Steak, Scotch and Storage – No Bull

Over the last few months I have been traveling around the USA and visiting with many of our international customers. Our customers seem to be concerned about three main issues: storage security on cloud providers, how to manage their growing storage costs, and the known and unknowns about Blockchain enabled storage and Bitcoin transactions storage and what it all means. Recently, I went to dinner during the SEG Houston trade show with a few of our customers who are dealing with these three issues and trying to figure out how to prioritize the concerns so their staffs can handle the upcoming developments as they unfold.

Cloud storage is vulnerable storage
As we sat down to dinner in a very good Houston Steak House there was a lot of joking and catching up since it has been about a year since we all last got together. Everyone’s network has gotten more complex, and they all were concerned about their internal security issues. Everyone seems to have instituted some sort of Monthly Security audit and now keeps a record of software updates and patches. One thing that we all noticed was that there really is no good way of auditing the Cloud providers and we have all read articles about how one rogue employee can take down a system, or even the President’s Twitter account. The business man in me forced me to tell them that SimplStor is price competitive with Cloud storage and the restore is a lot quicker. Since I was paying for dinner I got a lot of polite comments, but a few of our guests really see the value of moving data to their own secure environments instead of keeping it on the honeypots of the big cloud storage providers.

Frustrated by Hardware and Software Vendor Pricing Models
The appetizers were delicious and the steaks that came out were large and perfectly cooked. There would be some loosening of belts after this meal. The conversation as we ate our entrees switched to the costs of hardware, software and support from NetApp and EMC. Most of our customers are very satisfied with the reliability of their hardware, but they all wanted a little tweak for this or that reason, and they would like to unbundle the software packages their vendors’ require them to purchase. Everyone agreed the meal was delicious, and that they are paying too much for software they never use. Although frustrated by their software and hardware vendors they all agreed that a good Scotch would make them feel a lot better.

Blockchain and Bitcoin Storage Concerns
As the plates were cleared and the scotch and desert orders were put in someone asked the waiter if they took BitCoin. This led to a conversation about  Blockchain enabled storage and the future of business contracts and financial transactions. Perhaps it was the mixing of the wine before dinner and the great meal and the scotch after dinner, but no one was clear on where the Blockchain and Bitcoin evolution would go, but all agreed it was going to have an impact on their need for secure storage on site. We had a great time, and most of us decided to have another scotch before we left and promised each other that we would get together again next year.

We’ll be hosting dinners like this at other trade shows in 2018 and we hope you will join us. We will post the dates and trade shows we will be attending as the year unfolds. If you want to  contact us about your storage needs with a time/date to arrange a conference call with you and your team please click on the link.

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All Tools Not Required

In discussing with our customers their NetApp and archival storage needs, quite a few have brought up the bloatware that big systems vendors and software vendors are pushing. They want to know why vendors won’t unbundle their software packages and allow them to purchase just the features they need.

Many of our NetApp support and transferable licensed filer customers use a very small set of the features that NetApp provides. Allowing customers to unbundle the package and pick the features they want seems like a customer friendly policy. Instead NetApp prefers a one size fits all approach to their feature sets, which pushes many customers to look for alternative storage and support solutions. We appreciate the business that comes our way from customers that are unhappy with NetApp’s policy of all or nothing.

Speaking of the right tool for the job, many of our support customers tell us that the ability to get straight answers from our support engineers is one the features they like best about working with Zerowait. Our customers call, email and text our engineers all the time; there is no need to go through the call center hassle, our engineers have the authority to take care of most issues without having to go up the management chain. And our engineers don’t have to push a “NetApp knows best” solution; they are free to discuss the best actual solution, not the one NetApp needs to sell today.

The third tool in the Zerowait Pocketknife is SimplStor, which a lot of our customers use as part of their storage infrastructure. We have several customers that use NetApp as their primary storage and SimplStor for their archival and special storage needs. SimplStor is more flexible and far less expensive for the same components than NetApp while offering the same advantages of our enterprise level support and engineering staff.

