back to article Fastscale sends Windows Server to Weight Watchers

Fastscale is bringing its unique brand of software shrinking to Windows Server. The start-up this week unleashed - if you can use such a word for a company with 15 paying corporate customers - a shiny new version of Fastscale Composer Suite. Up to this point, the code has been locked down to Red Hat servers and applications, …


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  1. JT2008
    Dead Vulture

    Does crow taste good?

    Didn't you write "Taking the trade out of tradeshows - start-ups set for failure (10 August 2007)"?


  2. Ashlee Vance (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Does crow taste good?

    Ah, well, indeed I did. To Fastscale's credit, they recognized my brilliance and influence and apologized profusely for the odd NDA tradeshow policy. Any start-up that figures out how important I am, moves from Fail to Maybe.

  3. JT2008

    Re: Does crow taste good?

    Nice save!

    Are you sure you're not Simon Travaglia?

  4. Ashlee Vance (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Does crow taste good?

    I wish.

  5. TC

    Whats the point

    I don't see the massive reasoning behind this software - it is clever but where will it generate benefits?

  6. Matt

    Jumping up and down

    Assuming the figures are 100% accurate they're talking about saving 3.25GB. With today's disks that's hardly worth jumping up and down about, is it?

    Or have I missed something?

  7. Kaal Alexander Rosser


    I assume that with the decrease in disk image comes a decreased memory footprint as the OS/App will not be loading tonnes of redundant drivers/apps/modules into RAM. That is incredibly useful in the virtualisation arena; even on normal bare-tin boxes it'll mean the whole thing being more efficient.

    That's the way I see it. From the blurb it also seems that it can deliver a defined subset of functionality to a particular server/blade/VM which would mean being able to run up a migration environment from the old bare-tin an app was on to a VM. Damned handy that.

    Assuming the blurb is accurate. ;)

  8. Ash

    @Michael Duke

    You have access to the SAS System?

    How about the Nokitel code?

    Your Kung Fu Style number 10!

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    And also....

    ....tighten down security. If you only have the specific drivers etc, this produces a narrow window for "extraneous activities".

    There's also been a few cracked XP and Vista lite editions flying around on the warez for a few years now, so it's not a totally new concept. One XP edition came to 150 MB and that still included tons of drivers. As mentioned, that worked nicely on VM.

  10. Damfoose


    From what I can see the smaller footprint of the OS means less HD space used with bloat more things in memory being used rather than taking up memory and doing nothing, Less stuff backed up when the system fails ( itl happen some time ) less things that could possabilly go wrong thus making the admins life easier.

    Wonder if they can do the same for vista .......

  11. SimonG

    Other opportunities

    What about shrinking the code down enough to run a full OS on a PDA?

    Or linking this into CMDBs and automatic provisioning systems?

    Just a thought

  12. Pete Silver badge

    disks cheap: admin time expensive

    With the cost of disk space at somewhere around 10p per gigabyte, you'll pardon me if I don't get excited about saving a few GB. Even with enterprise storage at 30 times that cost, the space savings are dwarfed by the cost of your system admin goofing around to make these paltry savings in the first place.

    Even worse is when you discover that a previously un-needed (or overlooked) component has been missed out. The change-control, downtime, reconfiguration, asset management and testing means that your saving has probably cost the organisation several times more for each "oops" than all the possible savings put together.

    Better to fully load your configuration with all possible modules and software components right at the start. If you never use them, then nothing's lost except a small corner of your system disk. They'll never get loaded into memory, nor executed, and therefore won't take up any important resource. Doing this also keeps you sweet so far as software support goes. Try calling in a fault to the vendor/supporter, only to explain to the hell-desk people that you've fiddled about with the installation, but please will they fix it for you anyway? You won't even need a phone to hear them laughing at you.

    For the seriously stingy, there's always "nliteos" which has been paring down operating systems for a long time.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    The number of people who dont get the point is pretty funny.

    It isn't about disk space, it's about only installing what you need. This has a large number of rewards.

    Fewer things to patch.

    Fewer misc things can go wrong and trash your machine.

    Fewer security vulnerabilities to attack.

    It's about really knowing what's running on your server, and if you don't know the value of that, well then what's the point.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Interesting, but it's easier than that.

    Microsoft could destroy the company in seconds, by introducing an unencrypted form of readyboost that used internal ram.

    So I stick 20Gig of ram in a box (£800), 4 gig used for applications and OS, and then 14Gig of cheap ram to cache every file in SystemRoot, Program Files and Documents and Settings, and 2Gig of Ram to store the Paging file.

    Hey presto, most files are loaded once, so the machine just gets faster and faster and faster, to an asymptotic limit dependent on the motherboard components, where the only things being written are a few logs and a few user files. It then doesn't really matter how slow the drive is.

    They won't do this of course, because the geniuses at the backend who powered microsoft's rise, have now made the company so successful it can afford to take on "business analysts" and "product development" consultants, and these have overruled the clever people with flowery talk.

  15. Chris Hills

    @Michael Duke

    7TB in 2U still does not compare to the 72TB you can get in 4U if you load up a Sun X4500 with the Seagate 1.5TB monsters! Even with "only" 1TB disks, you can still get a health 48TB. I wish more vendors would take the top-loading approach as it offers a much greater density than front-loading.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    RE: lol

    I agree, the point isn't what your saving in disk space, its the software management. Using this system would appear to make applications more maintainable across a large number of machines because they are all drawing the software from a single location.

  17. Gordon Grant
    Thumb Up

    Hmm at some of the comments

    Hmm El Reg I think some of these comments have gotten stuck in the wrong thread, might wanna give the comments DB a shake...

    As to the story, good idea, I mean Imagine it Vista with the eye candy but not the bloat running on a nice "older" system with say 1Gb of Ram instead of 4Gb + god knows how much HDD space, just wish MS would get the point that more isn't always well "more".

  18. Henry

    Right Direction

    There's something to be said for building a server in 10 minutes or increasing the density of images per box or reducing the maintenance window for offline/online defragmentation of the image or building a server with nothing but usb drive ports with true plug and play functionality or using them in combination with SSflash drives in high performance applications to lower per unit costs.

    Somebody has to be able to see some advantage to this.

  19. Anonymous Coward

    Oh God ...

    Surrounded by half-wit children.

    Neither wonder computing is in such a state.

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