Tuesday, May 31, 2005
In the latest Press Release, NetApp Unveils Midrange NAS Array, you will see that “Glenn Harper, director of data strategy at New York-based Cendant, said the company plans to add FAS3000 models during the next year.” That is all well and good, but according to last week’s press release, Suresh Vasudevan says, “Typical storage array capacity utilization is in the 30 percent to 40 percent range…” So wouldn’t it make more sense to optimize the equipment you have, rather than spend a lot of money buying new equipment that you will continue to underutilize?
Zerowait can help you find ways to more efficiently use the capacity that Mr. Vasudvan and NepApp feel you are not currently using. Zerowait solutions can be far more economical than buying the latest, NetApp hardware.
Friday, May 27, 2005
Now I know not all of us have weekends off, especially in IT departments. Weekends and late nights are often the only time available to schedule downtime for network changes or fixes. So, like most projects, everything goes much better when you take the time for quality preparation and planning. I know I have told you before that an important part of any pre-planning should be a call to the Zerowait engineers for tips, advice, and to warn them that you may need emergency help incase things go wrong. What I haven’t talked about before is that the Zerowait website has links to technical data and white papers which may have information you need. They can be found in the Technical library section of the Zerowait website.
This information won’t take the place of the extensive, quality experience that the Zerowait engineers have, but it is useful information. So if you are planning some changes or just need some light lunchtime reading, make sure you check out the Technical library. You will probably find something you never knew, but I’ll never tell.
We are celebrating Memorial Day this weekend, this is when we take time out of our busy schedule to honor the brave men and women who have given their time, and far too often, their lives, to fight for our freedom. You may not be in the U.S., but I invite you all to take a moment or two to thank all of those, past and present, who have made the personal sacrifice to fight for their country and the world so that we may all enjoy the freedoms that we have!
Have a great weekend!
Thursday, May 26, 2005
The question has been out there for a long time, and the customer wants to be able to buy and sell used equipment. It is a way to help balance the IT equipment budget. When pressed about the issue, Leonard Iventosch told Jon Toigo, as NetApp officials always do, it is “an idea worth exploring.” How long should they have to explore it? The question has been out there for years!
In 2003, when the subject came up, Dan Warmenhoven , NetApp’s Chief Executive Officer, was quick to point to this statement from NetApp’s website, “All Network Appliance software license terms and conditions specify a "license to use," therefore software cannot legally transfer from one owner to another. Anyone purchasing used hardware equipment must also purchase new software licenses directly either from Network Appliance or from an authorized Network Appliance reseller. Software includes all protocols as well as streaming licenses, Snap products, and other software. Anyone trying to sell you "used software" would be violating the terms of the license. Support contracts such as warranty and maintenance agreements are also non-transferable.” This has been their official word since the beginning of NetApp, but I know it is not the case.
OK, you can buy their “Brooklyn Bridge”, or you can call Zerowait and find out how you can buy USED FILERS with LEGALLY TRANSFERABLE LICENSES. If you buy a filer from Zerowait with a transferable license, Zerowait will handle the transfer of the license, through NetApp, for you.
Why be shocked by the high price of a new system, when you can be pleasantly surprised that you can legally own and operate used NetApp for much less!
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
I am asked this question daily, but because of Jon Toigo's article in searchstorage we have gotten a flurry of calls today. NetApp does provide transferable licenses. You just have to negotiate it into your Purchase Order when you buy new equipment.
By the way, Dave Hitz was reviewing the issue two years ago.
From: Dave Hitz (email@example.com)
Date: Tue May 06 2003 - 12:50:50 EDT
EVP Engineering and Co-Founder
By the way, IBM figured it out years ago.
-- Theodore Roosevelt
May 19th 2005 | NEW YORK
>From The Economist print edition
A Florida court wallops one of Wall Street's top investment banks
COULD the headlines get any worse for Morgan Stanley? Already facing an attempt by dissident former managers to unseat its chief executive, on May 16th the investment bank was ordered by a Florida court to pay $604m for defrauding Ronald Perelman, one of America's smartest and richest investors. Mr Perelman contended that Morgan Stanley had misled him in 1998 when he agreed to accept shares in its client, a second-rate appliance manufacturer named Sunbeam, in exchange for his controlling interest in Coleman, a supplier of camping equipment.
