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Questions to ask when making storage purchase decisions, part 1

I'm busy with research for a telecommunication company that wants to implement a SAN/NAS solution. I have to evaluate different top storage vendors to give the company the best solution.

My question is, what terms do I need to take in consideration for my research?


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Several common issues are part of the decision-making process in every storage acquisition. You need to get information from each vendor on how well their proposed solution will fit within your environment and budget.

These questions include:

Product descriptions
Company viability
Supported platforms
Performance
Connectivity
Disaster recovery
Reliability
Power consumption/floor space requirements
Product lifecycle
Guarantees
Warranties
Costs
Service/support
Training

The answers submitted by each company should give you a feel for how the vendor fits into your strategy for making storage purchase decisions. By weeding out the companies whose products or services are not a good fit, you can develop a short list of companies that you'll feel comfortable doing business with.

After you have a short list of companies defined, you want to get more details on their capabilities to determine whether the vendor's products can solve your business problems. You need to make sure that the vendor's service organization has the technical expertise to support you, and if you're a global company, that the vendor has facilities located at sites worldwide located near your facilities. You also want to make sure that the vendor has a good training program so that you can become self sufficient with its products. The answers to questions like this will help you get a good feel for whom you're doing business with.

But these are not the only questions that you need to ask. On top of the general questions listed above, you need to know a lot of details on how equipment actually works, what its capabilities are and the total cost of the proposed solution.

Click here for part 2.

This was first published in June 2003

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