As a technical advisor, and now a salesman, marketing expert, logistics expert and general dogsbody I spend a lot of time talking to my customers. In fact if someone rings up asking the question “which card do I need?” they probably end up regretting it because it’s never a short simple answer.
The same goes with “which disk do you recommend?” … that one is a can of worms that common-sense says I should stay away from, but I’ve never been accused of having too much of that commodity.
So … my push has been to move people to Series 8 (6 or 12Gb/s system compatible) controllers, and towards SSDs when they suit the customer’s data needs. With that in mind I’ve talked to a lot of my larger integrators who have done considerable testing on drives that are readily available in the Australian marketplace, and base a lot of my recommendations on their “real-world” experiences.
Now in Australia the question does not start with “what is your cheapest RAID card?”, it generally starts with “what is the right card to make this thing go fast enough so the customer won’t complain?”. That’s a good conversation to have because it helps my customers think about their customer storage needs, not just the bottom line (though yes, that is still very, very important).
So what do I recommend? This is probably very different for customers across the world because of the discrepancies in drive prices that we see from country to country across my region. SAS is cheap in India, SSD is expensive. SAS is expensive in Australia and SSD is taking over big time due to price, capacity and performance. However, all that taken into account I’m finding a great uptake on 8 Series Controllers and Sandisk SSDs (top of the range of course). It seems people are finding that 15K SAS is just not worth it (heat, power consumption and cost for not a fantastic speed), and that SSD is a good choice in the enterprise market.
Now all this is good for my sales and gives me someone to talk to on a daily basis (even if the customer can’t wait to get off the phone), but it makes me wonder whether this is a worldwide phenomenon … since this is a global blog I’ll ask the question of the worldwide community: “Do you talk to your vendor to ask what is the right product to suit your needs?”
Ironically I find more and more people who don’t think they can even talk to the vendor, but rather have to go online and sift through the chaff on websites trying to (a) understand what they are seeing and (b) make sense of it all to come up with an informed decision.
As far as I’m concerned both are a waste of time. I might be old fashioned but the mobile phone on my desk is still predominantly used for making phone calls (and not facebooking, etc), and I still find it useful to actually talk to someone if I want to find something out about a product – not try and become a product expert myself with limited idea of what I’m doing.
So what do you do? I’d strongly suggest you pick up the phone and talk to us. No matter where you are in the world there will be someone who knows something about our products – from the company directly to our distribution and reseller channel who are trained in the use and capabilities of our products.
Beats reading the web (which is ironic because that’s what you are dong while reading this) … so give us a call and discuss your requirements – the phone numbers are on the web (that’s tongue in cheek).