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* Posts by Jay108

16 posts • joined 18 Mar 2013

Toys fly from prams as HP rivals stoke FUD fires on its split

Jay108

All we care about is "does it work?", "is it reliable?", "does it do what we need it to do?" and "does it come with support?".

Not sure what partners HP are talking to but it doesn't sound like us or any other partner we've spoken to. Maybe the former board of Enron is now in the channel?

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'Conscious uncoupling' of HP 'Ink', HP Enterprise: It's the shareholders, stupid

Jay108

More bad HP news

HP has to wrestle with a lot.

Poor decision making, ineffective management, malpractice, incompetence, no ability to command, poor judgement and oversight. Threatening their own suppliers and partners.

Sadly it seems to be another (final) nail in the coffin for a once great company. It raises questions on whether or not the quality of their products will drop or if the products will exist or be supported at all in future for either section. Think this will probably mean we'll drop HP kit all together, they keep on changing their minds about things and I don't think they'll change that any time soon.

Titanic comes to mind. That split into two pieces too. Shame with a better more decisive captain at the helm it could of been soo much better.

“At ground level, in the last five or six months HP has been pushing hard on this. HP told us it is back, and the PC and Enterprise Group are collaborating”. Yeah same, it's what they told us last week.

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HP: We will eradicate the colour grey from our market

Jay108

Re: Whiter shade of pale?

Yup they do. Through various means, in all instances a reseller has to inform HP on what servers have been sold, who to and where. Not sure what they do with the information but there is a degree of tracking involved.

Unless the reseller isn't following HP rules. In which case they may have a sueball or two thrown at them from breaching agreements / contracts.

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Jay108

Re: Depends on definition of "grey" @Jay108

1) "Why would you first sell a server with a Windows license preinstalled AND provide another OS license with it?" Some entry level servers come with foundation COA attached, not our choice our decision. Under HP rules we're not allowed to resell it with a different OS if it has a COA sticker.

2) Upgrading the firmware before giving it to customers.

3) Businesses are international therefore are likely to move servers between datacentres and locations. We don't touch wireless stuff unless it's CISCO grade. I understand why wireless frequencies are barred in certain countries. Why servers? There is no logical reason why a server bought in one country cannot be used in another without fear of voiding things. We resell, what country the customer uses the server when we resell it shouldn't matter. We're not the end customer therefore that doc is not relevant to us. We do follow HP rules on reselling.

4) If we resell HP hardware we MUST inform them when we make modifications to the server (i.e. add components). i.e HP wants to know what hard disks, memory, RAID cards are added before sale. In fact you're raising the very same points to an HP manager I was speaking to. We're reselling with changes to the hardware. The doc is labelled #408101 I'm sure el reg will get a copy in due course, depends how much HP snazz off their partners and resellers.

Upselling with a purpose whether it being future proofing or providing additional goods, not to undercut or force a reseller to lose business by having HP compete directly against one of it's own partners. There is a difference. Again Dell doesn't ask what the contract is for, Supermicro don't either. IBM certainly doesn't either. Or the costs associated with the project - that is usually between the buyer and the seller.

Other providers would still support the server, minus the third party card. HP threatens the invalidate the entire warranty of the server it's installed in if it's resold with the card in it. I say threaten.

Dell, IBM, Supermicro get this, HP doesn't. The rules for HP change regularly or HP employees are unsure themselves of what the exact rules are.

Don't get me wrong I like HP servers, I like the HP toolsets and kits. They're deployment and automation tools are second to none, but on their dealing with other companies it feels like we're getting a raw end of a deal. Plus we can't even get decent selling support ourselves from HP; given our status and size it really is surprising. What one HP manager says to another on reselling rules varies wildly. The fact that they are now targeting "greymarket" with the points mentioned above, I suspect they'll hit a few of their partners and resellers in the bumbling chaos and confusion.

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Jay108

Re: Depends on definition of "grey" @Jay108

HP prohibits:

1) Third party modification to the software processes as assigned by HP at the time of purchase. Specifically if the hardware comes with a Windows Server license - no other OS may be sold / resold with the HP hardware if the server comes with a COA. i.e. If a server has a Windows Server 2012 Essentials it CANNOT be resold with Windows Server 2012 Standard / 2008 R2. Linux is a no-go too if it has a COA sticker. This lost HP business as we just recommended Dell server hardware instead which doesn't carry such restrictions.

