What is most valuable?
The key feature, that is most valuable to us, is the Split-Multi link Trunking (SMLT). This feature allows us to create a very redundant/fault tolerant network across multiple data centers in multiple locations using our own fiber runs. We have been very fortunate to have such redundancy in place saving us some major outages. This redundancy has also allowed network upgrades to have much less of an impact to the customers. Also, the different interfaces provided with various modules have allowed us to migrate from one technology to another in various areas of our network without a complete overhaul, but in stages.
Another feature it has, is that the platform has changed both in software and hardware over the years. They have done it with new technology, features, and capacity, by simply upgrading/adding newer modules to adapt to our ever changing and growing network needs.
How has it helped my organization?
It has worked extremely well in our environment, and grown with us as our needs have grown over the years. Two ERS8800’s make up our core with another two in an aggregation layer servicing our customer segments.
The redundancy gained by utilizing SMLT has proven itself invaluable during a couple of events that could have been devastating to our bottom line. We experienced a major fiber cut between two data centers, and, although it affected several of our uplinks, the redundancy automatically kept our production network running, and the customers were unaffected as business went on as usual from their perspective. This redundancy also allowed us to move one of our data centers from one location to another without disrupting production and allowing us to make several of the migrations during work hours.
What needs improvement?
They could improve in supplying pricing to the VAR in a more timely manner. They could also improve upon the availability of replacement parts within the given maintenance agreement time.
For how long have I used the solution?
We have used this solution through its continuous progression/maturity for nearly 15 years. Currently - Ethernet Routing Switch 8600/8800, running version 126.96.36.199
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
We have been using the ERS 8600/8800’s now for quite a while and they have been quite stable.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
At this point, the ERS’ have scaled well with our growing environment, as we started with 100M and have since upgraded various links to 10G. Avaya has quite a few different modules to choose from, and these are based on the interfaces required for your specific needs. It’s up to us to realize where we are, and where our goals are taking us, to choose the right module for growth and scalability.
How are customer service and technical support?
Overall, their technical support is very good with qualified engineers who have good product knowledge, troubleshooting and communication skills. As with most technical support areas, once in a while they are unable to help as well as we would like and it feels we educate them more than they help us. However, perhaps this is because we have a veteran group of intelligent people on our staff.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
We were initially a Token Ring shop, with Synoptics equipment, which changed to Bay Networks and then Nortel Networks. We had to go through the pains and tribulations of ATM to migrate from our Token Ring to Ethernet. As we began to migrate onto virtual LANs, we implemented the ERS8600s which have suited us very well through the years.
Which version of this solution are you currently using?
8600/8800, s/w 188.8.131.52