And yes, things could get worse. On May 18th, after no more than a brief deliberation, the jury decided to award Mr Perelman another $850m, this time in punitive damages.
Yet none of this was ever brought before the jury, because of something that turned out to be critical to Morgan Stanley's defence. It had consistently failed to turn over internal e-mails. As the bank had done in other investigations, it blamed the omissions on computer errors and the like. This time, however, in Mr Perelman it faced an adversary who was implacable, well represented and determined to extract more than a token settlement; past opponents, mainly regulators, have been more easily satisfied.
Worse still for the bank, it faced a judge who found its delays and evasive answers to requests intolerable. “Many of these failings were done knowingly, deliberately and in bad faith,” concluded Judge Maass, in her critical pre-trial ruling. “A reasonable juror could conclude that evidence of Morgan Stanley & Co's misconduct demonstrates its consciousness of guilt.”
That ruling, and the thought that lots of embarrassing dotcom-era e-mails might come to light, will warm the heart of many a plaintiff lawyer. And an odd twist to the Sunbeam case is worth a moment's meditation—not for Morgan Stanley specifically, but for the whole financial industry. According to Mr Perelman's allegations, the company's problems came to light only because of the demands of its auditor: Arthur Andersen, an accounting firm once renowned for its probity. How easily can reputations crumble to dust.
What can I say that Teddy Roosevelt did not? If Morgan Stanley could read their Emails then they might not have received the fine? Zerowait has transferable licensed NetApp hardware that they could have used to archive their emails for well under $100,000.00 . Currently, Zerowait has Transferable licensed R100's available with 12 TB for about $58,000.00
Make sure you can read your backups and archives!
Tuesday, May 24, 2005
Kevin Schoonover, director of engineering at Arrow Electronics, said that NetApp seems to have applied a lot of channel and customer feedback into the new appliances. We would all like to believe that, but a lot of our channel and end users would really like transferable licenses on all NetApp equipment, did they address this? I sure is high on the request list of most of the people I talk to.
Specifically, said Schoonover, NetApp in the past did not allow a mixture of Fibre Channel and SATA drives in an array, a feature that he said is important to the channel.
Why is it important to the channel? Is NetApp going to support drives from third party suppliers now? Why would the channel care? If the drives are still only available through NetApp and its distributors, what is the advantage?
Another key feature of Data ONTAP 7G is the ability to dynamically allocate capacity to storage volumes, Suresh Vasudevan (vice president of products for Netapp) said. Typical storage array capacity utilization is in the 30 percent to 40 percent range, and it is usually necessary to allocate more capacity to specific purposes than needed in order to account for the growth of the data, he said. "Data ONTAP 7G reclaims unused space and doubles the utilization of capacity," he said. "It's completely transparent to the user."
Is the 30% typical of a NetApp filer or overall storage systems? What was their test environment? Did it include desktops or only Enterprise NAS and SAN?
While both Clariion and EVA support mixed Fibre Channel and SATA drives, Vasudevan said NetApp's new arrays are more suitable for primary storage because of software that offers RAID-DP protection, which allows up to two hard drives to fail without affecting data availability. "The only other way to do this is to mirror the storage, which is too expensive," he said.
Why is it too expensive to Mirror drives if you just use a simple RAID it is free with most operating systems and ATA drives are cheap. Who says you need to buy an EMC or NetApp system?
OK, I know I’m not supposed to pay this much attention to press release propaganda, but it’s too much fun to read between the lines!
Monday, May 23, 2005
Network Appliance Changes Game for Midrange Enterprise Storage
Almost every one of our customers wants their suppliers to be consistant. In this press release NetApp emphasizes how their new systems change everything.
We designed our new FAS systems, virtualization engines, and SATA disk option to provide the best value of any midrange storage system in the industry," said Patrick Rogers, vice president of Products and Partners at Network Appliance. "Our customers tell us that data storage consumes 30% to 50% of their IT infrastructure budgets, and that data growth presents a huge management challenge. We listened and designed the modular and scalable FAS3000 series and the V3000 systems to reduce overall complexity, increase performance, and simplify data management. Additionally, we are achieving an industry milestone by enabling economical, high-density SATA disk drives for primary storage applications -- without sacrificing data integrity and safety."
