Quality Awards II: EqualLogic emerges as top midrange array

In its first year in our survey, EqualLogic PS Series proved its mettle by unseating Sun FlexLine as the highest rated midrange storage array.

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Products included in the survey
The following vendors and products were included in the 2006 Diogenes Labs-Storage magazine Quality Award survey for midrange arrays:

Apple Computer Inc.
Xserve RAID*
BlueArc Corp. Titan 2000 Series*
Compellent Technologies Storage Center*
Dell Inc. CX Series
EMC Corp. Clariion CX series
EqualLogic Inc. PS Series
Hewlett-Packard (HP) Co. StorageWorks Enterprise Virtual Array (EVA) series
Hitachi Data Systems Corp. Thunder 9500 V Series
IBM Corp. FAStT, DS4000 or DS6000
LeftHand Networks Inc. SAN/iQ*
Network Appliance Inc. FAS200 or FAS900 Series
Pillar Data Systems Axiom 500*
Sun Microsystems Inc./StorageTek D-series, FlexLine FLA200 or FLA300
Sun StorEdge 6920
Xiotech Corp. Magnitude 3D*

*Didn't receive a sufficient number of responses to be included in the final survey results.

Midrange storage arrays just might be the storage hardware category offering consumers the greatest breadth of choice. This year's Diogenes Labs–Storage magazine Quality Award for midrange arrays asked Storage readers to relate their experiences using 15 different midrange product lines, ranging from Apple Computer Inc. to Xiotech Corp. Our readers provided a total of 474 evaluations of these systems, with nine products garnering enough responses to be included as award finalists (see "Products included in the survey," at right). Readers rated these systems in five different categories--sales-force competence, product features, initial product quality, product reliability and technical support--using a 1.0-8.0 scale, where 8.0 is the most favorable score.

Our survey is designed to allow smaller vendors to compete on an equal footing with larger, more established vendors. We're always curious to find out if any emerging vendor is developing a "cult" following that might indicate a "best-in-class" opportunity for IT buyers. If the results of our 2006 survey are any indication, storage groups may want to take a look at EqualLogic Inc.'s PS Series arrays, which topped a wide field of products and eclipsed last year's winner Sun Microsystems Inc./StorageTek FlexLine. EqualLogic's win is especially noteworthy because it wasn't in last year's survey.

This was first published in December 2006

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