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* Posts by Trevor_Pott

4364 posts • joined 31 May 2010

EC officials voice doubts about Almunia's planned Google settlement deal

Trevor_Pott
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"What's yours?"

Oooh, "what are your philosophical predispositions?" I love this game!

1) The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one.

2) The needs of the one outweigh the desires of of the many.

3) The desires of the many outweigh the desires of the few.

4a) Sometimes, to cross Borg space, you need to make a deal with the Devil

4b) Remember that the scorpion will always sting the fox, it's his nature.

5) Never pass up an opportunity to place someone else in your debt.

6) If two men always agree, one of them is redundant.

7) Dogma is deleterious.

8) Liberty is of greater value than security.

9) Long noun chains don't automatically imply security

10) Life is too short.

Stir the above and you get me. It's a philosophy mixture that ultimately informs how I treat everything. From companies to governments to people. My opinions of all will change as the companies/governments/people evolve, but the core philosophical beliefs the underpin my character are very difficult to modify.

Ultimately, how any of us view a company - what actions, business models, customer interactions and so forth we view as "good" or "evil" - comes down to our personal philosophy. It always does. So rather than attempt to define how one feels about a company it is better to expend the self-awareness on coming to terms with the roots of your own core beliefs.

Where did you learn them? Why do you still hold them to be true? What events in your life have reinforced them and made them such a fundamental part of you?

Then - and only then - will you understand why feel the way you feel about the world around you. Then and only then will you be able to explain your take on the world to someone else.

According to my philosophy, Google are indeed douchebuckets, but they may well be the lesser of many weevils.

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The UNTOLD SUCCESS of Microsoft: Yes, it's Windows 7

Trevor_Pott
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Re: If you got a computer you don't buy Windows 8.

"Running Win7 on a Pentium-M with a 1024x600 screen is "interesting" no matter what SSD and memory you cram in there. The screen size is also "really useful" at 8.9''"

For the record, the P1510D runs Windows 7 quite well, thank you very much. The only thing that ever held it back was the shitty rust drive it shipped with. 2GB of RAM is enough to make it a perfectly acceptable companion for the kind of mono-tasking a tablet is good for.

Metro is the same damned thing - one app at a time - just with more pixels. At 8.9" I don't need "more pixels" for something I'm holding that far from my face. It's got more than enough horsepower to do the jobs asked of it...or for that matter most of the jobs that most people ask of endpoints, period.

If you've been at this for as long as you say, and you are so very old and so very wise then I'd have hoped the "newer is better" and "ooh look, shiny toy" parts would have worn off long ago.

I still use a 386 notebook for writing. It does the job asked of it. What matters is not the technology, nor the age. What matters is fitness for purpose. You can run the fucking Hubble telescope off of a 486 SX. You don't need a quad core i7 to scan a barcode and hit submit.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: If you got a computer you don't buy Windows 8.

You have the ability to purchase something. Congratulations. I don't accept your analysis of the Note 2 as I am pretty much convinced that you're about as bright as a rotted turnip and it doesn't line up at all with my own analysis of the things. If you were banging on speicfically about stylus support, you're about right, but not when it comes to the tablet as a whole.

Interesting things happen when you own 60%+ of the endpoint market. Software gets written for you. XP tablet edition never had that. There was a gigantic pile of stuff made for desktops, but it was all really ass on tablets. Very little was actually properly made for XP tablets, whereas the ecosystem around the Note 2 is orders of magnitude better.

On the flip side, XP Tablet has way better hardware support. These devices aren't even in the same league. You could make an XP tablet run damned near any peripheral on earth and there would be drivers for it.

Discounting standard bluetooth headset/speaker tat, there is roughly the square root of fuck-all available for the Note 2. A few widgets that pop into the headset port to run credit cards, some things that do neat bits with the NFC...but that's about it.

So no, Widget A and Widget B are not directly comparable in any way, excepting that they both supported a niche input modality: the stylus. In every other way they're different.

Additionally If you think for a second I am impressed that you can name 10 different OSes, I'm not. If i weren't convinced that it would be an abject waste of 1s and 0s, I might be interested to hear how you divvy them up; most of the differentiation exists in the embedded market. Even there, there exists a lot of "common lineage" where divergence between "families" is blurry. How you call it depends on if you approach it from the POV of an administrator or a Dev.

Even I've written for 7 different families of OS, and I have never considered myself a developer. So someone who self-identifies as a developer to have written for 10 OS families just doesn't impress me.

As for your claim to a lack of brand loyalty: put simply, I don't believe you. Your commenting history has you tear-assing around with a demonstrable hate on for open source and a boner the size of 2 Vesta for proprietary anything. Rarely with anything to back it up, just assertions of superiority and lots of false sterotypes.

You very much so do attach your personal sense of self worth to the companies that crank out he software you self-identify with and you are easily provoked into going on the (usually personal) attack against anyone who likes what you don't like or doesn't like what you do. If that isn't brand loyalty then it is indicative of a fundamental philosophical hatred for things open source (or perhaps just the GPL). Either way, it appears to blind you from being able to consider these topics rationally.

You enjoy trolling people. This much is pretty obvious. But you're a terrible troll. You yourself are too easily provoked.

One thing every journalist - and every troll - needs is self-awareness. If you are going to provoke people - for fun or as a profession - then you need to be aware of your own prejudices, foibles, biases and philosophical beliefs. You need to be aware how they will affect your judgement and how they can be used against you.

Once you have that level of understanding about yourself you not only become much harder to provoke, but you (hopefully) are able to look at a situation and ask "if this my personal prejudice/bias/philosophy that is controlling my judgement, or am I making a rational call where all steps of logic can be laid out back to primary assumptions?"

While that's all interesting, what I really find amusing is that someone who has so very closely tied their emotional self-worth to proprietary, commercial offerings so ardently defends platforms the market has roundly rejected. As though through sheer force of will you can alter reality.

What I don't understand is why you care. I'm not sure I'll ever understand. It's just tech, and they're just companies. If it works, use it. It it doesn't throw it the fuck away.

I don't buy your line "So I am anti low quality / difficult to integrate with the customers setup, that's all." That's bullshit. Linux, for example, isn't low quality. It hasn't been difficult to integrate for ages. It's not a panacea, but it hasn't been hard to use for quite some time. Yet you go after it like a dog after a bone.

No sir, I believe you have a blind spot about open source that biases your judgement in the technical sphere as much as my belief in equality of outcome biases my judgement in the political and economic sphere. The difference is that I am entirely aware of my biases and prejudices. You don't seem to be of yours.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: If you got a computer you don't buy Windows 8.

I specifically mentioned the Surface. You are also a a complete idiot if you assume my P1510d is original spec. It runs Windows 7 (just fine, thanks) and has been upgraded with SSD, additional RAM and all the goodies.

Also: simply dismissing the Note 2 as "equal to 2005 Windows Tablet Edition" as a bare assertion with nothing to back it up doesn't win you any points either. You're a troll. A bad one, an ill informed one and one with a brand loyalty that borders on a psychiatric condition. Have fun with that. I prefer to spend my emotion on human beings, not corporations

Contrary to your completely misinformed opinion, I am not fanatically anti-Win 8. It is a technology. It is neither positive nor negative. I am increasingly anti-Microsoft, though that is a different story and has to do with the people who hold decision-making power.

Windows 8 has it's uses and it's niches where it is the best technology. I believe those are ones where it is either serving in a headless fashion or had the UI completely torn out and replaces (as in, say, a Kiosk.) The underlying bits of the OS are grand - see Server 2012 R2 - but the UI is of such poor quality that it serves best in the kind of places where Linux was doing well 15 years ago.

Out of sight and out of mind.

