Another Early Adopter gets rid of their NetApp .

August 17, 2006 — NASA’s Solar Data Analysis Center is changing out its network attached storage (NAS) from Network Appliance Inc. for what it described as a more agile set of arrays from Pillar Data Systems Inc. to make it easier for the organization to study the sun.

If only that this NASA division had called us, we could have helped them grow their NetApp Storage, shrunk their footprint, and improved their performance without breaking their budget. And maybe saved the taxpayers some money!

Pillar’s sales force seems to be doing the missionary sales work and chasing after the early adopters of storage technologies. NetApp uncovered a market need in the mid 1990’s, but are they nimble enough to recognize, implement and execute on a plan to fight this hungry and well financed newcomer to the marketplace? Perhaps their StoreVault product is a distraction from their main business, have they lost focus already? But NetApp does not seem to be addressing Pillar directly yet. Oracle is a big NetApp customer but there are direct ties between Oracle and Pillar.

Recognizing that Zerowait has a rapidly growing North American and EMEA customer base some NetApp competitors have approached us to help them market their products recently. We have seen some really interesting and innovative technologies that will reduce customers overall cost of storage in the past couple of months. But we have not seen a value proposition yet that approaches what we can provide our customers yet on maintaining, upgrading and providing service and support for their NetApp equipment.

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1 Response to

  1. Robert Pearson says:


    I didn’t see a funny face at the end of any line or the post. I sure hope you were kidding. Unless you are already an approved GSA vendor? In which case you should have gotten an RFQ. In any case you dodged a bullet!
    As you are well aware, NASA funding is at the tail end of a long political chain. Without the astronauts NASA would have been finished long ago. Which is why they are there. Shrewd political move.
    Big Oil thinks every dollar spent by NASA is a dollar lost to them. They see no useful value in NASA.
    We did do some very interesting technology at NASA. We had more interesting technical discussions at the water fountain there than anywhere else I ever worked.
    Exxon, which has the money to do anything they want, had Data centers that looked like something a bunch of very bright, very rich high school kids would put together as a science project.
    Amoco, now BP-Amoco, wasn’t any better. That’s why they are BP-Amoco. The big execs wanted a secure retirement after bleeding the infrastructure dry during their tenure so they sold to a better run company. The stories I could tell!
    Pick a better place to take on Pillar. Like Big Oil. Big Oil loves a bargain.

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