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Services & SSDs

by Zsolt Kerekes, editor - StorageSearch.com - November 14, 2014
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services which sell SSDs

I recently learned about 2 interesting service products related to SSDs.

They aren't strictly new - as in "launched today" - but they are interesting examples of a new marketing differentiation trend in the SSD market - where some companies are making it easier to do business with them - by offering services which make it easier for more customers to buy their SSDs.

Tegile IntelliCare

The first of these is a new service offering from Tegile - called IntelliCare - which for me was much more interesting than the new entry level SSD box which they announced at the same time.

Tegile collects setup and configuration information from its user base which enables the company to learn the range of settings - such as the compression rate - or the ratio of SSD to HDD capacity - or the raw performance level - used for popular applications.

This crowd based data (via IntelliCare) can now be leveraged by any user who is setting up new systems to get a heuristically guided feel for the range of settings and efficiency expectations which might be realistic for them too.

I thought that for most users that was a great idea because it removes most of the burden of coming up with the right answer. And it will provide confidence to user admins and save time in configuring new systems.

So the result will be to incrementally improve the user experience of all Tegile's customers - in a very direct way they can relate too - instead of indirectly - as for example when enterprise flash array vendors collect statistics about endurance in their boxes - which (by informing the designers how their flash care schemes are working across the spectrum of real-life apps) mainly benefits users who buy the next generation of products based on that crowd intelligence.

As a business development tool for Tegile - it will probably help customer loyalty (from one system refresh cycle to the next) as well as demonstrably reducing the risk of overspend for new customers too.

SanDisk STAR

The SanDisk Tech Assisted Refresh program (STAR) - launched (September 2014) - simplifies the task for corporates of getting new notebook SSD technology sooner, more easily and at lower cost - into their population of legacy HDD based notebooks. Among other things - the upgrade program can be done on site. "Laptops never leave the premises" - which greatly simplifies security concerns and logistics.

The productivity benefits of using SSDs in the workplace have been known a long time.

In September 2009 - Intel chose that as the main theme for their SSD bookmarks (educational series) - because Intel said it would give readers an overview of the "benefits experienced by the enterprise after deploying notebooks with solid state drives."

SanDisk recently produced a whitepaper about these benefits to support their STAR program - TCO for an SSD-enabled PC (pdf)

However you arrive at justifying a similar conclusion (SSDs enhance enterprise notebook user productivity) the point about the new services program is that it cuts out the messy bits of getting to the end result. And not only does that make it easier to sell more SSDs - but it makes user organizations more willing to buy.

services which deter you buying SSDs

On the other hand - the intention of a new service offering can also be to deter you from buying competitive SSDs.

This SSD deterrent effect is discussed in a recent story concerning Apple on ZDNet which says that a new version of Apple's OS X won't boot dependably if you have an independently sourced (non-Apple) SSD as the boot device.

You might say - what's the surprise? - given that Apple has been making it clear for years it doesn't like users having 3rd party unbranded hardware inside its products. Just be thankful that Apple doesn't also insist which power utility you should use to supply the electrons for their power supplies.

innovation after years of stagnation?

The New Data Services - a new blog by Andy Warfield , cofounder and CTO - Coho Data makes this observation...

"Here's the sad thing. Data services in the storage industry haven't changed an awful lot in the (past) 20 years."

Andy goes on to say - however - that he's excited by new signs of data services innovation in the cloud.
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