2) Third party modification to the system firmware of the hardware. Doing so will void the warranty of the hardware unless it's performed by an authorised HP "person" (vague as hell). We asked HP and they didn't have a clue regarding their own wording. Even if the hardware is brand new and as you say you may need to change or upgrade the firmware to get it to work with certain kit. This is where "HP Solutions" comes in. They upgrade the firmware at an added cost separate from the hardware. Again we just recommended Dell hardware instead.

3) Reselling of hardware outside of "zoning". Again excuse the logic but if you sell to Company A in the UK, then it can only be used in company A on site as specified in the UK. They also threaten if the hardware is moved to a new "zone" in the business (we guess a different country) then the warranty risks being invalidated as it's not being used in the right "zone". We asked for clarification on what "zone" means. Answers on the back of a postcard.

4) You MUST by default ask HP to provide approval for certain upgrades on the hardware. i.e. Add a HP RAID card before sale of the hardware, third party RAID controllers are looked down upon and there is always a pressure to use HP kit only inside the server or storage. Again vague threats it will invalidate the warranty. Usually other hardware providers support the hardware. Also when you ask for approval they ask some very specific information; namely what the deal is, how much you are charging, how much was the hardware, the client address, who you are doing business with etc.etc. According to the last HP bod I spoken to it's to get the customer on the HP mailing lists(!!) i'm guessing to upsell and provide "solutions".

Mysterious person(s) passed el reg a copy on instances 1 and 2, I'm guessing another partner on HP as they previously ran stories on them. Guess it's not just us getting lambasted by HP.

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Jay108

Depends on definition of "grey"

If we as a reseller receive another threatening letter from HP on how flashing firmware before client installs or anything HP considers "authorised by HP only" configuration it may very well be the final nail in the coffin.

Suspect they'll bite the hand that feeds them like good ol' el reg but in a more litigative manner. Think we're all getting sick and tired of their threats to their own partners now we're considered competitors to their new solutions ventures.

I suspect they'll overstep their mark again and ruin their new hardware lineups by further bad management and decision making.

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Raspberry Pi B+: PHWOAR, get a load of those pins

Jay108

Oddly enough the same issue as yourself, although luckily it wasn't a personal purchase. A guy recommended these boards singing their praises and by the end just ended the project. It's what put me off personally getting one. I had a play around and as far as I could tell it was the board at fault. It was meant to be used on a welcome screen to play networked videos on reception. El cheapo unit, stick it in and let it work by itself.

Been eying the price of the B+ and some stock equipment. Wonder if the new power regulator has indeed fixed the issue. Something about the whole affair put me off getting one until now. Hopefully the B+ is a lot better, still weighing up getting one.

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HP busts out new ProLiant Gen9 servers

Jay108

Oddly enough there has been positive mention of the Gen8 series. They managed to revise part of the hardware/software that dealt with the *shudder* onboard RAID *shudder* which was a major gripe. The p and e series are practically the same, on our resell list at least ML350p = onboard P420i and ML350e = onboard B120i. The B120i is not really for RAID, only direct passthrough is recommended but RAID can be enabled.

Their support options have generally better now that they have stopped threatening their resellers for upgrading a client's firmware and a whole host of other threats about "first party support".

If the new Gen9 lives up to expectations then hopefully HP management won't then screw it up by bad decision making or lack of foresight. That is a might big quandary though based on their previous decision making record.

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HP claims ProLiant server audits to stop 'competitive misuse'

Jay108

Re: drives

Not for their mid level and low level range. In fact without Proliant care pack support it's best effort only - it's not guaranteed, in fact their KPI for only warranty cover is only measured / reported against but there is no guarantee for NBD delivery or that the replacement will be installed NBD. The part MAY arrive sure, but not the engineer to install it if you rely upon HP for your IT support.

