Networks & vendor upgrades/fixes

James B. VanBokkelen (JBVB@AI.AI.MIT.EDU)
Fri, 13 Nov 87 09:58:01 EST

    .... If you are running an old release you should upgrade.

        -- WIN

This is one of the problems faced by network managers and users. Upgrading
them might be easy, if they were my machines, and their software was under
maintenance. Not many manufacturers offer software upgrades on a "1 master
per site" basis, and the fees I remember from my PDP-11 days are in the
thousands of dollars a year. Most licenses allow users to copy the new
software to many machines, but having only one set of current manuals breaks
down if more than 5 or 6 people are using them, or they aren't close together.

Regardless, there is a fair amount of effort involved in installing a new
release, whatever the cost, and not many users of these machines are up to
doing so themselves, even if they had time. Customization and O/S-version-
dependent third-party software can make upgrading essentially impossible,
even if attempted by the original installer.

All of which is why many organizations which are setting up large networks
want homogenous hardware, rigid version control, and source code. Perhaps
the manufacturers should put on their thinking caps...


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