Thursday, October 26, 2006

Storage Network World is in Orlando next week.

The industry likes to gather there and make their boasts and put out press releases. I have been asked by quite a few of my industry peers to stop by, and I probably will because I have important business appointments nearby next week. A lot of our customers in the Southeast are interested in getting more storage value out of their NetApp infrastructures, and are looking at our service and support quotes and also transferable licensed filers.

You can be certain that the big wigs at SNW won't be talking about:
1) Getting more bang for your invested storage buck.
2) Getting a faster return on your storage ROI.
3) Affordably extending the life of your legacy storage.
4) How to save money with transferable licensed storage.

As Henry Ford said - “Competition is the keen cutting edge of business, always shaving away at costs”

But if that is what you are interested in, drop us an email and I am certain that we can get together. We always look forward to helping our customers and friends save a lot of money when negotiating with their storage vendor. In the last couple of weeks a large company in the Southeast has been using our support quotes to help them get reduced pricing out of their storage vendor very effectively. Competition will do that! Now the purchasing folks at this company are wondering why their storage manufacturer's prices were so high before we came to the table.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Storage investments
"A penny saved is a penny earned." Benjamin Franklin

Over the last few weeks there has been a steady increase in the number of inquiries we have received regarding transferable licensed filers. The current stock of filers includes all models of nearstore R100, r150 and r200 models as well as standard filers including the 980's, 960's and 940's. All these filers have transferable licenses and are ready to ship. NetApp provides software support for these filers and Zerowait provides affordable Next Business Day hardware support and installation services.

From the comments we hear from these customers, it seems that many NetApp salespeople are misinformed about transferable licensed filers, and don't know all the facts regarding them. If you are looking to save money on high reliability NetApp storage, give us a call and we will explain how it works.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Good news for HP!

It is always good to read that a customer is doing well. The folks at HP are some of the nicest and best engineers we deal with. Congratulations!
HP has taken Dell's crown for the most global PC shipments in the third quarter of 2006, Gartner has reported.

While most of the press is focusing on the executive suites, and former executive's books. The people at HP continue to do an excellent job providing technology that works for their customers.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Yesterday, I was in Maryland visiting some customers. At one location the customer wants to know how much data he can put behind a Netapp 980. He wants 30 TB useable. Officially, NetApp 980's only support 32 TB raw. And yet we have heard of 980's going over that limit. The customer has NetApp, Blue Arc and SGI storage. He noticed that his Blue Arc and SGI storage shelves look identical. Same shelves just different bezels.

Like so many of our customers this customer likes NetApp hardware and Zerowait support. NetApp hardware is reliable and easy to manage and Zerowait provides realiable and easy to work with support, and at reasonable prices. Recently we have seen a surge of NetCache customers coming to us for service and support quotes for their equipment. Same equipment, just different bezels ; )

By the way, Robert Pearson responded to a Blog posting by Jon Toigo about NetApp with some interesting comments which ended by pointing out "IMHO, pNFS won’t help much with these lofty but worthy goals, but it will help sell a bunch of NetApps boxen. Lord knows they need help with their design architecture bottleneck." Many customers are noticing this and that is why transferable licensed boxes are worth so much to savvy customers.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

"Trustworthy emphasizes the steady and honest dependability which encourages one's confidence, belief, or trust: trustworthy and accurate reports." from the definition of reliability below my thoughts.

A few weeks ago I was in Dallas meeting with one of our largest customers, and to paraphrase his comments - he said that what he likes about dealing with Zerowait was that no matter who he speaks to in our office, he is always given an honest and straighforward answer to his questions about a service policy or a parts order.

Since incorporating my company, I have strived to provide our customers with the same service and support that I expect from our business partners.Just this week our first customer was in our office about a maintenance project. Many vendors we have dealt with over the years can not provide the level of trustworthyness that we expect, and over the years most of them have withered away.

Often times at trade shows I hear salesman and marketing people discuss their compensation packages and bonus plans. I even get sent Powerpoint presentations from Vendors that we compete with that tell their sales people how to earn more income with lots of exclamation points. But I have always felt that our company, and our customers, will succeed best if we strive to provide long term value for them in their High Availability environments. Short run sales goals provide short run solutions for our customers, which end up costing them more money.

Zerowait has evolved over the last 17 years with our customers. The NetApp products & Technology we support and we specialize in was not even on the radar when I incorporated the company. And while providing outstanding service and support will never be glamourous, my staff, and I are committed to providing our customers with the best service that we can provide.

