New Rack Rentals Scheduler

I wanted to comment on the new rack rentals scheduler that got introduced this week. 

Pros: It's now easier to just get 1 hour if needed, instead of the 3 hours blocks.

Cons: Its difficult to have an overview on rack availability. Before it was very easy to see if there was an open slot since the system showed the entire week's view. Now I must manually enter a time-frame, and I only get to see that time frame (I dont get to see future times, like the next day's availability, or remainer of the week, etc).

I guess this is not an issue for the RS racks since INE probably has so many racks to rent, but for the SP or DC racks this is an inconvenience since most of the time everything is fully booked for the better part of the week. It now takes me a very long time to find an open spot since I don't have the full weeks visability anymore. 

One "hack" is to just pick a week's worth of rack time and then the system will show you what's available...but this is very cumbersome to just get a slot in the SP/DC racks!

Does anyone else have this view? 

Any comments? 

Comments

  • Yes, i went to the schedule page to see what you are saying, and really is quite different, the calendar not appear. So you cant know the entire seats available.

  • good thing is on demand reservation. Still i wish they put some kind of fair usage policy also. N2k is not possible to rent for all available time slots.

  • As far as I can tell, I like the idea, but wish the delivery was a little more refined.

    If I understand what they're doing, they're allowing you to book an arbitrary amount of time starting and ending when you choose, if it's available.  This does add quite a bit of flexibility.  OTOH, I agree that "going fishing" for open slots is kind of a pita, and as far as I can tell, looking at a week at a time, it tries to allow you to book the *entire week*.  At the very least a suggestion option is needed - no, we don't have that
    slot, but if you move it up/back by an hour we have something.

    As it is, while I like the idea of having the flexibility, unless they're going to be able to show an availability calendar like they used to, I think I like the old way better.  I wonder if this is in response to complaints about the "missing" half hour - or is that still an issue?  Booking an hour and losing half of it would suck.

  • I have done 3 rentals using this new system, all of them "gave me back" the 30 min. 

    If you rent 1 hr, you get 1 hr...if you rent 3 hrs, you get 3 hrs, and so on. 

    I definitely like this aspect of the new rack rental system. I'm still don't like that my "weekly overview" got taken away, but then again I'm a very visual type of person, others may not be. 

     

  • I think most people intuitively prefer being able to look at a calendar when scheduling.  This new way is like when the dentist says "when would you like to come in?" rather than telling you what's available.  You say "do you have Thurs the 15th at 3:00? "  They say "No."  Kind of weird when it happens on the phone, and kind of weird here.  I do like the flexibility though - that's very nice.

  • There’s a simple fix for this.  Just select a very long time range, like the next 60 days for example, and it shows this slots are or are not available.  Something like this:

     

    http://i.imgur.com/uSyjmLT.png

     

     

     

    Brian McGahan, 4 x CCIE #8593 (R&S/SP/SC/DC), CCDE #2013::13

    [email protected]

     

    Internetwork Expert, Inc.

    http://www.INE.com

     

    From: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]] On Behalf Of pieces_of_eight
    Sent: Wednesday, August 28, 2013 4:30 PM
    To: Brian McGahan
    Subject: Re: [CCIE R&S General] New Rack Rentals Scheduler

     

    I think most people intuitively prefer being able to look at a calendar when scheduling.  This new way is like when the dentist says "when would you like to come in?" rather than telling you what's available.  You say "do you have Thurs the 15th at 3:00? "  They say "No."  Kind of weird when it happens on the phone, and kind of weird here.  I do like the flexibility though - that's very nice.




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  • Thanks Brian!  I'll take a look, but when I did what I think you're describing earlier, I was presented with a few multi-day choices that were 1800 - 2000 tokens each, not multiple short sessions.

  • OK, I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong, but when chosing from today until the end of next month of the SP racks, this is what I get:

    image

    Is there a way to specify what duration to search for?  I don't see it, but I'm guessing it's blindingly obvious and I'm just missing it.

  • One "hack" is to just pick a week's worth of rack time and then the system will show you what's available...but this is very cumbersome to just get a slot in the SP/DC racks!

     

    Yeah this is what I said originally...precicely because of this reason =) 

  • You can use the longer period to see what shorter periods are available - then change your selection to the duration you really wanted within a timeframe that is available.

    I agree that this is not the most efficient way to book rack time, but it does provide more flexibility.

    OK, I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong, but when chosing from today until the end of next month of the SP racks, this is what I get:

    image

    Is there a way to specify what duration to search for?  I don't see it, but I'm guessing it's blindingly obvious and I'm just missing it.


  • I must be being unbelievably stupid, but nothing I do to makes a nice chart like Brian posted.  I can get huge swaths of time that I can then book a small chunk out of.  It works just fine, so it doesn't really matter.  I was just trying to figure out how he got that output.

  • OK - definitely like the ability to schedue whenever and however much (assuming availability).  Very nice, and a massive upgrade in value.  Massive kudos for adding so much flexibility - I think it will make it a lot easier to burn through all of my tokens :-)

    It would still be nice to have some way to easily schedule a weeks worth of slots more easily.

  • In first, I thought was confusing. But looking for that perspective is really good!!!!

  • I'm not digging it either. Why not just make the 3 hour blocks become one hour blocks? Yeah you may have to click three times as much, but you are still precise in what times you want to rent with an overall visual summary of what is available.

  • You can book on the half hour with the new system.  I scheduled a large block with an hour and a half hole in the middle, whoch woul dhave been perfect, except there was an outage I needed to work that killed the opportunity to do the second half of the block.

    I think once everyone gets used ot the new way, it'll prove to be much more convenient.  Some sort of calendar option would be very nice though.

    Also, I didn't lose a half hour, which is also very nice.

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