Gavin McLaughlin

By Gavin McLaughlin, Solutions Development Director, X-IO International

Writing an article about “unrequited love” for Valentine’s day probably isn’t the most romantic thing in the world but let’s be honest, did anyone REALLY think that their storage vendors look after them purely out of love, or are they in it just for the side benefits (that’s money and reference publicity before any of you get any questionable ideas!).

I’m sure there’ll be lots of cheesy “LOVE your storage” advertising again this year but when you compare some of the clichéd scenarios that can appear in an unbalanced love affair, it’s actually frightening how many are analogous to supplier/customer relationships.

Let’s look at a few examples:

“Love ‘em and Leave ‘em.”  A shower of affection is made, a great deal of effort is made on courtship, gifts are given, little gestures made and then, hey presto, the deal is done.  What happens then?  Do the great communications continue or was it all a one hit wonder and they’re too busy telling everyone else what a good deal they made without making any more of that effort?  Sound familiar (remember I’m talking about IT vendors here!)?  Of course, X-IO aren’t like all the others (cliché danger zone again I know), just take a look at our new customer page at to see what ours think of us.

“When will this all end?” OK, let’s be a little positive and give an alternate possibility that the relationship lasts.  They stick around, give great support in times of trouble, but you’re ever conscious that the clock is ticking and there’s a hard stop on things at the 3-year point.  What’s that?  You didn’t expect the price you’d have to pay for a 5-year relationship was that high and now they want to bring in a new, younger model?  Well you should have expected that, that’s the norm in these relationships!  Did you know that all X-IO hardware comes with an inclusive 5-year warranty and in fact, most customers don’t even need to endure the drama of service calls?

“You can’t have ALL of me.” So all’s looking good, you’re in that 3-year honeymoon period but something’s strange – they keep disappearing at the weekend.  Of course you think this seems unfair so you pull your partner up on it, only to be told, “Oh, don’t you realise?  My “best practice” is that you can only have 70% of my time.”  Surely if they’re committed, they’d let you utilize them 100%, especially when you REALLY need them.  Nope, if that’s the case, you need to pay for an upgrade or even bring in bigger capacity (don’t even think about it) at high cost.  Did you know that X-IO’s ISE architecture provides the same performance at 99% capacity as it does at 1%?

“Please tell me what’s wrong?  You never TALK to me!”  As in many situations, it’s all about the communications.  How many times have you found yourself wondering if you’re going to ever get a proactive message, rather than a self-initiated one?  Why are YOU the one doing all the chasing?  Wouldn’t it be nice for once if you heard from your partner about how things are going on a regular basis and they suggested ways to make your relationship run even smoother?  All X-IO ISE storage arrays constantly let us know how things are running, enabling us to keep that relationship drama-free.

So comparing IT vendors to loving relationships is probably a little too tongue-in-cheek but it has to be said, it’s clear that some of the “love rat” practices that go on in the storage industry really do need to be exposed.  Should customers demand more from their “partners”?

Next time you look at storage and hear phrases such as, “We want to make this relationship last,” question whether you’ve seen any of the behavior listed above.  If you have, maybe it’s time to look for someone new, with the attributes that will make you happy for many years to come.

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