DCIG Will Provide Update on All-flash Array Advances at Flash Memory Summit 2019

Flash Memory Summit is the world’s largest storage industry event featuring the trends, innovations, and influencers driving the adoption of flash memory. DCIG will again present at the Summit this year. DCIG’s presentation will draw from its independent research into all-flash arrays and the Competitive Intelligence that DCIG performs on behalf of its clients.

The session will highlight recent developments in all-flash arrays and the rapidly changing competitive landscape for these products. Ken Clipperton, DCIG’s Lead Analyst for Storage, will speak on Tuesday, August 6th, from 9:45-10:50 AM. The session is called BMKT-101B-1: Annual Update on Flash Arrays.

Just as DCIG does in its reports, Mr. Clipperton will discuss both the “What” and the “So what?” of these advances in all-flash arrays. The presentation will cover the changes occurring in all-flash arrays, the value they create for organizations implementing them, and the key topic areas that DCIG focuses on in its competitive intelligence reports.

Mr. Clipperton will cover the following topics:

  • Advances in front-end connectivity to the storage network/application servers
  • Advances in back-end connectivity to storage media
  • Integration of storage-class memory
  • Integrations with other elements in the data center
  • Cloud connectivity
  • Delivery models
  • Predictive analytics
  • Proactive support
  • Licensing
  • Storage-as-a-Service (OpEx model)
  • Guarantee programs
  • Expectations about developments in the near-term future

If you will be at FMS, we hope that you will be able to attend this session and then stick around to introduce yourself and share your perspectives on where the AFA marketplace is heading.

Whether you are able to attend FMS or DCIG’s session at the summit, we invite you to sign up for our newsletter. To request more information about DCIG’s Competitive Intelligence services, click on this link.

Be sure to check back on the DCIG website after the event to get our take on the Summit and the products we believe deserve “Best in Show” honors.




Five More Reasons Why Organizations Choose DCIG to Create Competitive Intelligence Reports

Last month I shared five reasons why organizations choose DCIG to prepare competitive intelligence reports on their behalf. However, that list represented only a glimpse into why companies select DCIG. This month, I share five more reasons why companies engage DCIG to produce these reports to equip their sales staff and partners.

Companies want and need professional, well-researched reports that they can use for equipping their internal sales staff and resellers. They may also use these reports to educate current and prospective clients to ask the right questions to identify the right solution. In conversations with our clients, here are five more reasons they cite for using DCIG to create competitive intelligence reports.

1. DCIG knows how to safely present competitive information in a public forum. 

Companies may fail to realize that federal civil laws exist that govern the publication of content that they publish comparing them to their competitors. While no one goes to jail, it does open the door for your competitor to file lawsuits against your company. DCIG knows how to navigate these waters and help avoid these circumstances which can drag on for years or even decades.

2. Provides succinct content that is relevant, to the point, and easy to be read.

 DCIG analysts are former end-users who successfully made the case for technical solutions. They translated the technical benefits in ways that make sense to business management. DCIG also works with value added resellers. This background informs DCIG on the types of questions that these individuals will likely pose and want answered. DCIG combines this background with its years of writing experience to prepare and deliver concise, easy-to-digest reports.

3. Avoid internal competitive intelligence crisis.

DCIG does not look to replace a company’s internal competitive intelligence team – it looks to augment it. DCIG regularly encounters companies who experience turnover in this area or who have no one dedicated to it full time. Using DCIG provides companies with consistency, continuity, and a common repository for their internal competitive intelligence function.

4. Frees your staff to focus on responding to internal sales inquiries and understanding customer needs.

Understanding and responding to the inquiries of your customers and sales staff should take precedence over consistently researching your competitors’ features. The reason is simple – companies must prioritize the needs right in front of them. Conversely, DCIG regularly covers and aggregates the product features of your competitors. It simply makes sense on multiple levels for them to outsource this function to a third party.

5. DCIG Competitive Intelligence Reports summarize the distinctive benefits of your solution.

Every company wants to distinguish its product from others in its space. That is the product’s value add. However, that approach only works if one can accurately articulate one’s differentiators. Saying a product stands apart in a feature offering only to find out it does not may result in lost credibility. It’s even worse if a current or prospective customer brings this oversight to your attention. Using DCIG, you can better mitigate the possibility of that occurrence.

Companies rightfully conclude that they can perform their own competitive intelligence. They know, probably better than any analyst firm, who their primary competitors are, and the features their own products offer that result in them winning deals. However, safely and objectively presenting that information in a professional format may require more expertise or time than your team possesses.

This is where DCIG can and has helped other organizations. If this is where your company can use some help, let us know!  You can contact DCIG by filling out this form on DCIG’s website or emailing us.




Five Reasons Why Organizations Choose DCIG to Create Competitive Intelligence Reports

At a high level, anyone can prepare a competitive intelligence report. All one needs is an Excel spreadsheet, a web browser, access to the Internet, a list of your competitors, and a list of product features. Then, boom, just like that, you have a report. However, companies that engage DCIG to create Competitive Intelligence Reports want much more that an Excel spreadsheet with a list of features and check marks in order to truly empower their sales staff and partners.

5 Reasons Companies Choose DCIG for Competitive Intelligence Reports

These companies want professional reports that they can use for equipping and educating their internal sales staff and resellers. They also use reports to educate their current and prospective clients. In talking with our clients about why they choose DCIG to create these reports, here are five reasons they commonly cite:

#1 – Validate their assumptions and findings about their competitors’ products’ features.

Many clients who engage DCIG to create competitive intelligence reports have already done some and, in some cases, a lot of research into their competitors’ products and the features they offer. However, they find it helpful to have an analyst firm double check and validate their research.

#2 – DCIG routinely covers and communicates with their competitors. 

DCIG has nearly 20 years of experience in covering enterprise technology products and communicating with them. This has resulted in DCIG having contacts with hundreds of technology companies and thousands of professionals within these companies. Further, DCIG has information about thousands of products and their features in DCIG’s product database. We often have the information that our clients need to validate their research or can quickly identify someone who can help get the competitive information you seek.

#3 – Companies want to speak with DCIG.

DCIG’s analysis and reports are distributed to and read by thousands of people every month through DCIG’s newsletter and on DCIG’s website. Further, DCIG’s content is often picked up by third party websites such as Storage Newsletter. As a result, companies often want to speak to DCIG and brief us on their products in anticipation of this type of coverage. This ensures that DCIG has the latest information about the products from multiple companies.

#4 – Want objective, credible, third party content.

Your customers, partners and even your own sales force will find the presentation of competitive information by an analyst firm more objective and credible than if you present it. This makes it more likely that they read it,  understand it, and use it in the field.

