Is Nimble Storage Support A Thing Of The Past: Buyout Promises vs. Buyout Reality?

On April 17, 2017, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) announced their acquisition of Nimble Storage, Inc.1 Many questioned what would happen to Nimble’s signature support and their InfoSight predictive analytics tool.

Emotions ran high as IT professionals conversed about the subject on forums such as the “Sysadmin” thread on Reddit. Excerpts below2

Concerns About Nimble

Username “HeadacheCentral” stated, 

“Nimble's biggest selling point for me was the support - call them once, and you're onto the guy who can help you fix it.
HPE's ‘support’ is a joke - crappy VoIP lines to some [bleep] cube farm ‘call logging center’ in Singapore or India or Malaysia staffed by people who I frequently can't understand because of their accents. And then the immediate response of ‘Oh, your firmware is out of date, please upgrade it before we will replace the failed hard drive’ and the 4 or 5 calls before you actually get something done.”
Username “TechnocratByNight” shared, 
“We've just bought our second unit and have no concerns. The arrays are phenomenal and the level of support that Nimble provide was one of the reasons HPE bought them.”
Username “Miserygut” chimed in, 
“Infosight support is mostly automated. If HPE have any sense (I'm being extremely generous) they'll keep the Nimble model and use Infosight across the rest of their products to run lean/good quality support. Then again this is HPE we're talking about.’

Contributors to the thread conveyed their opinions both pro and con about Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s acquisition of Nimble Storage, Inc.

But it wasn’t until username “HPEStorageGuy” spoke up that you learned how HPE intended to use Nimble within their IT ecosystem.

Buyout Promises

“HPEStorageGuy” explained,

“HPE plans to integrate Nimble in a way that will retain the unique Nimble customer experience.” He wrote, there “are three aspects to maintaining and improving the customer experience over time:

1. The plan is to integrate the existing Nimble support and management team into the HPE organization. They will continue to be dedicated to supporting the Nimble Storage product line.

2. Beyond the support experience, Nimble customers frequently reference that they love Nimble because it ‘just works.’ HPE is planning to integrate Nimble engineers and management into HPE and maintain them as a product group. Design for simplicity, quality and resiliency will continue to be guiding principles for the development and QA teams.

3. The predictive analytics and machine learning capabilities of InfoSight are strengthened as the volume of data points available for analysis grows. By integrating information across the HPE server, 3PAR and Simplivity installed base, InfoSight will become more powerful and be able to predict and prevent more issues.”

If you’re interested, “HPEStorageGuy” also wrote an article on HPE’s Community Site which expands on this information in greater detail. You can read it here.

Buyout Reality

Since the HPE's acquisition, Nimble Storage support has remained strong with even more improvement to come in the form of an Autonomous Data Center using HPE InfoSight technology.

You can read many HPE Nimble testimonials by satisfied clients here.

But what does all this mean if you purchased Nimble Storage Arrays in the past but do NOT want to upgrade to HPE’s version of Nimble Storage now?

How can you prolong the life of your Nimble Storage Arrays to save you money — to maximize the return on your investment — all while laying your head on your pillow at night without worry … confident in the fact that your data systems are being carefully monitored and serviced should ever the slightest of hiccup occur?

Man On Wire

Does the name, Philippe Petit, ring a bell?

Philippe is a Frenchman, who made history on August 7, 1974, by walking between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center on a tightrope. Although he performed this heroic feat illegally (because who in their right mind would have issued him a permit), Philippe performed his death-defying stunt with confidence and poise traversing the wire back and forth a total of eight times over the course of 45 minutes. The movie, Man On Wiredocuments Philippe’s walk and his years of preparation leading up to it.

In many ways, you as an IT professional are like Philippe being asked to walk a tightrope between your aging IT system and the ever-changing technological landscape unfolding in front of you.

It’s much the same as a balancing act where the slightest of missteps can cause significant data loss resulting in catastrophic repercussions to you and your organization.

Your Safety Net

Think of Sherlock Services as your “safety net” to protect you from falling.

