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.

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Docs wiki back up

That was annoying. The update/upgrade path effectively wrote over the old configs without telling me. Snapshot script is up, and we will set up for weekly snapshots, and then deletion of the same after 12 weeks. Did I mention that this was annoying? On another note, we’ve had requests to refine/update the documentation, and we … Read moreDocs wiki back up

dust just built and installed its first module, successfully, without issue

A few more things to do … we need a “make clean” like thing, and maybe a “make prepare” like thing. And we need to trigger a mkinitrd at the end when requested.
Major things are the init.d script, but all it does is call a

dust.pl –generate

Yeah, we are trying to make this really simple. Really really simple. And make sure it works. Really works.
Here is output with the –generate and –debug options. You can see that it pays careful attention to a number of things. I messed up a current working directory thing, but I can fix this fast.

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Are expectations being set properly?

This past week, I looked over a set of proposals from some academic groups. One of these proposals was attempting to budget for a particular design. What I noticed here was a tendency to do something … well … that badly misstates actual real costs of things, and substitutes them with something easy to find without any regard for the actual real costs of implementing the service.
At the end of the day, IT is about providing processing, storage, and data interchange in the service of a task that can make effective use of the resources. So having a clear picture of realistic costs, and having realistic expectations is critical to being able to manage and deliver these services.
First, what lept out at me, were statements such as

1 PB (PetaByte) of storage costs $70,000 USD

Yes, that is what the proposal said. And yes, as I understand it, it was funded.
But does 1PB really cost $70,000?
Sort of. But its disingenuous to use this. Much like saying a car costs the amount of the raw materials of the tires. Neglecting everything else you need to make a car, that runs.
Or storage, that works.

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