Why would NetApp want to alienate their established customers who want to get the most value out of their current IT infrastructure, especially those that just purchased a 900 series unit? Also, NetApp fails to discuss that savvy data storage managers know that they can buy transferable licensed filers and save a bundle on their storage costs. As a reader of this blog, you already know that Zerowait provides affordable alternatives to NetApp's pricing policies.
Jon Toigo's article today Discusses the odd perspective that storage vendors have toward their customers. It is worth a few minutes of your time.
Thomas Mendoza, president of Network Appliance, earned $22 million last year, including the estimated value of his stock options, more than triple the pay for Network Appliance's CEO. Mendoza also earned more than all but eight Bay Area CEOs.
Friday, May 20, 2005
At the same time that our relationship with NetApp was coming to an end our nationwide customer base was calling us and asking us to provide them with affordable NetApp equipment upgrades. As their trusted technology partner, we continue to get calls from these customers for service, support and upgrades.
As NetApp clearly explains in their annual report, they use commodity parts. And for our customers who are no longer using NetApp for service and support we can supply the parts without the NetApp markup.
Our appliances are based primarily on commodity hardware, including Intel® Pentium® processors, an advanced implementation of the industry-standard PCI bus architecture, standard Ethernet adapters, and either Fibre Channel-Arbitrated Loop (FC-AL), Advanced Technology Attachment (ATA), or Small Computer System Interface (SCSI) disk interconnects
So we base our service, support and upgrade business on a mix of identical commodity hardware purchased from the same sources that NetApp does, and used NetApp equipment which we get from trade ins and system take outs. Often when we buy systems they come with spares kits that were never even opened and so we have a lot of brand new unused NetApp equipment. And we purchase and stock transferable licensed filers which we provide to customers at a substantial discount to the prices NetApp charges.
Thursday, May 19, 2005
"The claims of the SAN vendors sound similar to ours" said Hitz, "But they are dealing with raw disk data. Unix and NT file systems are very different". NetApp's file system software includes data sharing between Windows and NT, supporting NFS and CIFS data formats from both Unix and NT systems and HTTP for web support.
To put the announcement into perspective, before last week Network Appliance didn’t just specialize in NAS, it detested SANs. “For five years, I’ve been the guy on the stage telling you SANs suck,” said David Hitz, a Network Appliance founder and executive vice president of engineering, during the announcement.
'I had been explaining to Don why NAS was great and SAN was not, although some customers had been saying we should do SAN,' Mr Hitz said. 'And he said: 'in this economy, if a customer wants to give you money, I recommend you take it.' That's what we decided to do.'
No matter which way NetApp twists and turns in the future, our customers know that Zerowait will have the parts and technical support they require to keep their NetApp systems running reliably for years to come at a very reasonable price . Unlike NetApp which concentrates on their quarterly sales numbers, Zerowait is concentrating on providing our customers long term value from their current data storage infrastructures.
Wednesday, May 18, 2005
After I came back from the show I spoke to a customer about some transferable licensed NetApp F840's with Cluster and NFS licenses. It seems that NetApp was offering him a price of over $120,000 for a clustered pair of FAS 270C's. I told him to go to SPEC.org and check out the performance of the FAS 270 before buying one.
Zerowait has a large stock of Transferable Licensed NetApp filers in stock and ready to ship, we can configure them to meet your requirements. We look forward to having you join the Zerowait family of satisfied customers.
Tuesday, May 17, 2005
Many times CIO's are put into the position of deciding to upgrade equipment and shave their staff or keep old equipment and maintain their staffing levels. If your equipment is working fine why do you need to upgrade? If your staff is already overworked how is buying new equipment going to reduce their workload?
Zerowait maintains NetApp equipment around the world. Reducing your equipment support costs while maintaining your High Availability requirements is our business. Zerowait has the NetApp parts you need, and we can ship today!
If your IT shop is lucky enough to have people like this in it’s staff, then you probably have a smooth running shop. However, you probably also have a few ideas about how to make things run better. Do you dare test them in your live environment? I can understand your hesitance to experiment where critical data is stored.
Zerowait has a solution for you! Zerowait can use their vast knowledge and access to equipment to help you test your innovative ideas in a real world environment, without putting your data at risk. Zerowait can duplicate your current system, then test the changes, run them, and make sure your data will be safe! Once everyone is convinced that the idea is helpful and safe, Zerowait can then help you implement the solution in your live environment.
