Promise VTrak M500i Review and News…


I wrote a short article about the lately arrived Promise m500i Storage Array and it’s not-functioning.

After we had to wait the complete weekend it was time to call the technical support again and ask for purification…well sort of :-).

The good news: The guy remembered that he talked to me. He even remembered what we talked about. That’s really not common sense when it comes to technical support. So this is a thumb-up for the support.

He sort of apologized for mistakenly kidding me on friday…but don’t be vengeful.

So he told me that there is a BETA firmware for our brand new m500i that is supposed to fix all the problems we have (at least the ones he remembered). The only thing that he needs from me beforehand was a signing under a disclaimer he would send me. Sure! Show me the disclaimer and I’ll tell you if I would sign it.

And he showed me:

Supplier is providing this Beta version Product to Customer without charge and at Customer’s specific request. Customer understands and acknowledges that this Beta version Product has not been fully tested by Supplier. This Product is provided to Customer “as is” and with Customer assuming all risk of use of the Product.

Except where prohibited by law, Supplier DISCLAIMS any and all warranties, express or implied, by statute or otherwise, regarding the Products including,without limitation, any warranties for fitness for any purpose, quality, merchantability, non-infringement, or otherwise, and any warranties arising out of a course of dealing, trade usage, or trade practice. Supplier makes no warranty or representation concerning the suitability of any Product for use with any other item. Customer assumes full responsibility for selecting Products and for ensuring that the Products selected are compatible and appropriate for use with other goods with which they will be used. Customer assumes and accepts all risk associated with procuring and using a Beta version product.

Supplier DOES NOT WARRANT that this Product is free from errors or that it will interface without any problems with purchaser’s components or computer system. It is the responsibility of the purchaser or end-user to back up its computer or otherwise save important data before installing any Product and to continue to back-up its important data regularly.

Supplier shall not be liable for the cost of procuring substitute goods or services, lost profits, unrealized savings, equipment damage, or for any other general, special, consequential, indirect, incidental, orpunitive damages, whether in contract, tort, or otherwise, notwithstanding the failure of the essential purpose of the foregoing remedy and notwithstanding that Supplier has been advised of the possibility of such damages.

Date___________ Signed ___________________

The text formatting was not made by me – it’s the original formatting of the disclaimer. Of course I told the technical-support guy that I am not willing to sign this disclaimer. To loose the software warranty in any way is not what I would consider an alternative for a brand-new 6000 Euro device.

He understood my consideration about that issue – even though he tried to convince me to sign it. I didn’t. He then wanted to call me back after he checked the alternatives with his … whoever he was talking to… he called back 10 minutes later.

The alternative would be to deal with the bugs. He even seemed to know now and finally why the array does not sync successfully: I tried to make a 3 Terabyte Logical Drive. With my firmware version the m500i only supports a maximum size of 2 Terabyte per Logical Drive. Okay that’s at least some kind of solution. So I configured a 1 Terabyte Logical Drive for testing and voil

  1. #1 by NAMENLOS on September 6, 2005 - 00:32

    May I add a short note? IIRC the thing was bought because of the professional support who can be blamed in case of errors. If I remember right for the second time my “by normal components and throw in some software” was overruled because of the “no one’s to blame for errors then”. Well… nuff said.

    (On a last note: of course there can be errors with a selfmade solution. But I think the support could by no means be worse.)

  2. #2 by Bietiekay on September 6, 2005 - 00:40

    You’re 100 percent right. And this was officially the last time I voted for such a solution. It’s not hard to see that we can do better by ourselves. Not only for a better price but for higher availability and performance. Not even to mention the support

  3. #3 by tobster on September 6, 2005 - 06:56

    Hi all,

    just off the top of my head:

    – I would not have signed the “disclaimer” neither… 😉
    – I would try to go for a “Wandlung”, probably because of the missing DHCP-feature – or did they also offer logical drives larger than 2 tera? The missing settings after a power failure are ridiculous, imho…
    – After having lurked on linux-ide, linux-raid and d.c.h.l.festplatten for over a year now to find a solution for a scalable, performant “do it yourself, bang for buck” solution for my home, I still would prefer a ready made solution for your intended use – imho, areca and 3ware or the like do have advantages in certain cases, but if I were you, I’d have a second look at Infortrend solutions, which can also be had as testing systems for some days for little or no money, so you would be able to see if you like it before you buy.
    – Software Raid under Linux imho still has some disadvantages currently, as lacking SMART out of the box for SATA or difficulties when encountering bad blocks during failover…

    Just my 2 cent, keep us posted on how this develops, please! 😉

    If you’d like to chat about storage on the phone (I live rather close to you folks in the “Kulturstadt”), let me know… 😉

    hth, greets, tobi… 😉

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