Re: This is all getting a bit silly.
Well, one of the most prominent folks at Solidfire/Netapp is Gabriel Chapman...
6911 posts • joined 31 May 2010
Well, one of the most prominent folks at Solidfire/Netapp is Gabriel Chapman...
Huw! How ya been, ya crazy son of a gun? Long time, no flaming beverages!
I'd be very, very curious to find out who that client might be. Considering the number of scale installs I know about in the wild - and the number of them that have handled dead disks, node replacements and more - I would love to sit down and have a detailed discussion about the event.
If it was legitimately an issue with Scale's support or product, I'll pick up the phone and have a discussion with their CEO and we'll see what (if anything) has changed to ensure this doesn't happen to others. If it was an edge case phenomenon it's worth knowing what the exact details are so that I can write something up for Scale customers so we all know what to avoid. And then work with their devs to make sure that it can be reproduced and then prevented.
Please ping me using my contact page, if you can possibly share the info or - better yet - put me in contact with the client. These are pretty serious claims, and are worth investigating. Especially with so many Scale customers out there, and the growth that company is seeing.
I have had a chance to review Scale's new hybrid nodes and am just finalizing a review. These nodes are going into a customer deployment where we are collapsing 8 VMware nodes and a couple dozen physical servers into 4 Scale nodes. So far, the experiment has been a rousing success.
I also run my own company on 3 (admittedly aging) HC1000 nodes. After ~1 year worth of running workloads on it, I don't have any complaints. It has survived power outages and dead drives, network weirdness and other things. It does its job.
Scale isn't as feature rich as VMware. It never will be. For the target market, however, that simply doesn't matter. Small businesses make up 98.2% of employer businesses in Canada. Enterprises (500 seats and up) make up just 0.1% of employer businesses. In the US the percentage is a little different, but the rest of the world looks very much the same.
So Scale is one of a handful of vendors that serve the 99.9%. They don't meet every niche. They don't cover every possibility...but they solve most problems for a price that SMBs can actually pay. Perhaps more importantly, they listen. That's something few vendors do.
I can't speak to other geos, but in Canada Scale is doing quite well. Some of their competitors (Yottabyte, for example) are making headway here too. Even Tintri - who normally focuses on bigger fish - is starting to find its feet in the mass market.
The old guard of server vendors are no longer the only ones. Marketing is starting to make an impression even amongst SMBs. More importantly, once you give a lot of these new vendors a try, it's hard to go back. They make ease of use kind of their "thing".
All the above being said, take precautions. Do a POC. Don't buy blindly. Test the products first to make sure you understand all the differences in UI, that you know how move workloads across, and that you are comfortable with the featureset provided.
You needn't fear the new crop of vendors as much as many doomers in purchasing clinging to their junkets, hookers and blow will say. But you do need to keep your eyes wide open; new vendors are a new mix of features and a new support commitment. Most will be happy, but better safe than sorry.
I have no interest in accommodating my enemies. They will convert or they will be ostracized until their beliefs are so marginally represented that they are irrelevant. Tolerance extends only so far. Namely: it does not tolerate the intolerant. As my views are largely focused around "the needs of the many", those that care only about "the needs of the one" must be fought without mercy or quarter until they are vanquished.
There is victory or there is death. History allows for no other alternatives.
Why? Isn't global domination always the ultimate end goal? I prefer that global domination be achieved by "the people", through something roughly approximating a democratic government system where all citizens are cared for, treated as equals, allowed to express themselves and their rights preserved. All the alternatives are worse.
In the end, either the people win, or an elite wins. Either victory is through bloodshed or it is not. I prefer the people win, without bloodshed. So, by all means...let us go forth and plot global domination.
"Just as many believe that we can't make a difference, you believe that we can in a very naïve way"
Funny, I don't think anything about what I've written is particularly naive. Group dynamics shows people are malleable, especially in large groups. Technology makes reaching people and manipulating them easier. The scientific method gives us the tools to experiment and refine our techniques.
Now, yes, all the tools are available to the enemy. The enemy is significantly better resourced than any individual one of us. That said, there are a hell of a lot more of us, and science absolutely provides for "accuracy through volume" as one possible method of refining techniques.
Nowhere in my article did I say that we can just up and make the world a better place "because internet". Nor did I even say that the internet gives us the ability to make changes bloodlessly.
If you want change - real change - you have to be ready to bleed for it. You may even have to shed blood for it. That's life. That's probably never going to change with our species.
But what technology does give us is ease of organization. It gives us the ability to beta test our ideologies. It lets us contact experts in various fields and plan for eventualities. It lets us share knowledge of what worked, what didn't, and try experiments and simulations to - sometimes even on real people/companies/governments/etc - until we find a solution within our means.
There's nothing naive about any of that. And yes, the colder you are, the easier it is to use the tools available.
That said, the ability to run experiments, contact experts, share knowledge and perform limited trials means that the truly sociopathic options need not be the only ones that work. We have the means to find alternatives. Even if we can't make our revolutions entirely without sacrifice, we can use the tools available to us to make them as quick and painless as possible.
