Thursday, December 23, 2010

Smooth Sailing

Smooth sailing 2010

At Zerowait we understand that customer and employee satisfaction are the keys to long term growth. Our aim when we started the company was to create an atmosphere that encouraged employee and customer loyalty, relying on the recommendations and referrals of our customers and business partners to facilitate our growth in a business that demands a sterling reputation.

Our customers and business partners know that they have a personal relationship with Zerowait’s staff, often telling us that it is the relationships they have with our employees that makes their jobs easier. We recognize that there are lots of competitors for our products and services, so we have built our business plan on truly partnering with our customers. Building trust relationships takes time, as partners must invest in their relationship to get the most out of it. Our multi faceted service business would not be successful if it was built on the economics of individual transactions. We recognize that our business growth is attributable to the time we devote to making our business personal.

Thanks to the loyalty of our customers and employees, we continue to grow, with 2010 our best year ever. To enable us to provide better service in Australia/Asia, we will be opening our Sydney, Australia office in 2011. Our Australian business has grown completely on the recommendations and referrals of our customers, and as we continue to expand our Australian/Asian presence we will continue to focus on relationship building to make certain our new customers, wherever they are located, recognize they are part of the Zerowait family.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Mixed messages

Over the last week there have been some interesting articles on NetApp in the press. What drew my attention was the conflicting views in the articles. While the financial press seems to think there is a lot of growth potential in the company, the trade press has noticed that there seems to be a problem with the company's selection of acquisition targets.

Forbes
"NetApp can benefit in multiple ways from demand for cloud services:

(1) Higher storage market share

NetApp has been helping companies evolve to a private cloud infrastructure since before the term cloud became popularized. NetApp private cloud solutions are based on its industry-leading data and storage management technology.

We believe NetApp’s share in storage market will rise as firms adopting Cloud Computing will increasingly turn towards NetApp, one of the pioneers of the industry with proven products and expertise, in order to effect a massive change in their IT infrastructure that will help them remain competitive.

(2) Higher software licenses and demand for consulting services

In addition to witnessing increasing hardware sales, NetApp will see a surge in software license and maintenance as well as support and consulting services revenues, which are dependant on hardware sales, given the newness of the technology provided.

We estimate there could be a upside of 20% upside to the Trefis price estimate for NetApp’s if its share in the storage market increases to 16% by 2017 as against our current estimate of 13%."


On the other hand we have this from Network Computing.

"The end of Decru's market life is also a commentary on NetApp's ability to manage acquisitions. The truth is, some organizations are better at acquiring technologies and making them their own than others. Cisco's leading position in the Ethernet switching business came through the acquisition of switch pioneer Kalpana, (along with a few competitors), and while most storage guys think of Clariion as a pure EMC product, it was initially developed down the road at Data General.

NetApp, on the other hand, has not managed to turn an acquisition into a successful product line. They've had what can, at best, be called modest success with Onaro's SANscreen SAN management tools and the NearStore VTL product line derived from Alacritus's technology. Topio's continuous data protection for heterogeneous environments became NetApp's ReplicatorX before the folks in the corner office decided to rename it, yet again, and kill it off. "

Zerowait's service and support business for NetApp legacy equipment continues to grow strongly as NetApp's customers seek an affordable. and reliable way to extend the lifespan of their primary storage hardware. Additionally, in 2010 our SimplStor product line gained a foothold in more data centers, as storage customers embrace the concept of commodity hardware with enterprise level high availability service and support for their secondary and archival storage. Our international customer base recognizes that Zerowait concentrates on what we do best - providing outstanding service and support.

Friday, December 10, 2010

DC customers

I spent yesterday visiting customers in DC and Northern Virginia , and then went up to Baltimore to have dinner with another customer and friend. Our customers recognize that paying primary storage support prices for secondary and tertiary storage requirements is kind of crazy. Savvy customers also understand that upgrading secondary storage just because your OEM is upgrading their product line does not make financial sense. With budgets tight, our business continues to grow as customers look for a reliable , full service, enterprise storage support solution.


NewPush Selects Zerowait’s SimplStor Storage Controllers and Arrays for New, Low Cost, Off-Site and Disaster Recovery Storage Offering

Offers Private, Managed Storage for Less Than Public Cloud Pricing

Denver, CO (Vocus/PRWEB) December 09, 2010

NewPush announced today a new, low-cost, managed remote storage program ideal for those requiring over 100TB of storage. Balazs Nagy, Chief Architect at NewPush stated "Starting at only $75 per terabyte (TB) per month, this program includes all expenses - space, power, cooling, firewall, and bandwidth with 1 terabyte of transfer for each terabyte of storage. Zerowait SimplStor storage controllers and Arrays offer both low cost and high reliability - key requirements for our new program. Our larger customers have been looking for a cost effective alternative to public cloud storage. SimplStor allows us to provide private managed storage at prices that beat the public cloud offerings. And having worked with Zerowait for years for support of our NetApp products, we know we can depend on their high availability service to provide the uptime our clients demand. Because SimplStor is built on open technology, we can customize the SimplStor storage controllers with the right software tailored to specifically satisfy the most demanding customer needs."

Mike Linett, President of Zerowait added: "We're excited to be part of this new offering from NewPush. We've been working with them for a number of years, providing NetApp systems, architecture and support to help the growing NewPush SAN infrastructure. When NewPush moved into their new data center in Denver, they came to us with requirements for a new high capacity offering. We showed them how SimplStor met these requirements for reliability, density, and low cost of operation, allowing NewPush to offer the pricing needed to compete in this segment. We’re excited that we now have a partner we can refer our clients to when they would prefer to have storage as a utility expense, rather than a capital outlay."

This new offering is scalable from 100TB to over 1PB, and offers the security of private storage vs. a public storage cloud. NewPush also offers remote management for clients that prefer, or need, to keep their data in house in addition to off-site storage starting at 1 TB. Zerowait, in addition to the SimplStor product line, offers NetApp hardware, systems with transferable licenses and post warranty support. Please contact the respective companies for further information.

About NewPush:
NewPush is a global Application and Data Warehouse Hosting Company with customers spread across three continents. Leveraging purpose-built infrastructure, NewPush delivers government organizations, public companies, and medium size businesses a comprehensive suite of solutions. Our engineers solve demanding customers’ requirements that are beyond the scope of traditional hosting providers. As a Zerowait and an IBM Business Partner, NewPush affords its customers technologies that enable faster time to market, increased performance, better value, and reliability. http://newpush.com

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Another great week in Dallas

This week we visited quite a few of our NetApp support customers in the Dallas,TX area and we also discussed our SimplStor archive solution with them. It seems that a lot of folks understand that the expensive secret sauce that the big iron array folks are selling are a bit pricey for secondary storage architectures.

