Tag: leak

Problems for NBNco revenue growth over the next 8 months

After tonight’s earlier post, I have along with JXeeno of myNBN.info have taken the time to model the newly discovered rollout delays into the statistics system over there and graphed them out.

The results are published below, and are  very troubling for NBNco and supporters of the project.

The impact of premises passed and able to connect to the NBN in the next 8 months will grow much slower than previously anticipated. Click for full size.

The impact of premises passed and able to connect to the NBN in the next 8 months will grow much slower than previously anticipated.

The biggest problem you will see here is that the growth of connected premises will have a significant hole up until April 2014 when the growth of premises passed will start to come on stream properly. NBNco has consistently called this the ramp up. We have already have seen the initial ramp-up in May, June and July this year, where the active premises has jumped considerably, adding well over double the amount of previously passed premises.

So what happens when you do not pass premises? Well for one, they cannot connect. Now with NBNco looking for all the revenues it can get while paying Telstra the first $7million of it’s disconnection bounties, it would seem that you would want people on the network as quickly as possible. Making the total market size smaller will only reduce the increases in revenues which NBNco would have dearly loved.

It is way too early for any real data on exactly how bad this will be. The only silver lining is that with take up rates very strong and at higher speeds than anticipated, NBNco CEO Mike Quigley stated at the Joint Parliamentary Committee in Sydney on April 19th that they were was expecting to beat its $15million revenue target for FY13. This along with Connectivity Virtual Circuit (CVC) charges which have been levied against RSP’s for allowing bandwidth onto the NBN Network to their customers has also been much higher than budgeted and is also helping significantly to the revenue base of NBNco and certainly faster than was planned. It will take time to model exactly the impact of these figures, but data of takeup rates due to be released under FOI requests in the next 3-4 weeks will help.

Thankfully, the numbers planned for completion in May 2014 are almost back on par with previously planned number, while June 2014 will see the deficit being cleared completely and beaten by around 56,000 premises, while July 2014 is now also ahead of the previous forecasts. But the damage will have already been done and the revenues since earlier in the financial year will not have been there.

A bit of free advice for NBNco:

  • Get your Fixed Wireless towers up, right now. Time to push Ericsson to pull back the deficits in all states, and especially WA and SA. You need to be ahead of plan by the end of this calendar year, and the towers not only need to be active but have active RSP’s on their Points of Interconnect (I’m talking about Dubbo WSAMs and also 2HOM-01 recently where the FSAM was activated but Lidcombe POI was not. I am sure there are other examples.
  • Make sure that areas already active have sufficient resources applied to them in order for connections to be made. Horror stories on Whirlpool of people going to the back of the line due to either civil works required, or contractors just not turning up because it was a bit wet simply is not good enough. An appointment missed is revenue missed for 2 months.
  • Get more MDU’s on deck. Your contractors dealing with them are slow and inefficient. Your communication to Owners Corporations is rather dire where nobody knows what is going on and contractors have not got the information.
  • Make a database that can be searched along with the name of the MDU, the address, and the contact point of the Owner’s Corporation if known. Has the MDU made contact with NBNco? Has permission been granted by the Owners Corporation to have the fibre installed? This would all help people chase their development for you.

NBNco accidentally leaks full list of FSAMs to Interwebs

Well, it has been an interesting couple of hours. I’ve been pretty quiet on the NBN front in the last couple of weeks as work has been rather busy, but this deserves a special post.

For those that follow my twitter account @Monsta_AU, you may have noticed a small post earlier tonight.

Massive leak of data from #NBNco today. Gearing up to release it later tonight after cleanup. Comes from public document published by NBNco.

Well, this is the post announcing what I have found.

Today, NBNco published an update to its DCD plan on its website in both PDF and XLS (as ZIP) formats. The DCD plan is a listing of when the Fibre Serving Area Module (FSAM, or each separate area on the NBNco Rollout Map) is completed and the timer starts on the 18 months for the disconnection of the copper phone services in that area. The PDF is fairly boring, but the ZIP file containing an XLS spreadsheet is available from http://www.nbnco.com.au/content/dam/nbnco/documents/rollout-info-irrr-dcd-09-August2013.zip, while due to the data contained within and the fact that I fully expect this data to be pulled offline around 8am Monday, I am mirroring at http://blog.themonsta.id.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/rollout-info-irrr-dcd-09-August2013.zip.

Upon noting this data had change via an automated checker, I downloaded the file and opened in Excel to that it contains links to a master data source. Knowing that this means there will be some cached data within the file, I started doing some massaging, and with some help from another source I was able to pull out a heap of data from the original spreadsheet. Data I am sure that management at NBNco will want to make sure is not in the public domain. Well, you guys published it in your own website.

