The date for the release of the DCIG Midrange Array Buyer’s Guide is rapidly approaching (the week of May 10th) and people are already asking me, “What makes this report so different from everything else on the market?” Well, it’s very simple. An analyst firm is for the first time taking a comprehensive and detailed look at the litany of available midrange arrays on the market and is then scoring them, ranking them, releasing the results and then putting their name next to the results. Further, this is all being done independently and without a storage provider paying to guarantee its outcome.
The DCIG Midrange Array Buyer’s Guide represents the next generation of technology reports that I produced for many years when I wrote for Storage magazine (now part of SearchStorage.com). But it is also different in one major way: it reflects the behind the scenes evaluations that myself and many other engineers regularly did when I worked as a storage engineer for First Data Corporation.
During the six years that I wrote for Storage magazine and the three (3) years since then that I have run and operated my own data storage focused analyst firm and website, I have contemplated how the technology reports that I used to write for Storage magazine could be made more thorough. Further, I wanted to leverage my experiences at First Data so the Buyer’s Guide could alleviate one of the most time consuming components of the midrange array buying decision – the information gathering and evaluation stage.
In writing for both Storage magazine and now for dcig.com, my intent was and is to inform users so they could make objective buying decisions on a specific technology. In this respect, the feedback that I receive from readers indicates that I have achieved a level of success. However the influence that I have on user buying decisions weighs on me, especially when I considered the breadth of some of the technologies that I attempt to authoritatively cover.
Midrange arrays are a perfect example. When I started writing this Buyer’s Guide, I identified nearly 30 providers of midrange arrays that offered over 130 different models that were considered for inclusion in this Buyer’s Guide.
Just coming up with that exhaustive list of storage providers and the models took some time. Then I still had to sort through each model’s hardware and software features and differentiate between them. While the differences between individual models were in many cases slight, differences do exist between each and every midrange array.
So if I or anyone attempted to write a 5 – 7 page technology report that attempted to provide users with any meaningful guidance at all in regards to purchasing a midrange array, it would be incomplete. Just by the brevity of the report it would fail to take into account many of the criteria that are important when trying to develop a short list of products to consider for inclusion when making such an important buying decision.
So this is what the first DCIG Midrange Array Buyer’s Guide does: It provides a much more comprehensive and in-depth look into as many midrange array models and their hardware and software features as possible.
In preparing this Buyer’s Guide, I looked at these midrange array models and their features in much the same way as I did while writing for Storage magazine and working as a storage engineer at First Data Corporation: Through the eyes of an end user.
During my stint at First Data, the storage team would create extensive lists of evaluation criteria for midrange arrays that included each model’s hardware and software features as well as the support offered by the storage provider.
Once these criteria were established, the team would go through and do a technical evaluation of each midrange array. At that time, we would try to clear up any ambiguities that existed (eg. a feature that was referred to by a different name by each storage provider), put heavier weightings on features that were more important to us and then score and rank each midrange array.
Based upon these scores, First Data would then come up with 3 – 5 possible contenders for purchase and then submit that list to our procurement department to get competitive bids on each of those models.
This Midrange Array Buyer’s Guide does this heavy lifting for end users. This Buyer’s Guide:
- Lists each individual midrange array models by storage provider
- Lists different midrange array features, whether or not they are supported and (where appropriate) how they are implemented
- Weights these features according to what end users consider most important
- Scores these features
- Ranks each midrange array model
The end result is that the DCIG Midrange Array Buyer’s Guide gives users the opportunity to do “at-a-glance” comparisons between many different midrange array models. Using these results, they can quickly come up with a short list of products that meet their specific needs and either go directly to a product evaluation stage with select midranges or even opt to get competitive bids on these products.
Note that this Buyer’s Guide is not intended to be a substitute for bringing individual midrange arrays models in-house and testing them with specific applications. That function should still be done since every midrange array will perform differently under different application workloads. But it should help users get to that short list of products that they want to test much more quickly.
If interested in this Buyer’s Guide, please reach out to either myself (email@example.com) or Jim Nash (firstname.lastname@example.org). A sample of what a data sheet for each midrange array looks like is below.
Have a good weekend and thanks for stopping by!