Initial product quality
A sales team may pave the way for its company's products, but the true test doesn't happen until the system is uncrated, racked and declared ready to run. NetApp prevailed again in this category but by such slim a margin (0.01 point) over 3PAR that it would be more accurate to call it a statistical dead heat. 3PAR flirted with the 7.00 mark with a score of 6.97 for "This product was easy to get up and running," which helps to validate its claim as being among the easiest-to-use arrays.
INITIAL PRODUCT QUALITY
Enlarge INITIAL PRODUCT QUALITY diagram.
Hitachi's 6.78 and 3PAR's 6.77 led for the statement "I am satisfied with the level of professional services this product requires," and NetApp ranked highest for three statements relating to defect-free installations, little need for vendor intervention and ease of use. Hitachi garnered the crown for the key statement "This product delivers good value for the money" with a 6.73; NetApp was second for the statement with a 6.62.
Scores were high in the initial product quality rating category, and winning margins were barely measurable. With strength across the board, it appears enterprise data storage vendors are making good first impressions by getting their products up and running as quickly and painlessly as possible.
Even when a good sales experience is reinforced by solid initial operations, the acid test for an enterprise storage system ultimately comes down to whether or not it does all the things you need it to do. Once again, all products fared extremely well in the product features category, with NetApp leading the pack with a 6.86 score, highlighted by one of only two 7.00-plus scores -- a 7.11 for "This product's snapshot features meet my needs." That's probably not a huge surprise as NetApp is known for its snapshot prowess and has done well in that area on previous Quality Awards.
Enlarge PRODUCT FEATURES diagram.
NetApp nearly swept the product features category, getting scores close to 7.00 for two other statements: "This product's mirroring features meet my needs" (6.96) and "Overall, this product's features meet my needs" (6.91). For the lone statement NetApp lost out on, EMC flexed its scalability muscles but fell just shy of the 7.00 mark with a still-striking 6.98 for "This product's capacity scales to meet my needs."
This was first published in March 2011