Sorry but the HP basic warranty only on certain higher level servers and attached equipment is guaranteed NBD, Carepack can range depending on contract between same day, 12 hours, 24 hours, NBD as higher end tier. Again depends on the contract signed with HP. Not talking retail care packs of course, not entirely sure about their retail care options.

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Jay108

Had one of these already

We received vague threats from HP recently (see my previous post) about this, stating that if firmware updates are applied by third party companies (those who do not pay HP to provide support for HP products) it may risk voiding the manufacturer warranty and of course all the risks involved with applying firmware updates to those servers which are not in a support contract. Guess they're making good on this threat.

Expecting to see serial numbers, phoning home upon applying a BIOS/EFI updates any day now.

Think this is pretty much pushing our people to either stop recommending/purchasing HP kit or remove all HP kit in fear this will also apply to switches, printers and their other hardware (should I stop? - think that'll give them ideas?).

It's a terrible end to a once great company. IBM and Dell are not exactly mimicking what HP are doing, far from it. First they talked about leaving the pro-sumer business workstation business, then personal computers and now I'm not sure what on earth they're doing with their server business.

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HP 'clarifies' firmware/support contract rules

Jay108

Re: @Hapkido

That's not the same thing and probably suspect you're trolling. Let's picture those original tires had an issue where they would cause loss of traction at 40mph+ or in rare circumstances when it snowed they would 1/100000 probability cause an explosion if you used a different air freshener in the car from the manufacturer (i.e. sticking a HP P410 in a ML350 G5 - original bug is it would occasionally get confused to which controller had was the boot device in certain circumstances). Would that be bug, feature and would it cost to fix? Firmware updates on the server fixed the issue.

Or alternatively you could get a Dell vehicle that does the upgrades for free... Works with it's own compatible Dell branded devices and controller cards. Now which one would you choose to spend money on.

We're a decent hardware / software business house here and it pains me to agree with one hardware manufacturer - however HP are effectively slitting their own throats with this decision. How many people will willingly learn HP hardware in their own labs for instance? Most if not all labs have support contracts in a development or testing environment. How many hobbyists will go on to learn their trade on HP kit? Will this result in less people being skilled on HP hardware? Yup in all instances. No one wants to be stuck with a dead platform.

It's all terrible and it's a horrible situation. Trying to make a quick buck when the risks are involved are massive. I am not a Dell fan but they're decisions, and heck even IBM are making better decisions at this point. If one supplier rules the roost it's bad for competition and business but this is the way it'll turn out if HP doesn't get it's butt in gear aside from niche suppliers like Supermicro.

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Jay108

Agree whole heartily,

Will their be a stable branch and a feature branch? If so will the bug fixes be backdated to the stable? Example question: So instead of V1.x0.x it'll either be V1.x0.xS or V1.x0.xF ? (Guess work at this point, no idea how they will separate the two).

Unless bug fixes will be V1.xx.x or new features will be V2.xx.x? That is already a nightmare because it means some servers will not apply V2 (outside of warranty) therefore you're running on a non-standardised platform thanks to firmware differences. Unless of course you have one server in a support contract and apply the new firmware to the non-supported servers? What will be next for firmware updates to prevent this? Firmware serial codes and numbers, phoning home?

We're moving away from HP very rapidly, in fact one (a.e. some) of our clients we've already recommended they look at other options before purchasing HP servers. Technically according to HP policies, third party companies are no longer authorised to install firmware updates from a few emails I've seen recently (think el'reg already has them and reported on them a few months ago). We've been advised to either pay HP to be an authorised support contract (£££) for our work to be sanctioned / supported or simply our work will not be sanctioned or supported by HP - with a vague threat it may invalidate the manufacturer warranty.

I can only assume they do want to get out and leave the server business. The twisted irony is that Dell sent an email a few days later stating they would allow third party companies to upgrade firmware on Dell servers and their warranties would not be invalidated. Quite weird to be on the same side as Dell. Usually it should be the opposite way around IMHO. I don't know who is steering the HP ship but it's about to hit a large ice berg.

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HP clampdown on 'unauthorised' server fixing to start in January

Jay108

Re: What???