Thanks for playing, though. You have yourself a super day.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: If you got a computer you don't buy Windows 8.

I think, senor douchepopsicle, that it has more to do with a stylus being a miserable thing to use whilst up a 10m ladder, on a boat, at a crowded event and so forth. They get lost easily. Even if strapped to the unit, they are far harder to use than touch screens.

We're not talking about doodling while you're sitting at some sprog's recital, pretending to care. We're talking about usage in the field. There's a reason pre-iPad tablets were niche, and why iPad's are exploding in business usage today.

I happen to rather adore my Fujitsu P1510d. I use a Galaxy Note 2 for my phone. Both are great device, but they - like a Microsoft Surface - aren't fit for the purposes required by my clients for computing in the field.

Microsoft is legacy. Deal with it, and move on. There's more important stuff in life. It's just a company. Someone else's company. Who cares?

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: If you got a computer you don't buy Windows 8.

">>If you get a pad you don't get one with Windows 8. Why would you?

Because you use it for work, not just for Netflix, email and web-browsing. Just make sure it's not the RT version!"

Oh, yeah, because "work" apps are optimized for being pawed at like primitives. Not. If I'm lucky, they're web apps. in which case any old tablet will do. If they are modern enough to be touch-optimized, they're coded for iOS (and mayyyyyyybe Android), not Windows.

If you use a tablet for work use you're using an iPad. If you are using a tablet for home use it's probably Android. There's no room there for Windows. The only thing it offers is the ability to run legacy Win32 apps that aren't touch optimized in the first place.

That's what RDP is for.

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How NOT to evaluate hard disk reliability: Backblaze vs world+dog

Trevor_Pott
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Re: DUF vs. FUD

With a few thousand spindles deployed I haven't seen what you see. Seagate enterprise disks don't seem to go boom that often on me. WD Raptor 300GB drives were the bane of my existence for 6 years whereas WD Blacks seem to be made out of neverdie. Hitachi stuff...actually...I can't remember the last time I RMAed a Hitachi drive.

*shrug*

We need bigger sample sizes. We need to isolate for conditions like noise, humidity, vibration-isolating case design, etc.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Does the candle that burns twice as bright...

Aye, I gotta say, 1 spare on the shelf for every 12 deployed spindles has done us well so far. Usually have several left over by the time the warantee is up. Enterprise-class narline drives seem to be absolute tanks these days. Mind you, managing a few thousand spindles is far cry from cloud scale.

Still, I often wonder about things like vibration, humidity, etc. Alberta is very dry. Most of my deployed disks are not exactly in noisy rooms are where there are sudden noise level changes. How does the environment of a "proper" cloudy datacenter change things?

There's just so much I don't know about the factors that affect spinning disk life. From what I can tell it seems to be pretty much a crapshoot...but that doesn't seem to stop everyone from creating a magical algorithm to figure out which are "better".

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HP claims ProLiant server audits to stop 'competitive misuse'

Trevor_Pott
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Re: AJ McMakeStuffUp Shove off, HP

@hoola so if you aren't managing a large server estate you don't matter? Groovy.

We am the unpeople.

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SME storage challengers emerge one feature at a time

Trevor_Pott
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Of course you don't see how any criticism is relevant to you. I wouldn't expect otherwise. My numbers were calculated mostly by bunging a smaller number of EVO SSDs into a smaller Synology and extrapolating upwards. Maybe they're off, maybe they're not. They don't seem all that out to me, based on my own testing.

A Samsung EVO 1TB will give you around 22K write IOPS at 4K, after eight hours of preconditioning. You can put 12 of things into the unit. 12x22 = 264L IOPS. The unit can handle 2 expansions, neither of which will be able to deliver enough throughput to really exercise the drives they contain. (The expansion ports are just Infiniband.) Put the local 12 SSDs + the max realistic IOPS you'd deliver through the two expansion bays and 300K random write IOPS at 4K doesn't look unrealistic at all.

In terms of raw numbers, it's rather low. All 36 drives at 22K IOPS would theoretically deliver 792K IOPS. Not going to happen. Putting the throughput of the expansion ports to one side for a moment, a single Xeon E3 is a little anemic for that kind of work. Not to mention that doing this in software is going to introduce some pretty massive overhead. Then you have to crank it out over ethernet...

When I test a Samsung EVO 1TB on it's own I get 22K. 4 of the things should give me 88K. Putting four of them in a modern Synology instead gives me ~40K. So, applying the same (very rough) maths to the 792K peak theoretical figure for those drives (divide by two and round down a little) I come to 300K write IOPS at 4K.

It's inexact - because I don't happen to have 36 EVO SSDs, let alone the Synology units and expanders in question - but it's more than enough to meet the needs of an SME. That's a pretty sexy Dash-8.

I am mostly guessing that the reason the per-drive performance is functionally cut in half is because when I am testing a single drive I can maintain a queue depth of at least 4. With a Samsung EVO the write IOPS seem to drop off dramatically below a queue depth of 4. The read IOPS have a sharper curve, seemingly optimal around 32. That's conjecture, and at some point when I have free time I actually do intent to test that hypothesis more thoroughly with the Synology units I have to hand.

What really matters here is if Synology was using the expansion bays during testing. If they weren't then they were getting 13.5K IOPS per SSD out of the Intel 520 240GB units. That's in line with what I would see from one of those SSDs post-burn in.

If you apply my "add 'em up, divide by two" to this you could extrapolate that the raw 4K IOPS of the disks was 27K. That's far higher than I have seen from a post-burn-in Intel 520 240GB, but about right for fresh-out-of-the-box.

If Synology was using expansion units for that test then things change. With 36 SSDs that's about 4.5K IOPS per drive which is LOLWUT-class bad. I can't believe for a second that's the case, simply because their smaller units can cheerfully extract 10-12K write IOPS at 4K from the EVOs. Why would the same OS on more powerful hardware suddenly perform half as well?

So based on the above I would expect that if I built a fully complete Synology RS3614xs+ with two RX1214/RX1214RP expansions filled with 36 Samsung EVO 1TB SSDs there is no reason I should not expect to get 300,000 write IOPS at 4K, especially when the theoretical deliverable IOPS (based on a measured 22K per disk) is 792K.

One thing I will never get about storage people - and this is something I am noticing seems to be pervasive throughout the industry, from the smallest startup to the largest entrenched player - is why every storage nerd and their dog thinks that their pet storage outfit is magically one size that fits all. If there are 10 devices that are fit for purpose it makes rational sense to choose the cheapest of the lot...but "fit for purpose" seems to have gotten lost amongst a rising knell of religious fervor.

I will never understand this. It's just a piece of technology. This one, that one, the next one...who cares? It's relevant today and old news tomorrow. I will never understand what makes someone invest their emotions into a corporate brand or - even more bizarrely - a specific product from a specific vendor.

No matter how you might wish to insult me, a bunch of tripe int he comments isn't going to change that fact that I just don't care who wins or loses these little battles. HP, Synology, Dell, Qnap...they're all completely and utterly irrelevant to me. Interchangeable, replaceable, faceless, soulless corporations. Each and every one of them as irrelevant to me as the next.

None of these companies is ever going to make me rich. None of them will make my dreams come true. I can't imagine what bit of computer equipment I could possibly want that I don't already have. I have enough kitch to start my own trade show. I loathe traveling so junkets aren't exactly something that makes me happy.

No. I'm a miserable, jaded, cynical old git...and I like it that way. HP, Synology and all the rest could go bankrupt tomorrow, I wouldn't give a bent damn. There will always be someone else to take their place, and life will move on.

Value for dollar is the key...and it always intrigues me who is vehemently opposed to the concept, and which companies they champion.