And hey, who knows? Maybe - just maybe - we can even accomplish some of our victories using nothing more than technology, communication and democracy.
What a world that would be.
Personally, I'm a socialist and I think the world is a horrible place with the deck stacked against most of us, thanks in no small part to those who dogmatically believe in ultra-free-market crap like "supply side economics" and "regulation is evil".
That said, I am also aware that people are malleable, technologies almost always have uses their originators never envisioned and that it is very early days yet for computers, the internet and formal social engineering.
I’ve experiments to run.
There is research to be done.
On the people who are...still alive.
I can do this all day.
Trying is not succeeding. And Netapp isn't actually changing the culture of the company...and it was the "I have a hammer, and all the world's a nail" culture that was the problem to begin with!
Netapp lashes out at criticism - especially valid criticism - and actively promotes the concept of its own infallibility and manifest destiny. This is why it fails. Until it can solve these cultural issues, it will continue to fail. No matter who is in the driver's seat.
Dude, you went to Nimble? When did this happen? Hope the new company is treating you well.
It's nice to see you coming around and realizing what I've been saying for some time: that Netapp makes stupid decisions and if they keep it up they're going to piss away all their quality staff, their customers, and their developer ecosystem (such as it is). I.E. they need to shape up or they're fucked.
Yeah, what a load of old bollocks.
"guaranteed data efficiency reduction of 4:1"
And what do I get when Netapp cannot meet this? Because I promise you that for at least 5 of my customers there is no way on Jibbers' brown Earth that you're going to get greater than 1.3:1 data efficiency out of their data. It simply is not going to happen.
I'm really afraid of storage companies "guaranteeing" this sort of thing. Some of my clients might well be sucked in, sink a pile of money they don't really have into a bullshit claim by a "brand name" vendor, and then get screwed when it doesn't work, possibly having to go out of business.
Thanks, Netapp, you've made a bunch of work for me as I have to go proactively fight your bullshit marketing message. Goddamn it.
“The process is a form of political rumourtrage – the circulation of misinformation to diminish an enterprise for political gain.”
How the hell is is "misinformation" is what occurred was a whistleblower leaking the truth about the state of affairs?
Misinformation: I don't think that word thinks what you think it means.
Australia, why the metric monkey fuck do you keep electing these douchecanoes? Get a third party in play and flush the lot of these xenophobic bastards into the sea.
So here's the thing: with the right software, storage really is just a whitebox commodity. Look at Caringo for object storage, as one example. Take your whitebox storage systems, set them to boot via PXE, and the master Caringo node simply hands out an operating system that gloms on to all the storage in the new node and adds it into the cluster. Easy peasy.
Now, Caringo is object storage. But what prevents this from being done with some sort of clustering scale-out storage solution that offers up SMB or NFS? Coho Data style tech but with a Caringo-like distribution to whitebox nodes. Nothing, really. You could even offer up iSCSI or FCoE from such a cluster.
Of course, why stop there? You can PXE deploy VMware, can't you? So you should be able to push a hypervisor with a config on it, VSAN and...oh. Hyperconverged! I hear the new Windows Server might have some laughingly horrible version of hyperconvergence built in, so if you hate yourself a lot you can do the same thing there too!
How long before Maxta figures out that this is the future and rolls together a KVM-based solution with their hypercovnerged software and gives you a self-borging HCI cluster that can also offer up SMB and NFS? Yottabyte? Cloudweavers? There are lots of players out there...someone's either done this already or will be soon. The tech exists, I've built a few versions myself.
Of course, then you have the problem of hardware. If you play this game you need to set a standardized model that you vet thoroughly, iterate once every 18 months or so as motherboards change and continually test. You need to establish redundant supply chains, buy enough through both to keep your distie accounts active and establish policies for retiring old nodes.
Contrary to what the article says, you don't need to hire extra bodies. You do need to be pee-in-jars obsessed with automated testing. Especially automated regression testing. When designing your next generation of node you need to buy between three and five different designs, varying the critical components (motherboard and HBA, if the HBA isn't on your motherboard) and you need to spend approximately three months running through all the testing. (If your test suite doesn't take three months, it isn't testing enough things.)
In today's world, your primary concerns are going to be around the HBA. Everything is about getting a good HBA that works in JBOD mode and allows great big huge queue depths. (Fortunately, most of the newer LSIs do at this point.) You need to make sure drives don't have a problem with your HBA (you can pretty much do this by checking to see if Dell has unique firmware for any of the drives they're selling with their PERCs) and you need to make sure there are no bizzarenesses with the motherboards. (Such as "you can only have one LSI card installed, or the PCI-E bus crashes due to ????????)
Every now and again you get a bug in the Intel drivers for the NICs. It's always the same bug. I'll save you a lot of time and tell you what the problem is. The problem is that if you have multiple Intel cards on a Trident-based switch where not all cards are running at the same speed (say you have links on the switch at 10GbE and one link at 1GbE) then the NIC drivers shit themselves and start passing traffic at something stupid like 200kib. Nobody seems to know why. The solution is to make all the links the same speed, or to put a "buffer" switch that isn't Trident-based in between the offending system and the Trident switch.
