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Vol. 4 No. 12 February 2006

Shopping for storage: One vendor or more?

Some shops opt for multiple vendors, others stick with just one. Which approach will help you trim storage costs? EFFECTIVELY BUYING STORAGE TODAY IS LIKE TRYING TO pull off a hat trick in hockey: Get the best acquisition price, the lowest long-term total cost of ownership (TCO) and avoid vendor lock-in. But scoring on all three counts is far from easy. Yet IT managers increasingly find themselves under pressure to accomplish this trick repeatedly. "There's a constant battle in every organization over the cost of storage," says Richard Villars, vice president, storage systems at IDC, Framingham, MA. "If it's a commodity situation, the focus is on getting the lowest price. If there's a lot of complexity, then it becomes strategic. It's like a swinging pendulum." Although there's no simple solution, IT managers aren't without some leverage. Some have sharpened their negotiation skills to get the best price; others play multiple vendors off each other, while still others have opted for building a close relationship with a single ...

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