What is most valuable?
- Scale out: Scale out is a differentiator for them, especially in the enterprise market. It's key for a lot of customers.
- There's no forced forklift upgrades. The customer that has a first generation of the product or later of the product knows that they will all work together harmoniously.
- The data round is not a big deal. There's no hard down points to this stuff, which can be a big differentiator.
- Adaptive block size is another differentiator. A lot of customers nowadays commoditize their storage. They want it as easy and simple as possible. A lot of storage rates out there, they do different block sizes very well. Where they can change block sizes, or set certain block sizes. You don't worry about any of that with Kaminario. The adaptive block size just moves it around, gets it all figured out, and does it. Where I see this working well with a lot of customers, are those who want something extremely simple, performant, and scalable.
It's very hard to tell what else is super important to customers. Besides, maybe it's obvious stuff like the maintenance program. They have a great maintenance program and as the systems go up, year over year, it stays the same. It can go down, but won't go up, year over year. So coupled with the simplicity, performance, and just absolute ease of use of the management of it, I don't know why anyone wouldn't buy it. I'm kind of confused why people don't buy it, actually. I know there's a lot of political talk where people will buy, an EMC, HP, or IBM. These guys have got some of the best venture capitalists behind them and they've got some of the best numbers quarter over quarter. Otherwise, I don't know why people wouldn't want to even look at this product.
What needs improvement?
They might not like me saying this, but I would love to see capacity on its DRAM. I know it's not cost effective for them to do it, but I think that it could be a big differentiator and was a big differentiator from the beginning. It might make the reseller's jobs easier. Not having to wait for something; just give them the quote for the amount of time, they can have as much as they want. That message resonated very well with customers, as you can imagine, so I wish that came back. I understand why it's not there, financially it doesn't make sense, but I wish it were still around.
I wish they had more ISP or certified partnerships with specific use cases. For instance, epic and health care would be a huge use case that I know they're working on. But there's a few of those, like epic and health care where it might not matter if it's the best technology, the best people, or the best support system. If it's not on a specific list or a conference level, I think if they worked hard at what they're doing at getting these ISPs and specific application awarenesses to these companies that it would be gold mine.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
Stability has been great. We have a number of customers on it. We also run it internally in our managed service cloud. It's been spectacular: no issues. In fact, when we demo to our customers who are not going into our managed service environment, we show them how it's functioning in the cloud: our cloud. Then, we let them talk to the customers of ours that are using it, in our cloud. So we don't just rely on it for its reputation to customers, but we rely on it for its reputation for our managed service satchel cloud customers as well. We don't think of it as just a transaction, although it can be, we think of it as a long-term play for the viability of the company as a whole.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
It's amazing. I think we're up to 16 nodes now that they can go out, on a scale out. I don't know the exact number on petabytes. But I don't know of anything else that, scale capacity and performance at the same time, at the level that Kaminario can do.
How are customer service and technical support?
I personally have not used technical support. I have many customers who have used them, and who have had great experiences.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
We do sell multiple products. But when Kaminario was brought to our attention, it became the core focus for most of our customers. There are some mid-market SMB customers that it may not fit the best for from a pricing perspective, but for the vast majority of our customers, once we aware of it and learned about the technology which it performed with, it fits a very useful metric.
How was the initial setup?
I'm an account executive. So, I'm not smart enough to set one up. Although, they say I can because it's so simple, but I don't want to try. I'll leave that to the smart guys.
What other advice do I have?
I think that the latest government reports are pretty telling. If you look at the latest government reports on how they're ranked in all the different categories, they pretty much blow them all away. The only things that they didn't blow away are the things I just talked about in the previous questions.
Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: Technology is probably number one. They've got to have great technology. They've got to have a great sales and engineering support staff to know that when we're putting our name behind it, that customers trust us. Our name's on it just as much as Kaminario's name is on it. So, we have to pick manufacturers or vendors whom we truly believe will be there from a technology standpoint but also from a business standpoint. Just a general hopefulness standpoint, that if we have an issue that's big or small, we know there's people at Kaminario who we can call, who care, and who will help. That means a lot to us.