If you can cope with the above types of hardware issues (they should all come out in testing, if your test lab is designed to simulate all the edge cases of your production environment), you too can roll your own storage.
If you can find the software. Software that deploys via PXE and autoconfigures the nodes. If you cannot find a vendor selling you storage software that works in exactly that fashion and does precisely what you want, do not under any circumstances try to build your own storage at scale.
By "at scale" I mean more than about 5 nodes. Past 5 nodes, it's too much hassle to hand-hold storage. Trust me on this. Do not do.
On the other hand, if you have the software and the inclination towards automated testing that lets you cope with the hardware, you too can make glorious scaleable, self-healing pools of storage. Or hyperconvergence. Or both!
Trickle down economics is a lie. Provably so. People who believe in it deserve to be rounded up with the likes of young earth creationists and flushed into the sun.
Nah, I've never been "bought" by anyone. Some have tried - I've had honest offers of hookers, actually - but nobody is willing to meet my price.
If I sell out, I will lose all credibility and thus my livelihood. As such, in order to sell out, I need to be able to retire off of the selling out. In order to retire off of the amount made from selling out, I need to clear - after taxes - a little over $1.5M Canadian. This pays my debts, buys me a house on the island and gives me enough money to semi-retire and write my Sci-Fi novels.
In order to clear $1.5M after taxes I need $10M in gross income. I own 40% of my company and taxes will mean I only get to keep about 66% of what I make. Fiddling around with capital gains might up that some, but not appreciably, and shouldn't be counted on when factoring my "sell out" price anyways.
So, that makes my "price" $10M. If I am going to sell out, completely and thoroughly, to unreservedly say things I believe are not true and otherwise piss away my reputation and livelihood, I require a minimum of $10M.
To date, shockingly, no organization has offered me this amount of money. I know this because I still have to work for a living, I still live in this overcrowded shithole of a city, I still use Twitter, and my profile picture for every single site on the internet isn't a picture of my ass with the words "fuck you, world" tatooed in neon pink.
Not being bought doesn't mean I can't be snowed. And every now and again I just outright wrong. It happens. But totally in some vendor's pocket? That costs $10M.
Don't I ****ing wish.
VMware doesn't care about the people using its products. VMware cares about the people buying its products. They are not the same people.
One group does as their told. The other make purchases after some hookers and blow. Anyone too small for hookers and blow isn't someone the sales team - or the company - cares about.
Top to bottom, VMware employees only care about the enterprise, and when you sell to the enterprise you don't have to care about the people who actually use your software.
"Tell you what though - the HTML5 client is damn fast!"
Clearly, we have very different definitions of fast.
See, the problem is that the flash client works fine in small environments. It also works reasonably well if the server is some ridiculously overpowered Windows server running your vSphere server. If you have enough horsepower behind it, and you using only a handful of servers, it's not that bad. Even the first flash client.
But this all changes if you either A) use the virtual appliance or B) use more than about 8 servers. (Which, I hadn't had much of a chance to do when I wrote that.) When you place any sort of load on the vSphere server (or restrict its capabilities by putting it into a virtual appliance) it disintegrates.
VMware made it slightly less shit generation on generation, but there was something fundamentally broken about the flash client that meant the thing didn't scale worth a damn, and so nobody ended up using it.
So here we are with the HTML 5 client. 75% of the complaints I have about the flash client UI design go away either by A) making it look more like the C$ client, which was done in 6.0 or B) getting rid of Flash, which the HTML5 client does.
The remaining 25% is speed and responsiveness. The HTML 5 client still grinds to a fucking halt if you load the vSphere server up. The new 6.0 vSphere server already demands significantly more resources than the 5.x one. If they can't get the speed problem dealt with, I'm not looking forward to the "production ready" configuration that is going to be required to run the HTML5 based one.
And appliance is all you get now! So you can't solve this by throwing some dedicated overspecced windows box (or boxes, as you probably want a cluster of them) to run your vSphere server.
The idea behind the web client is great. Even the initial implementation at small scale was okay. Let's face it, the ability for the web client to queue commands so that you could keep working, instead of the "white screen of death" you get from the C$ client while it thinks is pretty handy.
But they just never ran the ball into the end zone. Now, they're telling us they're taking away the C# client altogether and sticking us with an unproven GUI with unknown bugs and unknown scaling and performance characteristics. Not cool.
I want the HTML 5 client to work. I want it to be what the Flex client promised to be. I want it to work with 128 nodes as good as with 8. I want it to be responsive and fluid and not make me feel an itch for the C# client.
One thing I have learned since way long back when VMware showed me that flex client for the first time: test everything in my own lab. Push the envelope. Never - ever - trust a vendor demo or a vendor lab environment. Push the tech to breaking. Do what the vendor says is unsupported.
So we'll see what this new one is like. Not with two nodes. Not in a VMware lab. But on the rack with dozens of nodes and everything I can throw at it. Maybe.
VMware has gotten quite touchy about people actually testing their product. So we'll see what we see.
