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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NetApp / Microsoft Authentication Issue


The Zerowait team has learned of an issue affecting NetApp users with legacy systems and also some newer units. We are working on ways to help customers work through the issue to provide uninterrupted data delivery from their Filers.

1) Microsoft Windows is enforcing a security policy (CVE-2022-38023) and this will affect all NetApp systems’ ability to authenticate to a Windows domain using NTLM/Netlogon.

2) There are patches within certain versions of ONTAP that fix the issue, so upgrading to those patches should be done soon if you have a current support contract with NetApp.

3) The Microsoft full Enforcement phase starts July 11, 2023. Prior to this date, if you do not have the ability to upgrade your ONTAP, there may be a temporary workaround available.

4) We are aware of a Version 7 workaround that was valid in certain ONTAP versions until April 11, 2023, but are unsure if it is still available.

5) We have found a potential workaround for customers using Workgroup Mode.

For more information on this issue please contact us at +1 302-996-9408 or by email at info@zerowait.com.

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First, Put Out The Fire!

 

First, put out the fire!
For the most part, data storage “just works”. That’s not only a result of great equipment, but also diligent administration and top-notch maintenance support. Even with all that, occasionally we get called in when things have gone critical; and the Zerowait team responds quickly, with the tools needed to fight our customers’ fires: experience, background, and systems developed over many, many years.

The foundations of Zerowait are anchored in what I consider the three things that are required for a successful business:

1) Focus on the niche.
2) Provide customers with affordable, dependable solutions.
3) Find ways to improve the delivered quality of service and products.

Last month while I was in Nebraska visiting with a customer, he mentioned that no matter who he is working with at Zerowait he always gets the correct answer. I told him that when we hire new employees, we look for the best qualified people who are also looking to learn. Because we strive for excellence, we have consistently improved our documentation, and that makes it easier for our procedures to evolve and improve our customer service and support.

If you are looking for outstanding NetApp third-party support, a semi-custom SimplStor storage solution that will meet your current requirements and provide long-term reliability, or excellent technical support for data storage you can depend on Zerowait.

Our goal is to solve your problem before it goes critical. Our customers know that they can depend on Zerowait to solve the problem before calling in the forensics team.

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 Reputation Is Earned Over Time

 

Earned Reputations

Last month, I was speaking to a Canadian customer about his NetApp technical support requirements, and he mentioned that the OEM’s support seems to be in decline. He also said that the well-known organization that he uses for his network support can take a week to get back to him. Yikes.

Unfortunately, we’re all experiencing something similar. Even consumer sales support is getting worse. For example, recently I tried to order a second pair of eyeglass lenses from an online company in New York that I have used in the past–the last time less than two weeks ago. I put the order in, paid online, and almost immediately received an automated request for my prescription—i.e., the one I had sent them a couple of weeks ago. They will not answer their phone or respond to emails asking them to simply duplicate the last order. Instead, a few hours later I received an automated email that they are going to cancel my order. This was after I mailed my old frames to them for the new lenses to be made and fit.

At Zerowait, we make sure we answer our phones and respond to emails and texts from customers and prospects. We grew our business by focusing on a small niche and providing responsive, well-thought-out answers to our customers’ questions, thus solving their technical issues and providing good value with our NetApp and SimplStor hardware solutions and support.

If you need excellent technical support for storage hardware I hope you will give us a try. Our goal is to solve your problem, and I hope we can demonstrate why so many of our customers are still working with us for a decade or more after their first call.

We are looking 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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Slash Backup Bandwidth Usage!

 

Savvy Solutions

Last week, I was speaking with a colleague over coffee about an issue we encountered this winter with an organization whose NetApp SnapMirror backups to a remote site were not completing. There was too much data being sent nightly and given the bandwidth at the remote location each backup was unable to complete before the next one started. From there they began stacking up.

Due to the economy, the company did not want to upgrade their bandwidth, hardware, or software, but they needed a solution quickly as it impacted their disaster preparedness. Zerowait’s engineering team has been solving storage problems for over 25 years. We have processes which we follow to uncover root causes and provide a set of possible solutions based on the parameters our customer has provided.

When we investigated this organization’s problem, we found that:

  • Their SnapMirror backups started “stacking” about 30 days prior to them noticing it during a monthly audit.
  • They had not updated their Snapshot and SnapMirror configurations for many years.
  • Their programmers had made some recent changes to internal processes which resulted in many duplicate files and increased the size of their database tables.

