DCIG 2012 Buyer’s Guide Calendar

Over the past 15 or so months DCIG has released a multitude of Buyer’s Guides on topics ranging from Midrange Arrays to Virtual Server Backup Software to Small Enterprise Storage Arrays to Midrange Array Snapshot Software. As DCIG has done so, it has learned a great deal about what it has done right and areas where it can improve. But the general feedback is that the Buyer’s Guides provide users valuable insight into different technologies and help them understand the market landscape. So today DCIG is announcing the topics for its Buyer’s Guides that it plans to release for the remainder of 2011 and the first half of 2012.

As we are already partially into the 3rd quarter of 2011, the majority of the research on three Buyer’s Guides that DCIG plans to release this quarter is already complete. The DCIG 2011 Enterprise Scale-out Storage Buyer’s Guide, the DCIG 2011 Oracle Backup Software Solutions Buyer’s Guide and the DCIG Deduplication Appliance Buyer’s Guide are either completed or nearing completed and should all be released by the end of this quarter if not sooner. Links to where these Buyer’s Guides can be downloaded can be found either on DCIG’s site or the newly created DCIG Buyer’s Guide site which contains links to all DCIG’ Buyer’s Guides as well as a number of white papers that DCIG has completed.

However what I specifically wanted to announce today was the calendar of topics for upcoming DCIG Buyer’s Guides through June 2012 and explain some of the rationale for DCIG’s selection of each of these topics.

DCIG 2012 Enterprise Midrange Array Buyer’s Guide

Release Date: October 2011

This Buyer’s Guide will be an updated version of the highly successful DCIG 2010 Midrange Array Buyer’s Guide that was released in the summer of 2010. In that Buyer’s Guide DCIG evaluated over 70 midrange arrays from over 20 storage vendors. In this subsequent Buyer’s Guide DCIG expects may cover as many and potentially more as once DCIG released its prior Buyer’s Guides, storage providers I never heard of at the time came out of the woodwork asking why they were not included in the Buyer’s Guide.

However I expect the criteria for inclusion in this updated Buyer’s Guide to be much more stringent. Virtualized server environments has changed the storage game and picking the right storage array for these virtualized environments is imperative so much more focus will be placed on how well these storage arrays support the various VMware storage APIs. While a final determination is yet to be made on this point, whether or not a midrange array supports these APIs may determine whether or not it is included in this particular Buyer’s Guide.

While DCIG had planned to complete and release this Buyer’s Guide this summer on the first anniversary of the first Buyer’s Guide, the vSphere 5 announcement and its new storage APIs delayed the release of this Buyer’s Guide. DCIG is aware of a number of storage vendors that plan to announce support for these new storage APIs at VMworld later this month so for this Buyer’s Guide to remain relevant for the next 12 – 18 months, DCIG elected to wait until that information was public before completing and releasing this Buyer’s Guide.

DCIG 2012 Big Data Tape Library Buyer’s Guide 

Release Date: November/December 2011

Whoever said tape was dead has clearly never been to the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) show in Las Vegas. When speaking to users at this convention, if you so much as suggest that tape is dead they look at you like you are from another planet.

They still see tape as relevant for one very simple reason – the linear tape file system (LTFS). The freedom to add this file system as a plug-in to existing operating systems or event to NAS heads has given tape a new lease a life and again made it relevent for both Big Data and the Cloud.

But with tape becoming relevent again, who are old and/or new players in this space and who has the most appropriate solution for your environment. This Buyer’s Guide will help answer those questions.

DCIG 2012 Enterprise Unified Storage Array Buyer’s Guide

Release Date: January/February 2012

As Ethernet backbone speeds move from 1 Gb to 10 Gb and more vendors support FCoE and iSCSI, users are asking the question, “Why not consolidate file and block storage onto a single storage array?” The conclusion that more users are coming to is, “Yes, it does make sense for use to consolidate.”

This explains in large part why more storage providers are going down this path as is evidenced by EMC’s release of the VNX earlier this year and Dell’s introduction of the FS7500 into its EqualLogic line back in June. But just because storage vendors are blending CIFS, iSCSI, FCoE, NFS and other storage protocols on a single box does not mean they all do so equally well or provide the same level of functionality. This Enterprise Unified Storage Array Buyer’s Guide will help users sort through which unified storage arrays are on the market and which ones are best suited for them.

DCIG 2012 Cloud-based Archiving and Backup Buyer’s Guide

Release Date: March/April 2012

Everyone is talking about the cloud but the two forms of data that most users are most inclined to first store in the cloud are their archival and backup data. The problem users confront are knowing what products are available on the market and how they differ from what another.

While I would like to provide more details as to what products will be covered in this specific Buyer’s Guide, DCIG is still working on the details as to what constitutes a Cloud-based Archiving and Backup solution. Is it an appliance? Is it software? Is it a gateway? Is it some combination of all three? So as DCIG has more details, it will provide that information in the form of blog entries.

DCIG 2012 Virtual Server Backup Software Buyer’s Guide.

Release Date: May/June 2012

Yes, it’s back. Despite all of the controversary created by the DCIG 2011 Virtual Server Backup Software Buyer’s Guide and the questions that many raised, at the end of the day DCIG’s research was validated by another analyst firm who less than two months later produced results very similar to what DCIG found to be true.

Not that DCIG did not learn some lessons in the process. It did. Since then it has taken some additional steps to make sure its research and findings are even more solid and reliable going forward.

But believe it or not by next summer 18 months will have passed since the publication of that original Buyer’s Fuide and VMware and others continue to add new functionality to facitilitate the backup and recovery of virtual machines. So it will be time to once again take another look at this very critical component of the virtual infrastructure and which solutions are best positioned to deliver the best virtual server backup and recovery results.

These are the Buyer’s Guides that DCIG is at this time committed to producing though these are always subject to change. However DCIG had its annual meeting this past week with its analysts coming in from around the country to Omaha and as a team we are committed to producing these Buyer’s Guide barring some strong reasons not to do so.

We are also evaluating topics to that will be the focus of additional Buyer’
s Guides in the 2nd half of 2
012. Specific topics under discussion include Datacenter Infrastructure Management (DCIM) software, Cloud-based Exchange and SharePoint solutions, Hadoop and others. However if there are others you think would be an appropriate topic for a Buyer’s Guide, feel free to leave a comment here and we will be happy to take it under advisement.

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