HP’s complex products + HP support = fiasco

One of my most recent projects at HTC has been implementing our HP Bladesystem (not to be confused with a BladeCenter – that’s IBM’s product!). For the most part, its gone extremely smooth and the solution is fantastic for a sprawling datacenter. It really allows you to consolidate and concentrate your computing in the datacenter.

Monday I struggled with a LUN presentation issue to a set of blades. I was trying to create a cluster for our SQL 2005 instance. I had 4 blades setup identically. I was able to have a LUN presented and bring up a cluster on two of the blade – no problem.

For the second set of blades, I setup the same configuration. I have the 1 Gig LUN presented to the SQL boxes for quorum and then rescan. Windows no see… Rescan again… Windows still no see. I troubleshot this for the rest of the afternoon to no avail. Tuesday morning, I open the support case with HP.

After being flung from one support queue to another, I realize that HP is done a fantastic job of creating silos withing their support departments – to such a degree that most of their employees only know the one particular component of a solution which they support. This has become especially true when looking at big solutions – like a blade system connected to and booting from the SAN.

After 3 and a half hours, I ended a support call which involved a total of 7 support “engineers” and at one point, I had one support guy in India who conference’d in another in India who conference’d in another in Costa Rica – talk about lag time on the phone call… My voice had to travel to India and back to the Caribbean to talk to the guy I really needed to talk to in the beginning.

Final solution – uninstall the multipathing software (MPIO) and reinstall. The servers now see the LUNs. Better than Indian support #1’s suggestion that I reinstall Windows before he troubleshot anything…

Required Disclosure:
The opinions expressed here are strictly personal opinions authored by Philip Sellers, an employee of HTC (Horry Telephone Cooperative, Inc.) and/or its subsidiaries.  Any reference to, discussion of, or content regarding HTC and/or its subsidiaries has not been reviewed, approved, or authorized by HTC and/or its subsidiaries before such content is posted and does not represent HTC and/or its subsidiaries or its views and opinions in any way.

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Philip is a IT solutions engineer working for AmWINS Group, Inc., an insurance brokerage firm in Charlotte, NC. With a focus on data center technologies, he has built a career helping his customers and his employers deploy better IT solutions to solve their problems. Philip holds certifications in VMware and Microsoft technologies and he is a technical jack of all trades that is passionate about IT infrastructure and all things Apple. He's a part-time blogger and author here at Techazine.com.

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