A customer called us the other day to compliment us on our fast service and then he asked how we knew so much about NetApp's products. The call was transferred to me and I explained that we were once a very successful NetApp reseller and one of the first Registered Service Providers in NetApp's program. I explained that in 2000 we were a preferred partner of NetApp, but somehow the reseller relationship disintegrated.
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.