Survey Says…Objectionable?

 

It's perfectly clear!
Foreflight Image: Objectionable, Near Youngstown Ohio

SURVEY SAYS…?

Customers and I have been talking lately about their struggles with their big vendors. “You can’t be fired for going with IBM!” has morphed into “Is there anyone there who cares about service?”

One non-inconsequential switch/firewall vendor, Juniper, has come under fire from CISA for not keeping up with required security patches, CVE notices, and customer updates. Customers are finding out about potential serious vulnerabilities from the news. Even if they don’t have Juniper products in their own, local infrastructures, what about their cloud providers? Seems like inquiring minds would like to know. Sadly, Juniper is not alone in not being exactly forthcoming to their customers.

As a pilot, I also follow aviation closely: Boeing Quality Control, anyone? I mean, we just completed our Annual (intensive) inspection on our RV-10 and found/fixed some small, non-critical issues with the brakes; but with Boeing, we’re talking about missing or loose bolts on their rudders, and door plugs that are not bolted on. Does anyone look?

It hit even closer to home last weekend when I was on a flight from PHL to DFW. We boarded one plane, then we were told that we would have to deplane so they could change the tire. Okay. A tire. Couldn’t take that long, you’d think. Instead, after an hour passed, we were taken to board another plane. Then, we taxied out only to be informed that there was a stuck valve, and we taxied back to the terminal. Another hour waiting at least, and finally we were on our way. I was given an extra package of 2 cookies with my coffee. Livin’ large. When I landed, my wife, who’d been tracking us on FlightAware, said, “How come the plane only went to 20,000 feet the whole way instead of the 30K plus usual flight level?” I said it could have been more favorable winds lower down, but inside I wondered if that valve was an air pressure valve and that is why we stayed lower than usual. The flight arrived safely at DFW–only about 4 hours late! The next day, when presented with a survey as to how I rated my flight, I demurred.

I did answer one survey about 6 months ago, for one of our long-time service vendors. On it, I provided examples over the previous year where their sales and service teams had misled us. About two weeks ago someone called us from their “customer satisfaction” team. He told me how concerned the company was and how they were going to address the issues I pointed out in my survey. He said someone would call me right away to discuss the issues we were having. Still nothing. I don’t expect anything. Meanwhile, I won’t recommend them any more to my friends with similar businesses.

How do these companies expect to build a long-term relationship with their customers when they can’t even provide a reliable service, keep an appointment, or provide references about their businesses? I suspect they don’t care. It’s all about today and the next sale.

I can assure you that if you call Zerowait about a problem we will respond quickly and follow up to make sure that the problem is solved. If you call us for a storage hardware solution, we will build you a solution that fits your requirements and provides long term, reliable service.

Do you need assistance with data storage? Please contact us at +1 302-996-9408 or by email at sales@zerowait.com.

 

Over 20 years providing NetApp Service and Support 
Affordable NetApp Monitoring!

Zerowait Corporation
707 Kirkwood Hwy, Elsmere DE 19805
Phone: 302.996.9408
Manchester, UK: +44 161.513.7429
Sydney, Australia: +61 2.8518.1271 

 

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You’re Going to Need Bigger Storage!

Get Ready for Video!

I hope you enjoyed your holidays. If you’re like us, even while we’re away our data storage kept growing. Those who store video surveillance data in particular know what I mean! As an example, I was visiting a customer this week who started using video cameras for Quality Control and site surveillance and within just a couple of years went from a few cameras to several hundred. Because it grew organically, like Tribbles, there was no time to plan the managment of the burgeoning data assets. To complicate matters, the projects were run by operational and production departments that didn’t understand networked storage and management. The result is a loosely organized web of network video recording (NVR) devices, with silos of storage all over the enterprise. Managing their data and preparing it for analysis when necessary can be very difficult.

Zerowait’s SimplStor® Video Vault is designed to provide the simplicity, flexibility and performance you need. With Linux/XFS or Windows Server (2019 or 2022), and robust 8GB hardware RAID with cache and battery backup, this solution offers the capacity you need at a price you can afford. Plus, our expert team has developed a list of storage managment best practices and a set of diagnostic and phone-home tools to solve many of the problems of fast-growth such as that encountered with NVR across a complex organization.

