3 Replies Latest reply on Jan 12, 2015 5:51 AM by charles

    Adtran BCS System Feedback (Not forum Feedback)

    dlevasseur New Member

      First of all I want to say sorry.  I know this is posted in the wrong forum, the feedback forum is for feedback on the community itself and not on the hardware/software Adtran offers.  There is no customer feedback forum, or maybe I missed it in which case please move.


      4 years ago we purchased our Adtran BCS system from our local Telco provider as part of a 3 year agreement with them.  At the time our "copper" based Avaya system was already 20+ years old and we were just outgrowing it.  I am the IT Manager here at our company and had to make the decision between an IP based system and a competing "copper" based system.  The price was right, the software seemed of good value, the support options seemed reasonable.  We went ahead and cut a check for the purchase of this system an Adtran 7100, Adtran 1234 POE Switch, 30 Adtran 712 phones, 6 Adtran 706 phones, 2 Polycom 650 Attendant phones with sidecars, 1 polycom SoundPoint 6000 conference phones, and the Universal Communications "Server" (a term that I will use very loosely for the hardware that was purchased).  We went ahead and cut a substantial check (yeah, probably not the biggest purchase in the world, I'm aware of that).


      The install and changeover went fine.  Adtran had hired a guy from one of those "bid for work" sites and he did an adequate job of sitting on the phone and doing what the engineer on the other end told him to do.  He provided us training that he prepared for shortly before the training sessions.  I understand, we are in a remote area of the country, 2-4 hours from any MAJOR cities.  I wasn't expecting Adtran to fly out a representative for such a "small" purchase.


      The problems started almost immediately.  After the first week or two I went to install an analog connection, could not get it to work at all.  Called support only to find out that the add-in module I had purchased specifically for these extra analog lines was bad.  I was given the option to "ride it out" because the unit itself did have enough ports for what I *needed* to do, or I could replace it.  Knowing what I had paid for the module and wanting that "brand new system" that I had purchased I opted to replace it.  The same guy was hired to come out and follow the engineer's instructions over the phone.  The module was replaced and worked.


      About a month later, disaster, the 7100 unit was toast.  Red lights on all ports, nothing working.  Reboot, nothing.  Called support, ended up with overnight new unit and the same tech hired to come out and replace the entire 7100.  We had a good laugh about him coming and just sitting in my office waiting for it to fail again.


      The next year went good until once again I come in and the 7100 is dead.  I can't remember what it was this time, but the unit wouldn't respond to anything I did or that the engineers did.  Replacement was somewhat of a pain as they hadn't changed the serial number of my unit on my contract when the last replacement was done so they spent a couple hours figuring out what happened there.  Eventually they sent a new unit, overnight.  Rather than send out the "tech" I followed the instructions from the engineer and we were able to get the system up and running again.


      Last year was the first year that the 7100 made it an entire year without getting replaced.  It was fantastic.  But it was about time that the UCServer go out, why not.  I went to access the server and found it completely unresponsive.  The services were running, but were just barely hanging on by a thread in memory.  As soon as I forcefully rebooted the "server" the hard drive squealed it's death.  No boot.  Hard drive failed.  I contacted Adtran, I had been faithfully paying my $2300 per year for software updates and warranty.  At this point after replacing the 7100 twice and having to call support on it at least 5 times, I have to pay that insurance.  Adtran was gracious enough to send me a new hard drive.  Not overnight, but they sent me one.  When asked about scheduling a tech and re-installing the OS and getting the "server" up and running I was told that they do not do this even on the warrantied product.  I was lost so I spent some time on the forums and reading the backup procedure for my old system.  I'm no stranger to installing Windows Server 2003/2008/2012, and eventually I was able to get the entire "server" back up and running with the data restored.  The next day after doing all of this I received a call from Adtran support.  The person profusely apologized that they *should* have done the install themselves and that was a mistake on their part.  I wasn't offered anything for my time, though I should have been refunded the cost of my UCServer warranty for the year I would think.


      Now is the part where I explain why I have to put air quotes around "server".  The device in question is a standard Dell Optiplex 380 desktop with Windows Server 2008 Embedded installed.  Nothing about this machine makes it a server.  No redundant anything, a paltry 2gb of ram and a Pentium dual core processor.  At the time of the purchase I asked if I could provide a REAL server for them to install on, the UCServer was something like $3000 or so.  I was told no and that this was their platform.


      So here I am.  7:50am on a Sunday that I am normally off.  We have been using the Conference Bridge feature of the UCServer for about a month until last week when dialing 7050 for the Conference Bridge would immediately cause the phone that was dialing to lock up within 1 second of the Conference Bridge prompt.  So I am here this morning to reboot the UCServer.  On reboot the "server" failed to boot.  Forcing reboot I managed to get it into Windows.  Multiple errors of disk corruption...  Here we go again.


      So, honestly, what am I supposed to do from here.  Adtran is a HUGE name, but this is completely unacceptable.  I'm really at my wits end here on this system.  I completely believe that we basically flushed all that money down the toilet on this system.  I guess what this all boils down to is that before we purchased our Adtran BCS System, at the end of the day I had never even thought about our Avaya system.  The first thing I think about when I walk in the door EVERY day here is "What fresh **** is the BCS going to bring me today"?


      Sorry for the long winded post.  I wanted to get this off my chest.  It really is sad that there is no possible way I can recommend this platform to any of my colleagues in the area.  I believe we can warranty our system until 2016 or maybe it is 2018 after which I will have to move on.  Am I looking for someone to answer me on this?  I don't know, maybe.  At least someone to say "I hear you, I've looked into your case history and WOW let's see what we can do for you"; even if you really can't do anything which I've found out you can't due to the complex structure of your resellers (another huge, huge issue I've had).


      Sigh.  Have a happy Sunday everyone and enjoy the holidays!

        • Re: Adtran BCS System Feedback (Not forum Feedback)
          charles Employee



          I am very sorry to hear about all of the issues you have had.  It is unfortunate that the FXS port was bad on a brand new system.  We make sure that all units go through testing before they are placed in ADTRAN stock.  Sometimes units can get damaged in shipping and handling, and sometimes units may become damaged if they are moved around in a Reseller’s stock.  The repeat 7100 chassis and UC server hard drive failures are concerning.  I can say with certainty that numerous failures like this are very uncommon.  I would suspect something local may be at play, but I can’t be sure.  I would definitely make sure that everything has proper surge protection.


          If the OS is compromised, that is not something covered by the ADTRAN warranty nor ProCare Service Plan. The UC software can in fact be installed on your own hardware server.  I’m sorry for the misinformation about that.  Your service plan is current, so I would suggest opening a ticket with ADTRAN support so they can look into the most recent hard drive failure and work with you to resolve that issue.




            • Re: Adtran BCS System Feedback (Not forum Feedback)
              dlevasseur New Member

              I eliminated the rack as being a source of concern.  Each piece of equipment is actually in a separate rack (one for servers, one for network/communications) and are also located in different areas of the room, on different power, batteries, etc.  Well that and nothing else in either rack has had any problems (knock on wood).


              The UCServer was running enough for me to copy the Data dir and pull the SQL backups.  I then went ahead and moved it to a virtual server, restored, all seems good.  No more worries about that hardware.


              My only question now is that I pay $250/yr for hardware warranty on that "server".  I suppose I need to talk to Adtran and my Reseller to see if I can have that removed for next year and still get software updates.