Operational needs tend to ebb and flow with the advancement of IT technology. Many of us find that we are in a perpetual state where we evaluate, adopt, deploy and repeat the process. For many this is the new norm. The days of deploying a solution and allowing it to operate untouched for three, five or even seven years faded quickly. It seems the combination of software-defined, shared infrastructures and big data have combined to stress yesteryear’s tech beyond its intended limits.

For example, consider the dynamics of today’s storage market. SAN, NAS, Host-based caching, Hyper-converged, Hybird, All-Flash, Scale-up, Scale-out, yadda, yadda… From traditional choices to technical disruption how does one make a confident selection?

The risk associated with selecting a new technology falls on the shoulders of the customer.

Guarantee programs change the dynamics of the technical evaluation and the relationship between customer and vendor. Guarantees foster a mutually beneficial partnership wherein the success of the deployment takes precedence over the transaction.

I’ve been fortunate; I’ve been a part of two of the most successful guarantee programs in the IT industry, from the 50% storage guarantee back at NetApp to the Love Your Storage Guarantee from Pure Storage. However, it seems that not all guarantees are designed with the customer in mind. Did you catch the EMC One Million Dollar Guarantee? The guarantee (valid through September 30th, 2014) strikes me as odd. The premise is it guarantees the XtremIO data deduplication service always operates inline, which I guess is good, but help me out… Where’s the part of the guarantee that focuses on helping the customer achieve success? Where’s the partnering, the element focused on mutual success?

I guess we could guarantee that FlashReduce is comprised of 5 forms of data reduction technologies or that FlashReduce includes data reduction in the form of inline, post-process and dynamic provisioning technologies. Again I’m not sure what value such a guarantee would provide. For some who want to dive bit deeper, Kix has offered assistance to those who may want to try and cash in on the EMC guarantee – I wish you the best in your claims, but I’d prefer to take another route.

The Pure Storage Love Your Storage Guarantee is the most comprehensive and simplest guarantee program in the industry – if within the first 30 days, you aren’t blown away by your Pure Storage FlashArray; we’ll take it back. It’s just that simple. There are no terms or conditions – you love it or we take it back.

There’s a tremendous amount of pride and confidence that I gain and in turn share with customers from knowing the technology I represent simply delivers and if it doesn’t, Pure will make it right. Don’t take my word for it, go see what the community is rating Pure and the rest of the storage industry at NetPromoter.

Some in the industry have said they’ve had enough with the shenanigans of the Big Storage guarantee – what about you? Are you ready for your next storage partner?

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