Zerowait’s SimplStor systems are known for long-term reliability and support. In the field since 2010, SimplStor systems typically have a service life of well over 5 years. If you are looking for long-term quality, service and support, Zerowait is your answer.

We look forward to working with you in 2024. Please contact us at +1 302-996-9408 or by email at sales@zerowait.com.

Have a great 2024 !

Over 20 years providing NetApp Service and Support 
Affordable NetApp Monitoring!

Zerowait Corporation

707 Kirkwood Hwy, Elsmere DE 19805
Phone: 302.996.9408
Manchester, UK: +44 161.513.7429
Sydney, Australia: +61 2.8518.1271 

 

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2024 NetApp Transferable Licensed Filers list

 

CentOS - Detour Changes Roadmap for 2024
Happy New Year!

It looks like 2024 is going to be an interesting year,  many of our clients are looking for ways to save money on their storage  infrastructure this year.

Our current list of  transferable licensed filers is up. If you are looking to increase your storage, and want to save a bit of money you will be interested in the January 2024 list.

What does your 2024 storage infrastructure budget look like? Transferable Licensed Filers can help you meet your goals and stay within your budget.  Please give us a call or drop us an email if you want more information on these systems.

We look forward to working with you in 2024. Please contact us at +1 302-996-9408 or by email at sales@zerowait.com.

Have a great 2024!

Over 20 years providing NetApp Service and  Support 
Affordable NetApp Monitoring!

Zerowait Corporation
707 Kirkwood Hwy,
Elsmere DE 19805
Phone: 302.996.9408
Manchester, UK: +44 161.513.7429
Sydney, Australia: +61 2.8518.1271
Zerowait is not a NetApp reseller.
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CentOS – Detour Changes Roadmap for 2024

 

CentOS - Detour Changes Roadmap for 2024
Pretty much everybody knows by now that IBM / RedHat have decided to change what had been a successful strategy for getting people to embrace their version of Linux—by providing the associated, parallel free version, CentOS. This bought RedHat a great deal of good will in the community, with many CIOs and CTOs still choosing the paid RHEL support path. However, this has changed. CentOS will no longer be available or developed the same way after 2024. Their strategy in doing this, based on an email I just saw from RedHat, appears to be to upsell everyone to the paid version of support. They may be following another brand’s failed marketing strategy.

I was talking with one of our customers and he said, “This reminds me of New Coke”.

Time will tell, but it seems to us that, based on customer comments and the SimplStor storage systems we have been building in 2023, quite a few CentOS and RHEL customers aren’t happy with this change in direction.

For example, we are doing a hardware refresh for a customer with a lot of older SimplStor servers. They were on paid RHEL with XFS. The new units, though? Windows Server 2019. Other customers have had us rebuild their CENTOS Linux ZFS SimplStor servers with Windows Server 2019. That is a niche that I never expected.

What does your 2024 storage road map look like? We will help you plan the route that gets you to your destination with fewer hassles. Give us a call or drop us an email.

We look forward to working with you in 2024. Please contact us at +1 302-996-9408 or by email at sales@zerowait.com.

Have a Happy Holiday and Great New Year!

Over 20 years providing NetApp Service and  Support 
Affordable NetApp Monitoring!

Zerowait Corporation
707 Kirkwood Hwy,
Elsmere DE 19805
Phone: 302.996.9408
Manchester, UK: +44 161.513.7429
Sydney, Australia: +61 2.8518.1271

 

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Your Satisfaction is our Goal

Clear Skies Ahead

Here’s a note that we received a few days ago from one of our long-term (13 years!) NetApp support customers:

”I deal with a lot of service providers and I have to say that Zerowait has been the best. You have all been very helpful, responsive, knowledgeable, and perhaps most importantly an absolute pleasure to deal with.”
–PM, San Francisco CA –10/31/23

At Zerowait our responsibility is to provide our customers with high reliability storage hardware and support. For over thirty years our team has been tinkering with computers and networks which has continuously broadened our knowledge of systems, software, firmware, and support. We practice what we preach and run SimplStor and NetApp storage in our own data center.

Last month I met with a customer at a university to talk about SimplStor.
One of the reasons he was thinking about switching vendors is that every time he calls his current vendor for a replacement part or tech support, he has to go through several layers of personnel before reaching a knowledgeable person who can actually take care of his issue. This generally happens because larger companies think of customer service and support as a cost. What they value is sales of new equipment. At Zerowait, we think the opposite. For us it’s all about helping customers.

