Ask the Expert

Choosing the right NAS support services

I've noticed that Sun, NetApp, EMC, etc. all have their own NAS appliances. IBM, Dell, etc. also have NAS appliances but NDMP support is not universal between the various vendors.

As an example, Veritas' NDMP support does not list IBM NAS devices. Is this a competitive slight? How will consumers determine which NAS devices will have the widest and most standardized protocol/services support when choosing NAS devices?

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IBM, Dell, HP and others base their NAS devices on the Microsoft Server Appliance Kit (SAK also called Windows Powered) and standard Intel-based servers. NDMP support depends on whether that software has been bundled in with the base offering. You need to check the spec sheets of each to see if it is a default offering or whether it is a separate feature. It may be available from a third-party provider as well.

To figure out competitive comparisons you need to create a list of distinguishing factors and from that a comparison matrix and then research each offering to fill it in and, keep it updated. We do that for our clients but you can certainly do it yourself if you have the time and can converse with the vendors for detailed information.

Randy Kerns
Evaluator Group, Inc.

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This was first published in April 2003

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