#5 – DCIG translates technology into understandable business benefits.

This perhaps reflects the primary reason companies engage with DCIG to produce Competitive Intelligence Reports. An Excel spreadsheet with a list of features and check marks is only the starting point for DCIG as it builds out its Competitive Intelligence Reports – not its end game. Every DCIG Competitive Intelligence Report explains why certain features matter and under what circumstances.

These reports also include questions that companies can ask their prospective customers to determine if these features matter to them. These helps both customers and the companies selling the products more quickly get to the two best answers, “Yes, I want to buy it,” or, “No, I do not.” This saves all parties involved time, money, and energy to get to the best answer.

Present Competitive Intelligence from an Objective Third Party

Companies rightfully conclude that they can perform their own competitive intelligence. They may know, perhaps better than an analyst firm, who their competitors are, and what features they offer that result in them winning specific deals. However, safely and objectively presenting that same information in a professional format for your customers, partners, and sales force can use often require more time than your existing team has.

This is where DCIG can help and has helped other organizations. If this is where your competitive intelligence team, product manager, marketing team, or internal product evaluation team recognizes a need, let us know!  You can contact DCIG by filling out this form on DCIG’s website or emailing us.




Three Hallmarks of an Effective Competitive Intelligence System

Across more than twenty years as an IT Director, I had many sales people incorrectly tell me that their product was the only one that offered a particular benefit. Did their false claims harm their credibility? Absolutely. Were they trying to deceive me? Possibly. But it is far more likely that they sincerely believed their claims. 

Their lack was not truthfulness but accuracy. They lacked accurate and up-to-date information about the current capabilities of competing products in the marketplace. Their competitive intelligence system had failed them.

When DCIG was recruiting me to become an analyst I asked DCIG’s founder, Jerome Wendt, what were the most surprising things he had learned since founding DCIG. One of the three things he mentioned in his response was the degree to which vendors lack a knowledge of the product features and capabilities of their key competitors.

Reasons Vendors Lack Good Competitive Intelligence

There are many reasons why vendors lack good competitive intelligence. These include:

  • They are focused on delivering and enhancing their own product to meet the perceived needs of current and prospective customers.
  • Collecting and maintaining accurate data about even key competitor’s products can be time consuming and challenging.
  • Staff transitions may result in a loss of data continuity.

Benefits of an Effective Competitive Intelligence System

An effective competitive intelligence system increases sales by enabling partners and sales personnel to quickly grasp key product differentiators and how those translate into business benefits. Thus, it enhances the onboarding of new personnel and their opportunity for success.

Three Hallmarks of an Effective Competitive Intelligence System

The hallmarks of an effective competitive intelligence system center around three themes: data, insight and communication.

Regarding Data, the system must:

  • Capture current, accurate data about key competitor products
  • Provide data continuity across staff transitions
  • Provide analyses that surfaces commonalities and differences between products

 

Regarding Insight, the system must:

  • Clearly identify product differentiators
  • Clearly articulate the business benefits of those differentiators

 

Regarding Communication, the system must:

  • Provide concise content that enables partners and sales personnel to quickly grasp key product differentiators and how those translate into business benefits for CxOs and line of business executives
  • Bridge the gap between sales and marketing with messages that are tailored to be consistent with product branding
  • Provide the content at the right time and in the right format

Whatever combination of software, services and competitive intelligence personnel a company employs, an effective competitive intelligence system is an important asset for any company seeking to thrive in a competitive marketplace.

DCIG’s Competitive Intelligence Track Record

DCIG Buyer’s Guides

Since 2010, DCIG Buyer’s guides have provided hundreds of thousands with an independent look at the many products in each market DCIG covers. Each Buyer’s Guide gives decision makers insight into the features that merit particular attention, what is available now and key directions in the marketplace. DCIG produces Buyer’s Guides based on our larger bodies of research in data protection, enterprise storage and converged infrastructure.

DCIG Pocket Analyst Reports

DCIG leverages much of the Buyer’s Guide research methodology–and the competitive intelligence platform that supports that research–to create focused reports that highlight the differentiators between two products that are frequently making it onto the same short lists.

Our Pocket Analyst Reports are published and made available for sale on a third party website to substantiate the independence of each report. Vendors can license these reports for use in lead generation, internal sales training and for use with prospective clients. 

DCIG Competitive Intelligence Reports

DCIG also uses its Competitive Intelligence Platform to produce reports for internal use by our clients. These concise reports enable partners and sales personnel to quickly grasp key product differentiators and how those translate into business benefits that make sense to CxOs and line of business executives. Because these reports are for internal use, the client can have substantial input into the messaging.

DCIG Battle Cards

Each DCIG Battle Card is a succinct 2-page document that compares the client’s product or product family to one other product or product family. The client and DCIG collaborate to identify the key product features to compare, the key strengths that the client’s product offers over the competing product, and the appropriate messaging to include on the battle card. Content may be contributed by the client for inclusion on the battle card. The battle card is only for the internal use of the client and its partners and may not be distributed.

DCIG Competitive Intelligence Platform

The DCIG Competitive Intelligence (CI) Platform is a multi-tenant, platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offering backed by support from DCIG analysts. The DCIG Competitive Intelligence Platform offers the flexibility to centrally store data and compare features on competitive products. Licensees receive the ability to centralize competitive intelligence data in the cloud with the data made available internally to their employees and partners via reports prepared by DCIG analysts.

DCIG Competitive Intelligence platform and associated analyst services strengthen the competitive intelligence capabilities of our clients. Sometimes in unexpected ways…

  • Major opportunity against a competitor never faced before
  • Strategic supplier negotiation and positioning of competitor

 

In each case, DCIG analysis identified differentiators and 3rd party insights that helped close the deal.




HCI Comparison Report Reveals Key Differentiators Between Dell EMC VxRail and Nutanix NX

Many organizations view hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) as the data center architecture of the future. Dell EMC VxRail and Nutanix NX appliances are two leading options for creating the enterprise hybrid cloud. Visibility into their respective data protection ecosystems, enterprise application certifications, solution integration, support for multiple hypervisors, scalability and maturity should help organizations choose the most appropriate solution for them.

HCI Appliances Deliver Radical Simplicity

Hyper-converged infrastructure appliances radically simplify the data center architecture. These pre-integrated appliances accelerate and simplify infrastructure deployment and management. They combine and virtualize compute, memory, storage and networking functions from a single vendor in a scale-out cluster. Thus, the stakes are high for vendors such as Dell EMC and Nutanix as they compete to own this critical piece of data center real estate.

