On 6 July 2018 at 18:49, Sarah Julia Kriesch <ada.lovelace(a)gmx.de> wrote:
We had more issues with SUSE last year.
Damaged hardware and full disks in the openSUSE infrastructure are an example.
The replacement was declined because of missing money.
If we would have our own budget and an bank account with money by other sponsors, we have
a lower number of such problems.
I wouldn't describe the situation with hardware as "declined because
of missing money"
To understand the situation you need to understand the difference
between Opertional Expenditures (OPEX) and Capitcal Expenditures
SUSE's sponsorship of openSUSE is done using an OPEX budget
That means the budget is annual, with operational expenditures being
fully tax-deductible in the year they are made.
OPEX budgets can only be used for things like Utilities, Travel
Expenses, Merchandise, and the general funds needed to keep the
openSUSE machine running smoothly.
Computer Hardware would be a Capital expenditure (CAPEX)
CAPEX needs to be planned in advance and for tax purposes each capital
asset is tracked for several years for depreciation.
ie. It's not something which can just be easily thrown around
reactively, and has consequences lasting years.
SUSE has no CAPEX budget for openSUSE. None of our hardware sponsors
have dedicated CAPEX budgets for openSUSE.
All hardware we have from all of our hardware sponsors (eg. SUSE, AMD,
AppliedMicro, etc) is provided to us physically precisely so that
openSUSE doesn't need to worry itself with the complexities of
managing a CAPEX budget.
That's why we have the big button for "Contribute Hardware" on
that leads directly to our dedicated email address
(donations(a)opensuse.org) for handling such arrangements
In the case you refer to, yes, a disk broke, but I consider it
unreasonable to expect SUSE to have been able to magically create
previously unbudgeted Capital funds to purchase the hardware required
to replace that which was broken.
If we had our own budget, we'd likely have similar problems to
magically allocate funds for such unexpected replacements. The laws
regarding CAPEX and OPEX are likely to be MORE complicated for any
budget operated by openSUSE, what with European and American laws
being as they are for ensuring non-profits are not used for money
I think we are always going to be dependant on the goodwill of
sponsors to provide us with hardware to operate at the scale we are
As it happens in the case you refer to, I believe workarounds were
found and put in place, services were kept running, and no major
negative impact was felt by the project or contributors.
And if we're lucky SUSE might even slip in a few line items into their
next CAPEX budget planning for openSUSE to help relieve any pressure
Which means I think it's very different from the situation described
by Christian where contributors were negatively impacted in very real
terms, and we don't have any real mitigations available to avoid a
possible repeat, besides good luck and best intentions.
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