Cheers.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Research

To start off with, it doesn't look like you actually read my responses, because you seem to be very selective about what you actually respond to, or even acknowledge is said. Things like working out the actual numbers, discussing the differences in the SSDs used and acknowledgment that "marketing numbers" age as the tech underneath moves on.

I also like the part where you totally gloss over not only the evolution of SSDs, but enterprise versus consumer SSD usage in Synology and HP arrays. Or the ability to use drives from any old vendor rather than HP-mandated stuff. Irrelevant, I take it. Easier to attack the dated marketing figured of a company with eleventeen squillion times less budget to get tests run.

It doesn't strike you as ridiculous to be arguing over how much faster than the speed of sound the jet can go when what the commuter wants is to get from Edmonton to Vancouver faster than driving and without dying? Compare like for like drives in both systems. Maybe HP goes faster, but I personally doubt it. Certainly not enough to justify the price delta!

"I don't think there's much point arguing about the price if your sole scoring mechanism is bang for buck then you can buy the equivalent from anyone and assume product parity."

When you are a price-constrained SME bang for buck is the sole scoring point. When you're an MSP trying desperately to eek out margin, bang for buck is the sole scoring point. Or did you not actually read the article and the very specific target markets it was addressing?

"But storage is more than just performance and that's where the pricing kicks in"

For some segments, storage is more than performance and capacity. Don't paint all niches with one brush.

"because H/A, data integrity"

Both of these are not commodities. As pointed out, available even from the likes of QNAP or Synology. It's not a marketing blurb anymore, it's a tickbox feature that must exist as a bare minimum or you don't even get to play the game. Next.

"platform stability"

Vague FUD. Commodity gear such as Synology is perfectly stable. Tintri, Windows, Nexenta, Maxta, Nutanix, SumpliVity, ILIO, and on and on and on and on. They're all stable. Stability is the norm, not a rarity.

"qualification"

Qualification in the scenario discussed in the article is generally done by the MSP. That way they know what they're deploying and they get to milk that minor amount of effort for several years' margin, instead of the vendor. Which was kind of the point of the article.

"and support etc,"

Support? Support?!? Don't you mean ransom? Because you can't support HP equipment unless you stump up a ransom to be a qualified vendor. Oh, you mean the customer gets support? Well why is it better from HP than an MSP? HP offers 4-hour enterprise support? MSP offers "my cell phone is a taser attached to my testicles that rolls me out of bed and a drive across the city is 1 hr tops" support. Spare parts? Synologys are so cheap the MSP can afford to keep entire spare units on the the shelf and still make a profit, because they aren't paying the "support" to the vendor.

Is that optimal in all cases? Hell no. Is it increasingly common? Yes. There isn't a lot of breathing room for MSPs and this is what they are doing. So I talked about that. It's also part and parcel of where the discussion about "who owns the customer relationship" comes in, which you have been so very carefully avoiding.

"in fact the whole RAS package costs in R&D dollars."

Yes, I agree. The point here, however, is that the MSP would rather spend the R&D dollars and the reap the rewards. They take the margin, offer storage at a lower cost, both the MSP and the customer win.

"It isn't just about vendors gouging customers it's about engineered solutions rather than just lumping some components together, which TBH any number of assemblers can put together these days."

Arrogance much? So people "lumping some components together" and then taking the time to test them, qualify them and build a support infrastructure around that product just aren't as good as you? Even if their products stand the test of time, achieve the design goals, meet with customer expectations and reach a price point that works for all involved? Wow.

"If that fits your clients business model then so be it,"

Yo, back to the article, where I was talking about SME-focused SMEs and the SMEs they serve. Yoo-hoo!

"but you can't directly compare the two solutions."

Why not? What matters is fitness for purpose. Absolutely nothing matters beyond that. That includes everything from features to ecosystem to - you guessed it - price. Which means I can - and will - compare anything to anything else for a given niche to determine the fitness for purpose.

If you need to fly from Edmonton to Vancouver and your criteria are "get there safely", "get there within 3 hours" and "be affordable" you don't need to use a 737 or a Dreamliner to do the job. A Dash-8 will do.

A 737 or a Dreamliner would be more comfortable...but given that comfort wasn't a decision criteria then it's fitness for purpose is exactly the same as the Dash-8. Comfort being a luxury consideration would only be a deciding factor if the cost difference between the Dash-8 and the 737 or the Dreamliner were negligible or non-existant. All planes are fit for purpose.

So I can compare the Dash-8 to the 737 to the Dreamliner for this requirement set, despite them being completely different classes of plane.

Thanks for participating in the forums, and I hope you have a great day. Cheers!

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Research

"You''re suggesting other products are toys or inadequate in some way based on rumour, lack of research and out of date information."

They are inadequate, for the target market I described. HP's 3Par arrays, with all the knobs turned to 11, butcher anything that Synology, Qnap or anyone else could field. But doing so moves the cost of the device right out into a completely different category. You aren't comparing like for like at that point.

You are quite quick to be dismissive of the Synology units from a performance perspective (and to lay into me) but you haven't done much of any research here. You're just latching onto anything that will make that the brand you've taken to heart look good. I have no such attachments. To Synology or anyone else. (Except Ninite.)

Let's look at those Synology boxes, shall we? So in order to achieve "stupid IOPS" Synology is using a system filled up with Intel 520 Series 240GB 2.5" SSDs. That's right, ladies and gentlemen, a bucket of old, outdated, slow and dirt cheap SSDs. Ones I am sure were really super-duper-cool when the original test was run, but now don't even come close to what you can get, even out of consumer gear. So what do we get with this box 'o rocks?

Sequential Read: 622,000 IOPS.

Sequential Write: 330,000 IOPS.

Random Read: 333,000 IOPS.

Random Write: 163,000 IOPS.

Now, I know from experience that Samsung's 480 Pro consumer SATA SSD will crush the Intel 520 240GB SSDs like a bug, write performance wise. Even newer consumer SSDs don't get much better read speed, but they do get far better write speed. Based on a little maths I expect that if you reran the test on that hardware with modern consumer SSDs your sums would look a heck of a lot more like the following:

Sequential Read: 600,000 IOPS.

Sequential Write: 500,000 IOPS.

4K Random Read: 500,000 IOPS.

4K Random Write: 300,000 IOPS.

80/20 Read Write: 550,000 IOPS.

Now, I haven't done the test yet on this myself, but this is based on some educated guessing and a lot of experience. I am currently trying to scrape together enough equipment to prove the numbers above, but I've very confident that they're roughly accurate for modern consumer SSDs.

Your SSDs matter. You won't get that kind of random (or sequential) write from, say, the Micron 960GB units. The controller is a bucket of wet sick for write speeds and does this bizarre thing where it spikes high then runs for a while at half speed. Using a Samsung 480EVO 1TB, however, you'll get a consistently high write speed. It won't be near as high as the read speeds, naturally, but way better than the Intel 240!

An HP unit filled with enterprise-class SSDs would probably be able to take the Synology system. It would cost half a continent's worth of virgins - whilst delivering bupkis in terms of capacity - but it might just get there.

Speed for the price, however? fugeddaboutit. Capacity for the price? Double fuggedabout it. The Synology (and competitor) units are a way cheaper path to falling-all-over-yourself-stupid IOPS and great capacity. Using off-the-shelf consumer drives that you can buy anywhere. It's a hell of a lot more flexible and a hell of a lot cheaper to achieve just about any goal you want...below a certain threshold.

There's a point where HP will absolutely wreck Synology. For that matter, I'd argue HP could probably wreck Dell, give NetApp some bad dreams and has EMC checking over their shoulder on a regular basis. That's way out there, big time in the far off la-la land of "more than the total gross turnover of the company spent of IT infrastructure."

