an advisory checklist for:- SSD product marketers, marcomms, PRs and real
by Zsolt Kerekes,
editor - March 13, 2012
Whenever a significantly new
comes to market there are some vital things I need to know in order to place it
accurately in my mental map - of how it fits in the market.
spend much time on this because I've edited thousands of SSD articles and
read tens of thousands of SSD news stories. So I like to answer the questions
in a very few seconds.
- should I or my readers care?
or wrongly I speed through my data gathering mostly driven by instinct.
It's the web. If I get it wrong - I may go back and correct an
omission. But new SSD stuff keeps incoming for the attention of me and my
readers every few minutes of every day. So the "going back to fix"
option has to compete with the "going forward" steady state - and
when you're on internet time - as I have been since 1996 - it's easier to
manage content smoothly - without crunching the mental gears - facing
If the first glance at the new SSD press release does pass the
"maybe I care test" then there's a lot more supporting info I need to
find in the next few minutes - because Dear VP of SSD Product Marketing
- (if you're reading this) that's all the time you're going to get - unless
you are in my list of very important SSD companies. And even they have time
budgets - which are hours rather than minutes (each year).
when I encounter a new SSD vendor's site for the first time I'd like to
think that I can find most of the answers I need about their pre-existing
products quickly and easily.
Silly me. In some cases I do. But in
most cases I don't.
If a company can't give me or you these answers -
clearly and simply in a few clicks or emails (without
signing up to their spam list) how do they think they are going to sell
Some SSD vendors do get to a threshold revenue level -
despite these online deficiencies because their sales people work hard and their
VCs are rich. But most SSD companies will fail to get to the next level of
sustainable business growth - which is where - the customer finds you - and not
the other way around - unless they invest more in their online SSD
Two things prompted me to write this
article - which is about what I expect to learn about a rackmount SSD in 30
The first was a recent generic email from
President of Daly-Swartz Public Relation
who was promoting his latest blog -
Drucker's "5 Deadly Business Sins" - which he said revisits a
classic article - and at the end of his email (classic direct marketers
know that you will probably read the end - or the PS) Jeffrey asked - "What
are some examples you've observed?"
To which I replied - "I
would suggest another deadly sin. Failing to view yourself in the same way as a
potential customer of your products - who doesn't yet know you."
demonstrates - that I do read emails from
some PR agencies,
and although I never read his blog - I just
scanned the headlines - I
am all too easily distracted into replying to emails - when instead I should be
writing SSD web pages like this one.
The other trigger for this
SSD-racks-faqs piece was that I was talking to some marketers about their
future enterprise SSD systems (which is something I do many times each day) and
decided that to save time extracting the information I needed in a series of
emails - I quickly typed a little list of the things I would like to see
- before I get into the hard questions.
I said - "For me - these
are the top level filters for all enterprise SSD systems when I compare
them to all the others."
So - if you're a marketer - take note
and see if you have all this info easily findable for your existing SSD systems
(while keeping in mind that
search differently to marketers).
And if you're a potential
customer of, or investor in an enterprise SSD vendor which doesn't offer you
clear info about their products - ask yourself is it really worth your while
struggling hard to extract this basic info? Or could your energy be spent
Here's my little rackmount SSD FAQs list
is preceded by this important pre-filter question.
Is this just
another me-too? and do I already know 20 / 50 others who have done the same - in
which case - just skip the whole list.
- how fast? latency and IOPs and how peaky?
- how many TB per rack unit?
- how much cost
per usable protected TB?
- what's the finance of the company? (VC, profits etc)
- how many SSDs have they done before?
- how scalable in the range from entry level upto
- what are the general and particular strengths and weaknesses of the
- how hard is it to do incremental upgrades?
- is it a good fit in the
term SSD datacenter model? or is it only a good fit for short term/
dead end market
I need all that stuff to get a
good understanding before I get into asking any special characteristics.
- platforms supported, interfaces, watts per rack, shipping status,
independent benchmarks, color etc
if you're interested - then you need to be able to find all that stuff easily
the SSD Buyers