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Focus of the Next Four 2010 DCIG Buyer’s Guides

Sometimes when you find a good thing you have to roll with it and that is exactly what DCIG plans to do with its new line of Buyer’s Guide products. Last month DCIG announced the availability of its first ever Buyer’s Guide of any kind for either storage or ESI products. Since then its reception among storage providers and end-users alike has so surpassed our expectations that DCIG has decided to expand the scope of these offerings. It is for that reason DCIG is today pleased to announce that it is beginning research and plans to bring to market by the end of 2010 four more DCIG Buyer’s Guides.

DCIG is publishing these Buyer’s Guides for the simple reason that most Buyer’s Guides  published in today’s magazines and other websites are at best superficial and at worst incomplete. By way of example, I recently saw an InformationWeek article that was supposed to be a Buyer’s Guide for cloud email.

The alleged Buyer’s Guide was maybe 700 – 1000 words in length, the chart included in the print version of the magazine only listed about 5 products and there was no real guidance given in terms of which product to buy. It only listed a set of features that had some check marks next to them. No one can make a real buying decision or even feel like all of the research has been done based upon that limited amount of information.

It is this issue that the DCIG Buyer’s Guides are designed to address. It should not be assumed that just be looking at the list of products included in any of these Buyer’s Guides that you can or should choose the product listed number 1. Rather the objective of the Buyer’s Guides is to help users determine what hardware models or software products are most alike so they can understand what they are gaining or giving up as they move up or down the ladder.

For example, just because one product ranked high does not necessarily make it “good” while one ranked low makes it “bad”. The scores and rankings are merely designed to help users understand the scope of the problems the hardware or software is able to solve. If you need to solve a lot of problems, then a product with a higher score and rank is probably what you need. If you need to solve a more limited set of problems, then one with lower score and rank is likely a better fit.

So with that context in mind, here is the focus of the four (4) DCIG Buyer’s Guides that DCIG is currently doing research on and plans to release in 2010.

  • eDiscovery Software. Research on this Buyer’s Guide is just beginning so DCIG is still sorting out what software we are going to include in this Buyer’s Guide and how we are going to analyze the features. However the eDiscovery category is one of the most frequently viewed on DCIG’s website. Further, with judges becoming less tolerant of organizational claims that data cannot be found, organizations want and need information about products that enable them to comply.

  • Midrange Array Replication Software. This Buyer’s Guide is a follow-on to the Midrange Array Buyer’s Guide that DCIG just completed and will complement the research that has already been done. The replication software section of the Midrange Array Buyer’s Guide only looked at the replication software from a fairly high level. However all midrange array storage vendors consistently report that half of the midrange arrays that they sell now include replication software. So understanding what forms of replication software are available and the different ways in which each form of replication software is implemented are becoming imperative as part of building an organization’s total data protection architecture. (BTW – I hope to comment more on this topic in my weekly recap blogs to come.)
  • Server Virtualization Backup Software. To say that server virtualization is hot would be an understatement but effective backup of virtualized server environments is equally hot. In this space a large number of software solutions have sprung up from both traditional and new players in the market but who has the right backup software and for which virtualized server operating systems is fuzzy at best and a complete mystery at worst. This Buyer’s Guide will look at the different backup software products in this space and how they compare and contrast.
  • Small Business Storage Arrays. Of the four Buyer’s Guides under development, this one is currently the furthest along. This Buyer’s Guide will look at storage arrays that are priced in roughly the $2K to $20K range, support iSCSI and NAS, and scale from 4 – 30 TBs in raw capacity. Storage arrays from Buffalo, D-Link, Data Robotics, Iomega, ioSafe, MicroNet, Nexsan, Overland Storage, QNap, Thecus, and Synology among others are under consideration for inclusion in this Buyer’s Guide.

Storage providers who feel they fit in any or all of these categories should feel free to reach out to me directly at and I will then direct your inquiry to the appropriate DCIG analyst who is developing each respective Buyer’s Guide. Please note that there is no charge to be included in any of the  Buyer’s Guides but each Buyer’s Guide is copyrighted and is only accessible by purchasing a license to do so from DCIG. Information on how current and future Buyer’s Guides will be licensed is available here.

That’s it for this week. Have a good weekend! 


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