It was a great week in Dallas.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Zerowait's Rapid Response to NetApp's Product Revamp

Zerowait's Rapid Response to NetApp's Product Revamp - Expanded Service, Lower Prices for Older Systems

As NetApp Revamps Majority of Product Line, Zerowait Assures Users of Ongoing Support for Older Systems

Wilmington, DE (Vocus) November 18, 2010

Zerowait has expanded its independent NetApp support program to include newer FAS3000 and FAS6000 systems and storage, even as they continue to reduce their support prices. The Zerowait Parts Assurance (ZPA) policy provides automated monitoring of System Autosupports, including weekly System Status Reports, through the Exception Reporter program, Next Business Day before return replacement of failed components, and 24/7 access to friendly, knowledgeable engineers.

Rob Robinson, Vice President of Sales, says, “Many NetApp customers are shocked when they get a quote from NetApp to continue the support of systems coming out of warranty.” He continued ‘NetApp’s goal is to get the customer to replace their current hardware by keeping support costs for older hardware very high, since they are a hardware sales company. The quality and performance of NetApp storage over the last 5 years has reached the point that most customers are very satisfied with their current systems, and would prefer to continue using them while saving the cost of upgrading. Extending the useful life of a system out to 5 or 6 years allows customers to get the maximum ROI on their storage investment.’

Mike Linett, Zerowait’s President, added, ‘Zerowait is a service company. Our goal is to help our customers get the best return on their NetApp investment. We can typically save the customer 40% - 50% on service, while providing the support and uptime they expect for high availability storage. Our large inventory of parts and Off Lease Systems ensures we have the parts to repair your systems, the shelves and drives to help you grow your system to meet growing storage demands, and complete systems with transferable licenses when your storage needs change or expand. We have customers who depend on 10 year old systems, and depend on Zerowait to keep them going. Whether you have an F330 or a FAS6080, we have the parts and expertise to ensure the uptime you expect from your systems.’

With offices in the US, Europe, and soon, Australia, Zerowait can provide support on a global basis. To arrange for a no obligation review of your system’s status and a support quote, please contact your local Zerowait office today.

About Zerowait:
Headquartered in Wilmington, DE USA; is the worldwide leader in independent service and support of NetApp filers. Zerowait solutions include off-lease fully licensed NetApp systems and the new SimplStor line of single name space archive storage. Storage administrators throughout the world rely on Zerowait to provide affordable solutions to the skyrocketing costs of data storage.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A great week in Australia

This week I was in Australia visiting our customers and talking to them about our SimplStor product line. Our customers in Australia clearly understand that our products can save them a lot of money and one of them pointed me to an information week article that is worth reading. The article ends with this statement.

"Staying with the current paradigm is sustainable only until the unstoppable force of data growth runs smack into the immovable constraint of funding. What happens then? Our money is on the data. To stay competitive, companies of all sizes must explore creative, cost-effective storage alternatives."

One customer said that using Zerowait for their NetApp Service and support has been great, and as they expand they really like the idea of SimplStor for their secondary storage solution. When combined with the storage switch which provides a single Namespace they get the high end storage they need and their price for disk stays very low. They really liked the idea of the starter kit we introduced this month, as it makes storage reliability both simple and affordable.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Competitors and Peers

Many of our customers like to differentiate between competitors and peers. When we look at all the different hardware, services and support that Zerowait provides our customers around the world we find it hard to find any peers. We are keenly aware of our competitors though, and there are a few competitors in each part of our business. But we are unaware of any single company that provides all of the services that Zerowait does.

Many folks would say that EMC, NetApp and IBM are competitors, but they are not peers. They are very different companies and they each have many capabilities that their competition does not have. They are peers in some aspects of their businesses, and when there is a very similar offering from each of them a savvy customer will seek competitive bids. For instance the IBM N series and NetApp FAS series are essentially the same product, with slightly different bezels, stickers, and support models.

IBM, EMC, and NetApp are all customers of Seagate and Hitachi for disks. I am pretty confident that Seagate and Hitachi treat the big three slightly differently based on sales and profitability factors.

Our SimplStor product also uses drives from Seagate or Hitachi, and components from many of the same manufacturers that the big three use. However common the components we all use, we are not competitors.

When Zerowait was a NetApp reseller in the late 1990's our focus was selling the F740 and F760 into the departmental storage niche market. That market niche was not being targeted by either EMC or IBM and so we were able to sell our customers NetApp filers without much competition.

In a similar way our SimplStor is a targeted and unique product. It is targeted towards our customers who need the reliability of name brand components, but want to avoid high priced proprietary software features and support pricing. One of our customers recently mentioned that our lease pricing is lower than the price he was quoted by a cloud service provider, and he did not have the security issues to deal with. At the SEG show in Denver a lot of folks were very interested in a Petabyte of storage that can fit in a single standard rack, and were surprised that we could offer it for $300,000.00 with a switch to provide a single Namespace, and support.

The way we look at our SimplStor product it is not a competitive product, but a complementary product to the big three's offerings that can work well in mixed environments and reduce our customers' costs substantially.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Zerowait to present at Alaska IT expo

Zerowait's Presentation at Alaska's IT Expo Will Focus on Third Party Purchase and Support Options for NetApp Equipment and Affordable Storage Tiering Solutions

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Anchorage, AK (Vocus) October 27, 2010

Zerowait's message of affordable alternatives for storage gathered momentum with natural resource companies using IBM, NetApp and EMC storage during last week's SEG show in Denver. Zerowait's presentation at the Alaska IT expo this week will highlight the savings available to government and education agencies when they take advantage of off-lease equipment, independent support, and storage tiering utilizing the inexpensive SimplStor archive storage line.

Zerowait's Vice President of sales Rob Robinson said, "I am excited by the opportunity to present our solution set to the Alaskan storage community at the IT Expo. At the recent Society of Exploratory Geophysicists show in Denver, Zerowait's affordable storage solutions were well received by the Oil and Gas industry, with its ever growing requirements for data and close ties to Alaska. Now Zerowait has the opportunity to offer the government and education agencies of Alaska these same strategies. By taking advantage of the savings offered by off lease equipment, independent support and data tiering, IT managers can get the most from impacted budgets."

Said Mike Linett, Zerowait President, "Alaska's natural resource companies recognize they require increasing amounts of storage for their seismic data analysis. Zerowait's affordable off lease systems and support options provide NetApp users with an alternative to the manufacturer's high cost solutions. When combined with Zerowait's SimplStor archiving solutions, companies can realize savings of over one million dollars per petabyte of storage. Government and educational agencies face the same ever expanding storage requirements, usually with even more restricted budgets, and these strategies will help them deliver maximum return on the tax payer's dollar."

For companies and agencies that depend on NetApp storage, Zerowait provides a number of innovative solutions to help them control costs. Additionally, Zerowait's SimplStor with storage load balancing provides a simple way to help companies affordably tier their storage resources by need. Using Zerowait's storage support and SimplStor products data storage managers can easily and affordably support the fast growing data storage requirements of their companies and agencies.

About Zerowait:
Headquartered in Wilmington, DE USA; is the worldwide leader in independent service and support of NetApp filers. Storage administrators throughout the world rely on Zerowait to provide affordable solutions to the skyrocketing costs of data storage. www.zerowait.com.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Tired of the Secret Sauce pitch?