In the last several years, HCI has also emerged as a key enabler for cloud adoption. These solutions provide connectivity to public and private clouds, and offer their own cloud-like properties. Ease of scaling, simplicity of management, plus non-disruptive hardware upgrades and data migrations are among the features that enterprises love about these solutions.

HCI Appliances Are Not All Created Equal

Many enterprises are considering HCI solutions from providers Dell EMC and Nutanix. A cursory examination of these two vendors and their solutions quickly reveals similarities between them. For example, both companies control the entire hardware and software stacks of their HCI appliances. Also, both providers pretest firmware and software updates and automate cluster-wide roll-outs.

Nevertheless, important differences remain between the products. Due to the high level of interest in these products, DCIG published an initial comparison in November 2017. Both providers recently enhanced their offerings. Therefore, DCIG refreshed its research and has released an updated head-to-head comparison of the Dell EMC VxRail and Nutanix NX appliances.

blurred image of first page of HCI comparison reportUpdated DCIG Pocket Analyst Report Reveals Key HCI Differentiators

In this updated report, DCIG identifies six ways the HCI solutions from these two providers currently differentiate themselves from one another. This succinct, 4-page report includes a detailed feature matrix as well as insight into key differentiators between these two HCI solutions such as:

  • Breadth of ecosystem
  • Enterprise applications certified
  • Multi-hypervisor flexibility
  • Scalability
  • Solution integration
  • Vendor maturity

DCIG is pleased to make this updated DCIG Pocket Analyst Report available for purchase for $99.95 via the TechTrove marketplace. The report is temporarily also available free of charge with registration from the Unitrends website.




VMware vSphere and Nutanix AHV Hypervisors: An Updated Head-to-Head Comparison

Many organizations view hyper-converged infrastructure appliances (HCIAs) as foundational for the cloud data center architecture of the future. However, as part of an HCIA solution, one must also select a hypervisor to run on this platform. The VMware vSphere and Nutanix AHV hypervisors are two capable choices but key differences exist between them.

In the last several years, HCIAs have emerged as a key enabler for cloud adoption. Aside from the connectivity to public and private clouds that these solutions often provide, they offer their own cloud-like properties. Ease of scaling, simplicity of management, and non-disruptive hardware upgrades and data migrations highlight the list of features that enterprises are coming to know and love about these solutions.

But as enterprises adopt HCIA solutions in general as well as HCIA solutions from providers like Nutanix, they must still evaluate key features in these solutions. One variable that enterprises should pay specific attention to is the hypervisors available to run on these HCIA solutions.

Unlike some other HCIA solutions, Nutanix gives organizations the flexibility to choose which hypervisor they want to run on their HCIA platform. They can choose to run the widely adopted VMware vSphere. They can choose to run Nutanix’s own Acropolis hypervisor (AHV).

What is not always so clear is which one they should host on the Nutanix platform. Each hypervisor has its own set of benefits and drawbacks. To help organizations make a more informed choice as to which hypervisor is the best one for their environment, DCIG is pleased to make its updated DCIG Pocket Analyst Report that does a head-to-head comparison between the VMware vSphere and Nutanix AHV hypervisors.

blurred image of first page of reportThis succinct, 4-page report includes a detailed product matrix as well as insight into seven key differentiators between these two hypervisors and which one is best positioned to deliver on key cloud and data center considerations such as:

  • Data protection ecosystem
  • Support for Guest OSes
  • Support for VDI platforms
  • Certified enterprise applications
  • Fit with corporate direction
  • More favorable licensing model
  • Simpler management

This DCIG Pocket Analyst Report available for purchase for $99.95 via the TechTrove marketplace. The report is temporarily also available free of charge with registration from the Unitrends website.




Dell EMC VxRail vs Nutanix NX: Six Key HCIA Differentiators

Many organizations view hyper-converged infrastructure appliances (HCIAs) as the data center architecture of the future. Dell EMC VxRail and Nutanix NX appliances are two leading options for creating the enterprise hybrid cloud. Visibility into their respective data protection ecosystems, enterprise application certifications, solution integration, support for multiple hypervisors, scalability and maturity should help organizations choose the most appropriate solution for them.

Hyper-converged infrastructure appliances (HCIA) radically simplify the next generation of data center architectures. Combining and virtualizing compute, memory, stor­age, networking, and data protection func­tions from a single vendor in a scale-out cluster, these pre-integrated appliances accelerate and simplify infrastructure deploy­ment and management. As such, the stakes are high for vendors such as Dell EMC and Nutanix that are competing to own this critical piece of data center infrastructure real estate.

In the last several years, HCIAs have emerged as a key enabler for cloud adoption. These solutions provide connectivity to public and private clouds, and offer their own cloud-like properties. Ease of scaling, simplicity of management, and non-disruptive hardware upgrades and data migrations highlight the list of features that enterprises are coming to know and love about these solutions.

But as enterprises consider HCIA solutions from providers such as Dell EMC and Nutanix, they must still evaluate key features available on these solutions as well as the providers themselves. A cursory examination of these two vendors and their respective solutions quickly reveals similarities between them. For example, both companies control the entire hardware and software stacks of their respective HCIA solutions. Both pre-test firmware and software updates holistically and automate cluster-wide roll-outs.

Despite these similarities, differences between them remain. To help enterprises select the product that best fits their needs, DCIG published its first comparison of these products in November 2017. There is a high level of interest in these products, and both providers recently enhanced their offerings. Therefore, DCIG refreshed its research and has released an updated head-to-head comparison of the Dell EMC VxRail and Nutanix NX appliances.

blurred image of first pageIn this updated report, DCIG identifies six ways the HCIA solutions from these two providers currently differentiate themselves from one another. This succinct, 4-page report includes a detailed product matrix as well as insight into key differentiators between these two HCIA solutions such as:

  • Breadth of ecosystem
  • Enterprise applications certified
  • Multi-hypervisor flexibility
  • Scalability
  • Solution integration
  • Vendor maturity

DCIG is pleased to make this updated DCIG Pocket Analyst Report available for purchase for $99.95 via the TechTrove marketplace.




Six Key Differentiators between HPE 3PAR StoreServ and NetApp AFF A-Series All-flash Arrays

Both HPE and NetApp have multiple enterprise storage product lines. Each company also has a flagship product. For HPE it is the 3PAR StoreServ line. For NetApp it is the AFF (all flash FAS) A-Series. DCIG’s latest Pocket Analyst Report examines these flagship all-flash arrays. The report identifies many similarities between the products, including the ability to deliver low latency storage with high levels of availability, and a relatively full set of data management features.