As for Lefthand...I honestly and truly believe it's been surpassed by it's competition. I'd put Maxta up against it any day, to say nothing of Nutanix or SimpliVity. Not that I personally consider the latter two to be "SME"-compatible in any way, but they'll get you where you need to go cheaply and quickly if you're talking about a small CSP.

Look: I like HP. I even - despite what you may think - like Lefthand. I have a soft spot for the thing that I really shouldn't have, since it was so much better than VMware's VSA for so long and a reasonable bit cheaper. As a sysadmin, I love HP's servers and storage because the design of HPs gear is just so much better than anyone else.

HP servers an honest-to-$deity pleasure to work with. Cables are routed nicely, the tools you need are magnetically attached to the back...every detail on an HP server has been thought through for ultimate serviceability. I wish every server could be an HP server.

Synology units, by contrast, are nasty things with sharp edges and densely packed insides that were never designed to be serviced. If I were buying second hand, out-of-warantee stuff for my lab then I would never buy Synology, Qnap or any of these guys. I'd buy HP.

But let's face facts, here, shall we? HP can't match the capacity or performance per dollar of these up-and-coming companies. Synology, Qnap, etc are getting better and better all the time and they are eating the low end.

At the higher end you have this rapidly evolving storage field where there are literally dozens of companies form Maxta and Atlantis to Proximal and Pernix to Nutanix and SimpliVity all working their asses off to commoditise "proper" enterprise storage. They are dragging margins down and offering...(drum roll)...better capacity per dollar and/or better performance per dollar. All without compromising reliability.

HP isn't adapting fast enough. For that matter, neither are most of the big storage heavies. That's normal. It's also normal for those who work for Cisco (or owe their livelihoods to it) to get really angry when someone points out that Arista is kicking ass. Same thing applies here.

I've done my homework. I continue to do my homework every day. Sometimes I'm wrong, sometimes I've missed the existence of a company or product. Sometimes I'm even right.

Here, now, Lefthand isn't priced well enough to match Synology on capacity. Depending on how you build the things it might match on performance, maybe, assuming that Lefthand has improved enough in the last update set to match Maxta for most things.

In which case I'd just buy Maxta for my own servers because it's cheaper. That's assuming I even want converged infrastructure. I might just want a great big ball of CIFS, in which case any converged infrastructure play on the market today is bad value for money compared to Synology, Qnap, etc.

3Par can't go up against Synology on speed for dollar, to the point where matching the Synology would be prohibitively expensive. 3Par is better designed for serviceability. Which you can't have done unless you pay HP's ransom. 3Par is more feature rich.

None of this - none of it - addresses the issue that was actually discussed in the article itself: that of MSPs choosing up-and-coming storage vendors because those vendors A) provide margin support and B) allow the MSP to control the customer relationship.

It's about money. All of it. Price per capacity, price per IOPS, margin available to the MSP, servicing margin available to the MSP...it's all about the money. HP isn't prepared for this new, commoditised world. They aren't ready for the brave new universe where storage margins look like x86 server margins.

Soon, IBM will sell of their storage division. Probably to Lenovo. HP will be sitting there - again - with an offering way above the new rates the market has settled upon. HP needs to shit or get off the pot. Decide if it is going to be the "Apple of enterprise tech", charging $virgins and delivering quality, or if they are going to play in the muck with the mass-market people.

So far, I see no evidence of the latter, and I see a whole bunch of companies trying out the former. HP has a lot of competition if it wants to be "the Apple of enterprise tech". And the "mass-market muck" are getting more than "good enough" while being cheap enough to entice.

I'm not saying HP is crap. I'm saying HP hasn't committed to the evolving SME space and it shows. They are still in the process of deciding who they want to be. Meanwhile, the vultures are circling.

Storage just ain't the easy money it used to be.

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Trevor_Pott
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"50TB's is nothing, yet 10TB's is to much for price sensitive SME's ? You can't have it both ways."

50TB is nothing; the thing has to be able to scale way past that cheaply. Simultaneously, what is charged for the 10TB tier from HP is too much for entry-level stuff. A lot of SMEs need to be able to start off at something small, like 2TB usable but expand rapidly with capital costs that don't exceed the cost of the disks themsevles by all that much.

I am not saying Synology are perfect here either. Synology's approach for their gear still doesn't allow you to pack many disks into the initial unit before you have to go buy an expansion device. I'd far rather see the primary unit be a 24-drive device with the ability to lash on two more 24-disk JBODs.

The biggest reason for this is that SMEs are terrible at organizing their data. They just hang on to everything forever. They're price sensitive, so they sure as hell aren't going to archive any of that to the cloud, nor are they likely to buy tiering or archiving software. They will buy physical hardware because that's tangible. They can touch what they're paying for.

Synology, Qnap and others are on the right path to make fast, bulk storage truly cheap and commoditised...but even they aren't there yet.

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Re: HP's answer

I did not know about lefthand finally getting real capacity numbers. All documents I've read on the thing only mention 1TB, 4TB, 10TB and 50TB as potential storage sizes. Having real capacity makes it almost a real boy. That's good news!

I had heard of Adaptive Optimisation, but had not realized it was at block-level. I understood it to be at LUN level, and thus utterly useless. Of course, it only kicks in at the 10 TB licensing level which doesn't address the price sensitivity of SMEs in the slightest.

From what I have been told - admittedly it's been a good long while since I've put 3Par in - the hybrid capabilities of the modern arrays are not that great. Certainly not Tintri standard, but many have said to me that they've seen faster acceleration off the things is really not that much better than Synology can deliver, despite costing three virgins and a tropical island more.

All of which brings me to the issue you very carefully failed to address: price. As mentioned in the piece, one of the biggest reasons that MSPs put these solutions into the shops of their clients is that the MSPs themselves get to keep the margin, not HP, Dell or so forth.

HP may have the ability to match or exceed Synology. I'd bloody well hope so, considering the size of the organizations and the fact that HP supplies real SANs to enterprises! But what's under the microscope here is the lowest-end, entry-level offerings of HP versus Synology (or Qnap or Netgear or any of the other up-and-coming entrants.)

"You can do everything these guys can on our entry level equipment" is a bunch of hooey because it very carefully omits the part where enabling all this stuff is additional licensing. Thus you are climbing out of entry level and getting into mid range, the prices decoupling from the raw hardware and sailing off out into orbit. This is why the MSPs I have been talking to say "yeah, we love HP, they make the best servers on the planet, but we can't sell them anymore."

That's before we get into the fact that HP doesn't let third parties who aren't part of the handshake club and paying ransom money to the mafia membership to the partner program service units. This HP make sure to vacuum up that margin from MSPs as well.

Then we can talk about using third party drives in systems versus the cost of HP-branded drives. Let's have that talk, too, shall we?

Look: HP makes great stuff. Phenomenal stuff, actually. A cut above virtually many and on par with most of the others. I don't think anyone will dispute that.

The question here is about value for money, competitiveness when compared to up-and-comers (like Maxta, Nutanix, SimpliVity, VSAN and so on and so forth) as well as the key, critical one: value for money.

For MSPs deploying to their customers, there are additional considerations. Do the MSPs get margin support? Do they retain the customer relationship? Are they forced to move upmarket into an increasingly crowded sub-enterprise space in order to be able to find clients who can afford to buy the gear?

Now, that being said...if HP has finally changed their ways, started commoditsing featuresets, begun to play nice with SME-focused MSPs and otherwise made a real effort to be competitive with the new crowd, that's fantastic. I'd love to do a followup piece and showcase how HP is responding to these folks and intends to make strong gains in the SME space. I'd sure as hell love to be putting HP stuff in place of ust about anyone else at my customer sites, and I could point you at somewhere in the neighborhood of two hundred other SME-focused MSPs that feel the same.