"Exchange flipping to EMC made me give up on using the GUI altogether"
This has always been Microsoft's goal. Making GUIs costs money, and Microsoft doesn't want to invest in this. It's much cheaper to simply tell the entire world that they will do everything through CLI and scripting and that they will like it.
What are they going to do, use a different vendor? Puh-lease.
You only need to care about ease of use when you're not the top dog. Now, over to VMware...
"VMware have now insisted that we use this shitty HTML5 abomination"
To be fair, it is the flex client that was the abomination. The HTML 5 client actually has promise. If it is done on time. And if VMware listens to the concerns of systems administrators who aren't vapid sycophants.
The HTML 5 client is close enough that if significant engineer effort is put into finishing it, and solid QA is solicited from outside the "yes, sir" echo chamber it legitimately could be better than all clients which have gone before.
But will it be done on time? What is the matrix of which clients will connect to which versions of the software and manage what? How much of a complete nightmare is managing a multi-hypervisor environment going to be?
VMware is staying pretty mum on the details.
The host client is acceptable, but the C# client still kicks its ass in a lot of ways.
As for the HTML5 vSphere client, that has a lot of growing up to do. If they can get it ready for even 6 months after VMworld, I'll be shocked. Even then, it's still not as fast or as responsive as the C# client. Right click and waiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit.
Now, the HTML 5 client isn't as bad as that fucking miserable, piece-of-shit, eldritch horror flash fuckery, but then again, getting repeatedly tased in the balls is preferable to having to use manage more than a handful of systems with that thing. (And no, the 6.x release of the flashy fuckerdoodle didn't really make the boo boos all better.)
The HTML 5 client has promise. In principle, I far prefer it to a C# client. But there is a hell of a lot of work to do yet, and I am not remotely convinced it will ever actually be done.
After years of VMware shoving the flash client down our throats and telling us A) all our complaints are invalid and B) everyone likes it, really, it's just you that doesn't...VMware has lost all credibility regarding UI claims. The only company with a worse reputation in this regard is Microsoft.
So we'll see what's delivered. I, for one, have zero faith this will work out well for the actual practitioners.
"Attacking the person and not the argument is a logical fallacy, ad hominem. An admission of losing the argument."
It is not an admission of losing the argument. It's an admission that the argument is so cracked it isn't even worth having. But since you insist...
"All traffic shaping was made illegal. All prioritization of traffic was made illegal"
No, it wasn't. You can discriminate based on class. You just can't discriminate within a class. You double especially cannot discriminate based on sender or reciever. And you can offer different types of connections with different commitments. Nothing bans MPLS, for example.
"The FCC's "net neutrality" means the end of facilitating latency sensitive traffic over The Internet"
No, it doesn't.
"With limited financial resources, where will investment $$$ be directed? Over public internet without latency protections or over private internet where SLA's can be charged for & guaranteed?"
Latency sensitive traffic will go over managed networks. Non-latency sensitive traffic over the internet. Same it has always been. Also, the single most rational way to manage network resources, especially given the global move to encrypting everything.
"Net Neutrality is all about benefits for the privileged: wealthy and urban."
Incorrect. Net Neutrality is all about ensuring that infrastructure providers who own content providers cannot prefer or provide priority access to their content over the content of others. Simple as that.
If an internet service provider wishes to offer an Internet connection where they explicitly state in their contract with the end user "we will prioritize all SIP VOIP traffic", they would get away with it. If they said - or worse, implemented without saying so - that they would prioritize all SIP VOIP traffic originating from or destined to the carrier's SIP VOIP service, but not others, the hammer would drop.
Of course, none of this is relevant. Most of the internet is encrypted these days. The rest will be soon. Discrimination based on traffic type is increasingly impossible, and net neutrality expressly forbids discrimination based on traffic origin or destination.
Unless, of course, the ISP wants to give control over prioritization to the user. Say, by honouring QoS tags or deploying SD-WAN technologies. If the user has control over their own prioritization then they can prioritize traffic between the user and the ISP. The FCC can't shit on that.
Where it gets murky is traffic prioritization after the first mile. There are actually a number of possible legal ways to enable latency sensitive traffic streams flagged by the user to be delivered via priority network channels, but they do, in fact, require additional investment and effort from the ISP side.
I'll not get bogged down in the details, but suffice it to say that fair traffic management is, in fact, possible under the FCC's network rules. Autocratic traffic management is not.
Similarly, nothing prevents the ISP from offering a hybrid WAN connection to the user. A reserved portion of bandwidth for latency-sensitive applications, delivered as a "separate connection", despite sharing a wire. There are so many ways to skin this cat that don't involve screwing the end user that I'm going to right back to my original statement here which is that you are dumb and have no idea what you're talking about.
And that the whole debate is pretty much pointless, and not worth having. So it's better, easier, and a little bit more fun to just throw poo at the individual. Time wasted on the pointless, I'm off to bed.
Wow, you're so full of Republican talking points you can't even think straight. Does it hurt to not actually understand the topics you discuss this much? Or is ignorance that painless? I don't even know where to start correcting your misperceptions. It would take 5000 words, at least.
