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Quality Awards: Big and small Quantum tape libraries lead the field

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After finishing well but never winning in past Quality Awards surveys, Quantum tape libraries romped through both the enterprise and midrange categories this time around.

Quantum Corp., one of the brand names that helps define the tape library category, has finished among the top three in three of our previous five Quality Awards surveys for enterprise tape libraries.

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In the sixth edition of the service and reliability ratings, it breaks through with an impressive overall win highlighted by a clean sweep of the five rating categories. If that wasn’t sweet enough, Quantum also topped the charts among midrange tape libraries, equaling its enterprise feat of five category wins and romping to victory.

That’s not to suggest the other product lines represented in the survey were slouches -- the average of the overall scores for enterprise products was second to only the last Quality Awards survey, and the midrange group’s overall average missed a record by a mere 0.04 points.

Tape might be playing a diminished or modified role in a lot of storage shops, but based on the consistently high ratings this category receives, we can only conclude the products are more fully featured, easier to use and more reliable than ever.

Overall ratings

Enterprise. Quantum’s overall average of 6.55 outpaced tough competitors in IBM (6.37) and Oracle Corp. (6.34). IBM was particularly tenacious, finishing second in three categories and third in the other two. Oracle rode one second-place finish and consistently strong scores to its third-place finish.

ENTERPRISE TAPE LIBRARIES: OVERALL RATINGS

Enlarge ENTERPRISE TAPE LIBRARIES: OVERALL RATINGS diagram.

In winning, Quantum showed particular strength in the initial product quality and technical support categories. It won the other categories with smaller but still convincing margins. Coming in second this time, IBM maintained its record of always finishing in the top three since the inception of the enterprise tape library Quality Award surveys.

Midrange. Quantum bested an even larger field of competitors in the midrange group and won by an even larger margin -- 6.86 to 6.52 -- over IBM. As it did in the enterprise group, IBM displayed remarkable consistency, adding this second-place finish to its four seconds and one third in previous surveys. Oracle placed third with a 6.42 that just trailed IBM. But Quantum’s mastery of the midrange was clear, with across-the-board category wins in the five rating categories and the only above-7.00 category ratings for product features (7.06) and initial product quality (7.03). In a near replay of the enterprise contest, IBM came in second in four of the five categories, ceding the second spot to Oracle for initial product quality.

MIDRANGE TAPE LIBRARIES: OVERALL RATINGS

Enlarge MIDRANGE TAPE LIBRARIES: OVERALL RATINGS diagram.

This was first published in December 2011

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