While I have cleaned up the data, and killed a heap of columns that don’t help anybody, there’s some really interesting data in the XLSX. Like how much delay has occurred on a particular FSAM in just 5 months. But bes of all, there is a listing of a large number of FSAMs. There’s 1107 records. NBNco announced a while ago that they have designed the rollout for a million premises around the nation. It’s my educated guess that this spreadsheet is the FSAMs that contain that one million premises. The entire NBN rollout will pass around 11 million homes, so this is about 10% of the entire rollout.

There is some data in here that will upset some people, especially where some dates now being shown have commencement dates in 2018 and 2019. You will have to ask NBNco why that is. I will be sending a complete extraction of the data to various local technology journalists that I respect and trust so they can do the full analysis of the information we have then ask NBNco what is going on.

As an NBN supporter, I have mixed emotions about releasing this just weeks from a federal election that could indeed see the project scuttled by radical conservatives that seem to be driven to implement a pamphlet rather than properly costed policies. If Malcolm and Tony want to use this against the NBN, I will be here posing the inadequacies of their Fraudband policy. However by releasing this I believe the data being available in the tech community will enable debate and keep everybody honest.

FILE: http://blog.themonsta.id.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Full_List_NBNco_Designed_FSAMS_20130801.xlsx (65Kb)

The original Microserver G8 System Diagram – not what we will get

Here is a System Diagram for the G8 Microserver from the product planning stage. It differs from what we now know we will get, but the basics are there.

The original Microserver System Diagram. This is no longer the 'real' version as it has a Micro SDcard on the mothermoard, the iLO (red box bottom right) is confirmed as not being an option, and there is only one SATA port on the motherboard.

The original Microserver System Diagram. This seems to be from earlier in the product design phase.

It seems like there will only be one SATA port based on the Beta Units and also the images and documentation coming from HP now, where this slide suggests it will have two. I am almost certain that the chipset will actually support two SATA ports, just that there is only one on these models. We may see a second port on an ‘updated’ model with faster CPUs just like the G7 models – and there is possibly a quadcore CPU on the horizon.

Missing from this slide is the Micro SDcard on the motherboard. Also the iLO ‘option’ in the red square on the bottom right-hand side is now confirmed as standard and not an option module.

Customisation of the Microserver – HP to steal ServersPlus ‘Pimp My Microserver’ idea?

On the eve of the official product announcement for the Microserver G8, we have been passed more information from a HP Source, and on the face of the information provided it would appear that HP is considering offering kits to Mod Your Microserver. Previously ServersPlus in the UK ran a ‘Pimp My Microserver‘ competition, which was a pre-cut decal kit that you could apply to your Microserver.

As shown previously in the Orange Door version of the Microserver, more has come to light in retail kits that you can change the door colour, and now possibly the perforation shape, size and pattern of it also.

Customisation possibilities from HP

Customisation possibilities from HP

It could be very possible that HP will organise a number of ‘Customisation kits’ with a different door faceplate, and some decals for each side of the Microserver. Now I love a Slurpee as much as anyone but I am not sure if many people would like a ‘7-Eleven’ design for their Microserver. I definitely would like to see some VMware ones, maybe a set of HP logo decals for the sides. I am also very sure that some people would love some Linux-themed decals, maybe a CentOS?

The ‘Pimp My Microserver’ competition gained two standout popular votes – the eventual winner was a Borg Cube design, however the ‘Tardis’ design followed just 1% behind in the voting. Given it is the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who, then I think there is a marketing opportunity. We all know the Microservers are dusted with Timelord Technology – they are bigger on the inside 😉

It would appear that those OEM’s wanting to order a large enough batch (LVO stands for Large Volume Orders) of Microservers could indeed be able to order a customised door with a different pattern to the ‘Gen8 Family’ pattern. One would think that third-party vendores could take the base Microserver and turn it into a variety of different appliance, adding different Operating Systems and options. There could indeed be a supported NAS from a current major player or even a new player, built on the Microserver platform.

The ‘Whitebox’ door above  with a complete-coverage ‘square’ punch actually looks pretty decent, but you could change the punch shape to circles or hexagons too. I’d love to see some of you out there come up with a few photoshop ideas on what you would like to see on a door. So go ahead, make them and post.

Also, HP have a document on how to change over the door. Looks like you could sandwich some open-cell foam in there for dust suppression too. Lots of options start springing to mind now.