During the SEG show we had a lot of traffic at our trade show booth. It was a great show as some of our old customers told their buddies to stop by our booth and we had a lot of good conversations with old friends and new. Oil and Gas exploration and the analysis that goes with finding new reservoirs takes a lot of storage, and with budgets getting tight a lot of folks were very interested in our affordable NetApp service and support options, and transferable licensed filers.

Our new SimplStor product line also received a lot of attention, and we were interviewed by one oil and gas journal about our new product.

It was a very good show for Zerowait, we will be at next year's show in San Antonio.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

SEG show


One of our long time customers stopped by our booth to discuss his plans to retire his F840 and upgrade to a FAs960. They also are a SimplStor user and really like the product.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Secondary Storage 'Breakthrough'

SimplStor reduces high availability storage costs; petabyte unit at $300k fits the bill, beats NetApp prices by 5 to 1

Wilmington, DE (Vocus) October 13, 2010

A brand new approach to secondary storage is to be launched at Society of Exploration Geophysicists’ (SEG) annual meeting in Denver October 17-20, 2010. The brainchild of Delaware storage service company, Zerowait, SimplStor was the result of numerous requests from clients who wanted a secondary storage solution with no irrelevant extras.

Said Zerowait’s founder and President, Michael Linett, ‘We were always being asked by customers why their NetApp equipment had to have so many bells and whistles when they weren’t needed for archiving, and could we build something that would fit the bill. So we set about sourcing the parts, designing the architecture and writing the utilities. After more than a year of building and testing, SimplStor is the result. By starting with a clean sheet of paper our engineering staff came up with some bonuses for our customers. First, we were able to fit a Petabyte in only 52 U, and secondly we can address a Petabyte with a Single namespace.’

Rob Robinson, Zerowait’s Vice President of Sales, said the value Zerowait engineers generated surpassed customers’ expectations. ‘Fact is, our customers are telling us that they’ve been quoted up to five times the $300,000 price for 1 petabyte with single namespace. The closest offer was still four times the cost of SimplStor.’

Rick Bogehold, President of Excel Geo , Denver Colorado, added: “Zerowait’s SimplStor Petabyte storage product has provided a realistic option for customers like us looking for an affordable single namespace archiving solution from a company whose commitment to customer support we can trust.”

About Zerowait: Headquartered in Wilmington, DE USA; is the worldwide leader in independent service and support of NetApp filers. Storage administrators throughout the world rely on Zerowait to provide affordable solutions to their skyrocketing costs of data storage. www.zerowait.com.

About Excel Geophysical: Excel Geophysical Services is a specialist seismic data processing company headquartered in Greenwood Village, Colorado with a satellite office in Wellington, New Zealand. Our staff presents over 300 years of combined experience in enhancement of seismic data for hydrocarbon exploration, as well as highly regarded capabilities in the application of reflection seismic to geotechnical and minerals evaluation. Our portfolio of successful projects covers tens of thousands of 2D line miles, and hundreds of 3D surveys covering scales of acres to hundreds of square miles. www.excelgeo.com

Friday, October 08, 2010

Texans get it

I spent most of this week visiting our customers in Dallas and Houston. The folks in Texas certainly understand that their storage assets are costing them a lot of money and eating up their budgets pretty quick. We had a real interesting meeting in Houston with a large NetApp user, who is looking at any and all alternatives to OEM support. They have no budget for forced upgrades to 3170's or 6080's and Zerowait was recommended to them for their post warranty support.

Like so many customers of ours these folks really like our SimplStor Petabyte with its single NameSpace, and included 3 year support. We will be seeing many of our Texas customers again at the SEG show in Denver during the week of 10/17/2010, we will be in booth 2513.

By the way, if you like BBQ and are in the Dallas area I suggest you go to North Main BBQ

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Zerowait storage in the Oil and Gas industry

Data Modeling Inc. Selects Zerowait to Assist with Data Expansion

Purchases Off - Lease NetApp System to Expand Storage Infrastructure

Calgary, Alberta Canada (Vocus) October 5, 2010

Data Modeling , a leader in the seismic imaging industry, recently purchased an off - lease NetApp FAS3050 system with transferable licenses from Zerowait when it needed to expand its storage capacity. Kerry Stinson, President of DMI said: “Zerowait has done an excellent job of maintaining our current NetApp system while keeping expenses under control." He continued, 'When it came time to expand our storage due to increasing demand for our service, it made sense to see if they could save us even more with the purchase of an off - lease system. The system we purchased has the performance and storage capacity we need, while saving us well over 50% compared to buying new.'

'Whether it’s a complete system, add on storage, or support for legacy systems, Zerowait offers a real alternative to the expensive OEM solution. We have the expertise and the inventory to help NetApp users get the maximum ROI out of their investment,' added Rob Robinson, Vice President of Sales for Zerowait.

Mike Linett, President of Zerowait continued: 'Our new SimplStor product line can save customers even more when implementing Tier 2 storage. With 3 years of SimplSupport and Single Namespace, 1 petabyte of SimplStor costs less than $300,000. Now our clients have even more options as they build out their storage infrastructure, and our engineers can offer more ways to help them meet both their performance and budget requirements.'

Added Mr. Stinson: 'Zerowait has shown that they are serious about helping us to save on our IT requirements. As we continue to expand we’ll definitely investigate SimplStor as a way to further drive down the cost of ever expanding storage requirements.'

About Zerowait: Headquartered in Wilmington, DE USA; is the worldwide leader in independent service and support of NetApp filers. Storage administrators throughout the world rely on Zerowait to provide affordable solutions to their skyrocketing costs of data storage. www.zerowait.com.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Data Growth doesn't have to take you broke


Since we announced our Simplstor Petabyte solution a lot of folks have been calling and emailing us to learn more about the product. While many of our competitors charge over $1,000,000 for their 1PB secondary and archive storage solutions, the SimplStor PB, including the single namespace switch is under $300,000.00 . Some customers have told us that with our 60 month financing Simplstor PB will cost less than some well known cloud storage providers have quoted them.

One analyst recently was quoted as saying "We estimate organizations will archive over 500,000PB of data in the next five years," said Brian Babineau, senior analyst with Enterprise Strategy Group. "

If you think SimplStor PB is worth investigating for your organization, please give us call and we can set up a webinar for your engineering staff.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Data Growth is a hot topic again

Over the weekend I read an article in Investors Business Daily which was talking about the growth of data. It was on Page A10 of the September 26th issue.

"Firms Ride Data Explosion
By BRIAN DEAGON, INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY
Posted 09/24/2010 05:31 PM ET
The amount of all digital data created last year, if put on DVDs and
stacked, would reach all the way to the moon and back.
The data would tally up to 800,000 petabytes, with each petabyte equal
to a million gigabytes, up 62% from the prior year. That's according to a
study by research firm IDC, with funding from storage giant EMC (EMC)."

