Integrating failure analysis into regular support operations

Friday, January 9, 2015

Our first post for 2015 focuses on integrating failure analysis with the goal of making support operations more productive.

Lets’ take a use case of a hardware vendor that has a chassis based product that has multiple blades as well as an additional card used as the overall controller for the chassis. This Management card is important because it controls power for each blade as well as the fans for cooling.

Now, let’s assume a scenario where there are frequent product support issues relating to management cards in the past months. After careful analysis it has been determined there is a software revision incompatibility between the Field Replaceable Unit (FRU) version on the management card and the chassis backplane. This incompatibility is preventing the management card from supplying enough power to a fully loaded chassis.

As luck would have it, there was an engineering change order in the factory most recently so all replacement management cards have been shipping with the latest FRU version.Because of this it appears as though there is hardware issue with the old cards in the field and the only solution is to replace the units. After some failure analysis of previously replaced units the repair team determines is not necessary to replace the management cards. The cards can be field upgraded to the latest FRU version, thereby eliminating the need to ship a replacement unit.

Problem solved right? Well, partially!

A holistic solution is achieved when the entire support staff across multiple centers across countries and time zones checks for this condition every time the error occurs. This can be best achieved by uploading the error details, as well as a KB article with the solution, to the GLASSBEAM cloud and training your system to check for this condition. When this condition is met it will automatically inform the customer or support engineer of the known issue and additionally include a link of the KB article with step by step instructions to resolve the issue.