We proposed and implemented a three-stage plan:

  • Implement deduplication and compression.
  • Identify the most problematic shares and folders and restructure them to make deduplication more targeted and thus more efficient.
  • Alter the Snapshot schedule to ensure there was time to complete deduplication and compression before any new Snapshot was taken. This was crucial.

Once this was done, the backups were completed in about five hours. Success!

Zerowait’s engineers know the storage toolsets and how to optimize NetApp Storage. They were able to solve the problems without additional bandwidth, hardware, or software.

If you are having a storage problem, please tell us your story. We are good listeners and great problem solvers.

We are looking 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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Ready for Spring Savings?

Ready for Spring Savings?

Our customers are looking for three things:

  • Reliable, high-quality NetApp legacy support.
  • Semi-custom storage solutions that fit their specific requirements.
  • Storage administration and engineering assistance.

Legacy NetApp support
A couple of years back, a customer of ours changed to another support provider. When he left Zerowait Parts Assurance, his system was configured correctly, and all drives were working. After two years with this other support vendor, he came to us for help. His Autosupport showed that one of his filer’s shelves were not configured correctly and there were failed drives in the system. The customer had lots of problems with the other support provider, and has now renewed with us! Our customer found that the not so well-hidden secret of a low price is that system reliability has costs that need to be considered.

Semi-Custom Storage Solutions
Some of our SimplStor customers have been working with us to bring their products to market. They need a high-quality hardware solution with outstanding support that can be customized for their specific needs. They learned that dealing with hardware component manufacturers to meet their needs can get really confusing. Our engineers have been designing semi-custom hardware solutions for our customers for over a decade. Zerowait builds our solutions to last a long time and we provide excellent support. If you are looking for a special purpose hardware solution, give us a call and we’ll review your options with you. You will be glad you did!

Storage Administration and Engineering Services
Due to a marketplace shortage of experienced data storage engineers, we have been helping an increasing number of customers with staffing gaps in their storage management and administration teams. Our engineers recently implemented a dedupe and snapmirror solution which solved a backup stacking problem without adding to the costs of bandwidth. If you have a sticky problem with storage, let us know.

Our customers deserve quality service and support, and our team is always working on our systems, tools, and documentation to improve the services that our customers require.

We are looking 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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Sunset for “Magic Quadrant” Storage?

Sunset for Magic Quadrant Storage
The Enterprise Storage business is in a transition similar to the Sun Solaris / Open Source Linux transition a little more than a decade ago. NetApp’s recent layoffs may indicate that locked-in customers are looking at other solutions for their hardware and support solutions. I don’t think customers expect that their vendor’s layoffs will improve the service, support and engineering that they receive.

We’ve been in this business niche for over 30 years, and we have seen this cycle before. We have heard the marketing hype and seen great companies collapse when their “magic quadrant “solutions were overtaken by a new technology that was easier, simpler, and more affordable. A growing number of proprietary storage customers are trading in their EOL “magic quadrant” hardware for open-sourced solutions. Our SimplStor with Linux and ZFS provides data management features and reliability like NetApp, without the EOL, proprietary software and costly yearly software support contracts.

On the other hand, nothing says you have to change your storage now if it’s working! If you have NetApp filers and want to keep them going beyond mandated EOL dates, we can help. Whether you want to extend their life cycle or keep them running for a few months while you do a transition Zerowait’s service and support is a flexible alternative.

We are looking 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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Forecasting 2023 Storage Trends

 

Forecasting 2023 Storage Trends
Happy New Year!

When I was in statistics classes at the University of Delaware, I learned that a good forecast depends on good data. About 20 years ago, I started using our database of quotes and orders to forecast the next year’s business. I prefer a 3-month moving average forecast for quarterly business decision making, and a 3-year moving average for yearly strategic decision making. The Lock Down years were unusual and affected my data and my business forecasting accuracy.

Over time we found that there was a seasonality in the storage market our company is in, and there are two peaks in business. The first is in late spring and the second is between Thanksgiving and year end.

Looking at our data we have seen three trends over the past year:

Based on conversations, notes, and our database I expect that during 2023 these trends will continue, as companies trim spending due to the economic outlook.

If you’re looking for storage solutions that solve problems, and provide the reliability you need without breaking your budget…Zerowait has the Answers.

We are looking 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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