"In the market for external disk storage systems made by vendors such as EMC and NetApp, global sales in the second quarter rose 20.4%
from a year earlier to $5 billion.
"That's very good growth," said Liz Conner, an analyst at research firm IDC. From 2005 to 2009, a typical quarter would show growth below
10%.
The Q2 growth was based on a weak sales period the year before, but the trend still looks good.
"Technology budgets are loosening up," Conner said. The ever-increasing growth in digital data will support demand for storage systems in
good times or bad.
"Everybody is keeping just about everything they create now," she said.
• Upside: With digital data reaching skyward and the move toward cloud computing and virtualization now getting strong, demand for storage
products and systems has held up even in difficult economic times."


Many firms that want to control storage acquisition and support costs are already customers of Zerowait.Our new SimplStor Petabyte is gaining a lot of attention from companies looking to control their costs as their archives grow. We will be introducing the product at booth 2513 during thee SEG show in Denver on October 17th.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Zerowait Opens Texas Office

Wilmington, DE (Vocus) September 15, 2010

Zerowait, the leader in independent NetApp sales and support, is opening a Dallas, TX office to provide local support for its NetApp and SimplStor Petabyte customers. Mark McCaa, a long time Zerowait customer in the Dallas area, will be the manager of the Texas office, according to Rob Robinson, Vice President of Sales. ‘Mark has been a reference customer of ours for many years and knows our products and services well. Add to that his many years of experience in IT support in the Texas area, and we have a great addition to the Zerowait team.’

When asked why they are expanding when so many companies are experiencing a downturn, Zerowait President Mike Linett replied: ‘Sometimes serendipity plays a part in business success. Our business has grown strongly this year as companies look for more cost effective IT solutions. When we looked at our Texas business, both the amount of NetApp Support and the strong interest in our SimplStor Petabyte solution, and found Mark McCaa was ready to join our team, it just made sense to open the office in Texas.’ Mark McCaa added: ‘During my 4.5 years working with Zerowait as a vendor, I learned that I could depend on their honesty and dependability in our most critical data infrastructure support issues. During that time we never received a DOA part, saw their engineers recover data we were sure was lost, and recognized tremendous savings on our NetApp support. And from meeting other current Zerowait customers, I found an enthusiasm for Zerowait support I have not experienced before in my 35+ year career in hardware computer services and sales. It was easy to make the decision to join the Zerowait team.’

Mark McCaa continued: ‘In these tough economic times, Zerowait’s affordable SimplStor Petabyte solution is a great fit for the local Oil and Gas industry. I’m looking forward to meeting new clients and bringing the message of Zerowait services and products so they too can experience what I have in working with this fine organization.’ In closing, Mr. McCaa said “I know from experience that Zerowait makes high availability storage and support affordable , from the smallest NetApp Filer to the SimplStor Petabyte archive. “

About Zerowait Corp: Headquartered in Wilmington, DE., Zerowait provides post warranty support for NetApp products around the world. SimplStor PB is the affordable single namespace solution to control the skyrocketing costs of data storage. Learn more at www.zerowait.com

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Storage users in the UK understand

I returned from a week in the UK where I was visiting customers. The response I got to our SimplStor product with its single name space storage switch was great. In Europe folks understand that they have to bend the cost curve of storage downward and it does not make sense to pay primary storage prices for secondary and tertiary storage assets.

That is why the storage load balancer makes so much sense. It allows you to automatically migrate data between nodes based on usage and behaviors that you determine are important. For example, highly used and accessed data can stay on high performance expensive OEM arrays and low access or archive data can migrate over to affordable arrays.

This study from a couple of years ago still resonates with our customers today:

During the three-month
period that the network was under scrutiny, more than 90 percent of the material on the servers was never accessed. The researchers captured packets encoded using the Common Internet File System protocol, which Microsoft Windows applications use to save data via a network. About 1.5T of data was transferred.

"Compared to the full amount of allocated storage on the file servers, this represents only 10 percent of data," Leung said. '[This] means that 90 percent of the data is untouched during this three-month period.'

Moreover, among the files that were opened, 65 percent were only opened once. And most of the rest were opened five or fewer times, though about a dozen files were open 100,000 times or more.


Give us a call or send us an email if you would like to set up a webinar on how SimplStor can save your organization a lot of money on your storage acquisitions and ongoing support costs.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Zerowait’s NetApp Support Helps Keep SNN6 Local News 6 on the Air

Wilmington, DE (Vocus) September 1, 2010

Providing television viewers with up to the minute news is a high availability, storage intensive operation. Many media companies around the world depend on NetApp Filers for the storage of video feeds and other files required for video production and broadcasting. Sarasota’s SNN Local News 6, one of the first all digital-disk based television stations, has depended on NetApp equipment since 2005. When they had a recent storage problem with their NetApp R200 they called Zerowait to fix the problems and to purchase an additional off lease NetApp FAS3020 Filer with transferable licenses.

Zerowait President Mike Linett says: ’SNN Local News 6 called in with a Filer down emergency and asked our engineering staff to help them get up and running again as soon as possible. Our engineers immediately got to work. We had to troubleshoot their issues and overnight them parts, and we quickly got them on air again’. Craig Burdick, SNN Local News 6 operations manager said “As soon as we started talking to the engineers at Zerowait I knew we were in good hands.” Burdick continued, ”Zerowait solved our emergency, streamlined our storage, and improved our overall storage and back up methodology.”

The storage upgrade will allow SNN6 to provide their viewers with the outstanding local and live news their viewers have grown to expect. “We appreciate the excellent work the Zerowait staff provided SNN Local News 6, including immediate follow through and creative, resourceful attention to our priorities.” Said Linda DesMarais, SNN6 EVP and General Manager. Zerowait provides hundreds of clients around the world with 24/7 post warranty service and support using their ZHA Exception Reporter monitoring program. Mike Linett concludes: ’Zerowait has built its reputation by providing high availability post warranty service and support for NetApp Filers around the world for over 10 years. It is a pleasure to add SNN6 to our family of satisfied customers.’

About Zerowait Corp. Headquartered in Wilmington, DE USA; is the worldwide leader in independent service and support of NetApp filers. Storage administrators throughout the world rely on Zerowait to provide affordable solutions to their skyrocketing costs of data storage. www.zerowait.com

About SNN Local News 6. Launched in 1995 as a unit of the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the New York Times Regional Newspaper Group, SNN Local News 6 was purchased by a group of local investors in 2009. The 24-hour local news channel serves more than 200,000 Comcast cable subscribers in Sarasota, Charlotte, Manatee and DeSoto Counties.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

UK NEWS - Zerowait Introduces SimplStor Petabyte with Single Namespace for Less than £250,000

Manchester, UK (Vocus) August 25, 2010

Over the last decade, Zerowait has worked with many of NetApp’s largest customers to reduce their costs of storage. During the Financial Panic of 2008 and 2009 some of these customers asked Zerowait to develop an affordable Petabyte storage solution offering Single Namespace support.

Mike Linett, President of Zerowait said, ‘Our customers have guided the development of this product from the beginning. The idea of an affordable Petabyte originated with one of our large scientific customers, and the need was confirmed by several of our well known animation customers. We’re confident our clients will find SimplStor a reliable, cost effective solution for large volume secondary storage.’