HP Document on how to swap a door bezel

HP Document on how to swap a door bezel

EXCLUSIVE: The Microserver Switch Module revealed

After the “Top Secret” photos earlier in the week, we can now reveal the following Microserver Module – a PS1810-8G Gigabit Ethernet switch. Basically it is the normal HP 1810-8G switch (Product code J9449A) stuffed into a new Microserver-shaped case.



Looks pretty good, and the specifications of the 1810-8G are really good. 802.3ad Link Aggregation, Vlans, all the really handy stuff you want as a network admin. I think this will be a game changer in the small branch offices.

Why? Because it will make it easy to run a couple of Microservers, team the Network cards on each into the switch, and uplink them into the workgroup switch. It also leverages Power over Ethernet (PoE) to power the switch on port 1. If you have a larger workgroup switch that already has PoE capability which is often used to provide 48VDC to devices via the ethernet cable in order to power them without plugpacks, you can use that to power the switch and reduce cabling clutter.

PoE is mature technology and is used to power devices like IP Phones and WiFi Access Points. I am seeing more and more affordable PoE switches in the enterprise as IP Phones are making their mark and business sees the benefit of not having powerpacks everywhere.


As you can see the module is shaped to the design of the Microserver and is stackable. Very neat and tidy.


And finally here is the HP Sheet on these. Click to enlarge it!


I hope you can all see where this is going. After my previous post regarding the External Storage Module being dropped, then being told that a backup module exists, it starts becoming pretty clear that the Microserver range will be used as a base to external modules. I think it is a really cool system, keeping the base unit small and cheap to manufacture, while giving customers the opportunity to expand their systems as required.

EXCLUSIVE: Internal photos of the HP Microserver G8 leaked

Well here are the photos you have all been waiting for – a world exclusive of the HP Microserver G8 with all the internal photos to answer all the questions you were after,  and a full 7 days before the Official HP product announcement.



First off, we have inside the door. We see a completely different design in the G8 from the outgoing G7. The biggest changes are the stock HP Non-Hot Plug LFF Drive caddies, some of you may already be familiar with these from the DL120 servers. Also the front of the server is closed with meshed steel panelling. This is quite the change from the open fronted G7 where you could open the door to gain access to not only the hard disks in the cage, but also the internal USB port.

Other features of note include a magnetically latched door, and no apparent locking mechanism. To me, this seems like a major oversight from HP as they are positioning this model as an enterprise-ready, remote branch office basic file & print server, maybe doing local Active Directory, DHCP & DNS. As a IT Consultant that specialises in hardware and networking myself, I know how inquisitive fingers can be. If I was putting any sort of server in a remote location, I would want it locked down tight. The key lock of the G7 achieves this, but is conspicuously absent in the G8.

And yes, that thing on top we cannot tell you about yet, but there will be a reveal on this blog later this week ahead of the official HP announcement of this server at HP Discover in Las Vegas on 11-13 June.


Next we pop the case off and have a look on top. We see a large rubber grommet on the top of the Microserver unit, stamped with ‘FBWC’ – or in HP jargon – Flash backed Write Cache. This is what will turn your standard disinterested RAID10-level B120i controller into a much more efficient and effective RAID5 unit.

You can look up the cost of these FBWC modules yourself, but brace yourself for some sticker shock as they are not cheap. Also, we have not yet spotted a header on the motherboard where these plug in.

On the right you can also see the quick-release tab for the slimline DVD/RW optical drive. You have seen these on most of the current G8 servers and probably some of the bigger G7’s also.


We now move to the rear of the unit, where we can see two Gigabit Ethernet ports, four USB3.0 ports as previously confirmed on this blog, VGA port, dedicated iLO4 port, and a low-profile PCIe x16 slot. There’s also a standard IEC power plug for the PSU, and you will notice the sound-deadening rubber grommets around the main fan screws which help to lower noise.

One thing that may slip you attention – the quick release motherboard tray tab just underneath the main fan. Push that tab down, and as long as you have unplugged all cables in the motherboard then you can pull that entire motherboard tray out bacwards without tools. For those of us with skinned knuckles after the G7, this looks extremely easy to work on.


We now look at the right hand side, and there are two major points of interest. First and most obvious is the two memory slots which will make memory replacement one of the easiest things you have ever done, definitely easier than upgrading the RAM in a laptop. Bravo HP, you are to be congratulated on this very intelligent design.

So what is the second thing I hear you ask? That blue tab halfway up – that’s your new door locking mechanism! Close the door, push down on the blue tab and it will lock the door shut. Still not the best or most secure solution in my eyes, but will keep most inquisitive fingers at bay.


Now, the side you all really want to see. A standard 150W power supply could indeed be replaced by a more efficient PicoPSU supply and leave plenty of room for at least a couple more drives, maybe you could squeeze 4 2.5″ drives or SSD’s in there.

