10 posts • joined 12 Dec 2010
Re: Been there, avoided that.
Something that got lost in the story (or perhaps readers simply missed it)...
This outage affected CLIENT-SIDE installed software -- not online services. Just like Microsoft's products, Sage 50 Financials requires a serial number during install. The client software then sends that serial number along with a hardware signature to Sage's activation servers. Because those servers went offline, all new installs and upgrades failed.
I am the IT consultant mentioned in the story. My client purchased 5 additional user licenses. When I added the new serial number to their terminal server, activation failed and the entire package went tits up. The truly painful part is that Sage North America sold my client the license AFTER their registration servers were already down. Had they warned us -- or better yet delayed shipping the serial number -- we could have avoided this outage entirely.
Re: just be bad lifestyle choices
Largely because we no longer face untreatable pandemics like bubonic plague, cholera, influenza, leprosy, malaria, measles, smallpox, syphilis, tuberculosis, typhoid fever, typhus, yellow fever...
3 copies of data
Can someone remind me of who said "if you don't have 3 copies of your data, you don't really have your data"?
Moses. There were actually six stone tablets. Only two were displayed.
Yet all Apple iOS devices benefit from firmware updates -- at least one major release per year and several incremental releases in between.
When is the last time your Android device had a firmware update with new features and security patches? The core Android is evolving, but that doesn't seem to be trickling down through handset manufacturers and wireless carriers.
"Apple salesman are without doubt the best in the world!"
Except that nasty little detail about brand loyalty. 89% of iPhone users say their next phone will be another iPhone, compared to <40% for other handset manufacturers:
Advertising and evangelism affect initial sales. Repeat buyers are more influenced by quality, user experience, customer service, and overall value.
Nokia *still* outsells Apple 5-to-1 in mobile phones:
Smartphones, not so much. And Nokia has dozens of models, compared to Apple's 4-5 models. That results in higher development, manufacturing, distribution, and advertising costs and less profit per phone.
OCZ Redefines "Enterprise"...
...as 15% failure rate in 90 days, 25% failure rate in 6 months. There are some serious flaws to consider:
-- 4-way or 8-way RAID0 default configuration (depending on model)
-- No advanced exchange warranty program
-- Limited documentation and sketchy drivers
-- Unhelpful technical support
Take a quick look at NewEgg.com or Google Products for customer reviews of their IBIS and Z-Drive R2 product lines before dropping $2K - $8K for these puppies.
Ask Toshiba or Viking...
Since they have deployed stacked memory for four years now...
Tape Is Evil
I've successfully mounted MFM and RLL drives from the 1980s repeatedly on very old VMS and Altos servers. Power them on, wait for the spin up, and you are in business. Worst case scenario, you pull the platters and rebuild the drives. Although expensive and bulky, old hard drives handle tortuous storage conditions quite well.
Tape...not so much. What can go wrong? The acetate substrate becomes brittle or melts. The top coat/binder rots, gets sticky, or simply flakes off. Oxidation of magnetic particles lower the signal-to-noise ratio. The lubricant and release agent breaks down or transfers off. High speed access leave the spools with an uneven wind. Tension & transfer rollers in the cartridge crack. Pinch rollers in the tape drive become brittle or sticky.
Restoring data from 10+ year old 7-track and 9-track was sketchy at best, but broken segments could be patched and low densities limited the amount of lost data. Newer helical scan tapes are much more difficult to patch. One inch of LTO-5 tape records over 47MB of data before compression. One inch of StorageTek T10000 T2 records over 116MB of data before compression.
Although tape manufacturers quote archival life in the range of 30 years, these metrics assume pristine storage conditions with no dust at constant temperature and humidity. Ask any technician who has "baked" a tape and quickly transferred the source with fingers crossed...
Personally I would like to see optical or holographic media developed with an eye towards archival needs, specifically:
- Long life
- Low cost
- High density
- Random access
- High speed transfer
- Write-Once / Read-Many option
Retailer vs. Manufacturer
Since the numbers are from a retailer, failures would probably be limited by their return policy (15-45 days). After that, defective hardware would pass through the manufacturers' RMA process. Therefore I doubt swap file configuration would factor into these numbers.
That said, this article offers no insights that cannot be found from larger retailers that offer purchase rating feedback like Amazon and NewEgg.com.
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