2008 Storage Opportunity – Maintain or Decommission?

Over the last few years Zerowait has recommended that customers consider either redeploying their storage infrastructures or redriving their hard-drive carriers rather than just replacing them wholesale with new, larger drives and disk shelves. Our point of view was treated with enthusiasm by our growing NetApp customer base. However, most consultants and columnists treated our opinions with proportionate derision based on the compensation they, or their companies, received from the storage and array OEM’s. Therefore, it came as quite a surprise when an old buddy of mine sent me an article from IDC that contained this statement: “…existing storage infrastructures that normally would have been decommissioned should be redeployed as subsystem components within the storage 3.0 model to protect and extend the useful life of existing storage subsystems …” IDC # 209702 vol1

The message is getting out! Because Zerowait is a specialist in NetApp equipment, with long-term knowledge of the products, we can help customers when they want to maximize their storage without breaking their budget. Regularly, we hear from NetApp users that the OEM, instead of simply selling them a few drives, will only provide them a quote for a new shelf and drives. The problem is that this often causes the filer to exceed its published maximum raw capacity. In other words, this is a subtle way for the OEM to force customers to upgrade their head unit when all they need is some drives.

Zerowait’s customers have learned that we are here to provide them with long term service and support of their storage infrastructures, not to force them to move on up to the latest models. We help them understand what they are being quoted by the manufacturer and recommend ways for them to get the most out of their NetApp storage investment. Often, the OEM sales force recommends a solution that is a long-term, cost-effective solution, but sometimes there are alternatives available simply by redeploying the customer’s own equipment. This is where Zerowait can save the customer a lot of money while maintaining the high availability and reliability they need. As we enter another tumultuous year of expanding storage requirements—and shrinking maintenance and management budgets—customers need to be aware of all of their viable alternatives for storage.

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