Infinidat Blog

Talking with Infinidat Will Lower Your Storage Costs (even if you don’t become a customer)

Setting aside for the moment the question of whether Infinidat has the best multi-PB storage array in the market (spoiler alert - we do) this blog explains how the disruptive economics that Infinidat brings to every competitive situation and our willingness to take ownership of data migrations helps customers and prospects, even those not yet ready to become Infinidat customers, lower costs and enhance capabilities.

Based on the number of competitive situations that we have engaged in and differences in customer wallet share between Infinidat and our larger competitors, we have probably saved organizations with dual vendor strategies more money than they have spent with us. How? By forcing their incumbent vendors to compete on price rather than value propositions that fade into nothingness in the real world where capacity, performance, autonomic operation, post-sales support effectiveness, and TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) are the real measures of product attractiveness.

Vendor Loyalty Does Not Guarantee the Best Possible Pricing

Sales teams live in a highly competitive market and have no choice but to take their revenue and margin wherever they can. This does not make them untrustworthy; it just means that you have to take responsibility for negotiating competitive discounts. You cannot get mad at a lion for eating its prey, you just have to make sure you do not become dinner. The only way to do that is to provide Purchasing with the leverage they need to effectively negotiate with your incumbent vendors. Providing that leverage requires IT Leaders to maintain a dual vendor environment, minimize the strength of vendor lock-ins, have in-house migration capabilities, and negotiate with non-incumbent storage vendors willing to take ownership of data migrations to limit the costs and risks of changing vendors.

AFA and HCI vendors that paid high SG&A costs to win an initial presence with a new customer will do almost anything to avoid losing their beachhead. Portfolio vendors with multiple revenue streams to protect are equally susceptible to the same competitive pressures that Infinidat brings to bear against AFA and HCI  vendors, but have more potential responses available to them; that is they can shift discounts between servers, networking, software, maintenance, and professional services.

Infinidat is the ideal non-incumbent vendor to use for leverage against incumbent storage vendors because of our high product attractiveness and our willingness to compete on non-product measures of product attractiveness such as price, including named representative support in our standard 24X7 maintenance, and a culture focused on expanding our customer base while maintaining an exceptional experience. Offering both purchase and consumption-based pricing models; demonstrable ability to keep customers architecturally current without premium maintenance or disruptive data migrations, and our willingness to take ownership of migrations from competitors’ offerings onto Infinidat systems further maximize Purchasing’s leverage.

Negotiating More Cost-Effective Discounts

Negotiating competitive discounts with an incumbent storage vendor ultimately requires the availability of credible alternative solutions. These alternatives can take many forms: a change of storage vendors, a move from 3-tier architectures to HCI, a move to the cloud, or a change in business relations, but they have to exist. Since all changes involve risk and risk translates into money, there is a built-in tolerance of paying incumbent vendor premiums. This tolerance of paying premiums, also known as vendor lock-Ins, declines with risk. Hence credible alternative solutions should:

  • Provide a solution that is disruptively better than the incumbent vendor’s solution
  • Pricing that is disruptively better
  • Minimally disruptive - preserve existing investments in infrastructure, training, and procedures

These criteria indicate that alternative solutions should be provided by vendors with the skills and resources needed to contain the risks of changing storage vendors and/or architectures.    

Breaking Vendor Lock-ins that Increase Costs

Table 1 shows six forms of lock-in that give incumbent vendors leverage with their customers when negotiating new acquisitions. Table 1 also shows that Infinidat has created solutions that weaken each of these lock-ins. However, before IT Leaders can take full advantage of Infinidat they must:

  • Overcome the prejudices that grew out of their experiences with primitive 1st generation hybrid arrays and give modern, DRAM-centric hybrid arrays that consistently deliver sub-msec response times at less than 50% of the price of AFAs on a $/PB basis objective consideration. (See my blog titled Treat Storage as Black Boxes to Optimize Infrastructure Designs for a detailed comparison of InfiniBox vs AFAs.)
  • Incorporate cost and asset management into future storage infrastructure visions: a hard task that we have addressed through a variety of business practices and engineering decisions

Table 1

Lock-in

Solution

Comments

Software

Ownership of Migration

Migration services include setting up replication and stretch cluster (aka metro cluster) HA configurations between production and D/R sites

 

Skills shortages

Ownership of Migration

Taking ownership of backend data placement and 100% data availability reduce staff workload

Financial

Disruptively lower $/TB prices, maintenance costs tied to bid prices, cost-effective upgrade prices, and not restricting new functionality to new models extend useful service lives

Makes it easy to plan on 5-year service lives

Contractual

FLX consumption-based pricing model

No long term commitments and free non-disruptive 3 year refreshes eliminate technical deficits

Emotional

Education, reference checks, and time

Infinidat is a winner of February 2019 Gartner Peer Insights Customers’ Choice for General-Purpose Disk Arrays

Political

Education, reference checks, and time

Infinidat is a winner of January 2020 Gartner Peer Insights Customers’ Choice for Primary Storage and...

 

Conclusions

Long term relations between customers and suppliers evolve over time meaning that the power in the relationship naturally shifts toward the vendor over time because customer’s increased use of proprietary features strengthens vendor lock-in and increases the premiums that incumbent storage vendors can charge. Infinidat’s willingness to take ownership of migrations minimizes the strength of these lock-ins and the risks of changing storage vendors. So invest some time talking with Infinidat and learn why our customers rank us so highly in Gartner’s Peer Insights Reviews and discover how we can help you save money and get ahead of the demands that AI/ML/DL, IoT, and data analytics are placing on your storage infrastructure.

About Stanley Zaffos

Stanley is the Sr. VP of Product Marketing at Infinidat.
Prior to joining Infinidat, he was a Research VP with Gartner focused on Infrastructure and Operations Management. His areas of expertise cover storage systems, emerging storage technologies, software-defined storage, hyper-converged infrastructure, and hybrid cloud infrastructure. He's worked with numerous clients to develop messaging and collateral that maximizes the impact of their product announcements and sales training, as well as helping to define roadmaps that ensure ongoing competitive advantage.