Storage Vendors, You Would Upset Henry Ford

Certain storage vendors are allegedly selling replacement hard disk drives for their storage systems at inflated prices. I saw people complaining that their storage system will not accept a hard disk drive entirely identical to that found in their servers. The only difference was the drive’s firmware: if it is not recognised by the storage system as a field-replaceable unit (FRU) approved by the storage vendor, the drive will not work.

So, why do they do this? Nothing personal, just business: this way they can lower the procurement costs of a storage system to make it look more attractive for a customer than competitors’ systems, and the “lost revenue” will be caught up during inevitable maintenance and upgrades.

Henry Ford in 1919. Image from Wikimedia Commons, source: US Library of Congress

Henry Ford in 1919. Image from Wikimedia Commons, source: US Library of Congress

This is what Henry Ford had to say about a similar situation in the automotive market in his book “My Life and Work” in 1922 (Chapter 2):

[if the automobile] broke down and had to have parts replaced, then that was just hard luck for the owner. It was considered good business to sell parts at the highest possible price on the theory that, since the man had already bought the car, he simply had to have the part and would be willing to pay for it.

Seems unfair, both for automobiles and hard disk drives. But I also heard that many companies are not involved in such practices. I wonder if there are any statistics on this topic.

Share and Enjoy:
    This entry was posted in Miscellaneous and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.