Just alerting folk:
Our latest renewal notice from Espresso has informed us that the Cachepilot box has come to the end of its working life. They are charging £150 for a new Linux server to store Espresso on (includes the installation and configuration), plus a compulsory charge of £250 for maintenance. We can't renew Espresso without the hardware upgrade.
I'm not sure how good these prices are, though they seem quite reasonable. The problem for us is that the LEA bought Espresso and the Cachepilot for everyone, and then left us to pay for the renewal after a year. Now we have probably been landed with an unexpected extra cost, on top of losing eLcs which we used to renew Espresso with before. Teachers have found Espresso more and more useful since we got the IWBs a year ago so we can't just ditch it without some thought, and we haven't long in which to make the decision. I thought folks might like some extra warning.
Thanks for the advanced warning, we have a number of schools that use espresso so this might come as a bit of a surprise to some if not all of them
How old is the cachepilot box? I didn't know they had a set life span.
The cachepilot is not end of life CachePilot Products > Overview
more likely Espresso are moving away from this product to a cheaper alliterative
We have Smartcache2 - I'm wondering if this is affected as well?
This is going to go down like a lead balloon with one of my schools as they're already clawing back money on everything else.
It'd be useful to know which hardware systems are affected as I can't really see this being something that hits everyone.. I'd be a bit concerned if it did...
I'm not sure if it will happen straight away to everyone. Our cachepilot box was installed by the LEA with one year of Espresso free, about 5 years ago. If we didn't want Espresso after that, the LEA allowed us to keep the box, although we did decide to keep Espresso and used eLcs to pay for it. I discovered that there was only storage on the box for about 5 years of Espresso updates from the trainer who came out for the first training session. But I'd lost track of time....I assume the LEA covered the one-off installation cost of the box from Espresso. Our renewal comes up in August, and the letter states:
"As you may be aware [nope], the cache server being used to store and receive updates to the Espresso service is coming to the end of its working life and is running out of disk space. In addition, Centreprise no longer support the cache for warranty and repairs."
So it is unclear whether this will affect you all (because of warranty and repairs), or only those who have had their cache boxes for 5 years. I still think it was a good idea to warn you!
leco (1st July 2008)
Just to add my twopennyworth In Surrey all schools had a Cachepilot installed different models for primary and senior these are certainly less than 5 years old more like to 2 or 3 years in my schools. I work in 5 primary level schools 3 of whom use Espresso. Teachers have noticed that Espresso is not updating (since end of April mostly!) Now that it has been drawn to my attention I have made enquiries and have been told that the cachepilot is full and we need to replace it with a bigger and better one costing £1500.
A little outside the budget of a 75 child Infant school - especially when no advance warning was given.
Anyone else had same problem or have we just got stupid little hard drives in our cachepilot (Surrey Cheapskates version).
And why are you having to buy another cachepilot, at £1500, when Espresso are offering us a Linux server for £150 + £250 maintenance and warranty??
From what I understand, espresso's offering of a linux server is based on the NetPilot Remote appliance.
The unit only has espresso installed and has no other functionality that the CachePilot runs. e.g. Content Delivery, Pre-caching, Integration with all content providers (Channel 4, Espresso, Pearson).
The CachePilot has all of the above funcitionality, as well as VPN, Firewall, Full Integration with Stanns Guardian and Secure Computing.
The standard cost of a CachePilot is also £1125.
I work for a distributor of Equiinet and we are accredited CachePilot Distributors.
Should you have any further questions, by all means please ask.
Thanks for the heads up on this one. I cover four primaries all with Espresso, although one has now declined the offer to continue with updates because as the teachers rightly said how can they plan to use it if they don't have access to it from home where they do most of their planning. I know Espresso have said they are looking in to this but that could take forever! If we get that message to upgrad at that cost I think it might be the final straw for others to exit stage left and leave espresso behind. Currently out of 4 schools, one has stopped, one is looking at alternatives, one is looking for a reason to stop and the other is using it but a request like that would put an end to it.
We had our LA come in and "retune" our cachepilot to act as a proxy for our staff. The engineer wanted to then point all staff accounts to the cachepilot and a disagreement ensued. I didnt see the point as we had our own ISA server sitting on its own box and they had just made that defunct. So after 10 minutes of argueing I let him do it, leave and then just pointed staff back to our ISA server.
Thought I had better let you know that the Linux server was installed and Espresso is running fine. We have kept the CachePilot because the LEA paid for it and said we could, but the Espresso content on that has been removed. At some point, I may get my head around using it for something else. Keeping the CachePilot, and me not thinking ahead, means that we have a new IP address for Espresso at school; this meant I had to do some very fast editing of shortcuts, especially on teacher's standalone laptops, but otherwise everything has gone fine.
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