DCIG’s Pocket Analyst Report also identifies six significant differences between the products. These differences include how each product provides deduplication and other data services, hybrid cloud integration, host-to-storage connectivity, scalability, and simplified management through predictive analytics and bundled or all-inclusive software licensing.

DCIG recently updated its research on the dynamic and growing all-flash array marketplace. In so doing, DCIG identified many similarities between the HPE 3PAR StoreServ and NetApp AFF A-Series products including:

  • Unified SAN and NAS protocol support
  • Extensive support for VMware API’s including VMware Virtual Volumes (VVols)
  • Integration with popular virtualization management consoles
  • Rich data replication and data protection offerings

DCIG also identified significant differences between the HPE and NetApp products including:

  • Hardware-accelerated Inline Data Services
  • Predictive analytics
  • Hybrid Cloud Support
  • Host-to-Storage Connectivity
  • Scalability
  • Licensing simplicity

Blurred image of pocket analyst report first page

DCIG’s 4-page Pocket Analyst Report on the Six Key Differentiators between HPE 3PAR StoreServ and NetApp AFF A-Series All-flash Arrays analyzes and compares the flagship all-flash arrays from HPE and NetApp. To see which product has the edge in each of the above categories and why, you can purchase the report on DCIG’s partner site: TechTrove. You may also register on the TechTrove website to be notified should this report become available for no charge at some future time.




DCIG 2018-19 All-flash Array Buyer’s Guide Now Available

DCIG is pleased to announce the availability of the DCIG 2018-19 All-flash Array Buyer’s Guide edition developed from its enterprise storage array body of research. This 64-page report presents a fresh snapshot of the dynamic all-flash array (AFA) marketplace. It evaluates and ranks thirty-two (32) enterprise class all-flash arrays that achieved rankings of Recommended or Excellent based on a comprehensive scoring of product featuresThese products come from seven (7) vendors including Dell EMCHitachi VantaraHPE, Huawei, NetAppPure Storage and Tegile.

graphical icon for the All-flash Array Buyer's Guide

DCIG’s succinct analysis provides insight into the state of the all-flash array marketplace, the benefits organizations can expect to achieve, and key features organizations should be aware of as they evaluate products. It also provides brief observations about the distinctive features of each product.

The DCIG 2018-19 All-flash Array Buyer’s Guide helps businesses drive time and cost out of the all-flash array selection process by:

  • Describing key product considerations and important changes in the marketplace
  • Gathering normalized data about the features each product supports
  • Providing an objective, third-party evaluation of those features from an end-user perspective
  • Presenting product feature data in standardized one-page data sheets facilitates rapid feature-based comparisons

It is in this context that DCIG presents the DCIG 2018-19 All-Flash Array Buyer’s Guide. As prior DCIG Buyer’s Guides have done, it puts at the fingertips of enterprises a resource that can assist them in this important buying decision.

Access to this Buyer’s Guide edition is available through the following DCIG partner sites: TechTrove.




DCIG 2018-19 Enterprise General Purpose All-flash Array Buyer’s Guide Now Available

DCIG is pleased to announce the availability of the DCIG 2018-19 Enterprise General Purpose All-flash Array Buyer’s Guide developed from its enterprise storage array body of research. This 72-page report presents a fresh snapshot of the dynamic all-flash array (AFA) marketplace. It evaluates and ranks thirty-eight (38) enterprise class all-flash arrays that achieved rankings of Recommended or Excellent. These products come from nine (9) vendors including Dell EMC, Hitachi Vantara, HPE, Huawei, IBM, Kaminario, NetApp, Pure Storage and Tegile.

DCIG’s succinct analysis provides insight into the state of the enterprise all-flash storage array marketplace, the benefits organizations can expect to achieve, and key features organizations should be aware of as they evaluate products. It also provides brief observations about the distinctive features of each product.

The DCIG 2018-19 Enterprise General Purpose All-flash Array Buyer’s Guide helps businesses drive time and cost out of the all-flash array selection process by:

  • Describing key product considerations and important changes in the marketplace
  • Gathering normalized data about the features each product supports
  • Providing an objective, third-party evaluation of those features from an end-user perspective
  • Presenting product feature data in standardized one-page data sheets facilitates rapid feature-based comparisons

It is in this context that DCIG presents the DCIG 2018-19 Enterprise General Purpose All-Flash Array Buyer’s Guide. As prior DCIG Buyer’s Guides have done, it puts at the fingertips of enterprises a resource that can assist them in this important buying decision.

Access to this Buyer’s Guide is available through the following DCIG partner sites: TechTrove




Seven Significant Trends in the All-Flash Array Marketplace

Much has changed since DCIG published the DCIG 2017-18 All-Flash Array Buyer’s Guide just one year ago. The DCIG analyst team is in the final stages of preparing a fresh snapshot of the all-flash array (AFA) marketplace. As we reflected on the fresh all-flash array data and compared it to the data we collected just a year ago, we observed seven significant trends in the all-flash array marketplace that will influence buying decisions through 2019.

Trend #1: New Entrants, but Marketplace Consolidation Continues

Although new storage providers continue to enter the all-flash array marketplace—primarily focused on NVMe over Fabrics–the larger trend is continued consolidation. HPE acquired Nimble Storage. Western Digital acquired Tegile.

Every well-known provider has made at least one all-flash acquisition. Consequently, some providers are in the process of “rationalizing” their all-flash portfolios. For example, HPE has decided to position Nimble Storage AFAs as “secondary flash”. HPE also announced it will implement Nimble’s InfoSight predictive analytics platform across HPE’s entire portfolio of data center products, beginning with 3PAR StoreServ storage. Dell EMC seems to be positioning VMAX as its lead product for mission critical workloads, Unity for organizations that value simplified operations, XtremIO for VDI/test/dev, and SC for low cost capacity.

Nearly all the AFA providers also offer at least one hyperconverged infrastructure product. These hyperconverged products compete with AFAs for marketing and data center infrastructure budgets. This will create additional pressure on AFA providers and may drive further consolidation in the marketplace.

