Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Security, Storage, and Delaware's Senator Carper

Earlier this year Senator Carper was the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs. Perhaps he now will become the committee chairman. Senator Carper has been focusing on Data Security, and in a world where Google is cataloging everything this is something we should all be concerned about. In the book 1984 Orwell's Big Brother was the totalitarian Government. It is strange to see that in today's reality it is Silicon Valley companies that are becoming Big Brother .

"We used to just worry about people breaking into our homes or stealing our cars, but in the 21st century, we have to worry about people stealing our identities via computers and the Internet,” said Sen. Carper. “Given what we’ve seen happen recently with security lapses at the Veterans Administration and other financial institutions, it’s imperative that we write a national law to help protect consumers from being victims of identity theft. This bill would require all financial institutions, retailers and government agencies to maintain strong internal safety protections for the data they hold, to quickly investigate any security breach, and notify law enforcement, regulators and the public when there's a real risk of harm.”

Data Security and in particular disk drive security is something the engineers at Zerowait know a lot about. In the coming year we look forward to seeing what develops in this arena. Will it be government or private enterprise that protects your privacy in the future?

Friday, December 22, 2006

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. - Gandhi

1) It was only a few years ago that people were telling us that it was impossible to develop a third party full service NetApp support organization.

2) As we picked up our first customers the NetApp sales folks would tell our new customers that there was no way that we could provide long term service and support contracts and 24/7/365 .

3) When we picked up customers like HP, CSC, IBM, RBS and many other strategic accounts NetApp started to notice us and their salesman would try to meet or beat our pricing, service and support levels.

4) We doubled our sales in 2006 and now we have a service depot in Manchester, England and we are looking to open one in Asia in 2007.

Have a great holiday!
Your friends at Zerowait.

More Bad news for Morgan Stanley
The National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) has accused investment house Morgan Stanley of lying that millions of emails it possessed were lost in the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

The more things change the more they stay the same

Recently while at the SNW show in Orlando, I heard that NetApp was switching its shelf supplier from Xyratex to Dot Hill. When NetApp shifted its purchasing from Eurologic to Xyratex it was the root cause of Eurologic going out of business. Currently, NetApp represents about 50% of Xyratex's business. That is a big chunk of business to lose.

Sticking with your strategic suppliers and building long term relationships is something that most companies profess to admire. NetApp says it wants its customers for the long term. Why would a company that professes its strategic relationships to its customers act tactically with its own suppliers? Can a company so focused on its own short term profits provide long term value to its customers?

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Silicon Valley where Politics and Venture Capital Mix

It is always interesting to see who is contributing to Congressional representatives and see if it influences their votes. Silicon Valley's representive seems to be a favorite of the Venture Capital firms. Interesting? You decide.

Top Contributors

1 National Assn of Realtors $10,000
2 Laborers Union $8,500
3 Air Line Pilots Assn $7,500
3 Intl Brotherhood of Electrical Workers $7,500
3 National Venture Capital Assn $7,500
6 International Assn of Fire Fighters $7,000
7 Acorn Campus $6,200
8 Assn of Trial Lawyers of America $6,000
8 Ironworkers Union $6,000
8 Operating Engineers Union $6,000
8 Opnext Inc $6,000
8 Transportation Communications Union $6,000
13 Mele Assoc $5,848
14 Credit Union National Assn $5,500
15 McDonalds $5,100
16 American Federation of Teachers $5,000
16 Johnson & Johnson $5,000
16 National Air Traffic Controllers Assn $5,000
16 Service Employees International Union $5,000
16 Teamsters Union $5,000
16 United Auto Workers $5,000

Monday, December 18, 2006

How long do you want your data archive to be readable?

One of our friends just told us that NetApp will not allow their R100's to run anything above Version 7.1 of Ontap. Is this true?

Can NetApp's Nearstore line be considered a longterm solution ? Archiving should inherently be for a longer period than 3-5 years. Isn't that what the regulators require in HIPAA & GLBA and SARBOX?

Zerowait will have the parts for these systems for many years to come so our customers can remain in compliance, but will NetApp, their software vendor, make their newer systems backwards compatible?