Day in and day out we are on the front lines, in the trenches, monitoring your system hardware to limit downtime and maximize operational efficiency.

Sherlock Services offers hardware break/fix and software phone assistance for Nimble and HPE Nimble Storage Arrays.

Don't Wait For Your Manufacturer’s Warranty To Run Out.

Sherlock Services provides technical support for all Nimble and HPE Nimble Storage Arrays. We are a leading 3rd-party IT service provider with years of experience in the business.


Click below or call 866.827.6804 to schedule a FREE no-obligation needs assessment with your friendly account rep today.


“There’s Waldo”: Seeing More Value in 3rd-Party Hitachi Support

http://waldo.wikia.com/wiki/File:Where%27sWaldoIncrediblePaperChase.JPG

You’ve likely spotted him hiding in children’s picture books — Waldo, of “Where’s Waldo” acclaim.1

Now there’s a robot to assist you in your quest to find this elusive character.

There’s Waldo” the robot was designed by Matt Reed (a creative technologist at Redpepper) to find Waldo in crowded scenes filled with thousands of illustrated characters. 2

The lad, in his red and white striped sweater with matching pom-pom hat, once took minutes if not hours to find. Now, with the help of “There’s Waldo” the robot, Waldo only takes mere seconds to locate.3

There’s Waldo” the robot makes it quick and easy to spot Waldo, no matter which page he’s on or which book he’s hiding in.

The same can be said of Sherlock Services 3rd-party Hitachi Support. They are specialists at what they do, providing value by pinpointing and resolving issues across a company’s entire IT infrastructure.

Seeing Value

Seeing value in your 3rd-party Hitachi Support requires patience. You won’t see it or observe it all at once. But as time passes, and you go through experiences where you’re in a pinch, it becomes clear just how valuable having the backing of a competent and dependable 3rd-party IT support team really is.

Tech Bud appeared to wrestle with this question on the Hitachi Vantara Community blog when he asked…

"Hi All, Please let me know what are the pros and cons by having HDS support instead of third party support.”4

Erwin van Londen, a Technical Analyst with Hitachi Vantara Global Support, was honest about his Hitachi vendor bias but included the following in his reply…

“There may be reasons you want to go with a third party company if you have for example equipment from multiple vendors but still want to have a single support-bill and contact point.” … “In all cases it is up to you the customer to make that decision. There are really smart guys out there working for Hitachi partners who a very capable in helping out in many situations.”5

Following are some additional benefits to think about when considering 3rd-party IT Support from Sherlock Services.

1. “There’s Value” in Relationship

When you sign on with Sherlock Services, you partner with a team of individuals committed to your success. They know Hitachi Storage well and are your lifeline in cases of emergency.

This is a comforting thought when you are faced with a difficult situation and unsure of the steps that should be taken to resolve it. Simply knowing that qualified Sherlock staff are available to help does wonders to clear the head and restore a sense of confidence under pressure.

There are also advantages to having a team of competent IT professionals be the liaison between your company and your vendors. This keeps you and your employees focused on what’s most important throughout the day and limits the loss of downtime that could otherwise be reinvested elsewhere.

Furthermore, being in a relationship with a 3rd-party Hitachi Support network provides ample means for cross-pollination of helpful IT know how. It enables you a single source of protection not only for your Hitachi Storage hardware but also for the additional branded hardware that you may own as well.

2. “There’s Value” in Experience

Sherlock Services offers a wealth of experience via the techs they hire. They are competent and certified on every branded IT platform which they support. When you partner with Sherlock Services you gain a virtual army of experienced technicians who are ready, willing, and able to serve you no matter where you’re located in the United States. This is invaluable should you have a hardware failure and need to immediately fix or replace.

Having full access to this reservoir of experience is also helpful when asking for advice. Because Sherlock Services is a 3rd-party IT service provider their loyalty is to you their client and NOT to the OEM vendor. This means you can trust their honest assessment of a given situation and have full confidence in knowing that they are not steering you one way or the other based on brand loyalty or the commissions they receive for new product sales.

