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Thank you,

Support

edited October 2011 in DrivePool
Now please do not take this in the wrong way as I like what I see of DrivePool, although I will probably wait until M4 or RC1 before converting my WHS V1 environment to WHS 2011.  Alex is very responsive and he (and others) are very helpful in these discussions.

My concern is about Covecube Inc.  I know nothing about them.  If I am going to trust DrivePool with all my data (and yes I will have backups but they will never be completely up-to-date), I would be grateful for some more information:

1. How big is the Development Team (or is it just Alex)?
2. How big is the Support Team (or is it just Alex)?
3. Is the source (at least when it gets to RC1) fully documented, so that others in Covecube could take over should something terrible happen to Alex (not that I wish him any harm at all!)?
4. Have you considered (post-RC1) putting the code into Escrow so that should the unthinkable happen, then others would be able to continue support?

As I said, I like all I see about DrivePool and Alex but I have to worry about the security and safety of my own data.

Keep up the good work and roll on M4/RC1.

Comments

  • edited October 2011 Covecube
    Covecube Inc. is a registers Inc. in the United States (state of Delaware). It was founded in Feb. 2010 by me.

    It started as a team of one with the intention to grow the company into something larger. This was always the plan and is why this is an Inc.

    I am still in the process of putting out our initial offerings (the demise of Drive Extender in WHS 2011 complicated things, to say the least).

    Once the foundation is in place, and if people like what they see and support the company, it will grow.

    It is definitely a lot of hard work.

    ----

    As for the code, rest assured that it's well organized and being backed up. This is not an amateurish operation.

    The office is on a UPS capable of supporting us for 3 hours on battery, with the option of continuing power by generator.

    The company has a subversion server where everything is checked in. Full code history is available for everything. All the code is checked in at the end of the day.

    The debugging information is built and saved for every build that gets created by the deployment system.

    There are 2 local on-site backups and 2 separate off-site backups (Amazon / Crashplan) for the source control. The off-site backups are encrypted locally, and independently, with AES before they leave the office.

    Debugging information is checked into the source control system and backed up with everything.

    I can open a dump file / error report from any build in the past almost instantly. I can make a new build within minutes. Everything is streamlined.

    DrivePool itself has 4 different debugging methods that can be used to troubleshoot various kinds of failures remotely. Aside from the human readable logs, there are detailed binary kernel logs, error reports, and windows dump files for system crashes.

    This was not easy to implement but streamlines the troubleshooting process immensely.

    ----

    About DrivePool's future, 

    It is of course my full intention to update the software post-1.0.

    I see it this way. Some companies take many months to fix the most critical bugs in already released software (cough, Micros..., drive extender caching bug). Some don't even do that.

    I always intended, and still do, to release a solid 1.0.

    Right now, we're in open but limited BETA, so it's not there yet. You don't see any fancy web pages advertising the merits of DrivePool. This is intentional.

    For now we have a simple wiki and a forum.

    Overall, my vision for Covecube Inc. is to build great software that people love to use, but to do it in an open and cooperative way.
  • Many thanks for your honest response.
  • Covecube
    To answer your specific questions:

    1. I am the founder, and as of right now am the only employee. I do not have another full time job. Covecube Inc. is my only and full time job.
    2. The current support policy is web support through stablebit.com/contact. Contact requests are answered as soon as possible, most of them within 24 hours. I answer the requests personally.
    3. The source code is documents and well organized, but I am the only one who looks at it right now.
    4. I have considered different avenues post-1.0, but we have to get there first. Covecube doesn't have a solid initial offering at this point and that's where I'm putting 100% of my energy.

    My personal inspirations are all the individuals out there who have made a living by creating products that people love to use.
  • Your software is rock solid on my HP Media Smart EX485 and performance as well even though it's still in beta. Drivepool is much better than the Microsoft Dirveextender on WHS v1. Keep up a good work.
  • Yes works very well indeed. I now have 11 2tb disks in the pool. There was a few problems early on, but it is now working great. Noone should doubt Alex's dedication in this. Noticed from the start how eager he was trying to fix things. Reported some problems, and all of them was fixed in a matter of days. So thumbs up from me Alex!
  • No one is doubting Alex's dedication.  As I read the OP's comments, I thought "why the heck haven't I asked that".  I'm an Internal Auditor by profession and those questions are very common when examining IT departments.  These are the types of questions one would ask before investing in a business or before using a product that is quite unique and specialized.  In fact, I've asked those very questions of companies we have looked at using in a SAAS (Software As A Service) form.  I hope Alex didn't take those questions the wrong way, and judging by his responses, I would say he didn't.

    Alex, thank you for all your hard work and dedication.  I'm looking forward to the completed product! 
  • Hello all,

    273c brings up very important questions, too important to be left alone for the fear of hurting the feelings of Alex.

    Most people in this community seems to have a very close relationship with Alex and I also think that he deserves both respect and admiration.

    I was truly amazed to learn that he has achieved this piece of software all alone, but more is at steak here than hurting Alex's feeling - which I don't think that well meant advice will do.

    I will certainly not put all my important data in the hands of one single person however clever and trustworthy he might be.

    Everyone can imagine a number of scenarios where things get out of hands for one single person, so for the sake of business credibility for your product Alex, please consider steps to ease everybody's minds. I am not in a position to make direct recommendations, but I am sure that in your country, as in mine, there are vendor/developer communities who can assist you in this delicate situation.

    Kind regards, Finn

     

  • edited October 2011 Member
    I suggest you take a look under the scenes and see exactly what Drivepool does with your data and you'll quickly see that it really wouldn't matter if Alex was abducted by aliens, you're data is not at the mercy of his drivepool software or him.

    Hello all,

    I will certainly not put all my important data in the hands of one single person however clever and trustworthy he might be.Everyone can imagine a number of scenarios where things get out of hands for one single person, so for the sake of business credibility for your product Alex, please consider steps to ease everybody's minds. I am not in a position to make direct recommendations, but I am sure that in your country, as in mine, there are vendor/developer communities who can assist you in this delicate situation.Kind regards, Finn 

  • edited October 2011 Member
    I approve what DrTone says.  The only thing DrivePool do with your data, is spreading it thru multiple harddisks on a file by file basis - not a single one will ever get splitted.  More, storage is always NTFS - readable from whatever computer you have.

    The customer will always have the choice to use or not a certain technology.  It is brave coming from Alex to respond these questions the way he does.  I approve his thinking and honesty.

    Remember that it not because a Company (with a big C) provides a service or software that they can't disappear the day after.
  • edited November 2011 Resident Guru
    I can't emphasize the responses of DrTone and Codegear enough.

    DrivePool does NOT lock up your data. If both Alex and DrivePool somehow disappeared without trace overnight, you could still simply open your partitions in Windows Explorer and all of your files would be there, completely readable.

    TL,DR: The initial post by 273c asked good questions (and received good answers), but the "delicate situation" Huage48 subsequently imagines? There isn't one.
  • So that's why the Devil didn't make sense: He forgot to include his audience. Henrik Ibsen: Peer Gynt.

    Drive bender is useless - had my hopes for the ofiicial release. Will try out DrivePool and will probably join the congregation.

    Hope for forgiveness.

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