Next time you are reviewing your storage options, it might pay to review how your storage salesperson is compensated. Is he going to be a long term partner, or is he looking for the the quick payout? definition of reliability below.

re li a ble /rlabəl/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[ri-lahy-uh-buhl] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
that may be relied on; dependable in achievement, accuracy, honesty, etc.: reliable information.
[Origin: 1560–70; rely + -able]

—Related forms
reliability, reliableness, noun
reliably, adverb

—Synonyms trusty, authentic, consistent. Reliable, infallible, trustworthy apply to persons, objects, ideas, or information that can be depended upon with confident certainty. Reliable suggests consistent dependability of judgment, character, performance, or result: a reliable formula, judge, car, meteorologist. Infallible suggests the complete absence of error, breakdown, or poor performance: an infallible test, system, marksman. Trustworthy emphasizes the steady and honest dependability which encourages one's confidence, belief, or trust: trustworthy and accurate reports.
—Antonyms undependable, questionable, deceitful. Unabridged (v 1.0.1)
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

pos i ti vi ty / p z t v ti/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[poz-i-tiv-i-tee] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–noun, plural -ties.
1. the state or character of being positive: a positivity that accepts the world as it is.
2. something positive.
[Origin: 1650–60; positive + -ity] Unabridged (v 1.0.1)
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.

Positive statement (1)
Yesterday, a NetApp customer sent us an email saying that NetApp does not transfer licenses. From our customer - My rep says, quote “we don’t do that” unquote.
I am positive that NetApp transfers licenses - we work with companies regularly helping them move their transferable licensed systems. Many companies, state government agencies, federal government agencies and organizations are using legally transfered systems today. Why would a NetApp salesperson misinform their customer?
Positive statement (2)
NetApp equipment is some of the most reliable storage equipment ever made, with high reliability guaranteed, it makes sense to maintain and add storage to older systems. Zerowait helps hundreds of companies save money every year with our upgrades, service and support.
I am positive that you can get more value out of your NetApp Storage if you ask Zerowait for a quote on Service, support or upgrades and compare them to NetApp.
Positive statement (3)
Zerowait's business is growing rapidly because we offer a competitive, quality service for customers with legacy NetApp equipment. Our business is growing mostly by word of mouth recommendations between NetApp users, not because of our Google ads or sales efforts. The largest companies in the world depend on Zerowait for their NetApp service and support, and many of them are NetApp partners.

Positive statement (4)
Competition is good for NetApp's customers, and it makes Zerowait have to be better than our competition all the time at what we do!

I am positive that our business will continue to grow because of our commitment to providing the highest quality customer service and support. Long term customer relationships will remain our most valuable assets for years to come.

If you are tired of hearing that you need to upgrade from your NetApp salesperson, and are looking for a quality service and support alternative, I am positive you will be happy with Zerowait - the affordable alternative for NetApp service and support!

Also - Call us today if you want special pricing on a FAS940 Cluster with NFS and CIFS with transferable licensing

Monday, October 09, 2006

Did you ever think that making a speech on economics is a lot like pissing down your leg? It seems hot to you, but it never does to anyone else. Lyndon B. Johnson

The same can be said for storage economics - According to Robin Harris :
In storage, the capacity illusion reigns supreme. We measure storage utilization by looking at capacity in gigabytes, which, as Hu points out, is the cheapest part of storage. The expensive storage component is I/O. And the expensive management component is people.

And while the main stream computer press simply recites whatever it is that the vendors are flogging this week, it takes some detective work for customers to find out how to get the most economical return for their storage investment. However, NetApp customers recognize that Zerowait provides high quality third party service and support for their legacy filers. And as we grow our European business many more customers are discovering the logic of purchasing transferable licensed filers. It does not take much effort to look at the price point of a new NetApp filer, compare it to a transferable licensed FAS980 and see that you can get a lot of storage and save a lot of money with a 980 and 336 spindles.

Storage economics - it is a term that will become more well known over the next few years.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

On Thursday and Friday I went on a few customer visits and I decided to drive. Leaving Newark,DE on Thursday morning at 5:15 AM I stopped at the Dunkin Donuts and got some coffee and a breakfast sandwich. I drove up the NJ TPKE and crossed the George Washington Bridge with hardly any traffic nightmares. I hit the Cross Bronx Expressway and ran into a small tie up. Going into CT was really no problem, and I made it to New Haven with a lot of time to spare. I had lunch with a customer and continued on up to Hartford and into the Boston suburbs for another appoinment. The calm before the traffic storm!

On Friday, I had two appoinments and left Boston around noon. I got on 95 south and ran into a traffic tie up, when it cleared I ran into a three hour mess between New Haven and the Housatonic river. I decided to spend the night with friends near Bridgeport after this nightmarish delay. Saturday morning I ran into traffic around Stamford, CT and of course on the Cross Bronx EXPY it was a mess. I got across the George Washington Bridge and ran into an hour delay at exit 8 ( Freehold, NJ) After that tie up it was clear until the 896 exit in Newark, DE .

I hit a traffic jam on every highway and in every state I went through returning home. Can you imagine if your network worked that poorly? Would you deal with a company that created havoc in every part of every transaction you made with it. Of course not! Why don't state highway administrations treat us as customers? Why do they do major road work in the middle of the day? In our company all major network changes have to occur when the office is closed or lightly staffed. I wonder when the folks in charge of roadwork will discover the concept of doing major work when it will impact business the least? Maybe they can post some detour signs?

