Quality Awards II: The elite of enterprise arrays


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Ranking of enterprise arrays

Scores drop
This year's scores are generally down overall from last year's. In 2005, HDS won with an aggregate score of 5.83, but fell to 5.76 this year. IBM declined to 5.05 (from 5.41), while Sun dropped

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below the 5.0 mark to 4.94 (from 5.52). HP and EMC, however, increased their aggregate scores to 5.54 and 5.27, respectively, from 5.47 and 5.19. Statements are scored on a 1.0-8.0 scale, with 4.5 as the mean.

Along with a number of readers, we were surprised with EMC's low scores on last year's survey given that it's the acknowledged market share leader. We hypothesized that EMC's user base is polarized, with some users truly liking EMC's high-end arrays and others less enthusiastic about them. As a result, we've added another layer of analysis called "top-two box" and "bottom-two box" analysis. Using this technique, we can see how many times a vendor was rated with the top-two and bottom-two responses. Conceptually, this analysis is the opposite of an average. Indeed, our hypothesis played out. EMC had a high rate of top-two scores (51%), second only to HDS (59%). However, these high scores were offset by bottom-two scores of 8% for EMC vs. 5% for HDS. HP had the lowest rate of bottom-two scores with just 4%. Sun had the highest number of bottom-two scores with 11%.

In 2006, we also extended our demographic analysis. We asked respondents to tell us how much capacity each of their systems had. From this information, we learned that more than half of IBM, Sun, HP and even HDS respondents have less than 100TB on those companies' systems. In contrast, more than half of EMC respondents had more than 100TB. Indeed, EMC had 39 respondents (28%) with more than 200TB; HDS had 16 respondents with more than 200TB vs. only single-digit respondents for HP, IBM and Sun. Seventeen percent of respondents had four arrays, but 3% reported having 17 arrays.

This was first published in September 2006

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