Feature

HDS reigns over enterprise arrays ... again

Ezine

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We asked respondents if they purchased directly from the vendor or through a reseller. EMC had the highest percentage of direct sales (82.9%) and IBM had the lowest (56.2%), with all other vendors receiving between 60% and 69%. We've never found a correlation between percent of direct sales and order of finish. That's true with this survey, where there was no correlation between customer satisfaction and the sales force.

Product features
As we've noted, the enterprise array market is highly competitive. It's also relatively mature, so products have greater parity. In this year's survey, three vendors led the features category with identical 6.23 scores: EMC, HDS and Sun (see "

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Product features" PDF). While such a three-way tie is largely coincidental, it illustrates our point about product parity. The three were followed by HP (6.12), NetApp (5.80) and IBM (5.65).

But important features--such as replication--do sometimes rise to prominence. "The thing that I like the most is [HDS'] replication capability," says Tosti at TD Bank Financial Group. "TrueCopy--both synchronous and asynchronous--that's really fantastic." The State of NJ's Fisher notes that his agency uses a variety of HDS replication products and "we're very pleased with them." Craigie at GXS echoes those sentiments: "EMC is replicating our most important data far away from our primary data center where we can recover it and meet our clients' SLAs [service-level agreements]."

Although EMC, HDS and Sun tied in this category, how each arrived at that score was substantially different. HDS had the highest score (6.71) for a single statement, "This product scales to meet my needs." But HDS was the only one of the three to have two sub-6.0 scores in this category. Its lowest, a 5.82, was for "This product is interoperable with other vendor's products." EMC bested the field for "This product's mirroring features meet my needs" (6.66). It's only sub-6.0 mark (5.44) was for the interoperability statement. Sun was a study of consistency, having neither the highs nor the lows of the other two. It received two 6.48 scores for "Overall, this product's features meet my needs" and the scalability statement. Relative dissatisfaction with interoperability was a theme, though, as Sun received a 5.74 for this criterion, its lowest score in the category.

This was first published in July 2007

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