Why Our Customers Buy

Why Our Customers Buy

The MinIO Subscription Network is unique. A blend of commercial license and direct-to-engineering support it also offers access to the panic button, architectural and security reviews and a host of other features and technologies that ensure our customers never lose data or suffer a security breach.

We recently asked our customer base to participate in a flash survey to tell us what motivated them to buy and why. Here is what they told us.

The first question asked them if they used MinIO prior to becoming a subscriber. Unsurprisingly - 82% of them were intimately familiar with the software.

This makes sense. The software you get here is the same software our clients use. Yes, there are some benefits to membership, but we pride ourselves on the fact that we don’t hold back features or functionality. It is what has underpinned our remarkable growth and carried us to 455M Docker pulls (and counting, despite the rate limiting). There is the 18% who didn’t use the software - but we will return to them shortly.

The next question was, how long before you became a subscriber? The results here were interesting and pretty evenly distributed. Some moved quickly to become a subscriber, others took over a year.

Despite the length, something motivated them to covert.

While all the options generated answers the one that stood out was the move to production. Nearly a third of all responses cited this as the primary driver. This is certainly consistent with what we knew anecdotally. Customers reach a point in their MinIO journey where there are simply too many eggs in the MinIO basket (where eggs=data) to go without a commercial relationship.

Right behind that was MinIO’s technical expertise. This too makes sense. While MinIO prides itself on its simplicity, the fact of the matter is that the rest of the world is complex and having cloud-native, software-defined storage experts on call 24/7/365 is a compelling proposition.

We would suggest that this same motivation supports the desire for the annual architecture and security reviews (13.6%).

Often, as one moves into production, or needs to support external stakeholders with our software the need for a defined SLA often comes into play (18.2%). In terms of what SLA is chosen, the split is 60/40 in favor of Standard (24 hours) over Enterprise (1 hour). It should be noted that in our last stats scrub we were crushing those metrics, averaging 15 minute response times.

Licensing compliance only represented 9% of the responses. While we are not going to break out the detail here, we would note that the larger the enterprise, the more important licensing compliance was to them. This is a function of the fact that MinIO generally touches many different products inside a larger organization and they are more comfortable with a commercial license for the AGPL v3 than the obligations it carries.  

For those who didn’t use MinIO before coming into SUBNET the primary driver to subscribe was to accelerate their development cycle. This was followed by helping to build their app or to address a particular issue (often with a hybrid cloud challenge).

What is undeniable in these numbers is the desire to engage the team here at MinIO. While we have covered it before, it bears mentioning again. We don’t employ a typical ticketing system with support folks staffing it. Everyone at MinIO is on SUBNET - from the co-founders to the marketing team. The people who engage on issues are the engineers themselves. The ones that wrote the code. Not only is the response time lightning fast, so is the resolution. Have a production impacting problem? We have you covered, even if it is not ours and we have to stay by your side until it is resolved.

It also means that we take extra care in what we release. Since we support the product, we ensure it does exactly what it is supposed to. For MinIO this is easier than other companies because all we do is object storage. As a result, we can diagnose problems faster - even if they are on your end. Because of that pride of ownership, SUBNET generates less than 3 tickets a day across our ever growing customer base of enterprises and startups alike - from Box, Seagate and PRGX to Ace Metrix.

Those tickets are “general” about 25% of the time, where 18% involve certain features (configuration/enablement) and 13% are around the environment. Only 6% involve “bug fixes” on the MinIO side and are not gating in any way but represent improvements we can, and do make for our customers.
Odds are if you have gotten this far you are either seriously considering subscribing or run MinIO in production today. We encourage you to take that deployment to the next level, to protect the eggs you have in the MinIO basket and ensure they are safe from a security perspective. The way to do that is through a subscription. They are easy to get and just as easy to cancel. They are based on capacity and are billed monthly. Try it out, if you are not a customer for life in a month or two, drop the subscription - no questions asked. You also will not have to ask yourself the question, “what could I be doing better with MinIO.”

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