If you are looking for an affordable support toolset for your NetApp equipment or a storage solution that has only the tools you need please give us a call, or  contact us with a time/date to arrange a conference call with you and your team.



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Subject: Is Your Budget Ready for 2018?

Zerowait has the answer

Fishing for a good solution

Creating a budget is hard work, but keeping to it can be harder. So to give you some ideas on how to do that, here are some of the ways we helped our customers stretch their storage budgets in 2017.Creating a budget is hard work, but keeping to it can be harder. So to give you some ideas on how to do that, here are some of the ways we helped our customers stretch their storage budgets in 2017

First, of course, was support for legacy NetApp. We helped many of our NetApp customers with low-cost maintenance and technical services for their 7-mode systems and helped others migrate to cDot. During 2017, we added new support customers in our mining and exploration vertical market. These installations are often in very remote locations (mines in Congo, Chile, Peru, etc.). This means providing on-site spares kits, because of difficult logistics; further, it requires increased telepresence support. To assist with this, we have developed several diagnostic techniques to help our customers maintain their systems’ high availability status even in these remote environments.

Second, we sold many off-lease transferable licensedNetApp systems to customers who loved the product but couldn’t afford New. The same goes for add-on NetApp storage shelves for customers looking for affordable capacity upgrades. Our refurbished NetApp hardware has shipped worldwide, saving customers money.

Finally, on the SimplStor side, our installed base of SimplStor storage servers continues to expand, and we’ve seen a lot of interest in our new Petabyte series (1.5PB in only 8U) for video and archive environments and will soon deploy several large SimplStor EVS surveillance solutions–which include our storage, Dell switches, and Axis cameras and software.

Our customers know that Zerowait’s staff is available whenever they have a problem, and we have had many NetApp service and support customers for over a decade. Zerowait’s philosophy is to provide our customers with flexible service solutions and products that are easily adaptable to their requirements, while helping them stretch their IT budgets

Today’s storage  customers require Scalability, Flexibility, Reliability, and Affordability from their storage solutions. It takes a guide to find that perfect stretch of water, and we work hard to guide our customers to the perfect storage solution. Good Fishing!

If you are fishing for a new NetApp support provider or an alternative storage solution please give us a call, please feel free to contact us with a time/date to arrange a conference call with you and your team.

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More Storage, More Flexibility, Less Money – Balance Required

Since we introduced our SimplStor Affordable Petabyte earlier this year we have had quite a few of our NetApp support customers ask us if we could provide them with a special feature or two for their environment if they migrated to SimplStor. Our SimplStor platform was designed to be flexible while NetApp builds a standardized product and forces their customers to adapt their workflows to their products. Zerowait’s philosophy is to build a flexible product that adapts to our customers’ environments.

To make it easy for our customers to move to SimplStor, our first job was to create an extremely flexible financing and leasing program. Our program includes trade-in value for used NetApp equipment and other incentives to help our customers match their workflows and storage requirements to their budgets. Job number 2 was to create a set of inter-operable hardware solutions that could grow with our customer’s needs.

Our customers wanted Scalability, Flexibility, and Reliability in an affordable high-density package. Quite the balancing act! We are now shipping to our customers systems that range from 120TB in 2U to a 1 Petabyte solution in 8U that scales to 7.5 Petabytes in a standard rack.

If you would like to discuss this solution which provides you with the flexibility needed to migrate your data to a very affordable and scalable storage solution, please feel free to contact us with a time/date to arrange a conference call with you and your team.


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Storage Capacity vs Budget: TKO, Zerowait for the Win!

Recently, we introduced our SimplStor Affordable Petabyte and it was very well received by our customers. Quite a few asked if we could provide them with an affordable ½ Petabyte solution and many others asked us about financing and lease options with 24- to 60-month terms.

We aim to please, so working with our financing and leasing partners we designed options that provide low interest rates and flexible, multi-year support packages that can be renewed yearly or purchased with additional discounts when ordered with the system. Your own ½ PB of onsite storage starts at less than $1,000 a month! Additionally, we accept trade-ins on NetApp  Filers and  E Series, which can further reduce your new equipment costs.

