Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Zerowait Road Map 2013

Folks often ask us about our road map and we try to make it as simple as possible. Our goal is long term hardware reliability through affordable enterprise-class service and support.  You don’t need a sextant, chronograph and compass to get from where you are to where you are going with Zerowait on your team. Our road map provides an expressway to your destination without the hassles and tolls of your typical vendor.
First, we provide our NetApp customers with a value conscious alternative to NetApp pricing and policies. Our off-lease systems allow our customers to add additional NetApp infrastructure (heads and storage) while staying within today’s reduced budgets. And our highly skilled engineering staff offers the best service and support available for NetApp equipment for as long as customers want to run their systems.
Second, we develop features and hardware for our SimplStor product line as they are requested by our customers to meet their needs. Our platform was designed to allow adaptability to meet our customers’ needs. Sometimes quite a few customers want the same thing and it becomes a standard product or service. In 2013 we are introducing our FC and SSD versions of SimplStor.
GPS direct courseProviding customers with affordable and reliable long term service and support for their NetApp and SimplStor storage hardware is our goal. If that is your destination also, Zerowait can get you there with GPS precision guidance.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Finding Storage Value

Last week I was visiting customers in Delaware. Some of them have been customers and friends for well over a decade. I met with folks from a university, a big colo provider, and a large computer services company. All three organizations have large storage infrastructures which include NetApp equipment and just about every other storage vendor.

One customer is building out their Wilmington data center and they were talking about how Zerowait helps them control their NetApp support and hardware costs. Another customer has a substantial NetApp infrastructure and will be working with Zerowait on adding a lot of storage over the next few months in their data centers. Zerowait is picking up more and more customers who are looking strategically at their storage investments and trying to get more value out of them. To an increasing number of members of the NetApp user community, Zerowait is the preferred answer to sky high NetApp support and upgrade costs. 

A couple of our customers mentioned that there seems to be a dichotomy in NetApp between the Filers and the E series and they were unsure how the two lines complement each other. The systems don’t share an operating system and seem to have very different pricing and value propositions. Just like the E Series equipment that NetApp sells our SimplStor product line does not share the OnTap operating system, but SimplStor is an affordable, highly reliable platform that is flexible and gaining traction. Customers are interested in using our SimplStor for tape replacement and also are looking into FC applications for SimplStor. In 2012 we grew strongly in the Energy sector and the Film and VFX business.  

When the conversations turned to Zerowait’s prospects and growth expectations for 2013 and beyond, I explained that we are building out our Texas location and also have adapted our business model to the Australian marketplace very successfully.  Zerowait is preparing for growth this year as more of NetApp’s customers embrace our solutions to provide them affordable additional storage and extended service cycles for their existing NetApp storage investments. Each of the customers I met with last week recognized that Zerowait fills a unique and growing market niche, and they all expect to do more business with us over the next few years. 

It is always fun to catch up with old friends.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Extended Service Life Equals Extra Budget

Last week I was visiting customers in Atlanta, GA and the surrounding area and we spoke of their biggest concerns for 2013. Not surprisingly, most of the folks were battling with budgetary uncertainty. The causes were varied, but the effects were the same, tighter cost controls on storage and staff shortages.

I met with two customers in the banking sector; both are understaffed and overwhelmed trying to meet regulatory documentation rules. The cost of compliance with Dodd Frank regulations is so high it has cut into their budgets for new storage equipment, so these customers are looking to extend the life of their NetApp equipment and put more units under our support. They are also looking at how they can use our SimplStor products to cut their costs for archival storage. 

I also met with customers in the media business, and they are also looking for any way to stretch their budget dollars. Without funds for new infrastructure these companies are also looking to stretch the lifespan of their legacy infrastructures. Extending the service cycles of storage infrastructure is one way of reducing costs that is being embraced by corporate America as GDP Growth rates slow and inflation increases. 

Surprisingly, the Department of Defense is one area where there has been little attention paid to extending the life cycles of IT storage equipment.  You might think that an organization that can keep a 50 year old B52 as a front line bomber would understand how to extend the service cycles of equipment.  And yet service and replacement cycle for the DoD’s critical data storage equipment still seems to be dictated by the OEM’s of the equipment.  Maybe Sequestration will bring some sense to DoD procurement cycles. As a taxpayer I hope it does.