[rescue] Sad Solaris geek

Nadine Miller vraptor at promessage.com
Sat Dec 20 18:09:01 CST 2003

Al Potter wrote:

> <criminal waste deleted>


> vraptor at promessage.com said:

> You might point out to the equipment owners that (presumably) this higher 
> end equipment is PAID FOR, (presumably) operational, and (I hope) you know 
> how to admin it, without the two layers of contracting OVERHEAD.
> You might end up with direct employment and grateful employers.
> You might get fired.... 
> Your call, of course.  All of us armchair quarterbacks lack the detailed 
> knowledge you have of this mess, your personal situation, and all the other 
> relevant factors, but I can point out the potential above.

First off, the Mirapoints suck a$$.  You can't do backups
worth a damn off of the older models (3+ days to back up
500GB), and the the place I am working at is running a
production service off them at the moment.

The $job_company was bought before it tanked by one of it's
customers.  Said customer, now owner, is not really in the
ASP business--this is a value add service they upsell their
own clients.  They are being very conservative with the
investment, as they don't know if they will be able to
make a lot of money with it yet.

To replace the Mirapoints with Suns for the current number
of users would not be all that cost prohibitive.  *However*,
the developers are working on version 2 of the product.
Then the marketing folks at the owning company will go into
overdrive.  If things pick up, they will need to expand
the production stuff at the colo quickly and cheaply.
They are replacing the Sun gear in the dev lab to parallel
the production gear.

And they want service (it's weird to me how businesses
fear old-ish equipment that is out of warranty so much).

I suspect, but am not certain, that the voice to text
technology they bought for version 2 is Linux-based as
well.  So in some sense, it's logical for them to want
to keep it homogeneous, since there are only 3 ops
people and 5 engineers building this (hence the

 From and aesthetic point of view it's sad that they are
ditching most of this stuff.  But as one engineer pointed
out: "Two filers take up 20Us of rack space; we have 3
times as much space full of Sun stuff--it can be replaced
with <20Us of the 380s and a Snap Appliance with expansion
tray using probably half the power and getting 1.5
times more disk in the development lab than we have on
the production machines now.  Eight guys don't need a

So, I have suggested that it's wasteful, but they are
set on their course.  They are this tiny pod out in CA;
their parent co is on the East coast.  They are doing
their best, and know that if the thing tanks, they
will be cut loose.

What I don't understand, though, is why the consulting
firm didn't suggest getting a support contract with
NetApp and repurposing the filers for near-line backups
in the version 2 production architecture.  *shrug*  I
don't understand peoples' biases.  I've gotten here
very late in the game, obviously, so not everything is
clear to me any more than it is to you "arm chair
quarterbacks" out there. :-)

And in any case, it's far more likely that I'll get a
'regular' job out of the consulting firm than out of the
client.  The consultants are using the body shop I'm
contracted with as a filtering mechanism to find
consultants, I'm fairly sure of that.  What better way
to avoid the avalanche of resumes and work you'd have
to do if you posted such a position on the local job

Silicon Valley is small-town in spite of it's size.
You have to be very careful not to burn bridges around
here unless you know exactly what the ramifications will
be.  There are a lot of really sharp people in the Valley
who can't find jobs because they shoot off their mouths
too much or have stepped on the wrong toes.


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