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Support Forum Trends

As community manager of the Japanese Support Forum on the EMC Community Network, I have observed a number of behavioral trends regarding our users and how our customers consume our content. Below is the Product Lifecycle Model I create based on my three-years of experience as a support forum moderator.


This model demonstrates what is happening in the Japanese support forum right now. We’ve been facing some mysteries over the last several months. For example, questions posted about VNX are rapidly decreasing but page views of VNX content seem to be constant or even increasing. On the other hand, questions about Isilon are rapidly increasing but page views for this product are not.


Measuring Community Health

Questions and page view number are both important metrics for support forums. Typically, the higher numbers we get, the better our forum is performing. However, what’s happening in the Japanese support forum is a bit more complex! We have more questions about Isilon than those about VNX and more page views about VNX than those about Isilon. It makes it difficult to measure the health of our community and answer the simple question “Is this product forum healthy, or not?”


After more investigation, we believe we can answer this question now, and the answer is “Yes, it is healthy.” And the Lifecycle Model shown here helps to explain it.  Below, I have plotted both the VNX and Isilon products in the model, to demonstrate the new trends we have observed regarding user consumption of support forum content.


Take a closer look… Can you see the reason why the Isilon > VNX (Question#) and VNX > Isilon (Page View#)? Both are on the right track, aren’t they?


Applying What We’ve Learned

The great insight this model provides is that it encourages us to create strategies based on the stage of a product forum’s lifecycle, since the most important thing for support forum moderators is to facilitate the product lifecycle to unfold as quickly as possible!


Depending on the stage of a particular product forum, we develop content appropriate for that stage and post it to the support forums to benefit our customers. For example:


  • For early-stage product forums (e.g. ECS, ScaleIO), we create introductory content including a blog article, an Ask The Expert event, and a video with helpful product tips
  • For middle-stage product forums (e.g. Isilon, XtremIO), we create how-to content and best-practice content
  • And for later-stage product forums, we provide break/ fix content and allow our community experts to contribute content as well


If you participate in EMC’s Support Communities and our various support forums, we’d love to get your feedback. Have more questions about how we measure community health and manage successful global support forums? Please post your comments below!


Yutaro Uehara

IT Social Engagement



Time to Upgrade !

Posted by JoeB Dec 18, 2015

Upgrading Product Operating Environment with Remote Proactive Services

First off you’re going to think – “Hold on a second, what exactly is Product Operating Environment”. You might need to head over to Product Warranty and Services Descriptions for a refresher but in more specific terms it’s your Symmetrix Microcode, Isilon OneFS, VNX Block/File OE, VPLEX GeoSynchrony etc. Referred to in many contracts as ‘Core Software’ or more informally as product ‘Code Upgrades’. Aside: I highly recommend reviewing the Target Codes and Adoption Rates on Online Support.


Ok, now you get it but next question is Who/What is Remote Proactive Services right? Well, those who’ve been around for a while might remember us as RCM but if you don’t then not to worry, In a nutshell Remote Proactive Services is an EMC Customer Service team that specializes in performing core software upgrades remotely, offering the service for a significant part of the EMC product portfolio – Symmetrix, VMAX3, VNX, VNXe, Isilon, XtremIO, VPLEX, Recoverpoint, Clariion, Celerra, Avamar, AER, Connectrix, Centera and ESRS.




Look out for an Ask The Expert  event in early 2016 where we aim to give you much more information on our team and services we provide. Until then, here’s some information I’m sure you’ll find useful and if you do have any questions then please leave a comment below.


Expand your upgrade options with Remote Proactive Services


  • Convenient, controlled alternatives for implementation of planned system or environment changes
  • Product-focused upgrade experts with in-depth knowledge of the latest releases and procedures
  • Comprehensive pre- and post-upgrade steps performed to ensure accurate and complete execution
  • Automated scheduling and reminders to coordinate timing and named resources
  • Availability 24x7x365
  • Safe and secure change activities conducted by experienced professionals
  • Comprehensive, three-phased approach to each event
  • Efficient controlled scheduling and execution to minimize downtime
  • Increased ability to free up IT staff and focus on strategic business requirements


EMC’s Remote Proactive Services Global Presence

  • Direct service presence in 5 countries
  • 90,000 upgrade activities per year
  • Coverage in all major geographies
  • Supporting 14 Languages


Engaging Remote Proactive Services





Joe Barry

EMC Remote Proactive Manager

Follow us @EMCsupport

The E-Lab Interoperability Navigator (ELN) is a free, online tool available to all EMC customers. This newly-redesigned site is home to the EMC Support Matrix – a searchable collection of defined interoperable components and solutions for EMC products. You can search the site using advanced or guided queries, and browse a wide variety of documents related to your products regarding configurations, connectivity, and much more.


