George, did I understand you correctly and you are going to remove all your RB333 devices?
I don't understand what's wrong with them? Just because we introduced a faster model doesn't mean the older one is no longer working or supported.
Hi Normis, yes, unfortunately we are going to change them out for probably 433s as soon as we are happy the 433s are stable.
Standardization is the problem. We would need to carry a couple of 333s in our service vehicles, just like we carry a couple of 150s, 112s, 133s, 532s etc. The links these six 333s are on are absolutely critical, in fact they have service level agreements on all of them and we have to be able to service them instantly if we have issues. Its not cost effective to take up space with 333s when we have so few in service, but we would have to because of the link locations. Catch 22!!
From our perspective, we try to pick fast hardware that is early in its release cycle, validate that it works properly, then gradually bring all critical network links up to that level. That way we have a large number of units that are easy to support. Its also worth learning all the little tricks peculiar to each type of Routerboard and everyone is happy.
Perfect example is the huge quantity of 532s we have out there. We know them well, know the strong points and weak spots and are very pleased with how they behave in our environment.
Unfortunately, that didn't work with the 333 product line as - with any new product fresh to the market - we had reboot problems with the first couple of pairs, then issues with disappearing wireless interfaces. Once they were stable, we have had excellent results and started deploying.
Then unfortunately you discontinued them, we are left with a small number of orphans that we can't support at the level we need to, and the cycle starts over again.
I understand why 333s are being replaced with 433s, but the process has been a bear for us. As of last night, one of your biggest distributors is saying:
Please note that the RB/411A, RB/433 and RB/450 are just recently announced and we do not currently have in stock. Purchase orders are into MikroTik but no eta at this time.
Once we get the 433s we have to go through the same acceptance test procedure that we did on the 333s, and that takes quite a bit of effort and a couple of months minimum.
So the bottom line is that a little better communication would help your customer base a great deal. We like MT, we buy tons of MT, and we just need to be able to plan how to spend our money more effectively so we don't get blind-sided like this again.