Take it you've not read the comments properly. Either a company will have an internal IT department which covers support with a third party support supplier which is usually ALOT cheaper than HP and supports more than just HP hardware (i.e. Dell switches, Cisco gear etc) or an outsourced company which handles the support contract and IT operations (usually the same companies which CANNOT afford HP support). If you look at the cost of officially "supporting" an HP server from HP directly you are left with:

A) Support is ONLY valid with the server or component with A VALID serial number under warranty - i.e. they do not support any other equipment other than what is listed and manufactured by them.

B) HP callout is atrocious - i.e. there is no single point of contact for companies to go to with issues (unlike Dell, Dell Solutions, Dell Managed services etc). In between contracts I've worked on sometimes the HP "contract manager" has changed a multitude of times and they keep on asking the same questions on the same business over and over again. It's like they don't have notes anywhere. Everytime someone new enters, they don't understand the business, the customer or contract with their company.

C) Competitors such as Dell do provide free firmware upgrades, drivers and with some of their higher end gear DO provide upgrades within the lifecycle of the hardware (i.e. Windows Server 2012 support for some of their slightly older servers) so I'm not sure where you are getting other HW suppliers are not so "nice". Thought it was standard policy to provide support within the lifecycle of the physical hardware (i.e. bug and security fixes).

Compared to Dell Managed services who do provide solutions who do on occasion scope third party equipment (only where Dell does not supply and cannot supply), compared to HP they offer a MUCH better deal. HP seems to not understand managed services which it seems to be trying to get into. Walk before you can run comes to mind. It feels as if each CEO seems to steer in the complete opposite direction to the last. It's a chaotic affair.

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Jay108
Flame

Re: Pfff

It's a bit strange HP is making a somewhat backward step. If you ask those with purchasing power if they want to go with a hardware supplier that cuts them loose as soon as they buy a server without a support contract then the answer will usually be no.

Most SME companies have their own internal IT department rather than outsourced, the second you ask a company to pay for fixes to physical hardware they've bought is suicide. What happens if there is a significant data corruption bug like there was in the P2xx, P4xx and P8xx series when it was released? You are effectively asking a company to pay for something that should of been provided in fully working order. Value-add features, yes you can charge for. But not bug fixes.

Second order is if an internal IT department cannot update firmwares anymore without a support contract, the purchaser will either be forced to buy one or the IT department might "acquire" a copy from somewhere else. What happens to security of the firmware? Security fixes? In effect creating an HP Pirate Bay until maybe Genuine Advantage for HP firmware with serial solutions like the original iLO?

This seems like a disastrous idea with massive implications. Even the sound of this is making me question if we should purchase anymore HP kit purely on the security standpoint. We have labs, clients (who we supply) and other smaller groups. If we can't get updates in future for our labs and clients then why would we bank on and recommend HP as a hardware supplier? This also raises the issue of their current certified suppliers, what happens to them?

Worms, worms everywhere!

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Mint 15 freshens Ubuntu's bad bits

Jay108
WTF?

Re: Alternative to Windows?

Wow that's a lot of FUD. Using NTFS partitions just fine here in Ubuntu / Mint / CentOS? No slowdown, no CPU spikes? Considering Ubuntu / Mint makes installing software and performing tasks via a GUI, which tasks are you using which requires the command line? Even for NTFS support I used a GUI.

Sure Linux has its faults and yes forking can be a pain but how does this prevent you using software via Wine? As far as I knew it works just as the developers intended under Mint 15.

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Microsoft cuts to core on BizTalk Server price hike

Jay108
WTF?

Same at AC

Microsoft are desperately try to break into the banking sector however the prices they are suggesting are even ridiculous to a major bank in the UK. Per core just seems OTT especially for Biztalk, wonder if they will do this for Server 2012 or 2012 R2 next, Sharepoint, Exchange? Even with Active SA why would you restrict your current user-base, cost them significantly more per upgrade and at the same time drive new customers away?

When you think about it; they are trying to get new customers, lock them in with good deals and then price hike the next version to lock them in. Happily the banks (from what I have seen) are running away and staying very well away from Microsoft. Although I do wonder how much longer before I am forced to say "new features we need are in the new version / old version isn't supported anymore / send Microsoft some blood diamonds".

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