I'd also love to give the newest Lefthand a real go. If HP is convinced it has evolved to the point of no longer being a toy, it'd be worth trying out. Besides, the virtual SAN space needs some healthy competition. Margins need to go down so that we can really start commoditising hardware SAN vendors. I'd be quite happy if HP were actually taking part in that.

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Re: HP's answer

First off, 50TB is nothing. It might be lots for really small clients, but it doesn't even begin to address most of my 50-seat clients, let alone those at 250 or 500 seats. Lefthand is for sub-100 seat setups, as far as I am concerned.

50TB maybe seems like a lot when you're using it only for VMDK storage. But then what are you using for CIFS? You could virtualize the file server and use Lefthand storage for that, but then you're back up against that 50TB wall. Or...get an appliance, right?

But why get Lefthand for VMDK and then a separate appliance for CIFS? Why not just get one widget that does both jobs, does it well and does it cheap?

Also: regarding performance...3par RAID 5 performance is inadequate as well. The compairaison isn't a bunch of rust spinning in a circle anymore. It's hybrid arrays. LSI's CacheCade or Microsoft's Tiered Storage Space on the DIY shelf, or Synology's SSD caching on the appliance shelf. Lefthand needs to be as fast as VSAN and Maxta (meaning taking rust and SSD to make superpowers) or it's just a toy.

A 32-node Maxta array can deliver amazing IOPS as well as insane capacity. You can also get a similar (though less dramatic on the IOPS side) effect from Synology storage. Those Synology arrays can top 600,000 IOPS now, and they cost a bent pittance.

Lefthand was cool in it's day. I really liked it. And in situations where all I need is an HA pair of servers to run a handful of smallish VMs without any real storage capacity requirements, Lefthand is fine.

For my customers who are needing 10-30K IOPS for their VMDKs and 150TB of 10K IOPS CIFS storage (about average for 50-seat setups I do,) it has so far proven to be far to expensive to attempt to make it work. There are just better alternatives at this time.

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Re: You nailed it Trevor

I know you didn't suggest there were cost savings. That's sort of where I was going with that. For SMEs, cost is king.

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Re: HP's answer

@Nate Amsden Lefthand is for really small clients. Look at something like the Synology 1813+. I see these things everywhere. Little HA pairs of them littering the SME space. 2 units in RAIN 1 each with 2 SSDs (acceleration tier) and 6 Spinning disks in RAID 5 means 5x4TB usable at some pretty impressive IOPS for dirt cheap.

The RS3614xs+ is an example of the kind of gear I'm seeing put out by MSPs for far heavier workloads. I've never had a chance to play with one myself for an extended period, but I'm seeing them pop up.

The volume of data these things can shift and the IOPS they'll provide (hybrid storage arrays are a good thing) just make the Lefthand offer inadequate. That isn't to say Lefthand is bad for what it does, but it can't compare to VSAN or Maxta for the same job, it can't compare to Synology or Qnap for raw storage and it can't compare to any of them for price.

HP has good tech with Lefthand. They just have to figure out how to market it effectively to meet the growing challenges from proper storage SAN providers on the high end and upstart NAS/SAN providers on the low end.

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Re: Shouldn't there really be a disclaimer...

@Lusty actually you read it wrong. I don't think SME-focused MSPs will "pick from an assortment of new toys [they've] found and put together a unique design" at all. Instead, what I see is that they are standardizing on a new generation of providers that do everything SMEs require while offering direct margin support to the MSP crowd.

This is important, because there is a driver amongst MSPs not to give up margin to enterprise vendors as margins are getting thinner every day. (It's the reason, for example, I'm getting out of the game.) Because they are choosing a standardized set of equipment, they can keep spares to hand should something go wrong, but also refine in-house procedures to make things simple, easy and efficient.

I don't see anything complicated about deploying a Synology or Qnap-based solution into an SME. They're really easy to use. What they don't have, however, are "Synology certified supertechnician" programs, so finding a new consultant to replace the existing one would be hard.

SME-focused MSPs are not big on adding complexity. Perhaps even less so than enterprise-focused types. They handle dozens of customers where they can't offer too much attention to any single one. The last thing they need is complexity.

What's happening, however, is that there is an emerging dichotomy of providers. These SME-focused MSPs are choosing to provide hardware and software to their clients from different providers than the traditional enterprise vendors. I'm seeing it more and more with MSPs from around the world.

This makes it harder for an SME-focused MSP tech to break into the enterprise...but also for enterprise-focused techs to come down and support an SME. The gap here is bigger now than it ever has been, and it looks to be getting wider.

It's not a complexity issue, per se, though there is something to be said for the fact that SMEs tend to have a far larger total number of vendors supplying gear. (Because they can't afford to buy single-vendors stacks, and they tend to buy small/cheap cloud services from multiple providers.)

The issue is more one of a new generation of vendors being more than "good enough", vendors that enterprise techs would never give the time of day to. That makes for inter-professional jihads on the part of the differently focused sysadmins, but it also is creating a gap in product-focused skills and knowledge that we should all be aware of over the next few years.

This trend is something that has always been active at the lowest end, but I'm seeing it formalize and really pick up in the 50-500 seat range of SMEs. It is even expanding upwards in that I have seen things like Synology installed for high-IOPS production deployments in sites as large as 1000 seats. Eventually the squishy middle between enterprise and SME will start to get a lot more blurry and friction between the two camps will accelerate.

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Re: You nailed it Trevor

Maybe, maybe not. The cloud doesn't actually offer a cost savings. That's the real problem. The price is going to have to come down quite a bit for there to be an advantage to SMEs. Remember that SMEs don't replace systems on a 2-year or 3-year cycle. It's closer to 6 years or 10 years between refreshes.

That's the whole reason Microsoft is pushing Office 365 and Azure so hard: they are addicted to subscription fees and they want to put a gun to the head of anyone and everyone to make sure that they pay up regularly. SMEs also aren't keen on change; Office 365 and Azure represent change you can't control and have zero say in. Windows 8 still weighs heavily on SME perception of Microsoft and that will haunt them for some time.

I have seem clients go into the cloud and then seen them come right back out in short order. I have seen clients go into the cloud and be happy with it. I have also seen clients avoid it like the plague. No one size fits all and no one solution is going to address all comers.

Can Microsoft convince SMEs to pay triple or more the cost of IT than they do now? That's the real question. When you start looking at the costs of IaaS and running a fleet of VMs on Azure the costs can be closer to 40x that of running your own infrastructure!

The cloud is not cheaper than buying and maintaining your own gear. That, right there, is the biggest issue with SME uptake. Microsoft is not likely to address that issue. They are far more likely to declare victory at some point where they feel they have enough customers and start turning the knobs on pricing in an Oracle-esque fashion. That won't end well.

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@AC re: adverts

I do believe you enjoy being incorrect. Why - exactly - would I write an advert for a service I have no interest in offering? My existing sysadmin clients are in maintenance mode. I have a negative interest in acquiring more and I am trying quite hard to extricate myself from most of the ones I do service.

Put bluntly: systems administration doesn't pay well enough. I'll probably be doing it for the rest of my life, but mostly as a favour to those specifically requesting my services and certainly not as a means of making a living. Systems administration hasn't paid the bills for nearly two years. Every dollar I make doing systems administration is 3 dollars I could have made doing any number of other activities.

Your personal prejudice only reveals your own limited worldview, AC. You know far less than you think, and I am increasingly unsure you think much at all. Cheers.

