Re: IBM in talks to buy Sun

=?ISO-8859-1?Q?Arne_Vajh=F8j?= <>
Fri, 20 Mar 2009 22:58:21 -0400
Lew wrote:

Larry K. Wollensham wrote:

It's "how badly does the owner of that 14TB disk farm want to keep it
working" that I was wondering. With hardware prices falling, the
amount you can charge them to keep it working will also eventually
have to fall. In the limit, if 14TB disk farms cost pennies and were
easy to install and use, people who needed them would just buy them,
get them running, and replace them whenever they went kaput, and the
heck with maintenance contracts. Much as they do with PCs now even
though at one time *nobody* treated a computer that way.

John B. Matthews wrote:

The owner who wants to keep something working may consider the higher
cost a hedge[*] against loss of service or data, both of which are
typically more valuable than the hardware itself.
[*] <>

Nigel Wade wrote:


You can't tread a RAID as a throw-away object, to simply be replaced if it
fails, unless you regard your data with the same cavalier attitude.

The notion that you can simply hot-swap disks if they fail in a high-
volumn production environment is wacky.

It's not just data, it's service time that's valuable. Most such
installations cannot afford downtime, at least not much. Disk
failures are a major fubar. The motivation for RAID itself proves
that - it increases the cost per storage amount in favor of higher

The suggestion that one can buy inferior hardware in quantity and just
swap in new pieces when something breaks betrays an utter lack of
understanding of the problem. If that idea worked, the people
responsible for those data centers would do that, but it doesn't and
they don't.

If you can afford to develop special software to utilize such a hardware
environment, then it can work - and it does work.

But it does not make financial sense for most companies.


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