5 out of 5.0, Reviewed Sep 20, 2016
Great product and support
The Force10 is significantly different from PiwerConnect switches
great performance and stability
nothing should have been done differently by the vendor
No changes to the deployment would be made
Default support is good, get access to layest firmware through account
4 out of 5.0, Reviewed Sep 12, 2016
The design is very simple. A pair of Cisco 5Ks provides L2 while Cisco 7Ks do all L3. Dell IOAs are set up in a ring with dual 40Gb Fabric A/B (East-West) traffic for six Dell Chassis. Out of the ring, 2 chassis provide uplinks 80Gb Fabric A/B (North/South). The IOAs maintain all L2 traffic within the Ring and provide the best route for any North-South traffic that needs to travel to the uplinked chassis. Each pair of 5Ks supports up to 4 rings for a total of 24 chassis and 384 blades. While Dell has been a great partner, we did run into a problem with their management software. After the POC was completed and before production implementation, the management software was deprecated and replaced by software from a new vendor (Gale Technologies). Unfortunately, the new software did not immediately have all the capabilities to manage the solution end-end. Thus, it has taken Dell several years to bring the software up to feature parity with the prior solution. This resulted in our teams having to implement some of their own automation to be able to manage the solution.
Keep your implementation as simple as possible. Determine the amount of traffic your applications actually use for both E/W and N/S traffic, so that you can properly deploy a cost-efficient network topology.
It just works!
The change to the new management software not only caused a loss of functionality, but the focus needed to bring the product back to parity with its previous version was not evident. The new company Dell acquired did not seem to have been quickly integrated into Dell's hardware pipelines. This resulted in a lot of features being released that had no immediate impact on the ability to manage Dell's solutions.
Definitely, disclose the impending management software changes. In addition, a less abrupt transition into the new software would've been ideal.
Get a better understanding of any impending changes to the solution and accompanying toolset. Ensure our contracts reflect some guarantees on the supportability of the existing solution as POC.
Dell support has been superb.