Quality Awards II: The elite of enterprise arrays


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Final analysis
Most IT users form an overall opinion about a product based on their varied experiences. To assess these opinions, we examined two different items. The first item, head-to-head analysis, compares the scores a user gave when evaluating two or more different systems. In 2005, IBM and Sun had the highest win

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rates, coming out on top in 100% of their head-to-head comparisons. But 2006 wasn't as favorable for these vendors, as they trailed the field with 32% win rates. HDS had the highest win rate (63%). In the head-to-head comparison in 2005, EMC was last, but jumped to second place in 2006 with a 53% win rate. HP placed third with a 33% win rate, just barely above that of IBM and Sun.

We also asked respondents to tell us if, all things considered, they'd buy the same system again. "We're familiar with the EMC technology and we didn't really have any compelling reason to move away from it into HDS or IBM," says Greenleaf. Apparently, other respondents shared this sentiment. In roughly two out of three cases or better, respondents indicated they would make the same decision again. Brand loyalty remains high in this category. HDS again led the group in this important indicator with 88.4% positive responses, followed by EMC (79.3%), HP (69.8%), Sun (68.8%) and IBM (62.2%) (see "Would you buy from this vendor again?," at right). Congratulations to HDS for retaining bragging rights for this important category for another year.

About the 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.

Survey respondents
In this year's enterprise array Quality Award, we tallied 638 valid system evaluations from 371 respondents. This response rate was 24% higher than last year, and yielded a 5% margin of error with a 95% confidence factor. We noted a statistically better distribution of finalists this year, with the number of responses ranging from 138 for EMC Corp. to 32 for Sun Microsystems Inc. The largest number of responses came from the healthcare industry, followed by IT services and financial services; last year, financial services was the largest group. As with all of our earlier surveys, the majority of respondents had operationally oriented titles, with only 6.8% being senior executives (chief information officer or chief technology officer). Respondents were asked to evaluate only those systems with which they had personal experience within the last year.

This was first published in September 2006

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