You really have no idea what the FCC regulations are, what's allowed and what's not, nor what the actual results of similar regulation have been in other countries. It's kinda scary.
If Wheeler is on a crusade, he's the first crusader to have correctly identified a true evil that needs to be fought.
Criminals aren't the real threat. That's what insurance is for.
Governments are the real threat. Their war on dissidents is only just the beginning. First they go after unpopular groups. You might think that's fine, but when they're through, they'll be going after you.
I, for one, intend to remain a dissident. A free dissident, thanks.
About damn time.
Seriously, don't get me started. And there's exactly anyone better, either! Certainly not that are actually reliable. The whole market needs a good kick in the proverbial.
"If you want to solve transport and overcrowding problems then not everybody can have their personal pod car parked near where they are ready to leap into action. There just isn't enough room."
I don't care about a personal pod car that sits in a parking lot. I'd rather push a button and summon my pod car, then have my phone tell me how many minutes/seconds until it arrives. Why would I want to park somewhere then hoof it to my destination when I could have the pod car deliver me to the door, then pick me up from that door? Where it goes and what it does when it isn't driving me around isn't something I care about.
Now, ideally, the pod cars would be able to detect things like assholes vomiting in them, etc, and head to a maintenance facility to be hosed out. But honestly, how hard is that to do? We can make chemosensors. We can make cars waterproof. Just need a little robot bay to hose out the cars. Maybe swap batteries/charge 'er up while it's at it.
Way better than the uncomfortable, disgusting, physically painful disease and molestation carriages we call public transport today.
So much fucking nope. Public transportation is a band-aid for the fact that we don't have clean, efficient and reliable individualized transportation. Ideally, something would pick me up and drop me off without having to put up with the hassles of public transportation...and the same should apply to everyone else.
Public transportation, in otherwords, should be private transportation, insofar as your "pod" is private, and you don't have to wait around at per-determined bus stops and so forth.
Public transportation is terrible for people with disabilities. It is terrible for people with a huge number of mental disorders. It is massively oversubscribed (pushing people into trains with brooms, etc), and it is useless for the purchase of any but the smallest goods.
People who believe in public transportation as the solution to everything are generally able bodied, young, with a lot of free time to dedicate to commuting and generally very upset that they can't afford private transportation. The solution isn't to bring those whom you blame for everything down to the misery threshold you have to endure, but to raise everyone up to the convenience that the elites currently enjoy.
And to do so in a manner which is clean, efficient and affordable for all.
But buses? Fuck buses. And fuck everyone who wants to force me to use them. With a goddamned particle accelerator. Made out of merging neutron stars.
Try to force me to use public transportation and I will fight you with every ounce of my strength, every last dollar, every weapon, thought, voice, platform and tool that I have. I will expend my very life essence itself to end the future you propose, because to me, that is the bleakest of dystopias.
May your blade chip and shatter.
"That assertion was criticized as being "paranoid" by another DNS [expert]"
An assertion that will inevitably be proven 100% accurate in due course.
Pott's law: If digital infrastructure can be manipulated by the state to suppress dissent then it will be manipulated by the state to suppress dissent. No exceptions.
You offer a subscription service for those who are regular viewers, but want to continue using adblock. You sign up with micropayment sites. You allow a smal number of articles to be read before the blocking adblokers comes into play, to accommodate for folks coming in from Twitter, Reddit and the like.
Or...you stop writing altogether and get a different job. Either way, you don't work for free. Any more than any of your readers do.
It has been a long time since the law protected the citizens.
The law protects the elite and enables cracking down on dissent. Citizens are to be ruled, not protected. Where the fuck have you been?
You sure it's not you fault 'cause you hid the stick up your ass?
" Had this been a typical commercial effort, with everything patented, there would have been multiple incompatible and very expensive webs."
For a long time, there were.
I think that is also likely part of it, yes. Impact detected = stop. So if you have person adhered to hood, you have prevented actually running them over, which means a life saved, at least potentially.
Seems like a decent idea to me. Maybe the reason Google are the first to patent it is because makers of autonomous vehicles, rather than "drivers" are likely to be liable for injuries. Suddenly there is an incentive to develop vehicles which do less damage to those they hit.
"By choice we mean MSI"
Eurocom uber alles.
Because 2 bits per cell at 64,000 cells is 128kbit. Kilobit. We're not talking 128GiB DIMMs here. We're not talking 4TiB PCM drives.
What we're talking about is a potentially useful high endurance write buffer for flash chips. Think about writing log files. Lots of tiny little changes that are definitely "sub-cell" in size, when we lok at writing all of that to a flash device. Logs can wear out flash in a hurry.
But what if you front-ended that flash with this PCM? Absorb the writes until there is enough change to require a full cell's worth of writes, thus optimizing the flash?
Physically, flash will occupy less space for some time yet. And never believe IBM regarding price. They aren't talking about PCM as being the same cost as bulk 3D NAND, but competitive with the most expensive SLC flash you can find, I promise you.
So the initial applications will be PCM as a flash cache layer until some refinements are made to packaging, temperature reliability and so forth. Basically, taking the SLC cache out of today's flash drives and putting PCM in instead.
