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More of the Particulars of the Forthcoming DCIG Midrange Array Buyer’s Guide

Back in early February I wrote a blog that announced that I was going to resume writing technology reports similar to what I used to write for Storage magazine a few years ago. After some deliberation, I decided to focus the first one on midrange arrays. Since then questionnaires have been mailed out to storage providers, completed by them and their responses tabulated, weighted and scored. This means that DCIG is getting close to announcing how all of the different midrange array models from the various providers were scored and ranked.
DCIG Buyers Guide.JPGSome of the major changes made in terms of how I prepared this Midrange Array Buyer’s Guide from how I used to prepare the technology reports in the past include the following:

  • More comprehensive. In the past I looked at just a few features (maybe 10 – 30 features) on each midrange array and then only included check marks to indicate whether or not a specific product had that feature. This Buyer’s Guide goes well beyond just check boxes to indicate whether or not a midrange array model supports an individual feature. It now looks at how each feature is implemented and then has a weighted score associated with each feature. Groups of features as well as the entire midrange array model are then scored on a number of different categories.
  • Not a technology report but a Buyer’s Guide. The technology reports that I prepared in the past really only provided a list of products and their features but did not provide much guidance in terms of which models to choose or in which circumstances. The Buyer’s Guide will do that by giving you real guidance which is a big part of the reason that DCIG is referring to it as a Midrange Array Buyer’s Guide.
  • There will be real winners and losers. There are five different categories in this Buyer’s Guide that rank each midrange array by its ability to support FC/iSCSI SANs, just FC SANs, just iSCSI SANs, its hardware features and its software features. Within these categories, each midrange model will be ranked by DCIG as “Recommended“, “Excellent“, “Good” and “Entry Level“. In other words, you can quickly come up with a short list of models in any category based upon how they score and rank.
  • End-users can make real buying decisions and truly pit midrange array vendors against one another. One of the toughest parts about making midrange array vendors compete against one another is you can never completely be sure just what exactly it is that you giving up or gaining as they compete with different model. In this Buyer’s Guide, each product has its own data sheet formatted the same way as every other one so you can print them off and then compare each midrange array model’s features side-by-side. This way you can know exactly what features they offer, how they are implemented and what features you are gaining or losing with different models. (Just try doing that now with current product sheets!)
  • Less time required to make informed buying decisions. Today IT managers have less time than ever to manage their infrastracture, technologies are changing faster than ever, and they are under more pressure to make these changes while introducing less risk into their organization. This makes it very difficult to justify making a change (or justify staying with an established vendor) without the information and facts to justify that decision. This Buyer’s Guide will help give you the ammunition you need to make that decision.
  • It is objective. DCIG makes no secret that it blogs for a number of midrange array providers and provides regular coverage of their products in the forms of blogs, case studies and executive white papers.

So to make sure the Buyer’s Guide was objective, DCIG evaluated over 60 different features on each midrange model, included midrange array models from over 20 different storage providers who were both subscribing and non-subscribing blogging clients and got input from a number of end-users in establishing the criteria for the rankings and the scores.

These results are based upon questions that real world Fortune 500 end – users ask, features that they look for  and matrixes that they put together when making midrange array buying decisions. Further, the ones who helped to put this Buyer’s Guide together are anxiously looking forward to getting their free copy so they can use it to make better, more informed and faster midrange array buying decisions while negotiating better deals in the process.

For those of you who might be wondering what is included in this Buyer’s Guide, its preliminary table of contents is below. While I want to stress that this Table of Contents is still in draft form and subject to change, the list of the midrange array providers below is firm and the data sheets for the individual models that contain their scores and ranks are already finalized and planned for inclusion in this report.

Right now DCIG plans to make this 2010 Midrange Array Buyer’s Guide available in early May 2010 with all information on these midrange array models current as of April 2010. If you are interested in obtaining a copy of this report, please contact Jim Nash, DCIG’s Business Development Manager, at for pricing information.

DCIG Midrange Array Buyer’s Guide
Table of Contents

I.    Buyer’s Guide Introduction

a.   Why the Need for this Buyer’s Guide
b.   How to Use this Buyer’s Guide
c.   Disclosures

II.     Quotes
III.    Table of Contents
IV.   Executive Summary
V.    Criteria for Inclusion/Exclusion of Midrange Array

a.   Criteria for Inclusion
b.   Reasons for Exclusion

VI.    How Ratings were arrived at
VII.   Other Thoughts/Comments

a.   Performance and pricing
b.   Reliability
c.   Power and Efficiency

VIII.   Midrange Array Scores and Rankings

a.    Midrange Arrays FC/iSCSI SANs

    i.   Scores and Rankings
    ii.  Analysis

b.   Midrange Array FC SANs
c.   Midrange Array iSCSI SANs
d.   Midrange Array Hardware
e.   Midrange Array Software

IX.   Midrange Array Providers

a.   3PAR
b.   Celeros
c.   Compellent
d.   Dell EqualLogic
e.   Dot Hill
f.    EMC
g.   Fujitsu
h.   HDS
i.    HP
j.    IBM
k.   InforTrend
l.    NEC
m.  NetApp
n.   Nexsan Technologies
o.   Oracle Sun StorageTek
p.   Overland Storage
q.   Pillar Data Systems
r.    Xiotech

X.    Appendix

a.   Storage Provider Contact Information
b.   Plans for future reports

i.    Frequency of these reports
ii.   Features that will be Re-Weighted and/or Eliminated
ii.   Possible New Features that will be Introduced and Weighted

That’s it for this week! Thanks for stopping by and be sure to stop by next week as there are a fair number of blogs coming out in conjunction with new product announcements from a number of different storage providers!



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