Q

Upgrading high-end arrays

We are currently using an HDS9960 array and are planning to upgrade early next year to another enterprise array. We're in the process of evaluating solutions from Sun/HDS, IBM and EMC. Are there any other vendors of high-end arrays that we should look at? Also can you describe the key differences between each vendors solution and which one you would recommend?

We are currently using an HDS9960 array and are planning to upgrade early next year to another enterprise array. We're in the process of evaluating solutions from Sun/HDS, IBM and EMC. Are there any other vendors of high-end arrays that we should look at? Also can you describe the key differences between each vendors solution and which one you would recommend?
Thank you for the question. Your question includes a statement that I must ask you to qualify -- "What is a high-end array in your mind?" A high-end array can be on the high-end for price, performance, scalability, reliability or other reasons. In the case of the HDS9960, you are looking at a great combination of scalability, performance, reliability and price at the top end of the storage market. I would definitely consider the HDS9960 a high-end array.

The other vendors in this space, as you list, are HP, IBM and EMC. There are additional products available from other players that you may or may not consider high-end, depending on your definition, including those from Network Appliance. The difference between all of these is in the way they scale from an architecture perspective, reliability based on their architecture, and the way in which they handle their transactional loads, not...

to mention their management software, support structures, and many other criteria. If you can define your environment and your goals for the storage platform, I can help you in researching the right platform, or you may want to sketch out these details -- creating an RFP and sending it out to the vendors listed and see what their responses look like. This way, you can do an apples-to-apples comparison of the platforms. Finally, if you have the time and resources, you could create a test environment and do a bake-off of the platforms and get your own feel of the platforms.

Let me know if I can help you further.

Again, thank you.

This was first published in August 2006

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