Trend #2: Flash Capacity is Increasing Dramatically

The raw capacity of the more than 100 all-flash arrays DCIG researched averaged 4.4 petabytes. This is a 5-fold increase compared to the products in the 2017-18 edition. The highest capacity product can provide 70 petabytes (PB) of all-flash capacity. This is a 7-fold increase. Thus, AFAs now offer the capacity required to be the storage resource for all active workloads in any organization.

graph of all-flash array capacity

Source: DCIG, n=102

Trend #3: Storage Density is Increasing Dramatically

The average AFA flash density of the products continues to climb. Fully half of the AFAs that DCIG researched achieve greater than 50 TB/RU. Some AFAs can provide over 200 TB/RU. The combination of all-flash performance and high storage density means that an AFA may be able to meet an organization’s performance and capacity requirements in 1/10th the space of legacy HDD storage systems and the first generation of all-flash arrays. This creates an opportunity for many organizations to realize significant data center cost reductions. Some have eliminated data centers. Others have been able to delay building new data centers.

graph of all-flash array storage density

Source: DCIG, n=102

Trend #4: Rapid Uptake in Components that Increase Performance

Increases in flash memory capacity and density are being matched with new components that increase array performance. These components include:

  • a new generation of multi-core CPUs from Intel
  • 32 Gb Fibre Channel and 25/40/100 Gb Ethernet
  • GPUs
  • ASICS to offload storage tasks
  • NVMe connectivity to SSDs.

Each of these components can unlock more of the performance available from flash memory. Organizations should assess how well these components are integrated to systemically unlock the performance of flash memory and of their own applications.

chart of front end connectivity percentages

Source: DCIG, n=102

Trend #5: Unified Storage is the New Normal

The first generations of all-flash arrays were nearly all block-only SAN arrays. Tegile was perhaps the only truly unified AFA provider. Today, more than half of all all-flash arrays DCIG researched support unified storage. This support for multiple concurrent protocols creates an opportunity to consolidate and accelerate more types of workloads.

Trend #6: Most AFAs can use Public Cloud Storage as a Target

Most AFAs can now use public cloud storage as a target for cold data or for snapshots as part of a data protection mechanism. In many cases this target is actually one of the provider’s own arrays running in a cloud data center or a software-defined storage instance of its stor­age system running in one of the true public clouds.

Trend #7: Predictive Analytics Get Real

Some storage providers can document how predictive stor­age analytics is enabling increased availability, reliability, and application performance. The promise is huge. Progress varies. Every prospective all-flash array purchaser should incorporate predictive analytics capabilities into their evaluation of these products, particularly if the organization intends to consolidate multiple workloads onto a single all-flash array.

Conclusion: All Active Workloads Belong on All-Flash Storage

Any organization that has yet to adopt an all-flash storage infrastructure for all active workloads is operating at a competitive disadvantage. The current generation of all-flash arrays create business value by…

  • making existing applications run faster even as data sets grow
  • accelerating application development
  • enabling IT departments to say, “Yes” to new workloads and then get those new workloads producing results in record time
  • driving down data center capital and operating costs

DCIG expects to finalize our analysis of all-flash arrays and present the resulting snapshot of this dynamic marketplace in a series of buyer’s guides during the second quarter of 2018.




Defensible Data is the Goal

Individuals occasionally reach out to DCIG and allege that certain data found in DCIG publications is, from their perspective, “incorrect.” While I appreciate the time and effort that individuals take to review data found in the various DCIG publications and provide feedback on it, viewing any data present in any analyst publication – be it from DCIG or otherwise – as either “right” or “wrong” is the larger premise that one should consider. While DCIG always does its best to follow established, internal processes to ensure that the data it publishes reflects the actual capabilities of the products it covers, DCIG’s broader objective is to publish defensible data.

DCIG is one of the few analyst firms that takes on the task of publishing competitive data. Whether DCIG evaluates multiple products from multiple vendors – such as it does in its Buyer’s Guides – or when it compares two products – such as it does in its Pocket Analyst Reports – these reports inevitably generate some differing opinions and even controversy.

Some of the disagreement stems from DCIG’s practice to rank products or call out when one product has an advantage over another. In the Buyer’s Guides, DCIG ranks products and opines as to whether a product ranks as Recommended, Excellent, or Good. In the Pocket Analyst Reports, DCIG compares two products and deems one vendor or product to have an advantage over the other in terms of a certain feature functionality. In both these publications, the rankings it establishes or the advantages that it declares should be viewed as subjective that reflects DCIG’s opinion – which we believe most people understand and perceive.

However, readers of the DCIG Buyer’s Guides or Pocket Analyst Reports sometimes take issue with the data that DCIG publishes about how individual products support specific features or capabilities.  When they see a check box next to a specific feature indicating support for it or a grey circle next to it indicating no support for it or that DCIG could not determine product support for that feature, they may know from their own experience that the feature should be checked as supported or displayed as unsupported. There is then a proclivity to discount the value of the publication because DCIG evaluated a feature in a way does not align with their experience or knowledge.

If you have had that experience, one should keep two principles in mind when evaluating the data DCIG publishes regarding support for product features:

  1. All data published represents DCIG’s opinion. DCIG does its best to ensure the accuracy of all data it publishes. It reviews product data sheets, administrator guides, user guides, and reaches out to vendors to solicit their input. However, there are any number of reasons the data we publish may not accurately reflect the product’s actual capabilities. The product admin or user guides may be incorrect or out of date. Incorrect feedback may have been provided. The data may have not been transcribed correctly at some point during the layout process. The product may have added (or removed) support for certain features. It is for these reasons and others that DCIG treats all data it publishes as its opinion and not as fact and readers of DCIG’s publications should do likewise.
  2. Vendors do not disclose all information about their products. This came as a surprise even to DCIG. It was our expectation that if a vendor supported a feature that they would want to share that information. Not true, as we have learned. Just because a product supports a feature does not mean that vendors necessarily want that information known publicly. This is due, in part, to the fact that enterprise environments are very complicated and the feature, while it is offered and supported by a product, may only work in certain environments under specific conditions. In those circumstances, vendors prefer not to publicly disclose that they support a feature since then their current and potential customers may hold them accountable for delivering on that feature in their environment.

It is for these reasons and others that DCIG’s goal in its publications is to publish defensible data. People may and likely will disagree with some of DCIG’s conclusions and observations, even those that such as feature support that organizations may view as more objective than subjective. However, DCIG has learned over the many years that it has published its Buyer’s Guides and Pocket Analyst Reports that all data on technology topics is more subjective than objective in nature that many may realize or even prefer and should be treated as such.




2018 Deduplication Backup Target Appliance Buyer’s Guide

DCIG is pleased to announce the availability of the DCIG 2018 Deduplication Backup Target Appliance Buyer’s Guide developed from the cloud data protection body of research. The DCIG 2018 Deduplication Backup Target Appliance Buyer’s Guide weights, scores and ranks more than 100 features of twenty-two (22) products from six (6) vendors. Using ranking categories of Recommended, Excellent, and Good this Buyer’s Guide offers much of the information an organization should need to make a highly-informed decision as to which deduplication backup target appliance will suit their needs.

