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Relative newcomers Compellent Technologies and EqualLogic snared the top two spots in this year's Quality Awards for midrange arrays.
Like EqualLogic before it, this is Compellent's first time as a finalist for this award, and its 7.02 overall score narrowly edged out EqualLogic's 7.00 rating (on a 1.0-8.0 scale where 8.0 is the most favorable score). EqualLogic's high rating is a big boost to Dell, whose CX line once again rated last out of nine finalists. Sun fell from second to sixth place this year, while Hewlett-Packard (HP) Co. slipped from third to fifth. Hitachi Data Systems Corp. and Network Appliance (NetApp) Inc. each moved up one slot from the last survey, to third and fourth place, respectively. Rounding out the field were IBM Corp. and EMC Corp., which maintained their seventh- and eighth-place positions.
The battle between Compellent and EqualLogic was a tight one. Compellent won
| three of five categories: sales-force competence, product features and technical support. EqualLogic won the initial product quality and product reliability categories. Scores for all vendors improved significantly this year, with five of the finalists' scores exceeding the 6.00 winning score from the last survey. In keeping with the rest of the field, Dell CX Series showed a nice year-over-year improvement in its overall score, rising from 4.92 to 5.38. In fact, the lowest category score for any vendor was 5.19 (Dell CX for technical support). Such scores indicate a high level of satisfaction across the field and are the highest scores for midrange products in the three years we have presented the award.
In examining the survey results, we also looked at the "top-two box" and "bottom-two box" scores for each vendor. Those scores tell us how many of a vendor's respondents rated it in the top-two or bottom-two scores on every issue. This is a measure of how totally enamored or annoyed a customer is with a vendor. In the case of Compellent, 75% of its 18 respondents rated the company in the top-two box, whereas only 6% put it in the bottom two. EqualLogic's 22 respondents put it in the top-two box 73% of the time, but in the bottom two only 3% of the time. Hitachi was the only other vendor to be rated in the top-two box more than 50% of the time (57%). Although Dell CX Series had the highest percentage of bottom-two box scores (11%), it wasn't significantly worse than most other vendors.
When respondents rate more than one system, we compare the results head-to-head. In this comparison, Hitachi had the highest rate of match-up wins (57%), while Compellent and EqualLogic broke even (50%). All other vendors were less than 50%, with Dell CX Series winning just 11% of its head-to-head contests.
This was first published in April 2008