lundi 12 novembre 2007

Cold Pizza

We just received delivery of our new pizzas: made by the pizza market leader EMC.
our pizzas are made of 8 nodes, with linux as basic toppings, and with some special software on it, which nobody understands, and nobody can tell me where it comes from. this pizza has a name: Centera

Does anyone know where Centera comes from? was it built by a clever team of EMC engineers? is it the result of an acquisition?

Well I'll tell you: in fact Centera is the product of a $50Million acquisition of a belgium company called "FilePool NV" the way the name FilePool appears at boot time of a Centera node..acquisition happened in 2001

Have a look at this old document (1999) explaining how FilePool works

Here again an old technology, cleverly marketed, which I believe has made his time. and is still beeing sold

Now during install, one of the node did not work (could not join the centera cluster). So we called EMC for a replacement , here's and excerpt of the conversation:

-EMC: connect the box to the phone line and will troubleshoot
-The Bank: no way, the centera will not be connected to a phone line
-EMC: this is not how it works sir, support must be done remotely over the phone
-The Bank: This box will hold client information, impossible to connect it to the outside world and accessed by an external company. It's against the law
-EMC: well then, troubleshooting can take up to a month to be resolved

imagine that, we spent $200k for 10TB (raw) of data and all we get is several weeks delay for a node replacement....which will not even been done by EMC, but a partner (Unisys).

we get much better service at the pizzeria: if the pizza is cold, we get a replacement within minutes!

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