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Message Posted: Thu, 03 Jun 2004 @ 15:44:53 GMT

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Subj:   Re: Teradata on a Linux Platform
From:   Charles Farley


My personal opinion is that NCR should do a couple of things differently. Basically, get out of the hardware branding business, sell the bynet setup and associated NICs. Market the hardware/software as a package to be installed on pre-approved configs from other vendors, and maximize the services income for consultants.

But beyond that, since they have such a great background in clusters and parallel technology, they need to look to doing some of what Mr. Winter said about clustering and competing with Infiniband and myrinet.

Now, as for some of those technologies, Myrinet is still proprietary (used it as a backbone to a cluster installed last month), and Infiniband isn't seeing the support and push it should from the members of it's consortium (IBM, HP, INtel). Heck, we had to really LOOK to find a switch, and the problem was that they didn't have drivers for the NICs nor could they do the densities we needed. NCR could keep it's tech to itself (my thoughts here are of NCR and it's number one priority, like any other major business, it's stockholders), and still compete. I work for a large company, and there isn't much illusion as to who is more important in the equation: employees, customers, or stock-holders.... hmmm, guess which wins...

But, I nunderstand that, I'm a stock holder myself, it wouldn't be honest to condemn one business for doing what I want another to do anyway. I understand Open Source (or I hope I do, to a decent extent), but most of teh people that are investing in corporations like NCR are in no way in favor of opening up the technology for the market to tear apart and use piecemeal. They are familiar with the way of creating a product, market it, and defend your rights to it vehemently in court if need arises. They are less comfy with the idea of creating a product that you open to anyone who buys it, somewhat without any central control, and then wait for the service dollars to come in. That makes investors nervous.

I think Open Source is great, and I don't have a problem with most proprietary either, but I'm still not personally sure which is a better model. I'm getting well outside of the list topics here, but I just wanted to ramble about what I think is a good direction and I think is sustainable future for NCR. Lower overheads, good margins, and continued focus on core business, plus growth into border-technology areas...

Thanks for listening,


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