Today’s Shadow news is brought to you by Luc, Global Community Lead, and Arnaud, Senior release manager. It will be about the technical aspect of the delays and why Shadow waited so long to communicate about it.

I) Delays, but why?

1) October 29 announcement

Due to our experience regarding infrastructure (GPU, CPU selection, how to install them etc.), we were really confident about respecting the new offers release date despite the many issues and challenges we might face due to the uncommon side of Shadow data center (lots of gaming GPU in the same bay is very uncommon for example)

2) The encountered issues

a) Technical aspect

In Shadow’s industry, it is highly uncommon for plans to go without a scratch. It usually is an accumulation of issues (cooling system issues, motherboard issues etc.), rather than one particular problem, that leads to delays as it was the case here.

Delays are linked to issues met during upstream work rather than late hardware deliveries/order related matters. Engineering needs to test every configuration as a standard machine then, once performance and hardware are approved, Shadow can move to the next step.

Important information:

  • In a data center, moving or changing one piece of hardware might bring along lots of issues and checks (compatibility for example) that just wouldn’t be there on a local PC.
  • Every tiny change must be applied to thousands and thousands of machines (hence the much-needed checks to avoid any issue)

b) Communication

==> Why haven’t you warned users much sooner?

Firstly, no matter what issues were met, Shadow thought they could easily be dealt with, so no reason, at the time, for them to think that the new offers release would be delayed.

Then, it appeared clear to Shadow that there would be delays. All of their teams needed to focus on how to communicate about it and what compensations would be provided to users (ex: allowing user to switch to the boost offer while waiting for their ultra/infinite offers etc.)

==> Why haven’t you stop taking the pre-orders way sooner?

While Shadow was certain to deliver the new offers in time, at some point, it was clear it would be possible (only a small portion of ultra/infinite will be activated in march, the remaining’s offers to be activated in 2020). And that is the biggest mistake of Shadow (not knowing when to stop the pre-orders)

==> Why did you announce deadlines you couldn’t match?

The industry, where Shadow is operating, is quite new. It is then pretty impossible to be 100% sure about a project/idea before diving into it. That being said, at the time of the announcement, every information Shadow had led them to believe that there would be no delays.

Moreover, the industry being new, it led Shadow’s team to encounter many issues that no one has ever met before, thus explaining the unforeseen delays we are met with now concerning the ultra and infinite offers.

II) What’s next?

Every questions will be answered in detail around the 19th of February

These days, Shadow is juggling with different solutions:

  • Which CPU, GPU, RAM etc. To choose. Depending on the solutions, the outcome can be either fast or slow, more expensive or cheaper etc., leading Shadow’s team to reevaluate certain details that they didn’t need to at first.

With each little decision comes along questions about different aspects: financial, technical, compatibility, performance, satisfaction etc. Shadow must organize itself with the different suppliers, and their own team agenda in a smooth and efficient way.

OVH deliveries were on time, as seen in Octave (OVH CEO) tweet, for the Ultra and Infinite offers that are due to be activated in March, though more time is need for installation (around 2 to 3 weeks, plus some final testing). This batch was approved by the engineering team, resulting in the same level of quality of the rest of the offers that will be activated in 2020. Some work is still need on the engineering side for the next batches.

Here is a little summary of what we know so far regarding the delays :

100% of Shadow Boost pre-orders will be activated by the end of February, for those who were expecting delivery in February AND April. (Boost pre-orders made after January 30 will be activated in April)

– A small percentage of people will be activated for their Shadow Ultra & Shadow Infinite offers starting in March.

– Others will be activated over the course of 2020, no specific dates right now but Shadow is working hard to work it out

100% of pre-ordered additional storage will also be delivered by March, for every active Shadow, whatever configuration you have pre-ordered.

– Users will have the option to use Shadow Boost while waiting for their Shadow Ultra or Shadow Infinite pre-order

Many more details to come on February 19