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PSST! New PCs with Windows 7 preinstalled are out there – and will be into 2015, at least

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@Voiceferous

That's awful. :(

I can only imagine what our poor front desk staff's lives would be like trying to use the POS system from an iPad. Or trying to make marketing documents of any sort on a 10" screen. Or accounting! Egads! Excel and middleware and databases, oh my! All on a screen hadly bigger than your own eye.

You must work with a bunch of young, optically fit folks. Does such a move count as discrimination against those with glasses? "Job requirements: 20/20 vision or better. Rational: 2hip4U".

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Re: rapid cadence, MS lost the plot

This is strikingly similar to the Office 2013 versus Libreoffice debate. The common claim by Libreoffice haters is that it is "10 years behind." I'm willing to accept that at it's face. Sure, the tickbox list has gotten longer...but I don't know of a feature that makes me upgrade. So far as I can tell, both Office 2003 and Libreoffice serve all my needs.

So I ask this to anyone willing to answer, because I honestly don't have an answer to these questions. Thus why I don't see a benefit to upgrading, whereas I do see downsides.

1) As a journalist, I rely on my Office suite for my livelihood. What feature emerged between Office 2003 and Office 2013 that that justifies an upgrade and forcing myself to learn an interface I despise?

2) If you have listed a feature or features above, are these features that I cannot get from either Libreoffice or Dropbox?

3) Can you please list features needed by the generic office staff of my clients which were introduced between Office 2003 and Office 2013 that justify the upgrade expense and adopting a UI they hate?

4) If you have listed a feature or features for 3, are these features that I cannot get from either Libreoffice or Dropbox?

5) What features were introduced between Windows 7 and Windows 8 that justify the upgrade expense and adopting a UI I hate?

6) If you have listed a feature or features for 5, are these features that I cannot get from either Libreoffice or Dropbox?

Thanks in advance, and have a great day.

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Is FCoE faster than Fibre Channel? Who knows? Just run your own tests

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Re: just Bing "SMB v3"

But you don't seem to understand, I get great results by using the search engine that actually works: Google. Bing can barely find it's own website, let alone a useful search result on any given topic.

Bing is the Pepsi of online search engines: nobody really likes it, but there's a weird subsection of the population that will claim vociferously that they do just so that they can be different. If you want to suffer needlessly, go right ahead. So skin off my nose, pardner.

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Okay, simple reason that iSCSI can be bad? When the pipes reach saturation iSCSI can turn into a pumpkin. It doesn't degrade gracefully. That's pretty much it in a nutshell right there. And even that depends entirely on your implementation.

FC is both less likely to fully saturate any given link and it degrades better if the link does become saturated.

That said, I have successfully used iSCSI over 30Mbit WAN in emergency scenarios and had it work fine. I wouldn't do that except in emergency, but iSCSI has come a heck of a long way.

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Re: just Bing "SMB v3"

I suspect that's because Google knows you all to well, AC, and has customized itself to deliver you results as crappy as the rest of the world gets with Bing. Once you're used to meilie pap, it's hard to adjust to steak.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go hunt a bunch of Windows error codes and look for patches on Microsoft.com For that I'll need Google, because if there's one thing Bing can't do worth a bent damn, it's search Microsoft's own web properties.

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Re: just Bing "SMB v3"

Not for me. First page is a blog with nothing but marketing pap and no meat. http://blogs.technet.com/b/windowsserver/archive/2012/04/19/smb-2-2-is-now-smb-3-0.aspx

Maybe you were using Google instead? I know it's hard to tell the difference, but here's the clue: Google's the one that works.

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@AC

When you're starting from "zero" it's not hard to make a graph look like you're "accelerating." It's also not hard - if you're Cisco - to make stupid amounts of money for something that isn't as good as the competition. Vendor inertia + pressure sales = victory. That has piss all to do with what's the most appropriate technology and everything to do with lies, damned lies and luncheons.

Side note: please explain to me why I, as a business owner, am interested in having all of my data go through a single wire? If I am speed constrained there may be a case to be made for getting a faster network port, but there are a lot more factors to consider than just speed.

Redundancy, for one. I am not fond of the idea that some putz could come along, unplug a single cable and annihilate my entire datacenter. For that matter, how does a pipe the size of the universe itself help me if the widgets on either end don't go that fast?

Speed = eleventy billion only matters if you subscribe to the notion that life is better with great big hierarchical north-south networks with storage at the bottom, all centralized and bottlenecked. Newsflash: it's 2014. We go east-west now. Fabrics are the new black and Cisco is playing catchup.

Decentralized and dynamic is good, for a number of reasons. Expandability, capital cost, and redundancy are the big ones. FCoE could be a part of this great new world, but at the moment Cisco's implementation isn't. I think we'll see a lot of traction yet from more numerous smaller, slower storage deployments that are connected more widely east-west than a great big fat pipe heading southward to a single point of storage failure.

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@Nate Amsden

Bang on analysis. Insightful, accurate...truly top quality. You should package that up and send it in to Drew, get it posted as an article and get paid for it, sir.

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just Bing "SMB v3"

...so you don't get access to any technical information, get frustrated, and have to Google it to learn anything useful?

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Another day, another VDI appliance: ScaleIO intros Nytro-driven kit

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Re: Is this one a bit slow

.72 seconds if they are booting sequentially. Not if they are booting in parallel. Booting sequentially? Impressive. In parallel? Not.

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Re: Is this one a bit slow

Yeah, 1000 VDI instances in 10 minutes doesn't impress me at all. There's something wrong with their config. They should be able to get better than that from a Nytro backend if they were using any form of host-based flash caching whatsoever. Proximal Data front-ending a CacheCade array could do better, for cheaper. Atlantis' ILIO would fucking destroy that figure with room to spare. To say nothing about ILIO USX!

Why is this considered special, other than that it looks like yet another mediocre attempt by VMware to rip off the ideas of a partner? It looks like they've done what VMware always do and rip the ideas off badly and then charge $virgins.

Guess it's aimed at those with sloped foreheads who buy based only on brand.

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Re: Smells like Nutanix

If that were the case, VMware and EMC would have done something underhanded, like telling Nutanix they weren't welcome at PEX in order to kneecap competition and attempt to prevent them from responding questions about direct comparisons. Oh, they did? Hmm.

Well, then I think it's safe to conclude that VMware has decided to once again rip off ideas and intellectual property from their own partners then proceed to act in an anti-compeitive manner and otherwise be complete fuckbags. Shocked? Less and less every day...

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Google's SECRET contracts: Android lock-in REVEALED!

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Re: Sooooo

"http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2014/02/neither-microsoft-nokia-nor-anyone-else-should-fork-android-its-unforkable/"

Without clicking the link, based on nothing more than the title, I'm going to say this is written by Peter Bright.

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Re: Moderator note

Apple's based on BSD. Microsoft incorporated some BSD code. Open source is everywhere. Basing your platform on it isn't inherently bad, or leads to ultimate evil.

Buying into any ecosystem without realizing that it only takes one douchepopsicle in the right place at the right time to ruin for everyone, however, is just naivete.

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Microsoft gets with the times, builds two-factor authentication into Office 365

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"When you add up staff, license, datacentre and infrastructure costs of Office, Exchange, SharePoint and Lync and look at TCO, it's always cheaper for SMEs to move to Office 365."

Bullshit. I run these numbers regularly, and you are absolutely, utterly and completely incorrect. You also presume that an SME would want all the features listed, which I find rarely the case. Sharepoint - as just one example - is not exactly well-loved. You are spouting nothing but lies and propaganda.

Very on message though, I'll give you that.

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Re: Does it need to be 'always on' 2FA ?

Um, the whole point of cloud computing is so that I don't have to have all this jigger-poo at the office. I run a company where all my employees work from home. They have personal PCs and VMs at home which they use all the time for logging on to things, and there is no reason they should need 2FA to log in. Passwords go into lastpass and that's that.