Zerowait’s SimplStor was designed to be easily configured to meet your requirements — whether you are looking for a storage solution for your structured data, unstructured data, or Virtual Tape Library. SimplStor PB is available today in configurations from ½ Petabye to 7.5 Petabytes.

If you would like to discuss this solution which provides you with the flexibility needed to migrate your data to a very affordable and scalable storage solution, please feel free to contact us with a time/date to arrange a conference call with you and your team.

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Suddenly! 1 Petabyte < $100,000 with support

Since the beginning of the year, we have had a number of customers tell us that they need really big storage on premises and that it must be Affordable, Reliable and Scalable. Some of our clients wanted us to design and bring to market a SimplStor as a VTL and others wanted it for their unstructured data. Our customers have considered the cloud for their big storage and found that it was expensive to recover from a cloud storage provider, and for others there are data security concerns and requirements that certain data must stay on site for data preservation, insurance and compliance reasons.

Our NetApp and SimplStor customers and hardware partners in Europe, North America, and Australia worked with us over the last few months to design a flexible platform that could meet their changing needs over time, scale easily to a Petabyte in under 10 U and expand to at least 6 Petabytes in a standard rack and it must include Zerowait’s global engineering support, service,and parts

Working together with our customers and hardware suppliers we designed a complete solution that met their requirements. SimplStor PB is available today offering 1 petabyte in 8U with 1 year of support (monitoring, 24/7 access to engineers and Next Business Day parts) — your own onsite storage, all for less than $100,000! Further, it is scalable to 7.5 Petabytes in a single cabinet with 3 years of support for less than $1,000,000! No monthly fees, and you have total control of your data.

If you would like to discuss this solution which provides you with the flexibility needed to migrate your data to a very affordable and scalable storage solution, please feel free to contact us with a time/date to arrange a conference call with you and your team.

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NetApp Support? Zerowait has answers!

Zerowait has the answers

As budgets tighten and storage and networking demands increase our customers have found a simple way to extend the life of their high availability storage equipment while reducing their capital outlays. By extending the life of their current NetApp infrastructure, Zerowait’s customers reduce their need for new NetApp equipment while optimizing the ROI of their current storage. We have been working with NetApp equipment for almost 20 years and we’ve found our customers can expect a 7 to 10 year life on their well-maintained equipment. NetApp has made support beyond the 3 year warranty period very expensive to encourage upgrades, but our Zerowait Parts Assurance customers receive the same high quality support (NetApp trained engineers available 24/7, auto support monitoring, next business day parts) at prices that allow them to stretch their storage budgets while maintaining expected QOS levels for their company.

Additionally, Zerowait maintains a stock of transferable licensed NetApp storage equipment and shelves for customers who want to expand their storage networks. And for those customers looking to get off the NetApp train and switch to another track, the Zerowait team can help you migrate your data to our SimplStor platform and we will take your old NetApp equipment in trade.

If you are tired of the 3 year merry go round of expensive hardware updates, contact us today at 302.996.9408 or fill out this form if you would like to discuss your migration options or how to get your NetApp costs under control with our engineering and sales teams.

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NetApp Migrations Streamlined.

Exceeding Expectations Every Day

Since we started working with NetApp in the 1990’s we have helped a lot of our customers migrate data to and from their Filers. Scheduling sufficient time for the migration has often been a problem for our customers, and there are a few ways that we can help streamline the process for our customers when they are migrating to or from a NetApp  Filer.

Recently, as customers have been upgrading to cDot, we have been provisioning and providing a short-term rental of ‘Swing Gear’ for our customers who have been migrating from 7 mode to cDot. By working with our engineering team our customers can save significant time by having our team set things up ahead of time. Zerowait’s   Swing Gear provides an affordable and flexible solution for customers about to undertake a cDot upgrade. And we can save you a lot of preparation time, because our Swing gear can be delivered when you need it, and ready to go.