"Eat shit, Muricans!!!""
Most of them kinda do already. :/
" your stated belief is that all 100k+ employees of Microsoft are untrustworthy"
I never said that. I do believe that most Redmondians in key positions are untrustworthy. Those with the influence to have their voices heard and their decisions count. But, in my experience, most of the drone-level worker bees at the bottom of the pyramid are decent folk, many of whom even agree that their employer are untrustworthy. They're just doing their job and getting paid, however. Worrying about why their employer does what they do is beyond their pay pay grade. Please draw some distinction between a project manager and the poor bastard manning the support lines.
It also appears from your statements that you have already pre-judged me
Actually, your word usage and the precise ways you sidestep various issues that would weaken your position to focus on those things you think allow you to degrade the credibility of your opponent as an individual - and thus make the uncomfortable arguments they bring up seem as though they are unfounded - are incredibly reminiscent of a True Believer Microsoft salesbloke that inhabits these parts and I honestly suspect that you're him.
He absolutely isn't capable of an objective discussion about Microsoft, any more than someone busy burning witches or blowing up heathens is capable of having an objective discussion about interfaith morality and the validity of atheism. As a side note, he's actually pretty representative of the mid-to-upper tier Redmondian employees I've had the opportunity to interact with.
"I cannot have a balanced and fair conversation due to who pays my salary"
No, I don't think you can have a balanced and fair conversation based on what you've said and how. Look, I talk to people all the time about the good and bad of their employers. From support phone staff to product managers, VPs to CEOs. That's my actual job...and you'd be surprised how many of them are perfectly open to calm, rational discussion about what their employers (or, in the case of the CEOs, what their minions) do right and what they do wrong.
You, on the other hand, and pretty clearly coming at this from a completely different standpoint. I am prepared to have dispassionate, objective discussion with anyone who demonstrates the self-awareness that all organizations and individuals make mistakes, that we all have blinders, biases, prejudices, differing needs and both rational and irrational expectations. I don't see that from you.
What I see is a True Believer whose goal is to either convince others of the Unquestionable Truth of their employer's Perfect Vision, or, failing that, to humiliate the heathen critics, thus bringing everything they say into doubt. I emphatically do not see you as open minded. I see you as evangelical. And to be perfectly, 100% clear: I loathe evangelicals, of any faith.
"This leads me to conclude that you are intolerant of those views that may differ to yours"
I am perfectly tolerant of views that differ to mine. Understand that I love arguing. If the world agreed with me then I'd have nothing to do!
What I can't stand are people who seek to convert me. Who make conversion a moral quest. I can't stand people who relentlessly pursue my agreement when it is quite clear that I will never agree with them; usually because we have a philosophical difference at a very core level that informs all aspects of our belief systems.
Stepping away from technology, for example, let's approach this from another side. I am strongly left libertarian. I oppose the authoritarian right with every fiber of my being. Despite this, I can and do have friends who are strong believers in the authoritarian right.
We have glorious - oftentimes passionate, loud and emphatic - arguments everything in existence. They argue selfishness and the importance of the stick as the fundamental aspects of human. I argue compassion and the importance of the carrot. But at the end of the day, we happily disagree and go have a beer. It's a careful balance, hard to maintain, but one I enjoy.
The key is that - despite the arguing - we're not trying to convert one another. We are presenting evidence. We are advancing hypotheses and proposing experiments to prove our views, or debating how this new evidence might cause us to change our hypotheses. We don't expect to win. We expect to follow the evidence, even if we start from different assumptions.
To me, that's the highest form of human interaction. And conversion is the lowest.
I'll answer your question in the form of a separate sysadmin blog post, as it is worth it's own discussion.
I didn't know about Germany and China. Good on Microsoft for that. One good deed shines out amongst all their misdeeds! A start, then. One very small step towards redemption.
As for other tech companies that have sued US.gov, there's Twitter: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/10/08/twitter_sues_us_government_for_right_to_disclose_nothing/
And that's just for starters. Though I do question "sued some part of the government but not the actual government". There isn't a distinction. You sue whichever arm of the government happens to be restraining you from doing what you wish. "The government" isn't a single entity in the US. It was designed that way on purpose.
It is not shocking that other tech companies have backed Microsoft in their PR stunt, just as Microsoft has backed the PR stunts of other companies. Given that Microsoft have themselves removed the ability of end users to control what data Microsoft hoovers up (from our online accounts, services and even our desktops and servers!) and then gives over to law enforcement I flat out do not believe that suing the US government is an act of altruism, morality or ethics.
Microsoft has proven time and again they don't give a rat fuck about our privacy or our data sovereignty. They just need us proles to believe that they do, so we'll keep buying their stuff.
If Microsoft want to start building trust they will immediately A) apologize for their misdeeds. B) Return complete control of our operating systems and applications to us. No ransomware edition special price versions only for elites. Total control to all who want it. C) Commit to offering choice in future major UI changes, API changes and so forth so that we can vote with our wallets for the product we actually want.
