HP Supporting SAMBA

Peter C. Bye III pcbye at mmm.com
Mon Dec 1 11:08:19 GMT 2003

In regard to HP supporting SAMBA, they seem to be going full bore on it as they
are losing their customer base at a frightening rate.  Unfortunately, HP is one
of those companies that has most of their customers by the short hairs and treats them
that way.  It was not more than a year ago and HP was blaming all of our Server and
Network problems on SAMBA, then it was SGI, then it was NT.

The most incredible statment made by one of their Sr. Technical people on site was
the HP's don't work well in "Mixed" Environments because they are the only one's that
have a compliant O/S and software packages, NFS, AS/U, etc.

As in SGI and SUN's NFS PV3 won't work with HP's NFS PV2 becuse it is non compliant.
How about "Outdated" and a bad port to begin with.

In reality, it is the fact that their hardware and software are/were not up to the
task of handling NFS and SMB file serving in an enterprise CAD/CAM environment.

We had gone to the extent of Demo-ing and bechmarking literally all major venors
hardware and software solutions -- Net Appliance, SUN, SGI, etc, etc.  We finally
got a New HP N-Class box, serial #1 I think after about a year of this activity.
No SAMBA for the HP though (supported).  We finally settled on a very ellegant SGI
Server architecture with NFS PV3 and SAMBA as the solution.  This was based on 
solid testing and bechmarks.

When HP found out, our sales rep escalated this to their TOP Brass.  One of their
VP's called one of our VP's and the Shi-Hit-The-Fan.  We are now ordering an HP
N-Class, a J-Class, and possible a little token SGI.  It is so nice that an entire
Fortune 50's corporate enterprise CAD/CAM infrastructure can be dictated by a salesman.

Scary huh!

Concerning HP's comment on customers worries about running "Free", PD or GNU licensed
software.  How about the fact that HP purchased Apollo to get into the workstation
business, then dropped the Domain O/S and picked up the AT&T System V Release 2 that
was put into the public domain in 1986.  AT&T was smart enough to do a complete
rewrite of the O/S, hence SYS V R3 & R4 which is licensed source code and now owned
by Novell I believe.  As far as I know most all other vendors have kept up with the

Up through HP/UX 9.x, the O/S was based entirely on the AT&T R2 Kernel, 10.x was a
merged product, 11.x is supposed to be V4 compliant, and I guess that 12.x is
possbily a rewrite.  Hey!  They got a new interface -- CDE, and finally a keyboard
that you can type on (IBM Selectric). LOL!

HP is now going through the same hickup period that Apple went through with the release
of System 7, and SUN did jumping from their Sun O/S (BSD) product to Solaris.  There is
not a lot of backward compatability with the applications, and in many cases the
hardware.  Their soulution is to buy a new N-Class server, run Samba and whatever, your
Mission Critical Oracal RDBMS, and hope like hell that they will throw enough resources
at you to keep you going.  After all, they have a less experience than most of us when
it comes to Samba would be my guess, although they claim to be up to snuff and have
"Been on board all along", again, LOL.  We'll see.

Their next big challenge -- LINUX

HP Flames Off.

I thank the SAMBA Team, and the LINUX Team for all of their efforts in bringing much
needed software to the masses -- and rubbing HP's nose in something.

BTW:  My comments and opinions are mine and do not reflect those of my employer

Best regards,

Peter Bye 
Lead Analyst
High Performance & Technical Computing
pcbye at mmm.com

		"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity;
		          and I'm not sure about the universe."
				 -- Albert Einstein --

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