The E-Lab team that developed and manages the ELN site continuously reviews user feedback and regularly updates the site to make it progressively easier to use for EMC customers. This month, the ELN underwent a major redesign of its home page, resulting in a much-celebrated refresh and greatly improved the site’s usability. ELN Home Page (2).png


Ronald Fenn, Lead Architect of EMC E-Lab’s web-based portal, shares that the ELN’s former home page left customers feeling “information overload.” Therefore, one of the primary aims of their recent redesign was to modernize and simplify the home page to better enable customers to reach only the collateral that was relevant to them, without feeling overwhelmed.


“We know that our customers are comfortable with,” says Ron, “So we tried to mimic its style – using banners at the top of the site, and tiles with descriptions and links at the bottom. The tiles work like a simple roadmap, providing links that bring users to only pertinent information.”


It’s no easy task to configure the best way to navigate through hundreds of pieces of collateral that our customers rely on! But since a tool is only valuable if it’s used, the team reexamined the home page with the help of other groups within EMC that have extensive expertise in the user experience arena.


Try the New Interoperability Navigator

You can give the new ELN a try today here: There’s even a quick reference guide on how to use the new home page if you have any questions The new site mirrors each section with a tile. “We kept our top toolbar menus the same as well, including the easily-accessible My Saved Queries link” shares Ron. “One banner links to the “classic” ELN home page until people get comfortable with our new look. This will be available for at least a while. Anything that existed before still exists, but new information is always being added.”

Visualization (2).jpg

What Else is New?

Data Visualization! Imagine seeing ALL relationships in ONE view and being able to drill down with a simple click. The team will be making many more changes to the Data Visualization tile in January 2016, so stay tuned for the latest…



To access the E-Lab Interoperability Navigator, simply register with EMC on and you’ll be granted full access to E-Lab’s entire knowledgebase. And, remember, it’s absolutely free!


Holly Anderson

EMC Social Support Strategy

Follow Us @EMCSupport

Hello All!


Recently, I was asked to do a demonstration of the product alias feature of online support. As a result I took some time to create this <4 minute video that will show you how to use the product alias feature.


As a recap, here was the original blog which describes the features and benefits of this feature: The New Product Alias Feature Allows You to ReDefine Your Install Base


Don't forget the guidelines and rules!

  • Only one Product Alias can be given to a product listing in your install base.
  • The Product Alias is visible to anyone who has access to view that product within your company
  • Only an Administrator or EMC Employee can modify the Product Alias (for details on becoming an administrator, please refer to Company Administration User Guide)



If there are any additional videos/demonstrations that you would like to see for online support functionality, I encourage you to add a comment below!


Ryan Amin

EMC Online Support SME

Follow us @EMCsupport

Hello again Support community!!

You may be just getting started with an Isilon cluster and need a little help on how to setup a network share to begin some testing. This share setup process does not require the cluster to be joined to a domain and will work with a cluster just installed and connected to the (LAN or VM) network.  No Smartconnect or DNS is required as the IP address of node 1 is used to connect to the WEBUI and share.  It is a basic setup giving access for a share to one local user from a windows client.  The items in [] can be changed to personalize for your use - or you can use my examples.   Use the user root and the root password (set during cluster installation) to login to the Web Administration interface on IE, Chrome, or FireFox to get started.  Let’s begin.


Create a local user

In the OneFS web administration interface (https://<node1ipaddress>:8080) click:

Access > Membership and Roles >   Users > Local:System > Create a user > Username [testuser] > password [password] > check Enable Account > Create

You now have a local user created on the cluster named [testuser], this will look something like this:



Create a share

In the OneFS web administration interface, click:

Protocols > Windows Sharing (SMB)

On the SMB Shares tab, click:

Add a share

In the Share Name field, type the name for the share [testshare]

In the Directory to Be Shared field, type the full path of the folder the share will point to ifs/data/[syszone]/[testfolder]    Note: The cluster will create the folders in []  for you.

Select:  Apply Windows default ACLs

Click: ADD a User or Group. Add in the [testuser] that was created earlier.

Permissions: Full Control

Here is a screen shot while creating this share:



click: Save

click: Create, next click to create the directory

You now have your first share created!


Connect to your network share from Windows

Right click on the start button, and open File Explorer.  Click on tools and select Map Network Drive.  I like to select I: (for Isilon) as a drive letter.

Type this in the Folder: \\[node1ipaddress]\[testshare]

Make sure to check the box to Connect using different credentials.


click: Finish.

Now enter the [clustername]\[testuser]   Note: [clustername] is the name you gave the cluster during the installation process. Below that, enter the [password] you assigned to the [testuser].



Congratulations on creating a local user, a network share, and making your first connect to the cluster.  Enjoy testing and learning more as you go!


Thanks for the view! Let us know what else you'd like to see from the Isilon Social Support Team!!! Give us a shout at johnsonka and Shane Dekart, tweet us @EMCSupport, or leave your comments here. We look forward to hearing from you!




Katie Johnson

Technical Support Engineer II/Administration Team Coach

Twitter: @EMCSupport















Shane Dekart

Technical Support Engineer II

Twitter: @EMCSupport


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