The term "SMB" may be hot in marketing, but in the field it doesn't always pay off. At least, that's the impression the IT manager at Joyce Meyer Ministries (JMM) had while building his SAN.
"If other businesses are having the same problems we had, they must be frustrated," says Sal Cincotta, IT manager at JMM, which is a nonprofit company started by a Christian evangelist based in St. Louis.
Cincotta's SAN story started several months back, when he got fed up with his main vendor, EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC). JMM had bought Clariion equipment to support JMM's online services, retail products, and publications. But Cincotta's team were tired of paying additional hefty service fees to EMC each time they wanted to grow or reallocate disk storage. Nonetheless, as a growing company, JMM needed lots of reconfiguration, and Cincotta had no choice but to pay up.
On top of the fees, Cincotta found EMC's overall attitude toward his business to be cavalier. With 500 employees worldwide and about 20 Gbytes of database information to manage, he didn't feel like a "mom and pop" shop. But Cincotta perceived he was treated like one by EMC. "All I wanted was to feel that what we were working on mattered," he says.
A potential solution surfaced in a local technology center set up by Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), which provides all the software for JMM's servers. Cincotta, a former Microsoft employee, saw disk arrays from Xiotech Corp. whirring away there, made some calls, and was impressed by the response.