Each appliance included in the DCIG 2018 Deduplication Backup Target Appliance Buyer’s Guide had to meet the following criteria:

  • Product is available as a physical appliance
  • Product compresses and deduplicates data
  • Provider offers and supports the appliance
  • Sufficient information available to reach meaningful conclusions
  • Product generally available by October 1, 2017

DCIG’s succinct analysis provides insight into the state of the deduplication backup target appliance marketplace. The Buyer’s Guide identifies the specific benefits organizations can expect to achieve using a deduplication backup target appliance and key features organizations should be aware of as they evaluate products. It also provides brief observations about the distinctive features of each product. Ranking tables enable organizations to get an “at-a-glance” overview of the products; while DCIG’s standardized one-page data sheets facilitate side-by-side comparisons assisting organizations to quickly create a short list of products that may meet their requirements.

Access this report is only available to individuals who pay to subscribe to the DCIG Competitive Intelligence Portal.  Subscribers also gain access to the DCIG Interactive Buyer’s Guide (IBG). The IBG enables organizations take the next step in the product selection process by generating custom reports, including comprehensive side-by- side feature comparisons of the products in which the organization is most interested.




Data Center Efficiency, Performance, Scalability: How Dell EMC XtremIO, Pure Storage Flash Arrays Differ

Latest DCIG Pocket Analyst Report Compares Dell EMC XtremIO and Pure Storage All-flash Product Families

Hybrid and all-disk arrays still have their place in enterprise data centers but all-flash arrays are “where it’s at” when it comes to hosting and accelerating the performance of production applications. Once reserved only for applications that could cost-justify these arrays, continuing price erosion in the underlying flash media coupled with technologies such as compression and deduplication have put these arrays at a price point within reach of almost any size enterprise. As that occurs, flash arrays from Dell EMC XtremIO and Pure Storage are often on the buying short lists for many companies.

When looking at all-flash arrays, it is easy to fall into the trap that they are all created equal. While it can be truthfully said that every all-flash array is faster and will outperform any of its all-disk or hybrid storage array predecessors, there can be significant differences in how effectively and efficiently each one delivers that performance.

Consider product families from leaders in the all-flash array market: Dell EMC XtremIO and Pure Storage. When you look at their published performance specifications, they both scale to offer hundreds of thousands of IOPS, achieve sub one millisecond response times, and offer capacity optimization features such as compression and deduplication.

It is only when you start to pull back the covers on these two respective product lines that substantial differences between them start to emerge such as:

  • Their data center efficiency in areas such as power consumption and data center footprint
  • How much flash capacity they can ultimately hold
  • What storage protocols they support

This recent published 4-page DCIG Pocket Analyst Report analyzes these attributes and others on all-flash arrays from these two providers. It examines how well their features support these key data center considerations and includes analyst commentary on which product has the edge in this these specific areas. This report also contains a feature comparison matrix to support this analysis.

This report provides the key insight in a concise manner that enterprises need to make the right choice in an all-flash array solution for the rapidly emerging all-flash array data center. This report may be purchased for $19.95 at TechTrove, a new third-party site that hosts and makes independently developed analyst content available for sale.

All-flash data centers are coming and with every all-flash array providing higher levels of performance than previous generations of storage arrays, enterprises need to examine key underlying features that go deeper than simply fast they perform. Their underlying architecture, the storage protocols they support, and the software they use to deliver these features are all features that impact how effective and efficient the array will be in your environment. This DCIG Pocket Analyst Report makes plain some of the key ways that the all-flash arrays from Dell EMC and Pure Storage differentiate themselves from one another. Follow this link to purchase this report.

Author’s Note: The link to the DCIG Pocket Analyst Report comparing the Dell EMC XtremIO and Pure Storage FlashArrays was updated and correct at 12:40 pm CT on 10/18/2017 to point to the correct page on the TechTrove website. Sorry for any confusion!




Deduplication Still Matters in Enterprise Clouds as Data Domain and ExaGrid Prove

Technology conversations within enterprises increasingly focus on the “data center stack” with an emphasis on cloud enablement. While I agree with this shift in thinking, one can too easily overlook the merits of underlying individual technologies when only considering the “Big Picture“. Such is happening with deduplication technology. A key enabler of enterprise archiving, data protecton, and disaster recovery solutions, vendors such as Dell EMC and ExaGrid deliver deduplication technology in different ways as DCIG’s most recent 4-page Pocket Analyst Report reveals that makes each product family better suited for specific use cases.

It seemed for too many years enterprise data centers focused too much on the vendor name on the outside of the box as opposed to what was inside the box – the data and the applications. Granted, part of the reason for their focus on the vendor name is they wanted to demonstrate they had adopted and implemented the best available technologies to secure the data and make it highly available. Further, some of the emerging technologies necessary to deliver a cloud-like experience with the needed availability and performance characteristics did not yet exist, were not yet sufficiently mature, or were not available from the largest vendors.

That situation has changed dramatically. Now the focus is almost entirely on software that provides enterprises with cloud-like experiences that enables them to more easily and efficiently manage their applications and data. While this change is positive, enterprises should not lose sight of the technologies that make up their emerging data center stack as they are not all equally equipped to deliver them in the same way.

A key example is deduplication. While this technology has existed for years and has become very mature and stable during that time, the options in which enterprises can implement it and the benefits they will realize it vary greatly. The deduplication solutions from Dell EMC Data Domain and ExaGrid illustrate these differences very well.

DCIG Pocket Analyst Report Compares Dell EMC Data Domain and ExaGrid Product Families

Deduplication systems from both Dell EMC Data Domain and ExaGrid have widespread appeal as they expedite backups, increase backup and recovery success rates, and simplify existing backup environments. They also both offer appliances in various physical configurations to meet the specific backup needs of small, midsize, and large enterprises while providing virtual appliances that can run in private clouds, public clouds, or virtualized remote and branch offices.

However, their respective systems also differ in key areas that will impact the overall effectiveness these systems will have in the emerging cloud data stacks that enterprises are putting in place. The six areas in which they differ include:

  1. Data center efficiency
  2. Deduplication methodology
  3. Networking protocols
  4. Recoverability
  5. Replication
  6. Scalability

The most recent 4-page DCIG Pocket Analyst Report analyzes these six attributes on the systems from these two providers of deduplication systems and compares their underlying features that deliver on these six attributes. Further, this report identifies which product family has the advantage in each area and provides a feature comparison matrix to support these claims.

This report provides the key insight in a concise manner that enterprises need to make the right choice in deduplication solutions for their emerging cloud data center stack. This report may be purchased for $19.95 at TechTrove, a new third-party site that hosts and makes independently developed analyst content available for sale.