There is no domain to speak of. Collaboration and so forth is handled by the marvels of Teamviewer and Teamdrive. Host your own damned storage and the NSA can go straight to the special hell.

Anything that isn't one of those systems should require 2FA. Can't you integrate with lastpass so that a system that's logging in using lastpass can bypass 2FA? Or write a browser plugin that identifies a given system such that it can be "registered" with Office 365 and not need 2FA?

I can do this elsewhere. I kinda thought Microsoft would be ahead of the curve. :(

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Re: He's got a point though

"LOL, that's funny. I do hope you were not serious?

If you had actually used both products you would know that whilst having working basic functionality, those alternative Office products are at least a decade behind Microsoft Office in terms of capabilities and functionality...I can't actually think of a single thing that is 'much better' or even 'better' other than the price. But then you get what you pay for...."

I can't think of a single thing that I need in an office package which Office 2003 or LibreOffice don't provide. What is in Office 2013 that I might require? A terrible UI and a distracting set of animations that introduce latency?

Come on now, marketdroid, quick to the button with features I actually care about and would use. I write things for a living, so do your job and convince me that I need to update the tools underpinning my livelihood. This should be an easy sell...shouldn't it?

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"If you want to host your own service in house that's fine. You buy the hardware and storage, software licenses, backup capacity, resilience, support, etc. If you add up what that costs to provide anywhere near the same level of availability then cloud starts to make sense."

I do the math on different cloud offerings at least twice a day as part of my job. I have yet to see a single one of them that offers a better TCO over the standard 6-year replacement cycle of an SME. In fact, most don't come out cheaper even against the mythical 3-year replacement cycles touted to be de rigeur amongst those with too much cash to splash.

We'll not even talk about the growing number of individuals and businesses that cheerfully go 10 years between refreshes. It's obvious by now that cloud vendors don't even consider those folks "people".

The cloud isn't cheaper. It is sometimes more convenient. The tradeoff (apart from the increased cost) is that the cloud has a nasty tendency to put the ruinous power in the hands of those with Dunning-Kruger syndrome. Have fun with that all.

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China's censors censor press censorship report

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Re: "Australia fared best in 28th"

Canada came in at 18th place. Up two, after being down 10 (!) thanks to journalistic interference during the "Maple Spring" incident.

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Google to banish mobe-makers using old Androids: report

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Re: A bit like Microsoft and WindowsXP then, Doc?

4 years since I was last able to buy Windows XP. Not 14.

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VMware, Google, team up to target corporate Chrome OS adopters

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Re: Thin clients?

Sure there would. Wyse costs $virgins. ChromeOS doesn't.

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Have a Linksys router? Now's a good time to update that firmware

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Try OpenWRT before DD-WRT. DD-WRT seems to have ground to a halt. OpenWRT is still cruising ahead.

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Grimly determined Cisco reports weak earnings

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Why? What does China need that they don't make themselves, now?

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DARPA wants to out-Google-Google

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Memex

The DARPA-funded search engine custom designed to root out political dissent. First they came for EVERYONE ALL AT ONCE, because the computers now gave them that power.

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IBM job cuts: Big Blue starts 'slaughter' of Indian and European workforce

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Re: @ Destroy All Monsters

"This is where there might be a big difference between the US and other countries: in the US, a CEO, or CIO, or whatever C*O is not necessarily an employee. All these titles ending in "O" mean that they are an Officer of the Corporation. That is different from being an employee.

Officers have some privileges and rights, and some responsibilities that general-population employees do not have: they can sign legally binding contracts on behalf of the corporation, they can sign checks on behalf of the corporation and they can represent the corporation during a judicial due process. Employees cannot perform any of these actions or duties, and cannot be held accountable for the corporation's liabilities."

This really is different. I can assign the right to sign cheques to employees in my company who are not officers. Anyone I deem fit can be allowed to do so, but I need to retain paperwork within the company to prove that they have this right, should we be asked about it. Indeed, I can add non-officers to corporate credit or debit cards as well.

As a systems administrator I signed legally binding contracts all the time. Most were known as "end user license agreements," but this also covered purchase orders for goods and services and even agreements with customers about the level and quality of service we would provide them.

As a systems administrator I bought - and still do - things all the time on my personal credit card and submitted them for reimbursement. This has to be carefully documented, of course, but it's actually no different than the method I employ as a CEO.

As a shareholder, however, I have the option of loaning money or assets directly to the company. This is a shareholder loan that the company is then on the hook for.

"Technically, and under the law, whenever a corporation goes belly-up, employee pay should be the first debt settled."

I believe this is also true in my jurisdiction, and frankly, in most. This makes my statement about "all debts being equal' erroneous, and you are quite correct in pointing it out. I was wrong there.

That said, I do believe that barring some interesting legal trickery, in most places all other debts are equal. Legal trickery can include contracts wherein one lender is senior to all others, however, in my jurisdiction I believe that only applies if all other lenders have signed their agreement to this arrangement.

"Officers are not personally liable in any way when the corporation enters bankruptcy. They are only personally liable if they default on paying employees wages due *and* the corporation has not entered bankruptcy proceedings. I.e. "I don't want to pay you because I don't feel like it". That's a no-no."

Here, this would go straight to an ombudsman. I would have to double check, but I am pretty sure the CEO's personal assets cannot be dug into by the ombudsman. If - and I have to stress the rarity of this - it goes to court, then under extreme circumstances the judge can pierce the corporate veil. These sorts of things are not done lightly and each case would probably result in a national shitstorm as the conservatives went loony tunes and the unions went thermal.

What almost always happens is the ombudsman sits the parties down, pulls out a bunch of well-worn charts and explains to the corporate officers refusing pay exactly how expensive a trial is. If my friends who work in that office are correct, each session lasts an average of 15 minutes and the staff getting paid occurs in over 80% of circumstances.

The other 20% are usually an issue of the employer having grounds for "termination with cause" and not having filled out the federal paperwork correctly. I have not heard of a case of this actually going to trial in a very long time.

Still, laws differ. Sometimes wildly. Maybe, somewhere, who really does betide the CEO. Maybe...

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Re: @ Destroy All Monsters Addendum

In some jurisdictions board members may be liable for company losses, but they are the rarity. Also, where you incorporate is a choice. It's like the whole line about "where you work is your choice," isn't it? Except that wage slaves generally have to choose whatever's available to them because there aren't a hell of a lot of options. Founders can choose to incorporate anywhere, and CEOs can even choose to reincorporate elsewhere.

In certain - very rare - circumstances I can see it being worth paying a CEO extra to cover risks imposed by specific laws, but that doesn't cover "all CEOs" or even "most CEOs." It certainly is no reason for "woe is me, the poor CEO."

A CEO is aware of the risk before they accept. A wage slave has to work, or they can't afford to live. One is a choice. The other is a lack thereof.

Also: how much of a wage delta and/or bonus delta would such a risk entitle a CEO to? 2x? 10x? 1000x? 10,000x? Why? What maths support this assertion?

Why should a CEO get stocks and not employees? Doesn't the same rationale for motivation apply to them? I could go on, and on...suffice it to say that CEOs as a class are largely overcompensated and underexposed to risk whereas wage slaves generally live in terror of the "rightsizing" axe.

That bullshit about "if you're good at your job you have a hundred job offers lined up?" Well, "if you're good at your job as a CEO, there is zero chance of you bearing any risk from corporate failure."

The power to address the few and largely insignificant risks a CEO faces are in the CEOs own hands. The wage slave has no power to address the risks they face, as their lives are determined by nothing more than the vagaries and whims of their "betters".