3. “There’s Value” in Flexibility

Last but not least, there’s value in Sherlock Services’ pricing structure. Because Sherlock is a 3rd-party service provider, they have much less overhead then OEM vendors who must pay extensively for ongoing R&D of their product line as well as for new hardware and software releases which come out year after year.

This lack of overhead gives Sherlock Services the flexibility to price their services competitively.

It also provides you the opportunity to simplify your IT support by combining all of your branded equipment onto one invoice, which can represent significant cost savings in and of itself.

Seeing More Value

In 1986, Martin Handford, a British illustrator, contacted a publishing house with the idea for a book of crowd scenes. Martin was especially fond of crowd scenes and enjoyed drawing them ever since he was a boy. The publisher liked his idea and suggested Martin create a character for viewers to try and spot in each of his pictures. This would give book readers something to focus on while viewing his artwork.6

Martin latched hold of the idea and a year later published the book, “Where’s Wally” (known as “Where’s Waldo” in North America). The project was a success and today Mr. Handford’s books are published in 19 different languages worldwide.7

Little did Martin know that years later Matt Reed would invent “There’s Waldo” the robot to scan Martin’s artwork and search for Waldo.

Both Martin Handford and Matt Reed had ideas and pursued them. Their work inspires us to be alert to the value being manifest all around us.

Like Tech Bud, you may be wondering about the value of 3rd-party IT support. If so, remember this…

1. “There’s Value” in Relationship

2. “There’s Value” in Experience

3. “There’s Value” in Flexibility

3.5. “There’s Value” in Hiring Sherlock Services As Your Go-To 3rd-Party Resource

Contact Sherlock Services For All Your Hitachi Support Needs.

We are a leading 3rd-party IT service provider with years of experience in Hitachi Support. We are also able to assist you in long-term monitoring support as well as providing an upgrade path for your current IT infrastructure.

Don't Wait For Your Manufacturer’s Warranty To Run Out.

Allow Sherlock Services to demonstrate their value to you by contacting them now.


Click below or call 866.827.6804 to schedule a FREE no-obligation needs assessment with your friendly account rep today.


Much Ado About Your Legacy HP Hardware

3.5 Considerations For Managing Your Aging IT Infrastructure

Alfred W. Elmore [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Much_Ado_About_Nothing_by_Alfred_Elmore_1846.jpg

What’s Ado About “Legacy”

In 1598 and 1599, when Shakespeare wrote his famous play, “Much Ado About Nothing,” you can be sure he did not use HP hardware to write it. 

Yes, the idea of “legacy” implies “old.” But in the context of computer technology, “old” is relative. 

In fact, you can own computer hardware that becomes outdated in a matter of years simply because it has been surpassed by newer technological advancements. This does not mean the “older” hardware is inoperable or unable to perform key tasks in business. But it does pose a shift in the way it’s defined — i.e. as “legacy” hardware — because it is no longer the newest computer hardware technology on the market.

A Play For Your Business

As with any Shakespearean play, the show the audience sees frontstage is largely determined by the quality of performance which takes place backstage. 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/rosenfeldmedia/41634489422

To think about it from a business perspective, the way people see your company directly relates to the quality of backstage processes and systems you have in place to support your frontstage work. Often, company executives find themselves relying on legacy hardware to perform key support roles backstage of their business. 

According to Paul Mah, “the biggest culprit of SMB downtime is actually due to hardware failure, which accounts for some 55 percent of all downtime events in ​SMBs.1 

Hewlett Packard and other leading computer manufacturers know this and are all too eager to push their new computer hardware simply because it’s the “latest and greatest” technology available. Without a proper understanding of this dynamic, poor IT management decisions are likely to result which can lead to significantly negative repercussions down the road. 

Following are three ways to consider the pros and cons of maintaining your legacy HP hardware with a forward-thinking perspective on innovation and growth.