Many of our long term NetApp support customers have decided to get off the NetApp train at the  cDot stop. A growing number  of these customers have decided to switch to our SimplStor solutions for their storage because they like our service, support and price points.  For these customers, we have several solutions available which can save considerable time for your data migration. The time required depends on the protocols and complexity, but working with a vendor that has experience with both the Source data systems and the Destination data systems has many advantages. If you are looking to migrate away from your NetApp equipment and to our SimplStor platform, a trade in and migration solution can solve a lot of your problems and reduce your costs.

At some point every organization needs to migrate their data and need to find a solution that will have the least cost in time and money on their operations.  A conversation with our sales or engineering staff Zerowait will  help you save time and money by taking advantage of our  pre-configuring Swing gear and NetApp Filer trade in programs.

Please give us a call at 302.996.9408 or fill out this form  if you would like to discuss your migration options with our engineering team.

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The Secret to a successful migration from NetApp

Every year it seems more NetApp customers come to Zerowait for affordable support while they look for alternative storage solutions for their data. For CIFS users finding NetApp cDOT a bridge too far, for example, we often recommend a Windows Server R2 SimplStor solution. But then the questions come up: What do we do about support on our filers during the transition? They’ll no longer be on NetApp support! And how do we move the data safely and securely? What happens to the equipment when we decommission it?

It’s true that migrations can be tough, but our three-stage data migration framework, described below, streamlines the process and ensures that production data is available with minimal downtime and support is available throughout.

The first stage is continuity of support on the existing NetApp equipment. If NetApp support is unavailable (EOS) or unaffordable, a Zerowait Parts Assurance (ZPA) policy can fill that requirement for as long as you need it. The ZPA offers enterprise level technical support with NBD parts replacement. In addition, if you want our help in planning, administering or performing the actual migration we can help under one of our flexible Incidental Technical Services (ITS) plans. Our engineers have worked with many customers on migrations and stand ready to support your team’s efforts and help you ensure that your data is transferred safely.

Once the data is transferred successfully to the SimplStor server (the second stage of the process), we follow up with stage three: sanitization and redeployment or removal of your legacy NetApp equipment.

Under this simple framework there is no rush to migrate your data before OEM support runs out. The days of vendor-induced completion dates are gone; Zerowait can support your NetApp legacy equipment for as long as you need.

As our NetApp support business has grown over the past 15 years, we have listened to our customers and in response have developed an array of products and services. Our NetApp migration offering is one of these. How can we help YOU get the most from your IT budget?

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The Trend Indicates a Prosperous 2017

Since Zerowait runs on the calendar year as our fiscal year, every January we review our previous year’s performance and begin making our plans for the new year. We keep good records of our initiatives and the projects we are working on throughout the year and in 2016 we developed and brought to market our new SimplStor EVS surveillance and security storage product line that our large storage customers requested. Last year most of our business was based around our NetApp parts, support, and surveillance, and while most of our business was still in the USA and Canada, every year we seem to do a little more global business.

In 2016 we heard from many of our customers that they were very happy with their older 7 mode NetApp systems, and though they found the marketing for the NetApp Cdot upgrades interesting they saw no reason to upgrade. We also picked up a lot of new customers this year based on the referrals of some of our established customers, and they too were primarily looking to stay with 7-mode. There is a growing set of customers that are not going to upgrade, and they need a trusted support organization to maintain their critical business storage.

Zerowait’s SimplStor product sales grew again in 2016, and the line continues to grow as it competes effectively against products from the large storage companies. Our SimplStor installations continue to grow quantity and size as it earns the respect of our customers for reliability, uptime, and affordability. If you are looking for performance and flexibility instead of marketing hype, you should consider our SimplStor product line.

In 2017, we expect data generated by the Internet of Things (IoT) to take a bigger slice of the storage pie. As devices begin to communicate more effectively there is going to be a need to manage, categorize and interpret the data that is collected. Whether you are using NetApp storage, or SimplStor as your data vault, you can depend on Zerowait’s engineers to provide you the right solutions for your storage issues.


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