Just another way Zerowait can help keep you safe and growing all at the same time!
Monday, May 16, 2005
The good news is that data security and availability are possible, largely within the bounds of your current architecture. It sometimes just takes a knowledgeable outside observer to pinpoint troublesome areas and recommend simple steps for improving those areas. Many times, rethinking the existing environment will solve the problem; other times the addition of cutting edge technologies is required. Zerowait can assist during all phases-from analysis, planning, transition, and implementation. We're also there afterward, to ensure continued satisfaction.”
In the many years that I have been involved with Mike Linett and the fine folks at Zerowait, I have noticed that they go out of their way to keep their customers happy. All good companies have good friends who become customers; Zerowait has customers that become good friends. At Zerowait, a happy customer is a future customer and a friend for life.
Friday, May 13, 2005
From Toigo's column, this is very important!
Some Out of the Box Thinking from Zetera
I just had a conference call with slide deck walkthrough with some folks from a startup called Zetera. I have to tell you that their stuff knocked my socks off.
Forget what you think you know about networked storage. There isn’t any out there right now.
We all agree that server-attached storage is not networked storage: the storage is treated as a peripheral of the server. It might come as a surprise that neither contemporary NAS (so-called network attached storage) nor SAN (Fibre Channel fabric-attached storage) are networked storage, either.
NAS is a thin server OS bolted to the side of an array: server-attached storage any way you cut it.
FC SANs are just server attached storage with a switch in the middle that makes and breaks point to point connections at high speed. It is still direct attached storage for all intents and purposes.
Control of a SAN requires an additional connection to every device (usually an IP network connection) because Fibre Channel is, as the name says, a channel protocol and not a network protocol. The guys who wrote FCP say that they weren’t setting out to create a network and deliberately excluded all IP stack-like functions from the protocol. They were trying to come up with a serial implementation of SCSI that could run over a thin wire so they wouldn’t keep tripping over the big fat SCSI cable every time they walked around their rack.
iSCSI moves us a bit closer to real networked storage, but it still follows the conventions of a channel architecture. The only advantage of iSCSI from an architect’s perspective is that it combines control and data paths into the same wire — something you will also be able to do with FC using a 10GbE network wiring infrastructure very soon.
What Zetera told me about is very different. I’m planning a column covering it in more detail at ESJ.com in a week or two. Basically, disk drives are connected directly to an IP net. UDP and multicasting are used to provide transport layer functions and to replace RAID. Gone is the need for an HBA, a RAID array controller, and an FC switch (if you have one of those). Just plug the drive into a “Tailgate” that connects it to the network, load some driver software and start building storage infrastructure directly on the network.
That’s network storage, in my book. I won’t endorse the product until we have had a chance to kick the tires in our labs. But I’ll report what we learn.
At Zerowait, we believe in testing products in real world environments, but we also like to check out whether a company plans to be in business for a while. So many of our customers complain about the orphaned products that are part of their infrastructures, that we check out the emerging companies business plans and finances carefully before we reccomend a product. I don't want to recommend a product that will become a critical part of a company's infrastructure, but have no supprt within two years. Not surpisingly very few companies meet the criteria of our customers for a viable product. Extinction is a fact of life on this planet, and also a fact of business.
Business is about profit and loss, but also about risk. Our customers depend on us to help them manage their risk at a reasonable cost. Our NetApp products support business grows weekly because Zerowait is focused on providing outstanding value to our customers. There are a lot of interesting technologies being developed currently and I am looking forward to seeing one or two that can help our customers increase their profits while decreasing their risks.
Thursday, May 12, 2005
upgrading to a NetApp 940 or 960 from an F840. Most of the customers I talk too simply want to add storage to their units, but NetApp is trying to force them to upgrade. We reccomend the simple drive swap alternative. If you have 36GB or 72 GB drives why not just upgrade those drives to 144GB drives? Zerowait will provide a trade in value on the 36's and provide you with 144's at a price point that keeps you well within your budget. More storage and a lower price point !
Talking about budgets, I was talking to a "C" level fellow the other day who was complaining that if he bought the new NetApp equipment he would have to reduce his staff levels because the licenses were so expensive. I suggested that he simply use transferable licensed equipment and then he could maintain his staff and increase his storage.
