> -----Original Message-----
> [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] Behalf Of prad
> Sent: Tuesday, June 24, 2008 11:00 PM
> To: freebsd-questions@freebsd.org
> Subject: why an old operating system
> in our search for servers we contacted genstor (on the freebsd
> compatible hardware list) and a very nice fellow talked to us and sent
> us a quote. it was out of our price range, but i was very puzzled to see
> that the brand new and powerful system they were putting together was
> going to be operating with freebsd 5.4
> why would a new system such as this be supplied with such an old os?

The simple reason is support.

They know that most purchasers will be wiping off the FreeBSD 5.4
install and loading FreeBSD 6.3 on their new server hardware as
soon as they get it.

Thus if a customer calls up complaining that they have discovered
some hardware bug or problem, they can simply say that it must
be the newer version of FreeBSD has a bug in it.  To get support
the customer is then stuck in the position where he has to
nuke and repave his server with the old version of FreeBSD then
try to recreate the problem just to get support (which is a
lot of work) or bitch to the FreeBSD mailing list.

Since it is far easier to bitch to the FreeBSD mailing list, you
can guess what most customers do.

If they run into a really persistent customer who does go to the
trouble of backreving the server to 5.4 then they can claim that
they only support the 5.4 installs that -they- do, and the server
has to be shipped back so they can put it back to how it was
when they preloaded it.  And of course there will be a charge
for this.

In short, unless the customer is -extremely- knowledgeable
about the process of purchasing a commercial build-to-order
server, genstor is going to have a number of bullet-proof 
get-out-of-jail-free cards that they can play to make it
easy to deflect FreeBSD support calls.  And an extremely
customer won't be buying from them, they will be building
their own box, and if they do buy from them, genstor won't
hear anything from the customer in the way of support calls
because the customer will support himself.

FreeBSD servers undoubtedly make up a small fraction of their
business, my guess is they mainly sell Linux boxes.  They will
take the FreeBSD business when they can get it, but on their terms,
not on your terms.  And their terms obviously are to make it
difficult to get support from them.

As Bill Moran said, it's a lot of work to do compatability
assurance.  This is why genstor is getting the big bucks here,
your paying them for a custom-built server and part of what
you are paying them for is for them to have done the
compatability assurance on the CURRENT version of FreeBSD.
If they AREN'T going to do it, then they add absolutely no
more value than if you just bought the parts and built it
yourself - my guess is they are hoping most of their customers
haven't figured that out.

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