Although i will not be able to change EMC's general policy/politics, i do not like restrictions in general (as most of us). Let everybody play and learn about new features and benefits whenever he wants. IMHO free access will encourage people to use things - restrictions will defenitively not do that.
What really concerns me is the way EMC names product (revisions). Right now, the "NW 7.6.2 Refresh Build" version is avalable which turns out to be 184.108.40.206 after installation. I just wonder what comes next - probably the "Even Fresher Build". Sorry, this is marketing .... rather often, their words do not make sense - at least not for 'straight' thinking techies.
I addition, nobody at EMC ever seems to log in as a vistitor on Powerlink. Otherwise one would notice that some issues (especially docs) are just missing. But does it make sense to download software without the docs?
There is a document over on Powerlink that describes the process and has the link to Feedback central. Here's the link.
I posted this to the NetWorker mailing list and it would be great to have some insight:
What is the definition of "refresh build?" In the NMC, the last point has been incremented along side the build number. So the 7.6.2 build 631 was the original RA release. Now "refresh build" is reporting as 220.127.116.11 Build 638. Now I don't know what the source tree looks like, but rather than a small-ish follow-up 7 builds ahead, this appears to someone as a minor point release + 638 builds... The more I think about this the more I think I have been taken by a really-well-marketed beta program...
On the Powerlink downloads topic (Also working on your other questions). I gave it a try as a "customer". Yes, the doc and downloads are in two different areas. I guess the thought here is people might need more access to the docs so grouping them is easier? Here's what I see. Is your view the same? If you notice docs are missing- let us know and I can check on them to see where in the Powerlink maze they are located.
Top view- Doc under one section, Downloads another:
Hello Evilensky - I am a member of the NetWorker Product Management team.
First, I saw your recent post to temple listserv. As a personal policy I choose not to engage in discussions on listserv. I know I could have reduced some frustration by replying there for a wider customer audience, but I'm a believer that we unintentionally change the things that we observe. My active participation would create the impression in some minds that EMC uses Listserv as an extended marketing tool. I'm not asking you to agree with my policy, I'm only asking that you understand that my highest priority is to maintain integrity of the forum.
Second, EMC has not articulated the goals or benefits of this new release process to our customers. And I offer my apologies to you and the others who have posted here for creating needless confusion and frustration.
Third, a simple translation of release labels makes everything easier to understand. What used to be beta is still in fact beta, and that is code that has not completed qualification and is not allowed into production environments. (Note: NetWorker 7.6 SP2 completed the beta program in March) What used to be GA is now called RA. In each case - old process and new - the code has completed a full and formal EMC qualification process and is subsequently released for customer use in production environments. There is no difference in product quality. And what used to be called Service Pack 1 is now called GA, essentially a release vehicle that allows EMC to get fixes for the early life bugs out to customers who have preferred to postpone adoption of a new release until the arbitrary goal of 'stabilization' has been reached. This is the very same translation that I have shared with EMC account teams and technical sales.
The benefits of this new release process can be easily summarized. By asking our inital adopters to 'register' for access to the code we are able to qualify the intended use of our customers (which wasn't occurring with the old process), track the identity of customer/EMC internal downloads (not trackable via PowerLink downloads), immediately notify our initial adopters if a severe problem was discovered (which couldn't be tracked with the old process) and allows us to develop qualitative mterics for stability, measuring time-in-use against reported problems. If you have ever asked the Listserv community "How many of you are using release x.x and have you seen any problems?" then you understand our goal.
BTW, the name 'Restricted Access' is misleading. To date, we have restricted the access to NetWorker 7.6 SP2 code to only 550+ customers. It would be better to consider this new release milestone as 'Registered Access'. If you can agree to think about RA as 'Registered Access', then EMC can agree to never let our engineers do marketing again.
Finally, the refresh build has already been downloaded by more than 300 of those initial adopters. Again, without this release process there would be no way for EMC to reach out to the affected user community so quickly and so directly. Had this been an actual emergency, the new process would have allowed us to alert users that the equivlaent to a 'consoldiated hotfix' package is available for download. In this particular test of the NetWorker emergency broadcast system the refresh build only adds support for last minute qualifications of DD Archiver and support for another platform (I can't recall at the moment). I'm not aware of any major bug fixes that have been discovered during RA program so far, although there may be minor bug fixes included in the refresh build. The RA program manager will have the details and can be contacted through Feedback Central.
On behalf of the NetWorker team, our apoligies for the unneccessary confusion. I hope you can see that RA is not intended to be a really well marketed beta program, but is instead a program designed to drive NetWorker to new levels of quality.
and thank you for your long response. As a long-term NW trainer and ex Legato/EMC employee i also want to let you know my personal feelings
about this issue.
Supporting NetWorker for over 15 years now, i have seen a lot of changes in the product, in the management and in the policies. Unfortunately,
since EMC bought Legato, access in general is pretty restricted. I am not only talking about the customer/prospect view - i just remember the
tremendous different login accounts that i had to use whenever i wanted to access other EMC intranet areas. It was nothing else but frustrating.
On the other hand, i can understand this to a certain extent - as every other company, EMC must protect its valuable information.
So far, so good.
Now you let people know about a new software version on a relatively open page. But you now name it 'Restricted Access' although it is not the
case. In fact you explain to me on more than one page that "restricted is in fact not restricted". And only because i just complained very open -
but in general you should send this mail to every (potential) customer.
And you now released a 'Code Refresh' version. What does this mean after all. I see customers chatting like "I use NW 7.6.2 - Refreshed Code".
What do you want to name it next?
Sorry, but whatever you name something - if it needs to be explained, the name is simply wrong. That's my opinion - from a
trainer's view. And i am pretty sure you do not want to explain yourself all the time.
Be straight - the first impression counts! And direct the effort more into product development. NW is a good and reliable tool. However,
it has turned 20 and now needs bigger changes in certain areas. Let's improve them and it will most likely convince customers with
these features and its performance, not via marketing.
Of course i can not tell you what to do and how to do it - and i am not a marketing specialist. In this respect, i just follow my senses.
But after all, i think that my thoughts are valid and not really contra-productive.
BTW - the internet has been accepted because people love an open 'platform'. But i am getting philosophical and i am not a philosoph either.
I feel that this RA is intended to be a really well marketed beta program. If you do not feel that your present system of down loading and update your customers on problems was broken you would have fixed it long ago. But you have chosen to do a larger and extended Beta now you call it RA. This is just a lot of talk I feel. If you were on the ball you would have had this out two years ago when VMware told you about what was going on. Even thou you own them you did not care about your customers enough to even do what you own sub company was telling all the backup software firms thee would need to do to backup with VMWare API's. MS has also told you what they were going to do As has Documentum (a software owned by EMC) and you have not chosen to do the coding to be with the others releases or even near them in time line. If you did you would be doing good customer support form your EMC management levels but you have chosen not to. This has greatly effected your customers not that EMC seams to care about it.