About a year ago DCIG decided to do something completely different in the analyst space: a side-by-side independent comparison of products in a particular market segment in the form of a Buyer’s Guide. The end result of that was the DCIG 2010 Midrange Array Buyer’s Guide. But believe it or not, a year has already passed since that was produced and it is now time to update and refresh that Buyer’s Guide for a number of reasons.
Despite the tremendous success of the first DCIG Midrange Array Buyer’s Guide, the need to update that Buyer’s Guide has become apparent over the past few months. Aside from the release of a number of new models from midrange array storage providers, midrange arrays are rapidly changing to adapt to the influx of virtualization at all layers of the computing stack.
Server virtualization is clearly getting the most attention with VMware becoming almost the default in terms of which technology organizations are choosing to virtualize their servers. But that is creating new requirements in storage arrays in terms of the features they need to offer in order to optimize VMware deployments in user environments.
However server virtualization is not the only form of virtualization gaining momentum. Virtualization technology on storage arrays is enabling storage arrays to more efficiently provision and manage storage while requiring less storage capacity in the process. This is leading to new technologies appearing in storage arrays such as automated storage tiering, deduplication, thin provisioning and virtual storage pools.
It is these reasons and others that have made it necessary to refresh the DCIG 2010 Midrange Array Buyer’s Guide. Some of the key ways that the DCIG 2011 Midrange Array Buyer’s Guide will change for 2010 include:
- More attention will be paid to storage array vendor certification with virtual operating systems such as Citrix, Microsoft and VMware as certification with these OSes is viewed as a prerequisite in many user environments
- Midrange arrays that accommodate scale-out SAN designs will be examined in more detail.
- The following midrange array features will be examined in more detail to include:
- Automated storage tiering (AST)
- Replication and snapshots
- Thin provisioning
- Storage networking protocols
- Virtual storage pools
- VMware vSphere integration
- The approximate starting list price of each midrange array will be requested.
Surveys for the 2011 Midrange Array Buyer’s Guide have already been sent out so if you are a midrange array provider and did not receive this survey, please let DCIG know and we will get one sent out to you.
If you are an end user and looking forward to this updated Buyer’s Guide, look for it to be published and released this summer.