In a couple of weeks, DCIG is going to release its first Midrange Array Buyer’s Guide that will include information and analysis on over 70 midrange arrays from 20 different storage providers. However it is important to note that this is a “Buyer’s Guide” and is not intended to do all of your thinking and decision making for you.
The DCIG Midrange Array Buyer’s Guide is intended to help users in narrowing down their selection of a midrange array that is appropriate for them. The purpose of this Buyer’s Guide is NOT to tell users exactly which model to purchase but rather to help guide them in developing a list of competitive products that have comparable features that meet their specific application or business needs.
It is also important to note that just because a product scored the highest in a particular category or is ranked a certain way does not necessarily mean it is automatically the right product for a company. If anything, because of the scope of the midrange array models evaluated and analyzed, it may be over qualified and cost prohibitive for a department or organization to purchase.
However what this Buyer’s Guide is intended to do is give users some sense of how a product compares to other storage arrays classified as Midrange Arrays as well as give them some insight into what other product offerings are available on the market. DCIG recommends that you use this Midrange Array Buyer’s Guide in the following seven ways:
- Eliminate the painstaking research associated with coming up with a short list of possible midrange arrays. This Buyer’s Guide contains 20 storage providers with 71 different models. Each midrange array is scored and then ranked as “Recommended”, “Excellent”, “Good” and “Entry Level” based upon that score. On each midrange array, at least 60 different features were evaluated, weighted, scored and then ranked. All an individual has to do is look at the scores in order to come up with a short list of products for consideration.
- Do apples-to-apples comparisons of midrange arrays from different storage vendors. In today’s crowded storage market, companies are ill-advised to not get competitive bids from multiple vendors since when vendors compete, you win. But that tactic only works well when organizations know that they are receiving bids on products that are roughly comparable. Using this Midrange Array Buyer’s Guide, organizations can accomplish that objective.
- Separate the apples from the oranges. Just as important as doing apples-to-apples comparisons is identifying when a vendor throws an orange in the mix. Sometimes it is very difficult for an organization to know if it is truly getting a good deal when bids come in from multiple vendors that include different models. Now organizations can refer to the scores and rankings of each midrange array and know when a storage vendor is giving it a really good deal or a really bad one.
- Provide perspective on how models from less well known vendors compare against with established and better known brands. Anyone involved with storage at all has probably at least heard of EMC, HP, and IBM and maybe NetApp and HDS. This creates a certain level of comfort when buying products from these companies and a certain built-in resistance to buying midrange arrays from companies that are perceived as unknown quantities. This Buyer’s Guide helps to remove some of that apprehension about buying from a less well known provider since organizations can clearly see how these models from lesser known companies compare with those that are well known.
- Normalizes complex storage terminology. Every computing industry has a proclivity to adopt acronyms and jargon that is specific to it but storage seems to go out of its way to not only use unfamiliar terms but refer to the same technology in different ways. This Buyer’s Guide sifts through these different acronyms and terms and normalizes them. This way users are not forced to try to understand every acronym and term only to find that multiple terms refer to the same basic technology.
- Creates a standardized data sheet. In researching this Buyer’s Guide, every single data sheet for every single product was printed out and analyzed. Notably, none of the product data sheets from the different vendors were laid out in the same way or contained the same information. Some vendors even had data sheet formats that varied from model to model within their own product portfolio. This Buyer’s Guide tackles this problem by creating a standard, easy to read data sheet for every midrange array. In this way, product data sheets for individual products can be printed out, laid down side by side and then quickly compared.
- Helps justify technical buying recommendations to business folks. Nothing is easier for those on the business side to understand than a number when doing comparisons. So at the top of every midrange array model data sheet, a product score is included so the business side of the house can quickly see why a particular recommendation was made.
DCIG is looking forward to releasing this Buyer’s Guide in just a few weeks because we really believe this will go a long way towards simplifying the decision making process around selecting and buying midrange arrays. I have attached a sample data sheet of an imaginary midrange array so you can see what information that this Buyer’s Guide will include for each and every midrange array covered.