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Need unbiased feedback on Manufacturer support...

I'm constantly bombarded by calls from EMC, 3Par and NetApp about how great their technology is etc......I manage an environment that grows typically at a rate of 5-6TB a month, and all of the vendors want a shot at the footprint, which is fine, but I'm more focused on the support levels that a company can provide me, and overall customer experience.  Currently I utilize the HP EVA for Tier 2, and XP for Tier 1 and the support for both is outstanding.....especially around XP and working with HP is never a problem.  The EMC guys seem to be a little pushy, and I really dont like that AT ALL.  Almost to the point of arrogance.  NetApp guys are very straight forward, and seem to a strong candidate.  Can anyone comment on experiences around support with EMC or NetApp??  Support in terms of account support, hardware/breakfix support, proactive vs. reactive support etc......
3 Solutions
Duncan MeyersCommented:
First the caveat: I'm on the other side of the world, and I used to provide hardware support fro Dell and EMC. I now work for a systems integrator that partners with both NetApp and EMC.

I *like* EMC's kit and their support structure. And I agree, their sales and marketinf people can be a little in-your-face. But their kit is second to none. I've worked with their support people around the globe on CLARiiON hardware and they know heir stff. One of the things I like (although it was awful being the on-site guy when it happened) is that a Severity 1 call gets escalated (and reviewed daily) right to the CEO. There is a **lot** of attention on system down/data unavailable calls. And they get resolved quickly.

NetApp is also good - although from my experience they don't take hardware maintenance as seriously as EMC.
I've been an EMC shop for about 4 1/2 years now & it is great hardware.  Their support has always been awesome and they are truly paranoid about your data (almost to the point of annoyance).  Just recently though, we decided to move the HDS (Hitachi Data Systems).

After working w/ their system for a few months now (pre migration, prod integration, etc), I like it ALOT better.  Their support has been excellent (in some cases better then EMC) and their customer portal is extremely user friendly.  The other nice thing is, HDS resells their gear to HP and Sun, who then re-brands it and sells it to the customer.  You know you are getting good gear if Sun and HP are sticking their names on it.

HDS marketing and sales teams are not pushy at all.  The guys I worked w/ were real people who really did want to see the right solution put in place.  

As far as 3Par, Netapp, and the others go, I can't really tell you where I stand w/ most.  I know the 3Par rep was a giant pain in the ass (he was an ex-EMC sales guys).  I also did not like their pushy sales tactics by immediately bringing in a VP to sit down w/ me and give me the hard sell.  I was just annoyed.

So from an engineering perspecitve, I would say if you are happy w/ who you are working w/ them I wouldn't change a thing.  But, if you really are looking at moving into a different foot-print (and the giant pain in the ass it is to co-habitate), then I would consider HDS (especially because of their Virtualization, check out the USP-VM).

Good Luck!
We run EMC, NetApp, HP EVA, 3PAR and Isilon storage for customers in our datacentre's.

--HP support is OK but based out of country and you rarely get to speak to a 3rd line rep.
--EMC is so-so and expensive for most support
--NetApp is quite good as their portal is really good. Not had much contact with their support as the product has been quite good
--3PAR - they are based round the corner so any issues we go over with a stick :) They have been a huge help support-wise and move mountains for us (but we do own quite a few arrays from them...). Great product, good prices and feature set along with performance and scalability.

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Hi all, I have a similar question...we are currently reviewing the NetApp FAS2000 platform and the EMC CX4-120.  I know EMC is top of the line but it seems NetApp has them beat when it comes to the deduplication technology.  They claim 10% savings with SQL server and 50-70% savings with VMDK files.  If this is true then NetApp should win hands down as long as the performance and reliability are on par with EMC.  
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Duncan MeyersCommented:
Please accept ID: 21790207 as the answer and split point evenly between ID: 21790207, ID: 21823486 and ID: 25513512

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