Nine products jockey for position
Of the 15 companies and their product lines included in the survey, nine garnered a sufficient number of responses to be considered as finalists, the same number as last year (see "Products included in the survey"). For the first time, Xiotech Corp. was included in the final results, but its debut was somewhat inauspicious as it finished last overall. With the same number of finalists, the overall ratings were much tighter this year. The spread between first and last in 2008 was 1.44 on a 1.00-8.00 scale; this year the spread was just 0.60. Respondents also seemed less euphoric about their products, as the winning score dropped from Compellent's 7.02 last year to Dell's 6.55 this time around.
|Products included in the survey|
The following product lines were included in the Quality Awards IV survey for midrange arrays:
* Didn't receive a sufficient number of responses to be included among finalists.
Although Dell won the award decisively, it was by no means a runaway. Of the five categories in our survey, four different companies came out on top in at least one category. Dell won two categories, while Compellent, IBM and NetApp each took a turn in the spotlight. The scores bounced around for Hewlett-Packard (HP) Co. and Hitachi Data Systems, but both companies always placed somewhere in the middle. And while EMC, Sun Microsystems Inc. and Xiotech notched respectable scores, they placed consistently toward the back of the pack.
Perhaps reflecting an increasing focus on midrange systems, this year's survey attracted the most responses of any of the four midrange array surveys we've fielded, with 631 respondents providing 1,056 system evaluations. EMC had the largest pool of evaluations with 262, followed by NetApp (155) and HP (151). Dell had 94 evaluations.
Of the individual respondents, 39.5% had arrays from two or more vendors. For those who provided evaluations of more than one vendor, we compared the head-to-head ratings. The results were quite surprising, turning the order of finish on its head. Xiotech led the finalists with a 62.5% win rate. In contrast, Dell won just 22.4% of its comparisons, besting only Compellent among the finalists (18.8%). There's no direct relationship between head-to-head results and order of finish, but it's unusual to have the lists nearly reversed.
Click here for a PDF showing the category finish of the nine finalists in the midrange arrays quality award survey.
This was first published in March 2009