Quality Awards II: EqualLogic emerges as top midrange array

Would you buy the same system again?
When we ask respondents to tell us if they'd make the same purchase decision again, we rarely find a correlation between a positive response and the order of finish. Buying decisions are often influenced by many factors beyond the technical attributes of a product. However, this survey yielded a reasonably close correlation. Ninety-three percent of EqualLogic's customers said they'd make the same

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purchase decision again (see "All things considered, would you buy this product again?" at right). Most of our other vendors had positive responses that ranged between approximately 75% and 82%. Sun's FlexLine and 6000 series both received an 80% positive response rate, despite very different placements in the overall standings. IBM trailed the field significantly, with just 62.5% of its midrange users indicating a willingness to repurchase. This represents a 17.5 point drop for IBM from 2005.

In cases where respondents have two or more midrange systems, we asked them to evaluate each one. In these cases, we compare the scores to determine which system is preferred in a head-to-head match-up. EqualLogic again came out on top, winning four out of seven such comparisons (57.1%). FlexLine was preferred in 52.4% of cases (11 out of 21), while EMC Clariion was preferred 41.3% of the time (26 out of 63). Dell Clariion was preferred just 22% of the time (six out of 27). These results don't relate to future buying intentions, but rather offer the perfect vision of 20/20 hindsight.

Kudos to EqualLogic
Clearly, users of the EqualLogic PS Series feel they've purchased something special. Time will tell if the company can continue to deliver in a top-flight manner ... but the top is always a good place to start.

About our survey
The Diogenes Labs-Storage magazine Quality Awards are designed to identify and recognize products that have proven their quality and reliability in actual use. The results are derived from a survey of qualified Storage readers who assessed products in five main categories: sales-force competence, product features, initial product quality, product reliability and technical support. Our methodology incorporates statistically valid polling that eliminates market share as a factor. Our objective is to identify the most reliable product on the market regardless of vendor name, reputation or size. Products are rated on a 1.0-8.0 scale, where 8.0 is the most favorable score.

For this year's midrange arrays survey, 354 respondents provided 474 valid system evaluations. This year's response rate is about 10% higher than last year's, but carries the same +/- 5% margin of error with a 95% confidence factor.

This was first published in December 2006

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