There are plenty of other goodies in here, but we need to take a closer look.


BOOYAH! Click on it to take a closer look!

There is plenty going on here, so lets take it one step at a time.

First off is the CPU. Now that looks like a reasonably standard Northbridge heatsink, but in this case it actually does the cooling duties for an i3-3220T CPU. This CPU has a TDP of 35W and is pretty much the limit for non-active cooling with a fan. We cannot see if there is a socket under there, but the heatsink seems to be fairly high off the motherboard so initial signs look good for a socket.

Moving left, we can see the power MOSFETs for the CPU power have a heatsink on them too. This will be helpful and make the G8 more reliable.

Further left again and we can see the HP iLO chip which houses plenty of internal smarts for out-of-band remote management. In my day job, we only use HP servers and iLO is the best remote management solution out there bar none. If you haven’t experienced iLO in an enterprise server yet, then you are in for a big surprise.

Towards the front we have the single PCIe x16 expansion slot. This is a little disappointing as many of us were using the x1 slot on the G7 for another network card, possibly a TV tuner. Personally I modded the x1 and proprietary x4 slot into open slots, and dropped a HP NC360T dual-port Gigabit Ethernet card into it. that addition gave me a total of 3 network ports which is almost a requirement for an ESXi lab machine. Hopefully I can get a USB3.0 network adapter which is on the VMware Hardware compatibility list soon.

Down the very front you can spot a MICRO SD CARD SLOT! SD card slots have been on the motherboards of a number of HP servers for a while now, but I have never seen a Micro SD card slot. This is an amazing addition to the Microservers. Next to it you can see the USB2 port for booting from a USB stick – handy for BIOS flashes, or even booting ESXi or FreeNAS from instead.

To the far right we can see a single SATA3 6.0Gbps port, whereas we had documentation leaked from HP stating two SATA3 ports on the motherboard. Now we hope the final units have two ports but I can imagine HP seeing it as a non-essential port. You have got one SATA port for the DVD drive, why do you need two? It seems like HP does not want us to have extra drives.

Finally, we can see the SAS connector on the furthermost right, again providing onboard hardware RAID to the drives in the internal LFF cage.


Finally, the specs of the beta machine. Please remember that this is a beta unit and specifications usually do change. That said, this unit looks reasonable close to manufacturing ready and I doubt there would be too many changes to the chassis or motherboard. About the only thing to change would be the CPU I would suggest.

I hope you have enjoyed our run-through of the beta G8 model, and stay tuned for a special top-secret reveal later this week. I would suggest subscribing to our RSS feed so you get the information as soon as we post it.

It’s not a Microserver, it’s a Micro-Ecosystem for IT

The beta program for the upcoming HP Microserver G8 is in full swing. At least two beta units are out in the field within my sphere of contacts, however I refused the offer to take part in any beta after the removal by the HP Microsevers page on Facebook.

Some of the details I have been leaked by internal HP contacts is only now becoming clear. I was given the follow images last week from someone inside HP.

Microserver_G8_Side Microserver_G8_Stacked

These show a very modular unit, indeed stackable with other Microserver-like chassis units. This feature was considered to be a part of the external storage unit, however with that also confirmed as no longer happening, the modular design seemed to have been a hangover of the previous product development and design.

That is until today. A source familiar with the beta program has passed on the information of a

“stackable unit, smaller in height than the Microserver unit itself, for backup purposes”.

This highly curious information could mean any of the following devices could be on the way:

  • A single high capacity hard disk of 3TB or 4TB;
  • An RDX unit that uses a hard drive in a removable cartridge format; or
  • An LTO4/5 tape backup unit.

Considering the four USB ports on the back, all quite possible scenarios. Of these, I think the RDX unit most likely as this unit is being targeted at the smaller remote offices where a simple backup solution is often lacking.

Another beta tester has raised the possibility of another component that they have actually received and are testing. While I cannot divulge this information yet as it may be traceable back to the end user due to forums I frequent. That said, I was surprised that this sort of module is available and currently testing with customers, but is a brilliant move by HP.

Finally, we found this on a slide from an internal HP source… I wonder what this could be?


The plot thickens!

HP Employee removes tweet with G8 Server range photo

Looks like the employee who leaked an image of the new Generation 8 HP Microserver deleted his tweet over the furore.


James Henry, listed as “Business Development Manager for CloudSystem – Hewlett Packard EMEA” tweeted the above photo and labelled it as “the new Microserver and Project Moonshot server with the rest of the G8 range”.

As of lunchtime today, the tweet is no longer available:


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