Storage industry analysts are taking notice. ‘Zerowait is out in front of a nagging set of trends, regulatory and economic, that see companies searching for an effective method for storing large quantities of file based data for many years,’ says Jon Toigo, noted tech industry watchdog and consumer ombudsman and CEO of Toigo Partners International. “Zerowait SimplStor is truly customer driven and tuned, both in terms of cost of ownership and capacity, to what businesses need today to cope with the data deluge.”

Farat Buta, Director of European Operations says, ‘Our customers have been asking us when we would be providing the affordable SimplStor Petabyte product in Europe. We pushed to introduce it in September as this is when many of our customers are finalizing their budgets’. When asked about the cost of a Petabyte of storage Mr. Buta said, “SimplStor’s price point is significantly lower than the competition and provides our customers with a reliable, cost effective replacement for their tape archives.”

Mr. Buta continued, ‘Our customers require enterprise level service and support, and insisted that we integrate an automated support solution into the SimplStor product line. SimplSupport met or exceeded their expectations’. Mr. Buta added, ‘SimplStor is a Single Namespace Petabyte storage solution with a price point that competes with cloud archive solutions without the security issues of an outsourced solution.’

‘The response to our SimplStor Petabyte has been extremely strong, and during the week of August 30th, 2010 we will be meeting with a number of customers in the UK to finalize their configurations and delivery schedules.’ said Michael Linett

About Zerowait Corporation: Headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware (USA), Zerowait is internationally recognized for honesty, integrity and expertise in third-party, high-availability NetApp data storage and support solutions. 302.996.9408

For more info on our UK and European services contact Farat Buta - Manchester, UK - (+44) (0) 800.0121.801

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Business is improving at Zerowait

While the overall US economy seems to be stuck in a sort of malaise, Zerowait’s business is growing nicely. The number of new customers we have gotten this year, as well as the overall increase in business has us looking at opening new locations and adding additional staff and warehouse space.

The uncertainty of the business and tax environment is causing many companies to embrace our independent NetApp support, and our SimplStor product line is flourishing. I am often asked " which business sectors are growing fastest for Zerowait?" I explain that our customers are not concentrated in any vertical market, but seem to be in the horizontal marketplace of high availability storage and are looking for ways to lower their costs of storage acquisition and maintenance.

It seems that our new customers are primarily looking for value and reliability, and we seem to be fulfilling these requirements for more and larger customers and installations. In uncertain times, we provide an affordable security blanket for many companies.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Zerowait UK

Zerowait Supports NetApp Infrastructure in United Kingdom

Zerowait Corporation, a data-storage service company, boasts an international reputation for providing NetApp customers with an affordable solution for maintaining their legacy high-availability storage hardware.

Quote startWe enjoy working with Imagination whenever we canQuote end

Newark, DE (PRWEB) July 21, 2010

Over the last few years, Zerowait has worked with Imagination Technologies, located in Hertfordshire, UK, to provide affordable storage and support for its NetApp infrastructure.

“Zerowait has helped us reduce our storage costs substantially. Their engineering staff have always been honest and forthright and have provided us with excellent solutions for Imagination's demanding IT infrastructure," says John Metcalfe, COO of Imagination Technologies.

“We’re migrating to a mixed data-storage environment, and I look forward to Zerowait continuing to provide us with excellent service and support for our NetApp infrastructure,” adds Metcalfe.

“We enjoy working with Imagination whenever we can,” says Zerowait UK managing director Farat Buta. “Their engineering team always pushes the envelope, and Zerowait’s engineers like the creativity that their solutions require,” he says.

Zerowait provides affordable parts, service and support for customers throughout Europe and is anticipating an increased global demand for their third-party NetApp service and support business.

"Zerowait is continually investing in engineering, technology and operations,” says Zerowait chief executive Mike Linett. “We are focused on providing our customers the best service and support possible. Our goal is total customer satisfaction,” says Linett.

About Zerowait Corporation: Headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware (USA), Zerowait is internationally recognized for honesty, integrity and expertise in third-party, high-availability NetApp data storage and support solutions. Zerowait's experience, knowledge and focus provide unparalleled service to its worldwide customer base. For more information, visit www.zerowait.com.

For more info on our UK and European services contact Farat Buta - Manchester ,UK uksales@zerowait.com - 44 0 161 737 0303

To preview and request product sales and hardware specifications, log on to the Zerowait Online Store at www.thezerowaitstore.com.


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The effect of business uncertainty

Over the last few weeks I traveled across the USA visiting several clients of ours. Many of the clients told me how tight their budgets were and blamed it on the uncertainty facing their business sector. In particular the medical and natural resources customers I met with were very concerned about the next 12 months.

Over dinner in Dallas with several clients I heard how our customers are planning how to remain profitable when gross revenue is down 10% in 2011. Additionally, they expect the cost of medical insurance and taxes to increase by about 10% in 2011. These folks are planning to remain profitable in a dismal business environment and that takes a lot of creativity and out of the box thinking.

Our typical customer is increasing their usage of our independent NetApp service and support and increasing the life cycle of their NetApp storage equipment. They expect that will reduce their costs of storage and support by 30% next year. So, even if their budget declines they will be able to maintain their QoS.

Thomas Sowell seems to have also noticed the issue: (http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article.aspx?id=540126&p=2):

When you hire somebody in this environment, you know what you have agreed to pay them and what additional costs there may be for their health insurance or other benefits. But you have no way of knowing what additional costs the politicians in Washington are going to impose, when they are constantly coming up with new bright ideas for imposing more mandates on business.

One of the little-noticed signs of what is going on has been the increase in the employment of temporary workers. Businesses have been increasingly meeting their need for labor by hiring temporary workers and working their existing employees overtime, instead of hiring new people.

Why? Because temporary workers usually don't get health insurance or other benefits, and working existing employees overtime doesn't add to the cost of their benefits.

Rational business executives are desperately looking for cost reductions as a business survival strategy, but they need to reduce costs without increasing risk. Zerowait’s products, services and support are viewed as part of a solution in an uncertain business environment thanks to our staff’s reputation for high availability service and support. Over the last couple of months requests from customers for our help in NetApp migrations and implementations has increased as companies hesitancy to hire full time engineers increases. Viewed in this light the increase in Zerowait’s business this year makes a lot of sense.

If your storage budget is getting squeezed, maybe it is time to call Zerowait .

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Zerowait in the News

Jul 07, 2010 – With an expanding international client base specializing in the Digital Effects industry, Zerowait provided Fuel VFX with a cost-effective storage solution that satisfied their timeframe and budget. “Zerowait engineers worked closely with Fuel VFX and together deployed equipment and personnel to successfully complete the project.” says Zerowait chief executive Mike Linett.

Established in 2000, Fuel VFX has worked on a number of blockbuster movies including Iron Man 2, Wolverine and Bedtime Stories. With an immediate need to add 20 terabytes of storage to their system and an increase in overall performance, Dylan Penhale, IT Manager, Fuel VFX contacted Zerowait to execute the install. “From the first meeting, through post installation, they didn’t miss a beat. Zerowait was prepared to meet our demanding schedule and even flew an engineer out to assist us.” added Penhale.

