[DRBD-user] Isn't the support contract rather expensive?

Maurice Volaski mvolaski at aecom.yu.edu
Sat Aug 27 00:09:59 CEST 2005

Note: "permalinks" may not be as permanent as we would like,
direct links of old sources may well be a few messages off.

>I respectfully disagree with this.  For the comparison to be meaningful
>either it has to be compared to the cost of support on other open source
>products or you have to apply an estimated "licensing" cost to drbd.

It's true that I was comparing it to commercial software, but that 
doesn't necessarily make the comparison flawed. Canto, for example, 
provides "free" upgrades as part of its contract. So outside the 
initial outlay for the software, the comparison is not unreasonable.

>There are several open source applications out there that offer commercial
>support: ClamAV, Squid, Samba etc.  Some sell commercial support from at
>$150/hour in 20 hour blocks regardless of the time it takes to use that.

One can argue the comparison here isn't meaningful either. It appears 
that these providers are generic/consulting firms that are not 
directly involved in the development on these programs. It's not 
clear how these firms would handle bugs in a supported product. Would 
they fix bugs and send them upstream to the programs' authors? In the 
case of drbd, the support is directly from the authors. The best 
comparison, I guess, would be to compare a similar arrangement.

The hourly rate makes it hard to compare with the generic duration of 
the drbd contracts. So who would use 20 hours of tech support in a 
year? It sounds like a lot, both in time and in cost. What counts for 
the time? Fixing bugs or just phone time interaction with the 

Maurice Volaski, mvolaski at aecom.yu.edu
Computing Support, Rose F. Kennedy Center
Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University

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