I second this sentiment. Perhaps not the same vitriol, but I too have had issues locating relevant documents. Forum for forum postings, documentation library for documents, don't try to combine them.
ADTRAN OS (AOS) is designed to be common across various NetVanta (and other) models. You may want to obtain something like the NetVanta 4430 Quick Start Guide or Netvanta 4000 Series Hardware Installation Guide for specific info about that unit's physical connections and such. However, its functions and configuration are really just AOS functions and configuration. You may want to download a copy of the AOS Version R11.1 Command Reference Guide or similar, depending on your unit's running version--this is a comprehensive reference of all features, command syntax and functional notes. It's big and it's exhaustive.
That's not to say the Command Reference isn't handy, it's just so...big. Generally speaking, many of us benefit from application- or feature-specific guidance for whatever we're trying to accomplish with our units, and this is where the many application notes and configuration examples (and videos) shine through. They aren't just for the novice, these guides go pretty deep. But they also make the technology approachable for newbies who just need to figure out a particular task.
Some topical examples:
- Configuring Port Forwarding in AOS or video [video] Configuring a Port Forward in AOS (NetVanta)
- Configuring the Firewall (IPv4) in AOS
- Configuring InterVLAN Routing in AOS - Quick Configuration Guide
Were you able to locate appropriate documentation for the specific item you're working on?
I don't work for ADTRAN, but I know they will take your feedback seriously. Perhaps some new landing pages could be added to point newcomers in the right direction, or some kind of separate, device-specific navigation (folder tree) could be made available for visitors who prefer that approach. The 4430 is an incredible router and I hope you'll be able to figure out your current port issue (and go on to enjoy years of reliable performance). If you need assistance with anything, feel free to post here in the forum or call for support.
Part of the reason is because there isn't one document that covers it all. If there were, it would be very unwieldy. There are specific documents available for the hardware such as the data sheet and specifications. There are documents on how to physically install it such as rack mounting, power requirements, grounding, safety, etc. That pretty much covers the hardware unless it has NIM or other modular slots capable of taking plug-in modules, in which case the modules will each have documentation, but odds are that isn't really what you want.
Most of the technical documentation people look for regarding networking gear covers software. And the problem here is that as software is changed to add features, adapt to new technology (like the "ip" command added to legacy CLI commands to distinguish from ipv6), and the like, its documentation changes totally independently of the hardware.
So, "the tech docs regarding the Netvanta 4430" include at a minimum:
- Data sheet and specifications for the chassis
- Installation and maintenance manual for the hardware
- Warranty and hardware troubleshooting guide
- All of the above for each and every module that can be plugged into the chassis
- Software documentation for each release it is capable of running, and all features and protocols, both GUI and CLI
- Interoperation guide with other networking gear
- Regulatory information (FCC, UL, CE, etc.)
And all of the above in every language where Adtran sells it.
What you're asking is kind of like asking for all of the documentation for a car. Do you want the channel guide for the XM radio, instructions on how to change the oil, specs on torque for tightening the valve covers, how to put on snow chains, what the speed limit is on the freeway in Nevada, directions to the dealership, how to report an accident to your insurance company, paint codes for touch-up, or how to set the clock?
I agree that filling this forum with multiple PDF links is probably not the best way to present this, especially for those of us who search chronologically. A wiki format might be a better idea. Cross-linked HTML with a page for each product with links to
- Data sheet and specs
- Hardware installation ("Job-aid")
- Supported firmware (updated as released)
- Supported plug-in modules
- Pinouts for all connectors
- Regulatory information
- Warranty and support
- And a link to posts on this forum mentioning the product!
The problem is keeping it up to date. New firmware means updating every product page that runs that firmware. New modules require addition to the pages of every product supporting them, etc.
Thanks for the feedback and for making this post. I relocated this to our Feedback area where it is more fitting. Both cj! and jayh listed many of the reasons we do not currently offer a user manual for each individual product. I do understand and agree that it is difficult to find what you may be looking for in an organized list. One thing that we have been doing to make it easier for customers is creating specific documentation landing pages for certain products. We do not have these available for all current products yet, but some are available with more on the way: TA-900, NV-1200, NV-3400, NV-7000, vWLAN. These pages contain the most recommended documents for a given product based on what we see in support. The documents listed on those pages answer the majority of questions that customers contact us about. Once a page is created we attempt to steer people to it from various links and some redirects. Ironically, we just completed a new one today for the NetVanta 4305 and 4430. You can see it here: Technical Documents (NV-4000). As cj! mentioned we always consider feedback from our customers and are constantly trying to improve our products and website. I would like to solicit some feedback on these new pages to see if they are helpful. We are listening and always appreciate hearing from our customers.
Thanks for the clarification, Matt. The 4400 page looks very good, but what may be frustrating people is that most of the links in the Recommended Documents box are generic and not related to the product at hand. In other words they're getting overwhelmed with massive document choices and not enough specifics.
In fact, all but the two Quick Start guides and the Hardware Installation guide are primarily AOS and not related to the 4400 boxes. In addition, there are three "More Documents" links at the bottom of the sections that all point to the same place regardless of whether they're under Install/Upgrade, Configure, or Troubleshoot. This link doesn't really belong in the bottom of the three sections, but perhaps near the top of the page or on a sidebar tagged "AOS Documentation Home". The documentation page for a specific device has only three documents that relate specifically to that device.
The Product Feature Matrix referenced contains excellent info, but it is overwhelming in that it has everything AOS. In addition the only way to use it is to download it meaning that as new products and features are added people need to re-download the document. And, it uses VB macros so it's useless on Mac, Linux, etc. What would be great would be a link from the NV4000 page to the NV4400-specific features contained in the matrix, on the web in HTML (or if you must, PDF). If the feature matrix could be a web document instead of Excel, kept up-to-date, and viewable in sections it would be awesome.
People searching for information on a piece of hardware are likely looking for information related to that hardware. For example if I want to know number and type of interfaces, how many NIMs, power consumed, physical dimensions, and the like I'd expect to find that in a data sheet. But on the NV4400 documentation page there is no link to the data sheet. The information might be in the 64-page Hardware Installation Guide but a link to the data sheet would save time. To be honest, Google is far easier to navigate than the Adtran site when looking for links to Adtran product data sheets.
Similarly, on the TA900 page, if I want to find out how many and what type of interfaces exist on the various flavors of devices, or what the latest supported firmware and what memory exists in Gen. 1, Gen. 2, and Gen 3. there isn't a place to find it. As a mild example, try to find the part number to order rack ears for a Gen.2 TA916e starting from the TA900 documentation page.
One thing that was confusing to me and may be to others is that although the site title is "Adtran Support Community" the URL is supportforums and I think of a forum as a discussion arena and not a document repository. And if one does as I do and goes straight to the Browse tab one sees a mix of user-created questions and info along with Adtran manuals in posted order. Don't take this away because it gives a heads-up for release notes and the like, but I can easily imagine someone scrolling through pages of discussions looking for a specific document.
Perhaps a tutorial on "How to use the Adtran Support Community site" is in order showing quick ways to drill down for specifics.
Feel free to move this to the Feedback section if you like. I posted here to maintain the thread continuity.