That will be a start. Three suggestions amongst hundreds. And it will take a track record of many years of adhering to customer-first, privacy-first principles before trust can truly start being rebuilt.
Unfortunately, Microsoft don't care. And as you have so ably demonstrated, neither do its staff. Blame the victim is in full force. It's "all in their mind", etc. And you wonder "the hatred" comes from.
Re: administrator first, architect later...that's a problem for future generations. These things are cyclical, and right now we're in a "cut back on the proles" phase. It looks set to last at least a decade, probably two.
as for "keeping it all in their heads"...that can be bypassed. Toodle about the site and read about "shadow IT". It's been written about before.
Just because the company I would like to back is unlikely to exist, does that mean I should cease trying to hold vendors accountable for their actions? Great vendors do exist. I work with several, and friends with several others. They aren't Microsoft, but they aren't nonexistent either.
I support those vendors whom I can trust and I deride those I cannot. Nobody will ever convince me that this makes me immoral, unethical or even biased.
Trust is critical to vendor selection and to business in general. Especially when we start talking "cloud". Unfortunately, I don't believe Microsoft's employees are likely to ever understand or agree.
"It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" --Upton Sinclair
So Trevor, dear chap, where does your hatred for Microsoft originate from?
Betrayal. You could start here for some background, but the long story short is really just that Microsoft turned its back on those of us who were its biggest fans. It made sweeping changes without offering us choice, didn't listen when we spoke up and eventually even removed from us the option to control our own computers.
Once, I was one of Microsoft's most voiceferous evangelists. But betrayal is a powerful emotion, and one that lingers.
I'm pretty sure that every article you write takes a shot at them?
Probably less than 10% of my articles contain a shot at Microsoft. That puts them a little bit above Netapp or Nutanix and probably below VMware.
Why them specifically?
How have they wronged you more than other large IT firms such as Google
Google has been naieve, but to my knowledge has not outright wronged me. My biggest issue with them is that they believed they could walk the middle line with phone vendors and telcos by giving them control over the update process for Android. The result was an unmitigated disaster.
How else has Google wronged me? They advertise at me? Scary. They hoover up all my info? Sure, but so does everyone else. Google are at least up front about it, and give me the ability to kill their creepy spyware off. They aren't perfect - I can bitch about them all day - but I don't feel they are intentionally malicious or apathetic towards the end user.
I have spent time at both Google and Microsoft, and much time with many folks who work at both places. Googlers are oddly naive as a whole; they legitimately believe in different things than the rest of us and think they're doing the right thing. Not so Microsoft. Microsoft employees have always evidenced an unsubtle hostility towards their own customers coupled with a sense of superiority that says any customer or user that doesn't agree with them is obviously in the wrong.
There are, of course, exceptions...but the average attitudes of the individuals I have encountered working for the two companies seem to line up quite well with the actions of the body corporate. As such, I feel less hostility towards Google's bumbling naiveté than I do towards Microsoft's arrogant apathy. Though, admittedly, I am no less wary of the Chocolate Factory than the Beast of Redmond. I just watch for different issues stemming from different actions and motivations.
Oracle are evil. Oracle have always been evil. Oracle never tried to be anything but evil. Can you really a villain who not only knows they are a villain but is honest about it as well? Or do you merely accept that this is what they are, and treat all interactions with them accordingly?
Basically an incompetent Oracle.
From a culture standpoint, they share a lot with Microsoft. They are, however, far - far - worse to their staff and partners, and slightly better to their customers. I'm not a fan, but I do appreciate the role they are playing in driving change. Highly - highly - wary of them.
Arrogant, high handed, self-righteous asshats that don't listen to their customer base and do whatever they want. They do, however, have the virtue of actually being right more often than not, something that other companies which attempt a similar amount of hubris fail to accomplish.
You also may want to research how Microsoft is taking the US Gov. to court to protect individuals and organisations data privacy, who else is doing that?
Apple, for one. Google has as well. IIRC, Twitter did too. I'd be willing to bet that if I did some searching I could find a Facebook case or two about privacy and the government.
Microsoft isn't sticking up for you, me, or anyone else. They're engaged in some PR. Nothing more. If you want to toot Microsoft's horn you could mention the one and only thing they've done that was any good in the cloud space lately: decoupling themselves from ownership of their UK cloud. By paying someone else to own and operate the gear Microsoft have removed the US legal attack surface for that data. Even if they wanted to, they can't give that data up. They deserve a cookie for that; they were the first major cloud provider to listen to what we've all be screaming about for a decade.
I note, however, that beyond the one instance, they haven't proceeded with that model. Even with their new datacenter in Canada. So I am chalking that up to a PR stunt as well.
I'm not sure who else mobilised their Disaster Recovery team to provide support to Alberta during the current wildfires up in Ft. Mc and also matched employee donations to support the Canadian Red Cross, the same thing that we did for the Calgary floods of 2013
Pretty much every tech company with an Albertan footprint, and most tech companies with a Canadian footprint, even if not Albertan has done something. You'd be surprised the number of them that I am coordinating with who do not want public PR or mention of their efforts. They are just helping because they can. Those companies I respect.