Cloud-like data center stacks that provide application and data availability, mobility, and security are rapidly becoming a reality. But as enterprises adopt these new enterprise clouds, they ignore or overlook technologies such as deduplication that make up these stacks at their own peril as the underlying technologies they implement can directly impact the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the cloud that one is building.




The End Game for Cloud Data Protection Appliances is Recovery


The phrase “Cloud Data Protection Appliance” is included in the name of DCIG’s forthcoming Buyer’s Guide but the end game of each appliance covered in that Guide is squarely on recovery. While successful recoveries have theoretically always been the objective of backup appliances, vendors too often only paid lip service to that ideal as most of their new product features centered on providing better means for doing backups.  Recent technology advancements have flipped this premise on its head.

Multiple reasons exist as to why these appliances can focus more fully on this end game of recovery though five key ones have emerged in the last few years that have enabled it. These include:

  1. The low price point of using disk as a backup target (as opposed to tape)
  2. The general availability of private and public cloud providers
  3. The use of deduplication to optimize storage capacity
  4. The widespread availability of snapshot technologies on hypervisors, operating systems, and storage arrays
  5. The widespread enterprise adoption of hypervisors like VMware ESX, and Microsoft Hyper-V as well as the growing adoption of container technologies such as Docker and Kubernetes,

While there are other contributing technologies, these five more so than the others give these appliances new freedom to deliver on backup’s original promise: successful recoveries. By way of example:

  • The backup appliance is used for local application recoveries. Over 80 percent of the appliances that DCIG evaluated now support the instant recovery of an application on a virtual machine on the appliance. This frees enterprises to start the recovery of the application on the appliance itself before moving the application to its primary host. Enterprises can even opt to recover and run the application on the appliance for an extended time for test and development or to simply host the application until the production physical machine on which the application resides recovers.
  • Application conversions and migrations. All these appliances support the backup of virtual machines and their recovery as a virtual machine, but fully 88 percent of the software on these appliances support the backup of a physical machine and its recovery to a virtual machine. This feature gives enterprises access to a tool that can use to migrate applications from physical to virtual machines as a matter of course or in the event of disasters. Further, 77 percent of them support recovery of virtual machines to physical machines. While that may seem counter intuitive, not every application runs well on virtual machines or may need functionality only found when running on a physical machine.
  • Location of backup data. By storing data in the cloud (even if only using it as a cloud target,) enterprises know where their backup data is located. This is not trivial. Too many enterprises do not even know exactly what physical gear they have in their data center, much less where their data is located. While many enterprises still need to concern themselves with various international regulations governing the data’s physical location when storing data in the cloud, at least they know with which cloud provider they stored the data and how to access it. As anyone who uses or has used tape may recall, tracking down, lost tapes, misplaced tapes or even existing tapes can quickly become like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Even using disk is not without its challenges. Many enterprises may have to use multiple disk targets to store their backup data and trying to identify exactly which disk device holds what data may not be as simple as it sounds.
  • Recovering in the cloud. This end game of recovering in the cloud, whether it is recovering a single file, a single application, or an entire data center, may appeal to enterprises more so than any other option on these appliances. The ability to virtually create and have access to a secondary site from which they can recover data or even perform a disaster recovery and run one or more applications removes a dark cloud of unspoken worry that hangs over many enterprises today. The fact that they can use that recovery in the cloud as a stepping stone to potentially hosting applications or their entire data center in the cloud is an added benefit.

Enterprises should be very clear as to what opportunities that today’s cloud data protection appliances offer them. Near term they provide them a means to easily connect to one or more cloud providers, get their backup data offsite, and even recover their data or applications in the cloud. But the long term ramifications of using these appliances to store data in the cloud are much more significant. They represent the bridge to recovering and even potentially hosting more of their applications and data with one or more cloud providers. Organizations should therefore give this end game of recovery specific attention both when they choose a cloud data protection appliance and the cloud provider(s) to which the appliance connects.

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DCIG 2017-18 Hyperconverged Infrastructure Appliance Buyer’s Guide Now Available

DCIG is pleased to announce the availability of the DCIG 2017-18 Hyperconverged Infrastructure Appliance Buyer’s Guide developed from the converged infrastructure body of research.

The DCIG 2017-18 Hyperconverged Infrastructure Appliance Buyer’s Guide weights, scores and ranks more than 100 features of twenty-four (24) products from five (5) vendors. Using ranking categories of Recommended and Excellent, this Buyer’s Guide offers much of the information an organization should need to make a highly-informed decision as to which hyperconverged appliance will suit their needs.

Each appliance included in the DCIG 2017-18 Hyperconverged Infrastructure Appliance Buyer’s Guide had to meet the following criteria:

  • Must be available (orderable) as a single SKU and includes its own hardware and software
  • Must be marketed as a hyperconverged appliance
  • Must support at least one hypervisor (XEN, Hyper-V, VMware, KVM, etc)
  • Must provide compute and storage in the same infrastructure solution (i.e. the appliance can host multiple virtual machines and use local direct attached storage as the storage layer)
  • Must not require an external storage appliance (i.e. SAN/NAS)
  • Must cluster nodes together
  • Must support a centralized management and reporting structure
  • Must provide data protection features
  • There must be sufficient information available to DCIG to make meaningful decisions. DCIG makes a good faith effort to reach out and obtain information from as many storage providers as possible. However, products may be excluded because of a lack of sufficient reliable data
  • Must be formally announced and/or generally available for purchase as of April 28, 2017.

DCIG’s succinct analysis provides insight into the state of the hyperconverged appliance marketplace. The Buyer’s Guide identifies the specific benefits organizations can expect to achieve using an hyperconverged appliance and key features organizations should be aware of as they evaluate products. It also provides brief observations about the distinctive features of each product. Ranking tables enable organizations to get an “at-a-glance” overview of the products; while DCIG’s standardized one-page data sheets facilitate side-by-side comparisons assisting organizations to quickly create a short list of products that may meet their requirements.

End users registering to access this report via the DCIG Competitive Intelligence Portal also gain access to the DCIG Interactive Buyer’s Guide (IBG). The IBG enables organizations take the next step in the product selection process by generating custom reports, including comprehensive side-by- side feature comparisons of the products in which the organization is most interested.




DCIG 2017-18 Small/Midsize Enterprise All-Flash Array Buyer’s Guide Now Available

DCIG is pleased to announce the availability of the DCIG 2017-18 Small/Midsize Enterprise All-flash Array Buyer’s Guide developed from the enterprise storage array body of research.