We look forward to working with you. Please contact us at +1 302-996-9408 or by email at sales@zerowait.com.

Over 20 years providing NetApp Service and Support 
Affordable NetApp Monitoring!

Zerowait Corporation
707 Kirkwood Hwy, Elsmere DE 19805
Phone: 302.996.9408
Manchester, UK: +44 161.513.7429
Sydney, Australia: +61 2.8518.1271

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Where does the Buck Stop?

The Buck Stops in Grand Canyon?

As President of Zerowait it is my responsibility to make certain that our customers receive quality service and support. If a customer is not satisfied, I must figure out what happened and ensure that our solution will solve the problem. Similarly, if there’s a snag in operations, I need make sure it’s fixed before customer services are impacted.

“The Buck Stops Here” — Harry Truman

For example, occasionally we have experienced shipping damage, and this forced us to vastly improve our boxing and packing materials. Plus, we standardized on only using certain trusted carriers to improve our delivered quality. Despite all we do to protect our SimplStor and NetApp shipments, fork trucks still sometimes spear the boxes or drop pallets. When this happens we do all we can to make it right for our customers.

We wrote our system log reader/reporter about 20 years ago and have been improving it ever since. The Exception Reporter is a key tool used by our engineers, and allows faster response time and more accurate diagnoses of issues. Its automated reports also help busy administrators quickly check the status of their NetApp and SimplStor systems. Many of the improvements to Exception Reporter arose from customer requests. One lesson we learned is the importance of documenting our programs, procedures, and changes, so as to keep track of what was requested to avoid mission creep. Delivering quality is delivering the solution the customer needs. Our goal is to help our clients avoid problems, but when they have a problem to provide a viable solution quickly.

“At Zerowait the buck stops here.” — Mike Linett

We look forward to working with you. Please contact us at +1 302-996-9408 or by email at sales@zerowait.com.

Over 20 years providing NetApp Service and Support 
Affordable NetApp Monitoring!

Zerowait Corporation
707 Kirkwood Hwy, Elsmere DE 19805
Phone: 302.996.9408
Manchester, UK: +44 161.513.7429
Sydney, Australia: +61 2.8518.1271

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Data Storage Rainbow

R&D: Essential to Staying on Course
Traveling to Charlotte, NC to visit a customer

I am often asked in meetings with big companies, “Why should we work with Zerowait?” The short answer is that big companies need small companies to get things done quickly. The long answer is that the Zerowait team has been working with networks and storage for over thirty years and we understand generations of infrastructure technology and their idiosyncrasies and how to make them work together.

In the 1990’s technology and standards were changing quickly, and our team developed and deployed networks that included load balancing and storage. Network Attached Storage (NAS) became our specialty and we deployed and supported NetApp equipment around the globe.

When the 2008 financial crisis occurred, our customers’ IT budgets shrunk dramatically, and our third-party NetApp support business grew. By 2010, we had become recognized as a leader in NetApp third party support with parts depots in the USA, Australia and the UK. At the same time, we started development of SimplStor storage products to provide a flexible, reliable, and scalable storage solution to our customers looking for an alternative to the costs of proprietary NetApp and EMC equipment. While some customers look at cloud solutions, many wanted to stay with on-premise storage for security, speed, and other business reasons.

And now here we are in the mid-2020s and the cloud seems costly and complex. For many dissatisfied cloud customers, the prize at the end of the rainbow is on-premise storage. The technology has evolved over the last 30 years, and Zerowait is still providing customers with affordable, scalable, and reliable network and storage solutions.

We look forward to working with you. Please contact us at +1 302-996-9408 or by email at sales@zerowait.com

 

Over 20 years providing NetApp Service and Support 
Affordable NetApp Monitoring!

Zerowait Corporation
707 Kirkwood Hwy, Elsmere DE 19805
Phone: 302.996.9408
Manchester, UK: +44 161.513.7429
Sydney, Australia: +61 2.8518.1271

 

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R & D: Essential to Staying on Course

R&D: Essential to Staying on Course
At Zerowait we view Research and Development (R&D) as an essential ingredient in our successful business recipe. Most times our R&D comes out of a customer asking us a question or requesting a new feature. We are always looking to broaden our knowledge and product line. On average, over the last 30+ years we have tried 5 new things a year.

