Wednesday, November 30, 2005

NetApp Storage Costs

Can you look at the cost of your NetApp storage in isolation? By its very definition Network Attached Storage needs to have a Network for it to work. How do you include network costs in your cost of storage? How do you include network management in your cost of storage? Suppose that, as in many organizations we support, the storage folks don't run the network and the network budget is under a different department.

How do you account for the cost of storage? Working with some of our customers we came up with a way to account for storage costs which will include the costs of networking, manpower required and data center overhead costs. It is one of the many services that we provide.

Zerowait has hundreds of NetApp filers under support, and I can't think of any one of these systems that works in isolation. Our engineers have to know about networking, routing, backup and restore processes to solve the questions they are asked everyday by our customers. A few weeks ago our engineers were working with a customer to improve their storage speeds. The filers were not taxed at all, the problem was in the network. Now that the problem has been identified, another department needs to address it. I wonder if the network folks will call it a storage problem or a network bottleneck in their budget request?

So when someone asks us what does NetApp cost, we have to ask what kind of Network infrastructure they have and what their future needs will be. At Zerowait we provide affordable alternatives to NetApp for service, support and upgrades - but we also provide engineering and integration services that include the network in the cost of the process.

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