Zerowait’s Australian NetApp business has recently seen a strong upward trend in the configuration and deployment of complex NetApp storage systems. Zerowait's Exception Reporter enables Zerowait's customers to easily monitor their NetApp Filer performance and capacity, which helps them optimize their storage infrastructure. “Zerowait's Australian business is growing rapidly, and we are working toward establishing a service and support facility in the Sydney area similar to our European office in Manchester, UK." adds Linett.

"Zerowait was prepared to meet our demanding schedule. For us, there simply isn’t a better value way to get high-end filers onto our network. I certainly will recommend Zerowait to our peers in the Digital Effects industry.” says Penhale.

About Zerowait Corporation – Headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware, USA, Zerowait is internationally recognized for honesty, integrity and expertise in third-party, high availability NetApp data storage and support solutions. Zerowait's experience, knowledge and focus provide an unparalleled service to their worldwide customer base. For more information, visit www.zerowait.com.

To preview and request product sales and hardware specifications, log on to the Zerowait Online Store at www.thezerowaitstore.com.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Storage after the financial panic





During the EMC show in Boston several folks stopped by our booth to discuss business, and wanted to know my thoughts on how the year of 2010 was going to turn out. Some of the conversations lasted a couple of days when we had time between events with friends. I assured everyone that asked my opinion that I am not much of a forecaster, but I was willing to discuss the trends that our business is experiencing.


Our NetApp support business is strong and it is growing, our new customers tell us that they are looking to extend the life of their hardware, and add storage to their existing systems. Zerowait has a great reputation for reliable and affordable service and support and so they are comfortable relying on us while they consider their primary storage options. For customers migrating toward EMC equipment we help them with parts replacement while they migrate and then we can purchase their equipment when they have completed their migration. Our solution helps managers struggling with tightened budgets solve their capacity requirements.


According to Gene Sperling in the Wall Street Journal -page B6 5/13/10 " The squeeze on small business credit " has been and remains a serious economic challenge""


Andrew Schwedel and Karen Harris wrote on page A17 5/14/10 " For managers, the end of the easy-money era means a fundamental rethinking of how to finance investment.funding projects from internal cash flow will be more reliable but may constrain growth and will certainly favor businesses with ample cash and strong balance sheets."


These statements confirm my understanding of why our third party support business is growing. Many customers can't get credit to purchase new equipment. Because of this situation storage managers are rationally choosing to extend the life of their current assets while supporting them out of their operational budgets. As Schwedel and Harris say later in their article "Companies must also figure out how to keep driving down costs".


Maintaining and optimizing already owned storage assets is an easy way to reduce a company's IT costs while still maintaining the high availability storage they require. At EMC world it seemed that everyone agreed that business has gotten harder in the last couple of years, and it may be quite a while before storage budgets increase substantially.


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Zerowait at EMC World!

Greetings from EMC World 2010! Take a look at our flickr pictures of the show: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zerowait/






May 13- Wrap up.

EMC World 2010 was another great event put on by the folks at EMC. Linda Christensen does a great job. We caught up with a lot of our customers at the show and we met with a number of old friends also. Jon Toor is with www.Xsigo.com now and their booth was busy for most of the show. Phil Van Ettan was also very busy at the www.Azaleos.com booth. Additionally, we had a good conversation with Charles Wood at www.f5networks.com about their single name space solution. We also had a long and interesting conversation with Simon Robinson of the 451 Group. Robin Harris www.storagemojo.com stopped by to get our view of the storage environment and we had a long conversation with him.

Having our rail kit on hand was a funny experience, some folks looked at us like we were crazy, others couldn't grab the brochure fast enough.




Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Another international installation

Here are some shots from another satisfied customer. iWeb in Canada recently purchased some off lease systems and storage, and sent us the following pictures:




We're off to a great start this year as more customers recognize the cost savings Zerowait can provide. Give us a call today and we'll help you fit your increased requirements into your reduced budget. It's not magic - but it feels like it.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Catching up

It has been an exciting and busy couple of weeks since I returned from the trade show in Anchorage, AK. I met a lot of great folks while in Anchorage and we generated plenty of interest with our service and support offerings. I did not expect the show to be as well attended as it was and we are considering doing more of the Interface shows. The picture below is of our friend Jeremy Provencio in the Applied Microsystems trade show booth:



From May 10 through May 13 we are going to be at the EMC World show and while in Boston we will also be meeting with a number of our clients. If you are going to be at the EMC World show We have purchased a completely new trade show booth, and the graphics are amazing. Zerowait's booth is 122, I hope you can stop by our booth. We will be right next to the Riverbed folks which is convenient, since many of our clients are also Riverbed customers.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Introducing SimplStor

Our customers convinced us there was an opportunity for a simple reliable storage solution. The last two years have been hard on everyone's budget, and a number of our customers asked if we had a less expensive storage solution than their current systems. We were also hearing from clients that were building out very large secondary storage pools, and they told us they simply couldn't afford the large array vendors' hardware, and more important, software and support costs. We talked to clients for over 8 months, taking their suggestions back to our engineering staff. From there we went back to our customers to make sure we understood their opinions on what was important and to ask them what they would pay for the product. We found that the sweet spot for this storage solution was between 50 cents and 75 cents a GB with raw capacity of 24TB to 100TB.

Once we had all the data, our engineers went to work to design a product that would be reliable and provide the customers with the alert and monitoring notifications that they are used to from the big array companies. We built a number of prototype units for customers to test. From these evaluations we made improvements to better align our storage solution to their requirements. At every step we learned something new, which we passed back to our customers for opinions and feedback.

SimplStor
meets the needs of many customers for low cost storage while providing the hardware support and life-cycle they have learned to expect from the big iron guys. And our SimplSupport provides customers the notifications they need to simplify monitoring and maintenance. One of our evaluators summarized the product as follows:

"Zerowait’s new SimplStor gives me tier 1 storage and support at tier 3 pricing – finally someone got it right." Eff Norwood - Storage Architect

If you are interested in affordable enterprise storage please give us call. Phone 302 996 9408 - toll free 888.811.0808

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Enterprise storage fads

Enterprise storage fads are often like weather vanes and can change direction as quickly as the wind. New theories, old software and overstretched hyperbole are often discussed in the media and at tradeshows simply to satisfy the marketing departments of the vendors who pay for the articles and venues. Finally, there seems to be an awakening within corporate America that enterprise storage is costing way too much money and resources to manage and maintain. The SAN NAS wars have been fought to a draw. The conclusion seems to be as simple as ”different strokes for different folks”. Today’s battle is for budgets and about cost control. Can today’s entrenched storage oligarchs adapt to the needs of the customers in this hyper-sensitive fiscal environment?

The debate has been fairly one sided until recently. The storage oligarchs have locked in users with their proprietary operating systems, and the tertiary vendors try to mimic the big players’ features while trying to lock in their customers with their own proprietary solutions. Although the terminology varies slightly, every vendor is pitching their own version of Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt.