The DCIG 2017-18 Small/Midsize Enterprise All-flash Array Buyer’s Guide weights, scores and ranks more than 100 features of twenty-four (24) small/midsize enterprise-class all-flash arrays that achieved rankings of Recommended or Excellent. These products come from eleven (11) vendors including Dell EMC, Fujitsu, iXsystems, Kaminario, NEC, NetApp, Nimble Storage, Pivot3, Pure Storage, Tegile and Tintri. This Buyer’s Guide offers much of the information an organization should need to make a highly-informed decision as to which all-flash storage array will suit their needs.

Each array included in the DCIG 2017-18 Small/Midsize Enterprise All-flash Array Buyer’s Guide had to meet the following criteria:

  • Must be available as an appliance that is available as a single SKU and includes its own hardware and software.
  • Must be marketed as an all-flash array (AFA). The best evidence of meeting this criterion is the existence of a specific all-flash SKU.
  • Must use flash memory as primary storage, not merely as an extended cache.
  • May permit storage expansion with disk shelves that contain HDDs or the virtualization of external disk-based arrays—essentially converting the all-flash array into a hybrid storage array.
  • Must support one or more of the following storage networking protocols: iSCSI, Fibre Channel, InfiniBand, NFS.
  • Provides features and capacities appropriate for small/midsize enterprises.
  • There must be sufficient information available to DCIG to make meaningful decisions. DCIG makes a good faith effort to reach out and obtain information from as many storage providers as possible. However, products may be excluded because of a lack of sufficient reliable data.
  • Must be formally announced and/or generally available for purchase as of February 28, 2017.

DCIG’s succinct analysis provides insight into the state of the all-flash storage array marketplace. The Buyer’s Guide identifies the specific benefits organizations can expect to achieve using an all-flash storage array and key features organizations should be aware of as they evaluate products. It also provides brief observations about the distinctive features of each product. Ranking tables enable organizations to get an “at-a-glance” overview of the products; while DCIG’s standardized one-page data sheets facilitate side-by-side comparisons assisting organizations to quickly create a short list of products that may meet their requirements.

End users registering to access this report via the DCIG Competitive Intelligence Portal also gain access to the DCIG Interactive Buyer’s Guide (IBG). The IBG enables organizations take the next step in the product selection process by generating custom reports, including comprehensive side-by- side feature comparisons of the products in which the organization is most interested.




DCIG 2017-18 All-flash Array Buyer’s Guide Now Available

DCIG is pleased to announce the availability of the DCIG 2017-18 All-flash Array Buyer’s Guide developed from the enterprise storage array body of research.

The DCIG 2017-18 All-flash Array Buyer’s Guide weights, scores and ranks more than 100 features of twenty-five (25) products from twelve (12) different storage vendors. Using ranking categories of RecommendedExcellent and Good this Buyer’s Guide offers much of the information an organization should need to make a highly-informed decision as to which all-flash storage array will suit their needs.

Each array included in the DCIG 2017-18 All-flash Array Buyer’s Guide had to meet the following criteria:

  • Must be available as an appliance that is available as a single SKU and includes its own hardware and software.
  • Must be marketed as an all-flash array (AFA). The best evidence of meeting this criterion is the existence of a specific all-flash SKU.
  • Must use flash memory as primary storage, not merely as an extended cache.
  • May permit storage expansion with disk shelves that contain HDDs or the virtualization of external disk-based arrays—essentially converting the all-flash array into a hybrid storage array.
  • Must support one or more of the following storage networking protocols: iSCSI, Fibre Channel, InfiniBand, NFS.
  • There must be sufficient information available to DCIG to make meaningful decisions. DCIG makes a good faith effort to reach out and obtain information from as many storage providers as possible. However, products may be excluded because of a lack of sufficient reliable data.
  • Must be formally announced and/or generally available for purchase as of February 28, 2017.

DCIG’s succinct analysis provides insight into the state of the all-flash storage array marketplace. The Buyer’s Guide identifies the specific benefits organizations can expect to achieve using an all-flash storage array and key features organizations should be aware of as they evaluate products. It also provides brief observations about the distinctive features of each product. Ranking tables enable organizations to get an “at-a-glance” overview of the products; while DCIG’s standardized one-page data sheets facilitate side-by-side comparisons assisting organizations to quickly create a short list of products that may meet their requirements.

End users registering to access this report via the DCIG Competitive Intelligence Portal also gain access to the DCIG Interactive Buyer’s Guide (IBG). The IBG enables organizations take the next step in the product selection process by generating custom reports, including comprehensive side-by-side feature comparisons of the products in which the organization is most interested.




DCIG 2016-17 Small/Midsize Enterprise Integrated Backup Appliance Buyer’s Guide Now Available

DCIG is pleased to announce the availability of the DCIG 2016-17 Small/Midsize Enterprise Integrated Backup Appliance Buyer’s Guide developed from DCIG’s backup appliance body of research.

Integrated backup appliances address enterprise data protection challenges by pre-integrating backup software with self-contained purpose-built backup appliances. Because Integrated backup appliances include backup software, they displace both legacy backup hardware and legacy backup software.

The DCIG 2016-17 Small/Midsize Enterprise Integrated Backup Appliance Buyer’s Guide weights, scores and ranks more than 100 features of twenty-nine (29) products from seven (7) different providers. Using ranking categories of Recommended, Excellent and Good, this Buyer’s Guide offers much of the information an organization should need to make a highly informed decision as to which integrated backup appliance will suit their needs.

Each backup appliance included in the DCIG 2016-17 Small/Midsize Enterprise Integrated Backup Appliance Buyer’s Guide meets the following criteria:

  • Must be available as a physical appliance that includes backup and recovery software as a combined bundle under one SKU
  • Provides features and capacities appropriate for small/midsize enterprises
  • Must store backup data on the appliance via on premise DAS, NAS or SAN-attached storage
  • May connect to a public storage cloud
  • Sufficient information provided to reach meaningful conclusions
  • Must be formally announced or generally available for purchase on July 1, 2016

DCIG’s succinct analysis provides insight into the state of the integrated backup appliance marketplace. The Buyer’s Guide identifies the specific benefits organizations can expect to achieve using an integrated backup appliance, and key features organizations should be aware of as they evaluate products. It also provides brief observations about the distinctive features of each product. Ranking tables enable organizations to get an “at-a- glance” overview of the products; while DCIG’s standardized one-page data sheets facilitate side-by- side comparisons, assisting organizations to quickly create a short list of products that may meet their requirements.

End users registering to access this report via the DCIG Analysis Portal also gain access to the DCIG Interactive Buyer’s Guide (IBG). The IBG enables organizations take the next step in the product selection process by generating custom reports, including comprehensive side-by-side feature comparisons of the products in which the organization is most interested.

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