Transferable licensed NetApp filers are available from Zerowait and we can ship them right away. So you can maintain your service levels if you purchase your storage wisely. Now that is
Storage Resource Management (SRM)!
Tuesday, May 10, 2005
It is interesting to note that the nations electrical grid has an average of 8 hours down time per year, which is 99.9% availability, or 3 Nines. The Zerowait engineers tell me that their average response time to an emergency outage call is 15 to 20 minutes (usually much less), which is actually better than 99.99%, or 4 nines.
How reliable is your network and can Zerowait make it better? Give the Zerowait engineers a call, they are more reliable than your electric service and can help you make your network more reliable as well!
Monday, May 09, 2005
All we need to do now is convince NetApp how good this type of policy is for everyone involved!
Until then, Zerowait can still provide you with used NetApp, complete with transferable software licenses and support. Call Zerowait for details!
Friday, May 06, 2005
Other things are not quite as easy to figure out. Do you need a complete multi vitamin, or just calcium and zinc? This is not as easy to decide because we are not all very educated in the dietary needs of the human body, so the answers aren’t nearly as obvious.
IT equipment is kind of like that. We aren’t all fully educated in the ins and outs of different quad cards, fiber vs. optical, to cluster or not. It’s usually pretty obvious what and how much you need to store and how you are going to use it. The big question is how to accomplish your goals in the most cost efficient way, without compromising speed, usability, and security.
This is where the help of Zerowait’s highly educated and well experienced engineers can be a great asset to you and your company. Based on the information that you provide, the Zerowait engineers can help decide the best equipment for your needs. They can evaluate your current setup, and then suggest setting changes or minor upgrades that will improve current performance, or they can help you develop a new system to handle current and future needs. Either way you can be sure that they are going to give you the best advice for your needs.
Zerowait’s goal is to earn your trust and keep you as a happy customer for years to come!
Thursday, May 05, 2005
Why do I mention this? Well, like the good old Converse, Chuck Taylors, sometimes a good old NetApp F760 will do everything you need it to do. Why be forced to spend the big bucks on NetApps latest and greatest product when all you need is an F760. NetApp won't sell you an F760, or support one you already own, but thanks to Zerowait, you can still buy and support the equipment that meets your specific needs.
I'm sure professional runners and semi-pro walkers need special shoes, but do I need a $200 pair of gardening shoes and a pair of $150 walking shoes, when a $30 dollar pair of sneakers will work just fine? You may need more than an F760, or maybe not, so call Zerowait, to talk to the Zerowait engineers about your needs. Zerowait has what you need at a price that you can afford!
Wednesday, May 04, 2005
These are the classifications used by NTAP for their software releases.
* Release Candidate (RC): An initial posting of the release on the NetApp on the Web (NOW) site Intended for customers to start validating the release before rolling it into mission-critical environments.
* General Availability (GA): Has key qualifications completed that address compatibility with other key products Includes fixes for critical bugs found in the RC releases.
* General Deployment (GD): A field-proven release based on adoption and quality metrics. Has all certifications completed.
What does all this mean to you? If you are running a version labeled RC, you better have a good reason, because it is not field tested and proven. You may absolutely need a certain feature that is not available anywhere else, but you are taking a chance. GA is ok, you may need it to fix a particular bug that you experienced. If you want to be certain that you are safe, GD is the best, most of the known bugs are worked out. However, GD might not have all the features you need. If you want to know the ins and outs of the software you are running, give Zerowait a call. The Zerowait engineers can give you valuable advice about what software you should be running.
Tuesday, May 03, 2005
I received a lot of questions about our NetApp upgrades, service and support over the last couple of days. And between conference sessions a lot of folks have asked me to explain the transferable license issues to them for their NetApp equipment.
There are quite a few members of the Zerowait family of customers here, I am having dinner with a couple tonight.
I learned, more than a few years ago, that Zerowait is a good friend to have.
Monday, May 02, 2005
If you gat a chance to make it to Vegas this week we hope you stop in to hear what Mike has to say. Also, mike still has some time free (it’s best to keep him away from the slots), if you would like to get together with him and learn more about how Zerowait can help you with your equipment and support needs, give Zerowait a call. Mike would be happy to meet you and hear about your specific needs.