Friday, October 26, 2007

NetApp rocks!

I don't normally blog about work. Such things can be hazardous to a blogger's health. To many folks have lost jobs over it. But this just has to go out to the masses, and this is my only way of doing it.

I run a small IT shop in an industry not to be identified for an employer you may not know. For storing our files, I rely on systems from Network Appliance. They're expensive, and they're good--in the unspeakable number of years I've used their equipment, I've had two failures.

This morning, I bopped into the office and started the first thing check of email. Right at the top were two messages from my NetApp filer. The gist of them was that a power supply was showing weakness. Not failed, just a bit out of spec. It had already notified NetApp tech support and opened a trouble ticket. The filer is still working, because (a) the power supply hasn't failed and (b) even if it had failed, it has redundant power supplies. NetApp doesn't sell them any other way.

After an exchange of emails, tech support and I confirmed the diagnoses. Normally at this point, a vendor will overnight you the part. Not NetApp. The tech I was working with said the part would be here today. "Yeah right," was the phrase that crossed my mind.

Now I will note NetApp has a point of presence a couple of hours away, so that does make this easier, but still.... They paid for a hot-shot carrier to pick up the replacement power supply and bring it here to the employer you may not know. It arrived right before lunch, and I've just installed it, ran a test and confirmed we're back in the green.

Now, I know this piece of hardware is expensive, and we spend a pretty large amount of coin each year on maintenance. Most people would say I should expect this level of service. But as I've seen, not just in IT but all over, outstanding customer service is a rare thing, no matter how much a piece of equipment costs. This is customer service above and beyond what I think anyone could reasonably expect, and I wanted to acknowledge that. NetApp, you guys flatly ROCK!

And the best part is all those end users were never any the wiser. Buying quality pays.

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