April 14, 2010
If you read this blog regularly, you probably know about the recent problems with Dell's server hard drive support. If you don't know, Dell recently announced that it was removing support for 3rd party drives on several PERC controllers.
Essentially, my stance (and that of many other people) has been that expecting customers to use supported drives for supported installations is completely reasonable, however after the server falls out of support, there is no reason to require Dell-branded drives.
I was pretty upset, and there were a ton of comments from people who felt the same way. There was similar outrage from several other places too.
I was elated the other day when a reader, Pawel Kudzia, alerted me to an update. He forwarded me an email from his Dell representative. Here's the text:
DELL H-SERIES CONTROLLER BLOCKING OF 3RD PARTY DRIVES
TO BE REMOVED IN Q2FY11
At Dell, we are committed to our customers. We listen to our customers. And, to ensure our customers have a positive experience with our products, we validate and certify all of our PowerEdge servers and components.
Previously, Dell prevented the use of non-Dell hard drives attached to PERC H700 and H800 controllers in our 11th generation of PowerEdge servers as we could not certify these non-Dell drives. However, based on customer feedback, we are now reversing this decision and allowing their use (without support).
Dell will no longer prevent customer use of non-Dell hard drives attached to PERC H700 and H800 controllers on our 11th generation of PowerEdge servers. A Q2FY11 PERC Firmware Update is planned to allow non-Dell hard drives to be used with these controllers.
We strongly recommend choosing Dell drives as we have validated and certified our drives and can support any issues that may arise.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
• Dell Hard Drives Landing Page
• Why Dell Drives Paper
NOTE: There is no change to the current hard drive carrier policy. Hard drive carriers will not be sold separately (3rd party drives are still not supported on Dell Enterprise systems).
I was very happy to hear about this change of heart, but I wanted to hear it straight from the horse's mouth, so to speak, so I emailed Howard Shoobe (the gentleman who's post initially alerted us to the previous stance), and he verified the contents of the email.
This is GREAT NEWS!!!
Essentially, Dell has recognized that our position was valid, and that one of the reasons that we buy Dell is because the quality is such that their usable life is beyond the warranty period. An entire stack of Dell equipment in my lab speaks to this, and I bet yours is much the same.
So a very big thank you to Dell, for removing this policy, and for listening to the voice of your customers. And congratulations to all of us who are Dell customers, and can continue to buy from them in the future without fear of losing our freedom of choice when it comes to the parts in our machines.