Quality Awards IV: Sun shines again in tape library challenge


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Product features

The rubber really hits the road when a tape library is moved into production and its feature set is put to the test. In the midrange group, there was little doubt that users felt that Sun's feature set was the best. Sun topped the other vendors for every statement in this category, with a total product features score of 6.72, enough for a convincing win over runner-up IBM (6.49). Sun's impressive romp through the features category was highlighted by a very high 6.95 for "Overall, this product's features meet my needs" -- a resounding endorsement of its products' capabilities.

Second-place IBM was a model of consistency in the midrange-class category, with very solid scores of 6.52 to 6.59 for six of the eight statements, as well as a very respectable 6.31 for interoperability and a 6.30 for user interface. "IBM is easy," commented one survey respondent, underscoring IBM's strong showing in the features category.

In the enterprise field, Sun and Spectra Logic continued their duel, with Spectra Logic ultimately winning the features category by the slimmest possible margin (6.70 to 6.69). Reflecting the closeness of the finish, the two vendors divvied up the category with each coming out on top for four statements. Spectra Logic's win was highlighted by the other 7.00 rating in our survey, which it earned for the statement "This product loads and ejects tape efficiently." Sun Microsystems came close to garnering another 7.00, but

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fell slightly short with a 6.92 for "This product's operational performance meets my needs."

The Sun library purchased by the State of Tennessee's Office for Information Resources is so big that they had to ensure that the doors of their new data center were large enough to accommodate it. But as big as it is, it can still grow. "The 8500 that we have today is the maximum in a single frame, but the 8500 works where you can stack them side by side and the robot can actually go from one frame to another," State of Tennessee's Arnold said. "So it's hugely scalable."

Click here to view a PDF of the enterprise tape libraries rankings.

This was first published in August 2009

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