1. Orient Yourself To The Tech Demands Of Your Industry

Not all industries require the same level of IT sophistication to be competitive. Thus, it’s important for you to be aware of both the technological capabilities of your competitors as well as the general expectations of your clients. 

Banking is an example of an industry caught squarely in the middle of this debate. John Lamb wrote in ComputerWeekly.com, “Despite the IT industry's efforts to improve the standard of operating systems used in the enterprise, a significant number of users choose to stick with apparently outmoded operating systems for some of their most critical applications. Legacy server operating systems from suppliers such as Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Microsoft, Tandem and Unisys still power important applications in banking, travel and the public sector.2

Take time to think critically about the role your IT infrastructure plays in the overall health of your organization and how it stacks up to the demands of your industry. Such forethought is sure to reward you as mission-critical decisions become necessary over time.

2. Commit To A Transitional Strategy Of Improving Your Hardware Over Time

Addressing your HP hardware needs does not have to take place all at once. There are many organizations who are slowly modernizing key components of their IT infrastructure as time and resources permit. 

Do an analysis to determine what it costs to maintain your legacy system per year. You should also factor in a time when parts and service are likely to become obsolete.3 Such preparation will give you a foundation from which to launch ongoing IT improvements and keep you alert to any backstage performance issues that may arise.

3. Consider Investing In Used Computer Hardware Over New

While it’s important to have a longterm strategy to modernize your legacy HP hardware, it may surprise you that a viable option for updating your equipment is to buy used. 

What can easily be overlooked is the fact that slightly used, yet well maintained, HP computer hardware provides comparable benefits to purchasing completely new equipment albeit for less cost. Also, slightly used equipment confirms the hardware has been “tested” — a surprising omission of some new equipment parts. 

Take for example the scenario of buying a new vehicle. It’s often recommended, for the best value, to buy slightly used and to avoid purchasing the first year a new model is released. Similarly, when purchasing HP hardware, buying slightly used equipment provides an opportunity to maximize your return on investment which simply is not possible when buying new.

3.5 Contact Sherlock Services For All Your HP Hardware Support Needs.

In many ways, the very nature of technological progress ensures that “legacy” hardware will always be of concern. Yet, there is an easier way to address your HP hardware support and HP server support needs. 

1. Orient Yourself To The Tech Demands Of Your Industry 

2. Commit To A Transitional Strategy Of Improving Your Hardware Over Time 

3. Consider Investing In Used Computer Hardware Over New 

3.5. Hire Sherlock Services As Your Go-To 3rd-Party Resource 

We are a leading 3rd-party IT service provider with years of experience in HP hardware support and HP server support. We are also able to assist you in long-term monitoring support as well as providing an upgrade path for your current IT infrastructure.

Don't Wait For Your Manufacturer’s Warranty To Run Out.

Allow Sherlock Services to choreograph your backstage performance freeing you to focus on your audience at show time.


Click below or call 866.827.6804 to schedule a FREE no-obligation needs assessment with your friendly account rep today.


Business Growth Award

Sherlock Services is proud and honored to announce that we have won the Cascade Capital Corporation Business Growth Honoree Award in the Technology Category. The awards were given to companies for increasing its sales level by 100% of $5 million, or by increasing its employee base by 50% or 25 people over the past 5 years. Sherlock Services has achieved both. Our company has thrived in a competitive field proving that our expertise in the Third-party maintenance arena, our commitment to customers, employees and community makes us stand out among other competitors. When it comes to supporting IT; we’re at your service. Accepting the award was Ron Pollard (President), Mark Schneider (sales & Marketing Director) and Greg Brumbaugh (Vice President). The awards banquet was held at the beautiful John S. Knight Center in Akron, October 2nd. Learn more about the Cascade Capital Business Growth Awards.

Hurricane Preparation Procedures

  1. Ensure You Have a Backup

Don’t wait until the day before a hurricane to back up your files! It’s a good practice to frequently back up your data files to an external drive or memory key to prevent loss of data, as well as to store it in a secure, safe place. Print a copy of your important/emergency contacts and take them with you in the event that you do not have access to them from your phone or computer, you’ll have them available to use via a landline.

