Does anyone here do any AV design / schematic / drawing work in NetZoom?
We used them extensively for visio device images to create rack elevations for years.
I was going to do it. But their sales guy warned me that their way of licensing was a bit restrictive depending upon how you do drawings. The idea is that for $XXX number of dollars you have access to every one of their over 35K Visio shapes for use in your drawings. However, the 'fine print' is that you can only use 200 of those 35,000 on a given license. To use more than that you have to purchase more. You may use as many of those 200/300 shapes as you want.
So, if you're doing a lot of the same thing, you're probably just fine. But, if you deal with a lot of variety as far as brands/makes/models you could easily run out of shapes fast. I did a quick calcualtion given the kinds of drawings I do and I found I'd run out of headroom at around 3 months.
The saels guy even expressed a bit of frustration with their product/service regarding that. He said it killed a lot of his sales contracts.
I guess I can see their point - that you don't want to give away the farm. I even asked the guy - "Isn't there a whole-hog type license?" nope.
So a lot depneds upon what you do in your drawings.
I also might add that I ended up making my own shapes. It didn't take nearly as long as I thought it would and I now have a pretty healthy library. Once you've made one or two it's essentially copy/paste/modify/re-group/done
That's interesting. I've never heard there was any limit to the number of shapes that could be used on a license, I've always just heard how many shapes they've got. If anyone from NetZoom has told us there's a "shape use per license" limit, I wasn't part of that conversation. Thanks for the tip, I will follow up on that issue.
OTOH they rapidly (days) generated anything you wanted, front and back, including labelled jacks, etc. And they were impressive.
Thanks for the input guys. Our department just bought it, against my recommendations. My main sticking point when we evaluated the product was that the lack of shapes for AMX products, plus the disorganized mess the existing old shapes were in, indicated that nobody is, was, or has been using this product for what we needed to do with it. That, plus the fact that the product is optimized for documenting buildings full of racks of servers, not single rooms with a single little AV system in it.
I liked the fact that it could sort of give you a physical rack wiring diagram. But in the context of the fact that on my last job, my installers installed stuff that wasn't on their diagram, and didn't install stuff that was. That's pretty typical of my install crew. I don't think any version of any diagram is going to fix those kinds of fundamental problems.
I knew that if we got the product, I would get stuck doing all the work of bringing their shape library up to scope for us (I'd be the heaviest user) and that work would be droll, frustrating, and incredibly time consuming. In the end, along with my strong advice against purchasing the licensing, I adamantly refused to have anything to do with any work related to trying to bring their shape library into scope. The product got bought anyway. I really don't understand why. The shapes situation has improved somewhat, but still isn't anywhere close to being fixed, and I'm refusing to engage with the product until it is.
I've already had to have a very uncomfortable conversation with a NetZoom rep about the whole situation. Poor guy is just calling to follow up on the training session they held after we finally got our server up. He's wondering what he can help us with? "Well... since you asked... "
The saddest part is, the tool I'm already using, that I see NetZoom as a complicated, cumbersome, inappropriate replacement for, is just DrawIO.
Its value all depends on what it was purchased for and if you already have something that was working for you. I have been using it for a about four years only for AV racks - you do have to be careful in what version you buy. They were pushing for me to upgrade to the latest but after having a very real conversation on what I do and what it (the new version) offers they reluctantly agree to let me keep the old license . At the start of every project I send in the Request For New shapes that are not in the database and they trickle in over the next few days along with some questions sometimes and "rerequests" when what was returned wasnt good quality or incomplete. overall im happy with it - I can understand your fustration and disapointment but i think that is probally due to the version purchased and the expectations on what it does, and i didnt have anything else close - so this filled the need of what i was looking for.