The storage oligarchs like to point out that the fear of lock-in is overblown. After all, they have studies which prove that their point of view is correct and backed by studies and reports from the best analysts money can buy. The oligarchs seemingly ignore the accumulating evidence which proves that end users are embracing open source solutions to cut their costs. Today, many customers look at proprietary software much like water pollution. Similar to pollution (which can be ignored when it starts from a low baseline), proprietary storage can end up creating an increasingly complex migration and clean up when the time eventually comes. It often seems that an oligarch’s sales team overlooks the myriad consequences of their own proprietary software policies, while highlighting how much their competitors solution can cost the customer.

I can't tell you when the storage oligarchs will face a business decline, but there exists another path, one that empowers the end users by leveraging open source solutions. The assumption that all storage can be handled by one proprietary vendor ignores the fact that every organization has different types of storage throughout the organization. There is no predetermined optimum amount of enterprise storage any company must have within its organization. The forces of storage growth and decline are based on users and their needs within their environments. Draftsmen and Civil Engineers have much different needs for their storage resources than Radiology Technicians, Cartoonists and Animators. Storage growth is often the result of uncontrollable external forces. For storage administrators today there needs to be an option that allows them to harness the power of open source solutions which can provide the high availability that enterprise storage requires while addressing the strains on today's budgets. Zerowait has answered this need with our SimplStor solution. After almost two decades in a bipolar world, storage administrators have a choice again. The market has accepted open source solutions for a variety of reasons. With this acceptance storage administrators have begun to embrace the power of Linux, Open Solaris and BSD to provide their storage networks with mass storage at an affordable price.

www.simplstor.com

Monday, March 08, 2010

How much does it cost to save a file?

Imagine if before you saved a PDF on your corporate storage a statement came up that said “This 500 meg file will cost you $1.00 to save on our corporate system.” Charging users for storage is something that is talked about often, but rarely put into place. Setting up the parameters for creating a system would not be that hard, budgets could be set by departments and per person. And there could be extra charges for saving files on based on different back up criteria. The program could also provide weekly, monthly and quarterly email to users suggesting which files had not been accessed since being saved and suggesting they might be ripe for deletion, but unless people are charged for their storage resource usage most would probably ignore the suggested deletions.

Implementing the program would be relatively trivial, but I imagine creating the charge back scheme would elicit howls from just about every department in an organization. Storage is viewed as a free resource by most corporate users, and like any free resource it is used inefficiently. However, as soon as users saw that they were running up against their hard budget end point, I’ll bet they would start deleting the unimportant jokes, presentations and copies of the garbage they are keeping on corporate spinning disks.

Until enterprise storage users are charged for their resource usage they will not have any economic reason to use storage efficiently. Although enterprise storage remains an expensive resource to purchase, manage and maintain by corporate IT staffs, it is viewed as free to end users. Since storage users are not using their storage resources economically or being charged for their usage, corporate IT storage will remain a cost center in the eyes of management.

In this environment, cost conscience corporations will be forced to impose budget constraints on the IT department’s storage acquisitions, service and support contracts. Since companies can’t go after the users of storage, they go after the suppliers. Today many companies are pushing for discounts from their primary storage suppliers, while others are looking for alternatives to the high cost of arrays and support that the major OEM’s are charging.

Zerowait does not have a toll based solution for charging corporate storage resource users, but we do have a variety of solutions for helping storage IT save money on hardware, service and support. In addition to our legacy hardware support business we are introducing a new storage solution which changes the dynamics of enterprise storage costs. Zerowait's SimplStor product line was designed with input from our customers to help them reduce their storage expenditures. When viewed together, Zerowait’s legacy support and SimplStor are an economical solution for the acquisition and maintenance of our customers’ storage resources.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

A few days in Texas

Last week I was in Texas visiting clients and working with them to solve their enterprise storage management problems. I really enjoyed working with my clients, many of them said that our products and pricing were right on target and that they would be pulling the trigger soon.

We had our Dallas customer appreciation dinner and had a great time with our customers and friends. Jon Toigo gave a presentation on the state of Enterprise Storage and it was very well received and prompted many discussions during dinner.

Friday, February 19, 2010

EMC World May 10-13 in Boston

Last year was the first time we ever displayed at EMC World and it was a great success for us. We saw many of our customers and met many new folks who are trying to control their support costs. The folks at EMC put on a great show last year in Orlando, and we expect this year to be just as good in Boston.

We hope to see you there.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Jon Toigo Conversations continue

Jon Toigo initiated another dialogue with me which you can read below.

Conversations with Mike 2

Once again, I exchanged some emails with a guy who is in the trenches with customers as much as I am: Mike Linett, CEO of Zerowait. This is from a continuing email exchange that I thought was worth sharing.

Hi Mike,

Several inquiries have been coming my way to perform storage assessments as companies seek to drive cost out of infrastructure. One, in particular, is looking for a better management plan to reduce the costs of labor associated with storage administration, but the majority of the others are seeking tactical cost reductions through the use of less name brand-y gear and the replacement of service contracts on the gear they already have (sourced from their OEMs) with qualified third party maintenance and support. Many have moved older gear into a secondary storage role, which I take to mean that they are not taking it off the line, but they are using it to store less frequently accessed data.

Are you seeing similar trends? What, honestly, are the benefits and the potential foibles of such a strategy?

As I see it, going to off-brand storage arrays that do a yeoman’s job of primary storage but without the brand name OEM pricing is a tactic that is well worth a look in this economy. The problem is that some of my clients are already hurting for staff and seem to be buying into the claims of brand name vendors that wrap around service and support contracts are an offset to being short handed. True?

Second, band name or not, the real cost drivers in storage are mismanagement of data and lack of visibility into infrastructure that enables proactive redress of problems that are building up. There is also a huge disconnect between the storage folks (most of whom are server folks) and the infrastructure changes that they are making and whoever is doing disaster recovery planning. Data volumes are being added or moved and mirrors/backup schemes are being broken unnoticed. That’s scary.

Third, I have always been a proponent of qualified third party maintenance as an alternative to overpriced maintenance agreements from OEMs, as you know. I mean, why should you pay for maintenance from the OEM, which tends to increase in cost as the gear gets older, if you have migrated the gear itself into a secondary storage role?

Finally, some customers tell me that they are being wooed to outsource – I’m sorry, cloud-ify – their secondary storage at 20 cents per GB. As an aside, I wonder if anyone is doing the math on drive technology advances, like Toshiba’s 5TB per square inch drives, which are coming to market within the next 36 months? Assuming that drives are enterprise quality and follow the same cost pattern as previous units, it seems to me that we are looking at pennies per GB on massive drive capacities in the near future. So, why use a cloud for capacity?

Looking forward to your response.

