Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The need for legacy support

Zerowait is in the legacy service and support business. It is a niche business, that is expensive for OEM's to handle, but it is important to the end users we support. Legacy systems are inevitable because networks are never completely upgraded and often systems and networks are left as islands to be upgraded later. For example, the US Government is often left with legacy network issues as this article points out.

"HUD's problems start with its IT infrastructure. The agency has multiple grants management systems that can't share data, still renews about $7 billion in low-income grants using an inefficient paper-based system, maintains at least 16 financial management systems, and has IT systems that are, on average, 15 years old. Historically, only a small percentage of IT spending has been set aside for new development, including 2% in 2008."

Providing high availability service and support for legacy systems is a very specialized business. Many of our NetApp service and support customers can no longer get support from the OEM. The OEM has decided that these legacy customers are not worth maintaining, and their sales and engineering resources are better utilized pursuing new product opportunities. But with budgets tight and resources limited some customers are forced to maintain legacy equipment. Our job is to keep the older equipment running reliably, so when the customer can afford to upgrade he can.

In our view keeping reliable equipment running is not competing with new product sales, since the customers are not in a position to upgrade the legacy equipment. Our customers trust that Zerowait will continue to provide them with honest answers and well thought out solutions. As the Wall Street Journal editorial points out today:

"Most importantly, trust will become the critical factor. Without the luxury of time, trust will be the new currency of our times, whether in news sources, economic systems, political figures, even spiritual leaders. As change accelerates, it will remain one true constant."

Do you trust your Storage vendor to provide you with honest assessments of performance and ROI calculations?

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