Tuesday, August 23, 2011

What do the best known companies in Oil, Power Tools, & Disk Drives have in common?

They all use Zerowait’s SimplStor products for their fast growing data storage requirements. Storage is growing across all business sectors in response to regulatory requirements and the data retention policies that continue to blossom. These companies all recognize the value of our SimplStor products and enterprise storage services.

Our customers recognize that storage can be easily tiered to help them manage their growing storage costs. Using SimplStor our customers can contain storage costs and maintain their high availability service levels that their corporations require.

SimplStor delivers.

Whether you choose Red Hat or Fedora for the O/S - SimplStor provides reliable, well known architecture. High quality off the shelf hardware means low acquisition costs. And SimplSupport, our integrated monitoring and notification utility, means tier one support, to ensure the reliability you require, while keeping support costs in line. And this simple low cost solution still fits up to 90TB in 4U. SimplStor is the solution to the ever increasing requirements for data retention.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Zerowait's Business is up!

There was an article in Saturday's Wall Street Journal about NetApp and the problems they are having in the Federal space.


Tech investors must be hoping the sector is merely suffering a case of the debt-ceiling sniffles. Unfortunately it may have caught recessionitis.

When storage company NetApp said Wednesday that sales hit a wall in July, it was just the latest to blame the federal government, a huge buyer of tech gear, for slowing sales. Other companies that have cited a stingy Uncle Sam for slower growth include Dell, Cisco Systems, network equipment-makers Brocade Communications and Blue Coat Systems. Hewlett-Packard also cited weak public-sector spending as a reason for its poor outlook.

Some think of NetApp as a canary in the proverbial coal mine since, in August 2007, the company surprised investors by warning of a broad slowdown in orders among big business customers. The recession began a few months later.

Notably, at that time NetApp said that the strongest parts of its business were with the U.S. federal government, as well as Germany and Northern Europe. But this time the public sector, never mind Europe, isn't offering a backstop. Even if business customers have so far held to spending plans, William Blair analyst Jason Ader worries that government austerity will cause ripple effects on private investment as the economy slows.

The federal government isn't the only one cutting back on tech spending. NetApp also said the financial services sector, another huge consumer of tech gear, was broadly weak. That is likely bad news for other tech firms for whom finance companies are key buyers.

NetApp cited the debt ceiling as a reason for the slowdown. So some might argue that because the crisis was resolved, growth will bounce back quickly. The Congressional supercommittee now tasked with deficit reduction might have something to say about that."

NetApp's hardware service and support prices remain high, and we think that is the main reason that more and more Federal NetApp Filers are being put under Zerowait Support.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Can you justify your tape costs anymore?

I’ve noted in recent posts the increasing interest in as a replacement/complement for expensive tape backup systems. At only $20,000 for a base 68TB system, SimplStor makes disk to disk backup a viable alternative to tape. Using SimplStor as a nearstore device, you reduce your backup windows, reduce the number of cartridges you need since your dailies will now be on disk, and unless you need a very old copy, greatly reduce the time and effort to do a restore. Factor in the reduced cost of administration now that far less tape work is being done, and SimplStor quickly pays for itself.

Our staff is putting together a paper on the costs of tape backup, and the early numbers are pretty frightening. It can easily run more than $40,000 per year in admin and consumables to backup less than 10TB of data. Purchasing a SimplStor system vs all those tape cartridges will put money back in your budget, while reducing the complexity and time involved in properly backing up your data.

Now, thanks to our leasing partner, we can make SimplStor even more affordable. You can lease our 68TB SimplStor server for less than $10 per TB per month (SSC-36-68 server, $637.76 per month, 36 month term, $1 buy out). Make it a 250TB system and the cost drops to less than $7.50 per TB per month (1 x SSC-36-68 server, 2 x SSA 45-90 add-on shelves, 248TB, $1857.84 per month, 36 month term, $1 buy out).

Zerowait in the Australian news .....

Zerowait wins at Fuel VFX

Third party NetApp support specialist Zerowait has had a local win, with special effects company Fuel VFX acquiring one of its SimplStor products.

Fuel has worked on films including Captain America: The First Avenger, Iron Man 2 and Thor and, according to the Zerowait blog, uses “…proprietary tiering software developed in house by Fuel VFX, volumes on the 4U, 68TB unit provide nearline access for scripts and a library of film assets. In addition, the SimplStor is used to provide nearstore volumes, reducing the time of the backup window for Flame suites (now disk to disk), with the tape library now attached to the SimplStor.”

The blog quotes Dylan Penhale, Fuel’s Chief Technical Officer, as saying : “We knew SimplStor offered excellent value and density, but we’ve been pleasantly surprised by its performance. Transfers have been faster than we expected, offering better performance for our users and helping to further shrink our backup windows.”

Monday, August 08, 2011

The cost of doing business

As a business owner I am acutely aware of how much it costs to run a business, and that it costs more to hire employees and provide them the benefits they deserve than it used to. Since a lot of our customers are in the Financial and Medical sectors of the economy discussions on the implications of Dodd Frank and the effects of the new medical rules and mandates on the costs of doing business are increasing. I often hear that our customers are being caught between allocating budget money for productive purposes or for mandated regulatory compliance.

In 2008 the Small Business Administration published a study on the cost of compliance with federal regulations:


“The portion of regulatory costs that falls initially on businesses was $8,086 per employee in 2008. Small businesses, defined as firms employing fewer than 20 employees, bear the largest burden of federal regulations. As of 2008, small businesses face an annual regulatory cost of $10,585 per employee, which is 36 percent higher than the regulatory cost facing large firms (defined as firms with 500 or more employees).”

Note that these numbers do not include the cost to meet state, county and municipal regulations and rules.

In these sectors with ever increasing costs, everyone recognizes it’s getting harder to hire and maintain a great staff to maintain their high availability networks and storage infrastructures. We’ve heard from our customers that our low cost systems and support release budget dollars to pay staff and meet the ever increasing costs of maintaining each employee. Now, a growing number of customers are outsourcing their storage administration tasks to Zerowait, avoiding the regulatory burden and costs of hiring additional employees while continuing to provide the data access their customers require.

No matter how the global economy changes there are always going to be reasons for organizations to economize. Zerowait is focused on providing the services and products our customers need at prices that enable them to reach their goals.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Storage solutions for the budget crunch

For most of this week I was visiting clients in North Carolina. Almost all of the clients I met have an expanding storage requirement but a shrinking budget. The chill of austerity has finally hit storage budgets.

Zerowait offers our customers several solutions that help them maintain their current storage and add additional storage even in these difficult economic times.

1) Several of the customers I met this week are using their R200′s, FAS3020′s and FAs3050′s for archiving and are not looking to upgrade, additionally they can’t afford NetApp’s support contracts – which might not even be available after the end of the year fro some systems. Zerowait’s Next Business Day hardware support contracts for NetApp Filers start at just $1500.00/yr and are a viable alternative for customers who are happy with their 32 bit NetApp storage infrastructure.

2) Transferable licenses are a great way to get the NetApp features you need at a price you can afford. Many clients I met with have taken advantage of Transferable Licensed Systems to get the NetApp systems and storage they need at a price that they can afford. Zerowait has a large variety of Transferable Licensed systems available, call our offices in Europe, USA, or Australia if you need an affordable NetApp storage solution quickly.

3) Zerowait’s new SimplStor product line is quickly gaining attention from storage administrators around the world. SimplStor starts at just $20K for 68TB and easily expands to a Petabyte.

If your company is struggling with your storage requirements under a tight budget, Zerowait is the answer!