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: @ Destroy All Monsters

"That is true: in the US, paying employees wages is a statutory requirement, and not a choice, unless there is a written and valid contract stipulating that the employee will work for no pay."

Unless the laws that the barbarians to the south of us have chosen are substantially different, then the CEO of a company is an employee. As such they are entitled to the same protections, unless he has signed them away in his employment contract.

Shareholders are not entitled to dividends, and nobody is entitled to bonuses. Shareholders are no more entitled to loan repayments than any other creditor. The CEO may or may not be a shareholders. Shareholders may or may not hold a position in the company. The position of CEO, however, is that of an employee. He answers to the board and the board to the shareholders. As such - here at least - the CEO enjoys employment law protections for his wages too.

The risk is born by investors and shareholders, not by the CEO. Unless the CEO is a shareholder and/or investor. Even then...

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: @ Destroy All Monsters

Its very easy for you to make a comment because you don't know what it takes to run a company.

Maybe he doesn't, but I do.

You are responsible for making the payroll happen. You pay your employees first, even if that means you don't get paid.

That isn't a requirement. That's a choice. It is the choice I would personally make, but it is absolutely not a legal requirement. The CEO is an employee of an incorporated company and is entitled to all labour protection laws that apply to other staff. By rights, if salaries must be cut he is entitled to make % cuts across the company. He does not have to forgo paycheques.

You have to deal with HR issues... (hiring, firing, health insurance... ) You have to deal with sales and bringing in the business. You have to deal with accounting issues like making sure that the taxes are paid and you're withholding the right amount...

Yeah. That's the job. There's no risks there. In fact, it's the accountant who bears the risks. They are a certified member of a professional association. The reason they are hired is that they accept as part of their profession official, legal responsibility for everything from payroll calculations to making sure the tax amounts are right.

How the fuck do you not know this if you run your own company? We only have to pay our accountant like $300 a month for that service. (Our books are not very complex.) That's less than we pay for mobile phones!

So you have all of the risk.

WHERE IS THIS THEORETICAL RISK YOU KEEP TALKING ABOUT?!? I have to accept none of these risks as a CEO. Not a goddamned thing you've talked about in this thread is a real-world risk born by any CEO who isn't a complete fucking numpty. Jesus H mother of fucking-a Christ, man...this sort of information is in "so you want to start a business" pamphlets available from my local municipality, my provincial government and at least a hundred different places on the federal cloud.

My company has five people in it (three of which are shareholders) and we managed to incorporate on day one. We contract with a dozen people from around the world. We have customers on three continents...and there is zero fucking risk to myself or the other shareholders. So what the flaming monkey fuck are you babbling about?

Your employee? His risk is that if you go under, he's got to find a new job.

THE RISK OF LOSING YOUR JOB IS A BIG, HUGE, AMAZINGLY LIFE-ALTERING RISK. Even in "socialist Canada" the so-called "safety net" is virtually non-existant. EI is virtually impossible to claim and the CPP doesn't even cover rent these days. Loss of a job, especially in a more capitalist nation or during a recession can cost you everything. That's a great big fucking risk hanging over anyone's head. Sword-of-Damocles stuff, right there.

He's not the one who's got to pay off the creditors...

Neither are you. Those debts belong to the company, not to you. At worst you are on the hook for loans made to the company during it's startup phase. At which point you have all the same rights and privileges as any other creditor and you will receive the same % from the carcass of the company as any other creditor.

In fact, in most civilized countries there are any number of government programs to help small business owners cover the costs of bootstrapping a company. These vary form outright grants to government loans all the way through to government insurance and/or regulation allowing the private sector to offer shareholder loan insurance. I have shareholder loan insurance. I presume any marginally competent business owner would. Mine costs me like $9.50 a month and covers up to $100,000 in shareholder loans.

Clearly you don't have a clue about the business side of the shop.

Really? Because so far all you've demonstrated is that you don't have a goddamned clue about how to set up a business in a manner that allows you to take advantage of even the most basic protections for entrepreneurs that every western nation has.

But hey, I'm a putz, right? Please do enlighten me as to how I'm wrong. If there's a flaw in anything I've said, I want to know about it right away, and I welcome the concept of someone else doing research into this topic for free. Do you know what the bounty both my lawyers and my accountant have on anything that proves any of the above wrong? I'd get free work out of them for the next 5 years!

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: @ Destroy All Monsters

If I am the CEO of my own company, I take on all of the risk.

Bullshit. As a systems administrator I was at constant risk for job loss for any number of reasons, many of which were not related to me screwing up. Company politics, market turnaround or just a manager reading the wrong magazine could all screw me and my family in an instant. That's real risk.

As the CEO of my own company, I don't understand what risk you're talking about. Corporate debts are not my debts. If the company goes under, I'm sitting pretty, with no more risk than my employees (that of having no job.) I put capital into my company to get it going, but I get to recover that through various means ranging from shareholder loan repayment to reimbursements for equipment, software and purchased services.

I'm not out of pocket for starting my company, and I feel I shoulder less risk than when I was a sysadmin. I can always give myself a raise and fire someone to make up the cost. I can hire someone else if my workload gets too high, bring on consultants, get an accountant to do magic with the books or anything else. The reigns of power are mine, but the corporate veil means the consequences aren't.

I work 60+ hour weeks months on end.

And you think that's a lot, do you? Wimp. I've done way more than that for over a fucking decade. Sysadmins get burnt out like candles. I dream of 60 hour weeks. I haven't had those since I was 14.

I forgo vacations.

My only vacation in over a decade was my honeymoon. I attended a VMware conference in Palo Alto while the wife stayed at the hotel. We bought a car and drove home, stopping at a few points of interest along the way. I still worked 40 hours that week, not counting the conference.

Sorry, diddums, but I cry no tears for you.

So when things take off, yeah I want the salary. I want the total comp package.

I think I deserve it.

No, you don't. No more so than any of the billions of others who put the same kind of time and effort in, while having way less control over their lives and bearing the very real risk of getting "rightsized" on a whim. You have done nothing to deserve it that they haven't. You have not sacrificed more, you have not "given" more, you have not risked more.

Now if you're talking about the tosser who comes in to help grow the company... sells you a bill of goods? His parachute is golden because he's taking on a lot of risk to come lead your company. If he fails... you toss him out of the plane and he's not going to find his next job as easy as the techie who has head hunters calling him 24/7

Bullshit. He just moves on to the next company and can say "I've learned from my past mistakes." It happens all the time. Even CEOs responsible for spectacular failures manage to get back in charge of multi-billion-dollar companies on a regular basis. Why? Because experience really does count. Just like any other job.

Besides, he can always work at Burger King. Just like all those people he fired. There's nothing about his past as a CEO that means he should be treated any differently in that regard. He needs the exact same amount of air, water, food and shelter to live as the poor bastards working the cashier. Not one iota more.

Think about it.

I have. And I've lived it. All sides of it. From the dude manning the till to a "professional" through to a CEO. I've done retail, call center, manual labour, systems administration, development, journalist, marketeer and more. Many of them side-by-side.

I've worked 5 jobs at the same time and I've focused on just the one. I've worked myself right up to the grave and stared into the abyss. I've put my time in at the coalface and behind the desk.

There's nothing about being a CEO that entails any more risk than being a wage slave. In fact, because the CEO has more control over the company he works for, he has more control over his own remuneration and thus more control over his own life.

I suggest that you need to think about it. And maybe - just maybe - you need to have some goddamned compassion for the human beings who work with you.

Don't think about it. Live it.

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Dell staffers head for exit armed with redundo cheques

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Finally...

Wait, you mean there was someone out there who didn't know about the Compellent line rejig?

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