Its a big big world outside of Edmonton,
I am aware. I've been to may parts of it.
and while Microsoft's solutions don't appear favourable in your area / opinion, there's a large portion of other folks around the planet that seem quite happy with them
Actually, while there are many people who are happy with Microsoft, I think you'll find that the actual percentage of individuals and businesses happy with Microsoft is small. Certainly it is much smaller than the number of individuals and businesses that use Microsoft.
Microsoft may be a necessity but it is not something most - or even many - desire. When a gun is at your head, you do as your told. But that doesn't mean that if the gun were put away you'd voluntarily do the same thing.
Do not make the mistake of the Microsoft body corporate and mistake obedience for trust or compliance for loyalty. Microsoft's actions have dispelled trust and it's apathy towards that fact has eradicated loyalty.
All Microsoft has left to count on is fear. And no empire lasts long ruling on fear alone.
As for me, I will keep on being cynical about virtually everyone. Trust is earned, and it takes effort to maintain. I eagerly await any vendors willing to work hard to build that trust amongst its customers, partners, developer ecosystem and its own staff. That's a company I can get behind.
Oh hi, western Canadian here. UBB is strong over here. "Unlimited" doesn't mean unlimited here. And you pay a truly appalling amount for the extra cap. Maybe you easterners have it a little better, but we're still screwed.
"we have a phone company (Telus) and a cable company (Shaw) to choose from"
You can choose between Trump and Clinton.
You can choose between a douche and a turd sandwich.
Having a choice doesn't mean a goddamned thing if both your choices are shit covered shit in buttsauce.
There may be Acaltel ONTs deployed, but Telus insists that you use the Actiontech modems, and refuses to support any other configuration. This is a huge problem for businesses who need to stay in a supported configuration.
The mid-1990s were the dailup era for the masses, but the first (very expensive) ADSL trials were going on, and Canada was at the forefront of that technology. When the first mass market ADSL chips came out in 1998 and 1999, Canada deployed far and wide; quite fast, too. We were recognized in both cases for pushing the envelope. We haven't been since.
Regarding getting access to conduit in Canada, yes, I do have actual experience cutting through the red tape in order to get space to lay lines. Now, that is mostly rural, but some in the big cities as well. The biggest issue is not getting approval to lay new conduit (which Telus is busy doing in Edmonton, for example), or access to municipal-owned conduit. The biggest issue is that when and where a Telco (read: Telus) owns conduit somewhere they say "fuck you" and laugh in your face. They don't share, but they demand access to everything everyone else has.
Telus' interconnection demands are horrific as well. Isn't it funny how, where there is even one otehr backbone provider they suddenly are almost reasonable about fees, but as soon as you're 1 klick out bast Shaw, their prices skyrocket.
And the biggest issue about dealing with the Telcos - again, mostly Telus - is that they fight tooth and nail to prevent any third party from lighting up a network. They screamed red bloody murder about Olds. They're launching every missile they have, from legal challenges to quiet, back room "discussions" with counties in northern Alberta we're working on and they have been nothing but massively obstructionist to rural BC communities that have banded together to deploy municipal (or rural) fibre projects. (See: Kaslo as a great example.)
I am absolutely all about a single standard for access to conduits, rights of way and so forth...but that single standard needs to apply not only to incumbent telcos. It needs to apply to third parties, to municipal and county governments building out their networks and even to individuals.
That the incumbent telcos act as the guardians and gateways to our infrastructure is a huge problem. They have proven time and time again they aren't willing to share, play fair or invest. They are more interested in preventing competition than in servicing customers.
The Telcos are the problem, not the solution. It doesn't have to be that way, but it's the way the telcos seem to want it.
Oddly, yes! I want utilities like power, water, heat and internet to be paid for by everyone and made available to everyone. It is basic infrastructure. A fundamental requirement to exist in today's society.
If you want to milk the hoi polloi, go make luxury purses and try to bamboozle people into thinking they're important. Stay the hell out of delivery of critical infrastructure and services. Access to utilities, health care, education, law enforcement and fire coverage should emphatically not be a function of how much money you have.
Funny, Telus seem to be putting these ridiculous Actiontech pieces of shit into everyone's home here, and we're told for FTTH this is all we'll get as well. No pass through. No "just a modem", no "just an Ethernet port" CPE point. You will get your managed Actiontech device and you will like it. If Telus has decided to finally reverse that decision, then it is a fantastic step in teh right direction.
Could you please tell all the customer service staff about this so that we can get installs without these Actiontech shitmachines? Because what they're actually supporting and allowing is orthogonal to your claims.
As for the rest of your rant: you're full of it. Telus, Shaw, Bell and Rogers had 20 years of virtually zero regulation and Canada went from a world leader in internet connectivity in the mid 90s to a pathetic joke. The regulation is a reaction to the utter unwillingness to step up to the fucking plate.
Access to conduit, poles and the rest is NOT HARD TO GET in Canada. We are enormous and spread out. We make it easy to dig up whole cities at the whim of a Telco. Canada has two seasons: winter and construction, and getting permitting for construction has never been hard in this nation.