  • If you hold the physical installation media to non-enterprise wide software purchased through your department, consider making a copy of it, if you are licensed to do so. Sherlock Services does not keep copies of unique software.
  1. Secure Your Equipment
  • Computers/Storage Systems:
    • Shutdown the operating system.
    • If connected to a surge protector or UPS – unplug the surge protector or UPS from the wall outlet (or unplug power cables from the surge protector or UPS if wall outlet not accessible).
    • If no surge protector – unplug the power cables from the wall outlet (or back of the equipment if the wall outlet is not accessible).
    • Unplug Ethernet cable from the back of the equipment.
  • Printers:
    • Power off the printer.
    • If connected to a surge protector – unplug the surge protector from the wall outlet (or unplug the power cable from the surge protector if wall outlet not accessible).
    • If no surge protector – unplug the power cable from the wall outlet (or back of the printer if the wall outlet is not accessible).
    • Unplug the Ethernet cable from the back of the printer.
    • Unplug phone cable from the back of the printer (if fax line connected).
  1. Network Services

Sherlock Services will keep all mission-critical systems in service as long as possible. However, certain services might need to be brought off-line and/or shut down before the storm hits. This is necessary to ensure that equipment and services are safe from the effects of the storm.

After The Storm

Sherlock Services will work as quickly as the circumstances permit to restore network connectivity and services throughout the environment. As you reconnect your office equipment make sure to reconnect them to your surge protector or UPS as they were before. Expect power surges, brownouts, and fluctuations for at least several days or longer after power has been restored. All the effort you went through in preparation may be lost if you take a hit after the storm.

For additional assistance, please contact Sherlock Services at 866-827-6804

Hitachi End of Service Life (EOSL)

Hitachi will provide best effort for service extensions until 12/31/18 for the following platforms:

  • AMS 2300
  • AMS 2500

End of service life for these platforms was 9/30/17.

Please contact Sherlock Services if you have questions or if you would like a maintenance quote for your Hitachi system.

NetApp EOSL

For 2018, NetApp has announced End of Service Life (EOSL) for the following platforms:

  • FAS6210
  • FAS6240
  • FAS6280
  • FAS3210
  • FAS3240
  • FAS3270

Contact Sherlock Services if you have questions or to get a maintenance quote on your NetApp systems.

EMC EOSL (End of Service Life)

EMC has announced End of Service Life (EOSL) for the following platforms:

  • VNXe3100
  • VNXe3300
  • Isilon S200 – 100GB SSD
  • Isilon X200 – 500GB SSD
  • Isilon X400 – 100GB SSD

Contact Sherlock Services if you have questions or to get a maintenance quote for your EMC system.

Paying Too Much For Maintenance?

Did you know that many 3rd party providers sub-contract most everything? This means you could be paying 15% to 25% more for the same services we provide direct. Sherlock Services is a Third Party Maintenance support company providing break/fix support for equipment in the data center.

We provide support for:

HPE 3PAR

Hitachi

Nimble

NexSAN

EMC

Printers

Servers

and more

Check out our offerings at www.sherlockservices.com to see the list of equipment that we directly support or call us at (866) 827-6804.

Data Center Relocation Service

Recently, one of our partners contacted us regarding one of their clients. The company was a Southeast-based identity verification company wanting to move their data center from Florida to Georgia. The move was planned and organized for months. The week of the move, Sherlock sent two engineers to Florida to map out all the cabling, equipment locations and to prepare the move. On Friday, the systems were brought down and by 2 pm, the customers’ data racks and equipment were loaded up and headed North by Sherlock’s certified carrier. At 8 am Saturday, the equipment was unloaded into the new data center in Georgia. All of the equipment was relocated into new data racks, the rewiring completed and the customer was back online that evening.  Another successful data center relocation; just one example how Sherlock Services supports your Enterprise IT needs.