03-05-2019 09:20 AM
Infoblox seems to have changed their licensing policy, physical appliances no longer ship with licenses installed unless you specifically order a SKU to get Infoblox to load them. Whilst the SKU is a relatively small amount of $, it is a new SKU and easy to miss off the BOM.
Infoblox take the approach that you can download all the keys from your support account, but that only works if you are the end user. I am working on a project with multiple systems integrators involved in the supply chain - the end customer is about 4 steps away and non of the system integrators have access to the support portal.
So for me to get keys, I have to find out what the serial numbers are, then log a ticket with support. Whilst they have been very helpful, I am not able to get all the serial numbers out of the system integrators all at once, so I have to keep going back and forth with the SIs and support, drip feeding them with serial numbers as I find them out, and now we have an appliance serial that no-one seems to know anything about.
Honestly the amount of time this has taken up has been crazy, it has been hours of my time, hours of multiple people in various integrators in the supply chain, and time taken up by Infoblox support personnel.
It seems that the decision to stop shipping licenses by default is causing a massive overhead and wasting everyone's time all so Infoblox can make a few bucks charging for license installation.
Given that a lot of large customers now use SIs which might then sub-contract the Infoblox installation out, it's not always going to be possible to access the keys easily via the support portal. I had to ask an SI a couple steps away what the serials are - the SI who subcontracts me does not know.
It's been a massive headache. Please, please please revert back to your original policy and save everyone's time by shipping keys by default.
I hope someone is listening.
03-05-2019 09:44 AM
This has to do with the way appliances are shipped. Previously, appliances shipped from Infoblox headquarters and someone would unbox, license, repackage and ship the appliances out with each order.
I agree that this was very convenient and worked well for domestic deliveries but made international orders very difficult to process due to the inherint delays that can be expected when going through customs for different countries. To maintain timely deliveries for customers for both new orders and RMA's, stocks of appliances are maintained in depots spread throughout the world. The downside to this is that there are no technical resources available at these depots that can handle personalization of appliances before they are sent out without adding any delays to the delivery.
I don't know if this is possible but when placing an order, I might suggest that you request that appliances be licensed prior to being shipped. If this is possible, this would allow the team that processes the order the chance to route the order as required and apply any delivery exceptions needed to make it possible. And either way, this would be good feedback to share with your Infoblox account team.
03-05-2019 10:20 AM
03-05-2019 02:09 PM
I can certainly see the challenge. While not discounting what you are saying one bit, what may help is to deploy the appliances with temporary licenses and once online, you can do an export of all of the license information. Share that export with Infoblox Support, requesting the purchased license keys in an importable format and once you have that in hand, it's a simple step to import all of the license keys in one go.
While this still requires extra effort than if the appliances shipped with licenses already installed, hopefully this will make things at least a little less painful.
03-06-2019 01:46 AM
Thanks for the response. Temporary keys was certainly going to be my "backup plan" if all else failed, but I didn't want to have to go live with temporary keys then revisit the appliances later to add the real keys - that likely would have required me to submit a change control to the customer and wait 3 weeks whilst they debate it at the CAB!
Luckily the final key came through this morning from the SI closest to the end-customer, so I think I have all I need now.
If you get a chance to look up my case, here's the ref: 190301-000048