Hi Jon:

Storage assessments and a reappraisal of the way organizations are structuring their data has become a large part of our engineering team’s daily discussions with customers. Even the folks in the executive offices understand that a Seagate drive should not cost 400% more when purchased through their storage OEM’s, than from NewEgg. The perceived value of enterprise storage vendor’s wares has declined as the effects of the financial panic of 2008 and 2009 have trickled down and curtailed the Enterprise storage acquisition budgets of most organizations.

It used to be that when we would offer a quote for support to customer they would ask us “How can you charge so little?” In 2010, savvy customers ask us “ Why are OEM’s charging so much for support for of their equipment?” The answer remains that for some organizations there is a perceived value to having a different vinyl sticker or bezel color that makes the high price seem rational.

Often, I go to see a customer and we walk through their Data Center and assess the equipment within it. Most customers recognize that their equipment is made up of component parts from the same manufacturers, and that there are vast differences in price based on the OEM’s sales and marketing staff. IT managers understand that they don’t have the staff or resources required to integrate and debug hardware and firmware, but they can certainly see that a Seagate drive or an LSI card is the same in their Dell server as in their high priced array. So, they have to question the pricing models that the manufacturers’ are using, and they do not see the offsetting value of proprietary software from vendor’s offsetting their engineers’ costs. In fact, just the opposite is occurring. Customers are quickly recognizing that their engineering generalists can manage more open source equipment than their specialists can manage of proprietary arrays. Therefore, the higher priced array’s specialization is costing more to manage than an open sourced simple storage solution.

This model for 80% of an IT infrastructure creates more value out of best of breed components then piecing together proprietary solutions from a mix of vendors, and paying support for equipment which is used with F150 Pickup requirements.

JT - Second, band name or not, the real cost drivers in storage are mismanagement of data and lack of visibility into infrastructure that enables proactive redress of problems that are building up. There is also a huge disconnect between the storage folks (most of whom are server folks) and the infrastructure changes that they are making and whoever is doing disaster recovery planning. Data volumes are being added or moved and mirrors/backup schemes are being broken unnoticed. That’s scary.

IT today is very similar to business in general and the 80/20 rule applies. 80 percent of most business comes from 20% of the customer list. In IT, 80% of most organizations’ IT assets handle 20% of traffic, while 20% handle 80% of traffic. What is great about managing open source solutions is that it is easy to create a POSIX like solution for your own architecture and environment. Once your organization determines a “good enough” server and storage solution, your favorite integrator can build all types of hardware with minor changes in cards, memory and processor that use homogenous components. Using open source software the maintenance and support costs are lower and since there is an easily tapped community of experts to answer questions, a good staff of IT generalists will be able to provide a larger portion of an Organization’s IT infrastructure without specialized training.
Don’t panic. Embrace the wisdom of the marketplace. Slowly migrate to a solution of best of breed commodity hardware, and a staff of IT engineering generalists who know how to find answers.

JT - Third, I have always been a proponent of qualified third party maintenance as an alternative to overpriced maintenance agreements from OEMs, as you know. I mean, why should you pay for maintenance from the OEM, which tends to increase in cost as the gear gets older, if you have migrated the gear itself into a secondary storage role?

I sort of covered this earlier in my response, essentially people and organizations have different perceived values on the prices that OEM’s charge. Hard times demand more attention be paid to these costs, and this inevitably drives more companies to embrace third party support, as well as other self support models. Essentially, a movement toward commoditization and rationalization of computer hardware is occurring because of the tightened IT budgets.

JT -Finally, some customers tell me that they are being wooed to outsource – I’m sorry, cloud-ify – their secondary storage at 20 cents per GB. As an aside, I wonder if anyone is doing the math on drive technology advances, like Toshiba’s 5TB per square inch drives, which are coming to market within the next 36 months? Assuming that drives are enterprise quality and follow the same cost pattern as previous units, it seems to me that we are looking at pennies per GB on massive drive capacities in the near future. So, why use a cloud for capacity?

I have been trying to understand the foggy logic of cloud computing for a while, and although the marketing and sales pitches are really nice, the dollars and sense logic has escaped me. I can understand why certain applications can make sense as an outsourced solution, but I don’t see the benefits in cloud computing for most organizations that need data security as well as uninterrupted connectivity. I think there will be some good technologies developed through the cloud computing efforts that are being marketed today. I don’t see cloud computing taking away the corporate responsibility of providing a reliable network of systems to deliver content and data to users for the enterprise to thrive.

Mike

Jon and I would like your comments .

Monday, February 08, 2010

Focus

One of our European customers has been getting the run around from their current vendor's sales team on their equipment pricing, upgrade and licensing policies and has been working with our European sales team to try to get to the bottom of the issue. The root cause of the issue is that the OEM sales team is focused on new product sales through bonuses and incentives, and hence that is the direction that they take. Our business is a service business. Our focus is long term retention of customers by providing them with affordable service and support.


High availability storage equipment is made to last for the long term. Coincidentally, our aim is to provide reliable support for the long term. Our focus provides a long term low cost strategy for customers of their storage equipment and also provides a long term business mode for Zerowait.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Traveling through N. Carolina

This week I visited several clients in North Carolina. Although their budgets are tight they are still trying to manage their growing storage requirements. The companies I visited with are working with our company to help them manage more storage with less money. Most of the clients I was meeting were referred to our company through the years and have referred our company to their peers. Two of the clients I met with were customers at their old companies and as they moved to new positions they recommended us and eventually their new employers became our clients also.

That is the way it seems to work. Our company has earned a reputation for honesty and dependability, and we really care about providing our customers with the service and support they need. Times are hard in many of the IT departments I met with this week, and they really appreciate how Zerowait helps them stretch their storage networking budgets.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

2010 - The Era of Austerity

Earlier this week I was visiting some of our clients in Canada. Each of the clients had a story to tell about how they were stretching their IT budgets and finding new ways to redeploy or use their older equipment. Rather than buying new, they have recognized that their older equipment is still High Availability although it has been superseded by the manufacturer. We have entered an era of austerity and the virtues of conservation of capital will become evident to the CFO's of many organizations over the next few years.

We are talking to customers who are redeploying older equipment in the USA and throughout the world as customers try to rationalize the features and values they are receiving from their software and hardware vendors. It makes sense to maintain equipment and stretch out the service duty cycle the same way many people are keeping their cars longer than they used to.

In my opinion, it is the uncertainty of the future of business taxes and regulations which are causing a wave of cautious conservatism in IT budgets. Uncertainty has costs which are hard to quantify, but when reviewed make sense.

I am optimistic about 2010, because our customers recognize that we can help them thrive in the era of austerity.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Getting the small stuff right

One of the comments we hear a lot from field engineers is the difficulty of getting a 4 post rack mount kit that is adaptable to almost any configuration of 19" rack and doesn’t cost a small fortune. Our company has always focused on customer service, so we searched for a solution to this seemingly easy problem. We weren’t able to find one either, so last year we said "enough, we‘ll build it ourselves", and our rack kit – easily adjusted and priced right - is now available from our store.

This is just the first of a series of affordable products Zerowait is creating for our customers' storage and networking needs. Keep your eyes on Zerowait as we introduce new products and services designed to make Networking and Storage simple and affordable.
.