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NetApp notched solid scores in all categories. However, IBM was a strong challenger, ranking second among enterprise and midrange systems. Hewlett-Packard (HP) Co., which was near the bottom of both categories last year, placed third among enterprise products and fourth in the midrange group. Dell Inc. improved its year-over-year placement by coming in third for midrange products. EMC Corp. took fourth place in the enterprise class and rounded out the midrange finalists with a fifth-place finish. Sun Microsystems Inc., the fifth-place finisher in the enterprise group, didn't receive enough responses to qualify for the midrange award.
BlueArc Corp., last year's enterprise winner, didn't generate enough responses to be statistically valid this
| year. Also missing was Hitachi Data Systems Corp., which failed for the second time to garner enough responses to be considered as a finalist since winning the enterprise category in our first NAS Quality Award.
Scores across the board were in line with last year's results. Every finalist, except Sun, received a 6.0 or higher for its overall score on our 1.0-8.0 scale, where an 8.0 is the highest score. NetApp's overall scores were 6.68 for enterprise and 6.76 for midrange. No vendor was able to crack the 7.0 barrier in any of the five categories in which they were evaluated by users.
High overall user satisfaction was evidenced by 82% of all respondents saying they'd make the same purchase decision again. On previous surveys, we've found that a 75% "Yes" rate is a more common score for the "buy again" question. (This includes all vendors in the survey, not just the finalists.)
As part of our analysis, we compare the scores a respondent provides when evaluating more than one vendor's product line. This is perhaps the best real-life comparison of systems. While Sun didn't fare as well in the overall score as other vendors, it led the group in this head-to-head comparison. When Sun StorageTek 5200/5300 systems came up against other systems, they had a higher score 56% of the time. NetApp's FAS2000/3000/6000 had higher scores 43% of the time. It's important to note that in these comparisons, scores higher than 50% are rare as there can be one winner and multiple losers per comparison.
This was first published in June 2008