Thursday, April 28, 2011

Economic conditions and Zerowait's business growth

Zerowait's service and support business has been growing at a brisk pace since the beginning of the year and we attribute that to the hesitance of corporations to invest in capital budget equipment like storage arrays. It seems that our customers are looking for storage solutions that don't require capital budget justifications, reports and signatures.

Zerowait's NetApp support solutions typically fall into our customers operational budgets, and our SimplStor enterprise Storage starts at $20,000 for 68TB which falls within most of our customers OPEX budgets.

Today there was is an article on the CNBC site that discusses the stodgy growth of the US economy and lowered growth estimates.

* U.S. economic growth slowed more than expected in the first quarter as higher food and gasoline prices dampened consumer spending, and sent a broad measure of inflation rising at its fastest pace in 2-1/2 years.

* The Federal Reserve on Wednesday acknowledged the slowdown in first-quarter growth, describing the recovery as proceeding at a "moderate pace"—a slight step back from a statement in March when it said the economy was on a "firmer footing."

* It trimmed its growth estimate for 2011 to between 3.1 and 3.3 percent from a 3.4 to 3.9 percent January projection.

These may be some reasons why many companies are looking to extend the lifespan of their current NetApp storage, or considering switching to our SimplStor arrays.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Oil Prices, Supply Disruptions, and Enterprise Storage

The linkages between oil prices and our little niche of enterprise storage may seem obscure, but in a global marketplace a small disruption or price fluctuation can cause unexpected anomalies in the supply chain of energy, production and information storage.

An article in the Financial Times today pinpoints some issues and possible outcomes.

* "Say what you will about the various causes of past U.S. recessions, but economists at HSBC offer a sobering observation. Since the 1970s, a doubling of the real price of oil, which is the oil price relative to overall inflation, within the span of a year has almost always been followed by declining GDP. The two exceptions are the 1990-91 recession, when prices spiked but did not quite double, and 1987, when prices did double, followed by slower growth but no recession. Today, a doubling would require prices to rise to about $150. "

* "Looking across the global economy, separate studies at Morgan Stanley and Barclays Capital do not suggest a total derailment of the global recovery, but do imply a serious bout of 1970s-style stagflation, a combination of sluggish growth with high inflation. The Barclays analysts conclude that a rise to $150, if sustained at that level, would cut global growth by about 0.75 percentage points, while adding as much as 3 points to global inflation. Morgan Stanley, using a different approach, would expect a 1 percentage point loss of growth and 1 additional point in inflation as result of oil at $140. The global economy, including fast-growing emerging markets, is generally expected to grow about 4 percent this year; it is said to be in a recession when growth dips below 3 percent."

* "The big worry right now is the combination of inflexible fiscal policy and still-fragile credit markets, say the HSBC analysts, especially in developed economies. Their government budgets are already stretched and unable to offer much support in case of a recession, and their economies may not yet be strong enough to withstand the higher interest rates that central banks might use to keep inflation under control. That means a spike in oil prices could not come at a worse time, and once again the global economy is at the mercy of its oil supplies."

What does this mean for the Enterprise Storage business? It is hard to tell, but if IT folks find their budget tightening, we hope they will consider our affordable support for their NetApp equipment as one way to save on their storage infrastructure.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Xyratex, JapaneseTsunami, and NetApp

We live in a global marketplace and the interruption of supply in Japan can have an effect on the global storage market. How long will it take before the distribution channels and factory inventories get used up is anybody's guess. But the folks at Xyratex have noted that there is a risk of material supply disruptions.

"The level of component supply disruption resulting from the Japanese disaster is not yet fully understood by the wider electronic industry nor the result in potential demand implication for disk drive and other components. Separately, in our Invest business, the acquisition of LSI's Engenio storage division by NetApp should have no material impact to our existing business with NetApp. And in our view potentially strengthens our position as the leading independent OEM provider of enterprise class storage systems in the market. Overall, I remain optimistic with regard to our future growth as a result of all the recent changes in both the markets we serve. We have a strong existing customer base and good opportunity to expand both the depth and breadth within these customers, as well as creating opportunities with new customers in both businesses. "

Additionally, although Xyratex does not seem to see any risk to their business due to NetApp's switching to their own newly acquired hardware division, I suggest they review the history of NetApp and Eurologic.

Will NetApp consider an outside hardware supplier a better and more affordable solution than an internal hardware supplier? It will be interesting to watch what happens. I would imagine that the internal supplier division would have an edge in negotiations.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

What is your filer telling you? Zerowait Exception Reporter knows!

We have received tremendous interest in our Free Exception Reporter over the last few days and a lot of folks have signed up for the service. A longtime customer and friend of ours suggested that we record a short video on the service to help explain it to folks in the NetApp community that are unfamiliar with Exception Reporter.

Here is the link

Monday, April 04, 2011

Free Exception Reporter for Filers!

Zerowait Introduces Free Exception Reporter for NetApp Filers

Analysis Tool Generates Simple, Concise Reports on Data, Capacity, Components

Quote startOur business has grown dramatically and expanded into international markets due in no small part to our paying close attention to the evolving needs of the NetApp communityQuote end

Wilmington, DE (Vocus/PRWEB) April 04, 2011

Zerowait Corporation, the leading provider of independent NetApp support and off-lease systems, today announced its Free Exception Reporter for NetApp filer storage systems. The analysis tool, borne of Zerowait customers’ growing need for a unified reporting solution, provides cost-free “translations” of filers’ auto-support data into concise, easily understood reports that help users optimize management of their NetApp filers’ data, capacity and components.

Zerowait created its original Exception Reporter years ago to both alert Zerowait engineers and notify its clients of any technical issues with their filers and assist them in interpreting their weekly logs. Many NetApp users have mixed service and support environments, in which NetApp supports some filers while Zerowait supports others. Now anyone in the NetApp community can send the weekly logs from their NetApp-supported filers to Free Exception Reporter and receive the same easy to read report.

"Our business has grown dramatically and expanded into international markets due in no small part to our paying close attention to the evolving needs of the NetApp community,” said Laurence Jones, Managing Director of Zerowait Australia. “Providing them with Free Exception Reporter reflects that we listen and respond to their requests, and remain committed to providing the most cost-effective support for their NetApp filers."

"This powerful yet efficient analysis tool is easy to set up; just follow the simple instructions on our Free Exception Reporter webpage,” added David Benner, Engineering Manager at Zerowait. “Once users enroll they’ll receive a weekly email with the Free Exception Reporter analysis of their filers.”

For more information and to register for Free Exception Reporter, go to http://www.zerowait.com/index.php/zerowait-solutions/exception-reporter.

Zerowait has offices located in its Delaware headquarters, the United Kingdom and its recently opened facility in Australia. The company’s expansion and dramatic revenue growth in 2010 is attributed to its cost-effective service of post warranty NetApp storage systems, as well as the SimplStor family of integrated storage solutions, which dramatically reduce the acquisition costs of archive storage and virtually eliminate the licensing costs associated with most other archive storage solutions.

About Zerowait
Headquartered in Wilmington, Del., USA, and with offices around the world, Zerowait is the worldwide leader in independent service and support of NetApp filers. Zerowait solutions include off-lease fully licensed NetApp systems and the new Zerowait 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. http://www.zerowait.com