computers and software and we don't really get any training on how
to do anything".  She then gave me a number to call to fix the
problem, which was the number I'd called to reach her in the first
place.

At the moment I've got a support call running on a crashing disk array
and I'm 9 days in and they haven't even downloaded the logs from the
array yet (and the first line support didn't seem to have a clue how
even basic stuff like downloading logs worked). If you do put in a
call, even if it's something straightforward, don't expect to get it
fixed in a day or two.

Also note that they won't sell you parts at any price without a
support contract - if something fails and you don't have a contract
then you need to go to the used suppliers.  And of course all of the
downloads for e.g. firmware that used to be online are unavailable -
again, make sure your support contracts or warranties are registered
for everything.

Having dealt with big systems companies for more than a decade,
suffering through various examples of bad service, Oracle have been by
far the most incompetent and unhelpful of the lot.  Like many folks
with Sun equipment we're stuck with them, but if you are not prepared
up-front for the issues getting support then a trivial failure might
result in systems being down for weeks on end.  Prepare carefully, and
start coming to terms with a future that will likely be devoid of
Solaris and ZFS!

David.

--
David Johnson, [hidden email], (510) 666-2983
System Manager, International Computer Science Institute

 
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Re: [Micronet] support of Sun systems by Oracle

Jon Forrest
On 3/31/2011 12:18 PM, David Johnson wrote:
> Just a warning to folks - if you have Sun systems and are now relying
> on Oracle for support, be aware that things are very different from
> the Sun days.  This is especially true if you are a small department
> and don't make service calls very often and don't have someone from
> sales pushing hard on your behalf.

Our salesguy is Justin Kenzelmann, ([hidden email],
1-408-23408939). He's new and I don't know how effective
he is at solving the kind of problems you describe.
I've been dealing with him to make sure we're under
software support for a Sun 7310 Storage Server.

> Firstly, make sure your systems are in My Oracle Support (MOS).  It
> took us more than 2 months to get all of our warrantied hardware and
> support contracts registered in the system after the full transition
> to the new support system took place (although I did have control over
> numerous systems run by other folks).  That was with weekly reminders
> to Diane Smith - i.e. I had to pester her almost 10 times before it
> got fixed.  Only threats to never buy Oracle hardware or software again
> finally got them to fix it (and still the records in the database have
> wrong dates on them).  It also became apparent that our Solaris
> support contract that we'd purchased after the Oracle takeover hadn't
> even been registered at all, despite us having been invoiced and the
> invoice paid many months ago.

We fortunately didn't have these issues. On the other hand,
I never got answer answer to what should have been a
simple questions, which is what the difference
is between "software support" and a 3-year product
warranty.

> Secondly, the service from the support guys is terrible (as has been
> reported online in various places).  I called up the 800 number when I
> was trying to sort out the support contracts and the support
> representative said "I don't know how to do that - all they do is give
> us computers and software and we don't really get any training on how
> to do anything".  She then gave me a number to call to fix the
> problem, which was the number I'd called to reach her in the first
> place.

Maybe I was lucky, but when I called in a serious problem
with my 7310, I had a very positive experience. In fact,
the people I dealt with were excellent. Oracle is so
big that I suspect that the quality of support will
depend on the product you're calling about.

> Having dealt with big systems companies for more than a decade,
> suffering through various examples of bad service, Oracle have been by
> far the most incompetent and unhelpful of the lot.  Like many folks
> with Sun equipment we're stuck with them, but if you are not prepared
> up-front for the issues getting support then a trivial failure might
> result in systems being down for weeks on end.  Prepare carefully, and
> start coming to terms with a future that will likely be devoid of
> Solaris and ZFS!

This would be too bad. The Sun, now Oracle, 7XXX series
storage servers are excellent. However, if Oracle can't
provide consistently good service, I would be hesitant
to buy anything else from them.

Cordially,
--
Jon Forrest
Research Computing Support
College of Chemistry
173 Tan Hall
University of California Berkeley
Berkeley, CA
94720-1460
510-643-1032
[hidden email]

 
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Re: [Micronet] support of Sun systems by Oracle

Bill Clark
In reply to this post by David Johnson-2
> start coming to terms with a future that will likely be devoid of
> Solaris and ZFS!

Well.. ZFS is at least open-source and supported on a wide variety of *nix
platforms, so we won't necessarily have to say good-bye to it anytime
soon.

-Bill Clark
Systems Unit
Graduate Division



 
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Re: [Micronet] support of Sun systems by Oracle

Jay Bryon
In reply to this post by David Johnson-2
Just read about ZFS apparently also coming to MacOS as well, thanks to
some ex-apple engineers doing it on their own (Ten's Complement LLC).  
Hope they manage to pull it off.

David Johnson wrote:
> ...  Prepare carefully, and
> start coming to terms with a future that will likely be devoid of
> Solaris and ZFS!
>
> David.
>
>  

--
Jay Bryon
Senior Network Engineer, U.C. Berkeley/IST/IS/Network Operations and Services
[hidden email]
2-5636

"Though I fly through the Valley of Death, I shall fear no evil. For I am at 80,000 feet and climbing."
-Sign at the entrance to the old SR-71 base, Kadena, Okinawa.

[Unless stated explicitly otherwise, all opinions are my own and do not represent official policy of any part of IST, U.C. Berkeley or the U.C. Regents.]  


 
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