Last year, for example, one of our customers asked us if we could help them track, by system, RMA tickets and part shipments. We knew that it would be helpful for us as well as the customer, so we started an R&D project and developed new programs and systems to track replacement parts from shipment through installation. Using SimplStor’s automated logs, our parsing engine pulls data from multiple sources within our operation to cross-check the details. It also notes delays with replacing defective parts and on the few occasions when parts were missing our new tool would help catch that sooner. This was especially helpful for our customers with multiple units across data centers worldwide.

Our SimplStor product line also came out of an R&D effort begun in 2009, when three customers asked for an open source solution for large archival storage. Back then SimplStor was designed to keep survey data for the Oil & Gas industry. Now via customization, along with our monitoring toolset, SimplStor storage solves many different use cases.

Zerowait’s R&D efforts provide our customers with innovative solutions to their storage management problems. Everyone on our engineering team works on R&D projects, and we have discovered many helpful strategies for our NetApp customers as well. Among these are our Exception Reporter monitoring products, which over the last 22 years has evolved into the backbone of our third-party NetApp service and support system.

I’ve heard folks mention that research and development can cost a lot of money. And I agree. On the other hand, our team feels that providing customers with accurate, actionable information to solve their problems is worth the investment.

We look forward to working with you. Please contact us at +1 302-996-9408 or by email at sales@zerowait.com.

 

Over 20 years providing NetApp Service and Support 
Affordable NetApp Monitoring!

Zerowait Corporation
707 Kirkwood Hwy, Elsmere DE 19805
Phone: 302.996.9408
Manchester, UK: +44 161.513.7429
Sydney, Australia: +61 2.8518.1271

 

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A Great Dog Makes a Big Difference

 

New Team Member!
Zerowait’s team members have been bringing their pets to the office for many years, and this week we welcomed Riley Beard, a golden lab puppy. Riley joined Zerowait’s engineering team and has been watching closely while Shane answers customers’ questions and tests hardware.

This week has been extra busy for all of us, preparing transferable licensed NetApp Filers and custom-built SimplStor storage servers for new orders, and keeping up with trouble-tickets and ensuring timely replacement component shipments for our ZPA maintenance customers. Riley has learned a lot!

While many companies today are focused on adding artificial intelligence or machine automation to their customers’ service experience, at Zerowait we prefer a personal touch, and having a happy dog or two in the office seems to help our team provide the consistent high-quality service and support that high availability systems require.

We look forward to working with you. Please contact us at +1 302-996-9408 or by email at sales@zerowait.com.

Over 20 years providing NetApp Service and Support 

Affordable NetApp Monitoring!

Zerowait Corporation
707 Kirkwood Hwy, Elsmere DE 19805
Phone: 302.996.9408
Manchester, UK: +44 161.513.7429
Sydney, Australia: +61 2.8518.1271
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NetApp / Microsoft Authentication Solution

 

MS-NetApp-Authentication Solution

Zerowait has the Answer!

The Zerowait team has found a solution for NetApp users that will be affected by Microsoft’s final enforcement on July 11th of their security policy (CVE-2022-38023) and the associated authentication issues it may create with NetApp Filers. We have tested our solution and documented the process which will provide legacy NetApp customers with continued access to their critical data. If you would like to discuss our solution, contact us at +1 302-996-9408 or by email at info@zerowait.com

1) Our solution provides a straightforward methodology to allow clients to access files on their NetApp Filers.

2) The step-by-step process provides a standards-based solution that can be implemented before the July 11th deadline.

3) Customers who prefer to wait and see if they are affected after the full enforcement phase starting July 11th can still implement the Zerowait solution after that date.

Zerowait’s solution will allow access to your critical business data whether you have multiple filers and clients or just a few. If you would like to discuss our process with us, please contact us at +1 302-996-9408 or by email at info@zerowait.com.

Over 20 years providing NetApp Service and Support 

Affordable NetApp Monitoring!

Zerowait Corporation
707 Kirkwood Hwy, Elsmere DE 19805
Phone: 302.996.9408
Manchester, UK: +44 161.513.7429
Sydney, Australia: +61 2.8518.1271
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