I have to admit … the hardest thing about this business is getting closure

This is more of a business general issue than an HPC business issue per se. We have lots of conversations with customers. We do lots of RFP responses. And we win some and we lose some. But the thing I find hardest to deal with are potential customers going mute for long durations. Maybe there … Read moreI have to admit … the hardest thing about this business is getting closure

OT: Faux-security

Sigh. money quote According to one report, undercover TSA agents testing security at a Newark airport terminal on one day in 2006 found that TSA screeners failed to detect concealed bombs and guns 20 out of 22 times. A 2007 government audit leaked to USA Today revealed that undercover agents were successful slipping simulated explosives … Read moreOT: Faux-security

HPC sales viewed in the context of watching a horror show …

So we have a number of customers looking at particular configurations. Like many others, they get quotes from all over. Including from companies that don’t really have the slightest clue about what is being asked of them. Which means, we as often as not, get quotes tossed back to us with a note saying “you … Read moreHPC sales viewed in the context of watching a horror show …

OT: disappointed with the firewall distros I've looked at

We’ve been looking at building a gateway/firewall machine, with load balancing, failover, and many other nice features. For security purposes, we’ve wanted to run it in a very particular way.
All the distributions we’ve tried: clearOS, Vyatta, Endian, IPFire, Zentyal … all of them … sorta … kinda … did what we wanted. Sorta. Kinda.
But not quite.

Read moreOT: disappointed with the firewall distros I've looked at

JR4/DV4 design change

Basically we have changed the chassis we use to one providing better cooling, and better OS drive access. In the case of the JR4, we should have better backplane fault isolation, at the cost of a few more wires to deal with internally (e.g. shouldn’t impact customers at all). Costs will be about the same, … Read moreJR4/DV4 design change

Treating partnerships as business investments

We’ve had issues in the past with ‘partners’ taking advantage of our willingness to work with them, in order to have everyone come out ahead … the customer, the partner, and us. This approach to partnership means all sacrifice a little, but everyone wins.
Unfortunately, it also requires that everyone behave in an honest manner, honor their agreements.
We are treating all discount requests as a partnership request. A customer wants a lower price on something. Fine. What are they willing to exchange for that lower price? Can we afford to give them the price? Will it so negatively impact our business that it becomes a bad decision to pursue? Basically we need to see the business justification for this action. Show us a model that will work for us, and we will consider it. Demand something for nothing? No, not gonna work.
For resellers and groups wanting to work with us to help grow their business, and help them differentiate their offerings (not many companies can do what we do), this is also an issue, but easier to codify in a reseller agreement. We can pre-define what happens in “if-then” scenarios. Provides something of a saner model.
But thats not what I am talking about here.

Read moreTreating partnerships as business investments