Monday, December 11, 2006

Interesting Times

Monday, 11 December 2006
BlueArc Defends IP, Wins NetApp Lawsuit

BlueArc, a provider of network storage, has said that the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has affirmed the lower court's decision to dismiss the patent infringement lawsuit filed against the company by Network Appliance.

Does this mean that Direct NAS competition is looming for NetApp from another manufacturer? Add this to the HDS agreement posted today and BlueArc may be on an upward trend.
Hitachi Data Systems has signed an investment, OEM and reseller pact with high-end NAS developer BlueArc as part of a move to enter the high-performance computing market.

Also in today's email was this from the Equipment Leasing Assoc.

AeA has sent along the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) proposed language for the emergency regulation to implement the California RoHS requirements. The Director of DTSC has approved this version, and it will be formally posted once Cal/EPA signs off. Since this is being issued as an emergency regulation, there is only a 10-day public comment period (instead of the usual 45 days).
§66260.202 Restrictions on the Use of Heavy Metals in Covered Electronic Devices.

(a) On or after January 1, 2007, no person shall sell or offer for sale in California, a covered electronic device if the device is prohibited from being sold or offered for sale in the European Union on or after its date of manufacture due to the concentration of one or more heavy metals in the device exceeding its maximum concentration value, as specified in the Commission Decision of August 18, 2005, amending Directive 2002/95/EC (European Union document 2005/618/EC), or as specified in a subsequent amendment to the Directive.

(b) The prohibition in subsection (a) applies only to a covered electronic device that is manufactured on or after January 1, 2007.

(c) The prohibition in subsection (a) does not apply to a covered electronic device that is sold or offered for sale in California only for purposes of resale or offering for resale to persons outside of California.

(d) In determining the concentrations of metals for compliance with subsection (a), the Department shall not consider any cadmium, chromium, lead, or mercury, or any component containing any of those metals, which has been exempted by Directive 2002/95/EC, or by an amendment to the Directive.

(e) The prohibition established by subsection (a) of this section does not apply to a covered electronic device that would be prohibited from sale or being offered for sale in California based solely on metals used to meet consumer, health or safety requirements.

NOTE: Authority cited: Sections 25214.10, 25214.10.2, and 58012, Health and Safety Code; Section 42475.2, Public Resources Code. Reference: Section 25214.10, Health and Safety Code; Section 42465.2, Public Resources Code.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Bill and Michael's Excellent Adventure!

It looks like Microsoft and Dell are going after the boys of NetApp in Sunnyvale. Way back in time Dell and NetApp were friends. But the marriage ended in a messy divorce which left a lot of customers without an upgrade path.

Now it looks like MS and Dell are taking direct aim at Java Drive's profit center of licensing.
The Dell PowerVault NX1950™ with Microsoft® Windows® Unified Data Storage Server 2003 goes beyond traditional network-attached storage solutions. The integrated hardware and software system offers the performance, advanced management features and flexibility of a mid-range unified storage device at an affordable price. It can also help customers reduce complexity and storage costs by eliminating separate licensing for additional features and protocols such as snapshots, replication and resource management I'm sure NetApp is saying 'ouch' to this.

I wonder what the usable to raw storage ratios on this product offering are. At the price points that is advertised it could be quite painful to NetApp.

Available now, the system is priced from about $17,000.* Configurations with 4.5 TB start at less than $24,000.* Integrated solutions with clustering and drive expansion, along with

MS and Dell have very deep pockets - If they are succesfull in gaining market share the new competition may very well make NetApp ease their licensing restrictions, and this will be great for storage consumers.

Monday, December 04, 2006

The Economist this week leads with a story about the falling dollar.

For Zerowait, and our NetApp customers, a falling dollar is a good thing. Currently, our European and Asian NetApp business is about 20% of our total yearly sales. A falling dollar means our Asian and European customers will be able to purchase our storage at a lower cost because their currencies will buy more dollars, and our NetApp storage is sold in dollars. This in turn means that Zerowait will be able to buy more inventory in the USA, and offer our European, Asian and American customers even lower prices.

The more customers we win, the more inventory we get, and the lower our overall pricing can be. It is a circle based on a competitive markets model that would make Adam Smith proud!