Dell PowerConnect Switches Review

Good support, stable to the point where incidents have zero impact on the organization


What is our primary use case?

The primary use case of this solution is for storage and connectivity.

How has it helped my organization?

The support is just so good that there is no reason to re-evaluate because of the impact on the trust structure of operations. 

There has never been a recorded event, even though we have had maybe, sixty, sixty-five, or even seventy incidents on the Proactive Care interventions data that have taken place.

I can recall at least three in the last five years, with physical outages, that were recovered without any impact on the operations. 

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are the jumbo frames and the stacking.

Proactive care is the highest level of support contract that you can have.

Everything from A to Z is better managed with Dell Support.

What needs improvement?

Scalability, especially with the power connect series is something that you have to take into account before starting the project because any changes to an ongoing project can be difficult.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for eleven years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This solution is 100% stable. There are no issues. There are failures, but the failures are backed up. Most of our failures have been studied by Dell Proactive Care before they even occur.

If there is an issue, like a hardware failure, then the configuration is set up in a way that there is a redundancy. The redundancy is confirmed, it's then checked and double-checked.

The impact on the operation is zero.

Usually, we don't even update them. We only apply patches to the storage switches, when they go, or when they are phased out.

That's usually the only time we do any maintenance on them, because it's such a critical factor, if the storage goes down, that has a massive impact on the environment.

Generally, there is no maintenance unless it is proactive maintenance or if there is a major fault.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability, especially with the power connect series is something that you have to take into account before starting the project because any changes to an ongoing project can be difficult.

The hardware has already been purchased, and the contract has already been disclosed.

Scalability is dependant on your perspective. You can add another power connector that is the same with the same details, but scalability when it comes to sizing and increasing the capacity is more difficult and more complex.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is better than Cisco's. It's awesome and better than the others.

For the knowledge-based articles, the support web page is better designed. It is more categorized and structured.

Everything from A to Z is better managed with Dell Support.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

For LAN switching it's always been Cisco.

For LAN switches it's always been Cisco and for Storage Networks it's always been with Dell.

I have never mixed them.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward with complex settings. It's not as simple as taking it out of the box and assign an IP. Some parameters need to be checked.

Dell is very good at documenting, they provide best practices, and they check to see if you have applied those setting before activating the Proactive Care support contract.

Depending on the size, the deployment takes one or two days. If you have some experience it's easy and flexible.

What about the implementation team?

I would say that a client without experience could perform the setup because the command line interface is very similar to Cisco. The entry-level two thousand series are pretty straightforward. The eight thousand and higher series would require some assistance from Dell to get the latest firmware, the proper configuration, and the proper support contract.

What other advice do I have?

My advice would be to go with Proactive Care.

Proactive care is the highest level of support contract that is available or provided by Dell.

I would say it's recommended, especially for the power connector for a higher level and various switches like the eight thousand series and higher. 

My advice would be to always call for Proactive Care support contracts because they will make sure you get the best service that is available.

There is no need for improvement because they are proactively maintained by Dell themselves.

I would rate this solution a ten out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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