Shakes head …

Them: Here is our parts list. We found it by going to these web sites (see long list) finding the lowest cost among them, and then adding it in to the spec.

Me: Uh huh (noting the several conflicting and wrong elements). So what is it you are trying to do …

Them: Never mind that, this is our new machine, and it will do X …

[n.b. X is some magical realization of performance at the 99th percentile of the systems capability … only would hit that if everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, was perfect. Otherwise, their real observable performance … likely 10-15% of their expectation]

Me: Ok … (expecting the other shoe to drop)

Them: and we want you to build it, for less than the sum of the parts costs …

Me: Uh …

Them: … and support it, 24×7 with next day parts replacement …

Me: … Er …

Them: … and someone onsite within 2 hours to handle this.

Me: (recovers somewhat) And what additional price are you willing to pay for that level of support?

Them: … whatcha mean “additional price?” This should be included!

This counts as a strong “I’d like a pony with that” moment. Seriously high on the pony scale.

There’s a trend in “I’m gonna throw the hardware together myself” going on. Usually followed by “why the heck ain’t 6G SATA/SAS giving me 6G speed” after its built, and some “ohmigosh I am getting 10-100MB/s on my new 2+ GB/s IO system that I built …. WHY?”

Building fast systems isn’t as simple as going to your favorite cheap websites and throwing things together. Yeah, that will work for webservers. But it really … REALLY … won’t work for storage, unless you want large slow storage with huge bandwidth walls.

I’ve seen all manner of deep fundamental design mistakes occur because people focused upon the shiny-new thing, without providing a sound basis for performance. It the same IT-view versus HPC-view issue. If it takes you 2-4x the drives to get close to our units in performance … how again is that a win for you? Your performance density is lower, your power consumption and failure rates are higher …

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