I wonder how much it costs our economy to have the Northeast a traffic nightmare? And I know that in every region of the country I drive in I run into traffic nighmares. Does anyone in Government care? If Government can't maintain & fix the roads why are we paying high gas taxes and tolls?

Let's fix the roads in this country!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Economics explained through cows.

My cousin Clive ,who lives in England, sent me a joke which I thought applied to the storage business perfectly. I only added one section at the end . I hope you enjoy it.


You have 2 cows, and you give one to your neighbour.


You have 2 cows. The State takes both and gives you some milk.


You have 2 cows. The State takes both and sells you some milk.


You have 2 cows. The State takes both and shoots you.


You have 2 cows. The State takes both, shoots one, milks the other,
then throws the milk away...


You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull. Your herd multiplies,

and the economy grows. You sell them and retire on the income.


You have two cows. You sell one, and force the other to produce the
milk of four cows. Later, you hire a consultant to analyze why the cow has dropped dead.


You have two cows. You go on strike, organise a riot, and block the

roads, because you want three cows.


You have two cows. You redesign them so they are one-tenth the size
of an ordinary cow and produce twenty times the milk. You then create a
clever cow cartoon image called Cowkimon and market it worldwide.


You have two cows. You re-engineer them so they live for 100 years,
eat once a month, and milk themselves.


You have two cows, but you don't know where they are. You decide to
have lunch.


You have two cows. You count them and learn you have five cows. You

count them again and learn you have 42 cows. You count them again and

learn you have 2 cows. You stop counting cows and open another bottle
of vodka.


You have 5000 cows. None of them belong to you. You charge the owners

for storing them.


You have two cows. You have 300 people milking them. You claim that
you have full employment, and high bovine productivity, and arrest the
newsman who reported the real situation.


You have two cows. You worship them.


You have two cows. Both are mad.


Everyone thinks you have lots of cows. You tell them that you have
none. No-one believes you, so they bomb the **** out of you and invade your
country. You still have no cows, but at least now you are part of a


You have two giraffes. The government requires you to take harmonica



You have two cows. You sell 3 of them to your publicly listed
company, using letters of credit opened by your brother-in-law at the bank.
Then you execute a debt/equity swap with an associated general offer so
that you get all 4 cows back, with a tax deduction for keeping 5 cows. The
milk rights of 6 cows are transferred via a Panamanian intermediary
to a Cayman Islandscompany secretly owned by the majority shareholder. He
sells the rights to all 7 cows' milk back to the listed company, and
proceeds from the sale are deferred. The annual report says that the
company owns 8 cows, with an option on one more. Meanwhile, you kill
the 2 cows because the feng shui is bad.


You have two cows. The one on the left looks very attractive.


You have two cows. Business seems pretty good. You close the office
and go for a few beers to celebrate.

Storage vendor

You purchased a new milking machine for high reliability and the expected growth of your milking operation which currently consists of two cows. The hardware vendor cancels software and hardware support for the milking machine and requires you to purchase new hardware and software. They tell you that the new software and hardware provides higher availability than the older versions did. When you install the hardware you notice that the only difference is the Bezel and the debt you have incurred. The day after your upgrade is complete the salesman stops by and tells you that the hardware has been superseded by a newer version and you need to upgrade. The salesman is driving a brand new BMW 700 series.

Monday, October 02, 2006

A purchase that makes sense.

Typcially - the news from Silly Con Valley storage companies makes little sense but this one seems to have some logic behind it. If HDS pulls it off, I think in a few years NetApp will see some serious competition.

Meanwhile, HDS is also said to be working through the due diligence process to acquire high-end network attached storage (NAS) supplier, BlueArc Inc. Neither company would confirm nor deny the rumor. A former BlueArc employee, who preferred to remain anonymous, said that there were discussions with HDS two to three years ago, but they didn't go anywhere. "The company's under new management now and it would be a logical move," he said.

But what happened to the love NetApp and HDS used to share?
Hitachi Data Systems Corp. (HDS), Santa Clara, Calif., and Network Appliance Inc. (NetApp), Sunnyvale, Calif., have penned a plan to sell enterprise NAS systems. Under terms of the agreement, HDS will offer NetApp enterprise NAS gateway devices for Hitachi Freedom Storage arrays managed by HDS HiCommand Management Framework tools.

Oh yeah, that's right , NetApp is now dancing with IBM.
Andy Monshaw, General Manager, IBM Storage Systems, states, "The IBM relationship with Network Appliance is a prime example of how two industry-leading companies, both of whom actively support open standards, can team to offer information on demand solutions.

No matter who they are dancing with today, Zerowait will support whichever legacy version of NetApp equipment you are left with for years to come.