Quality Awards: Top NAS products


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Enterprise NAS: Would you buy this product again?

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In selecting NAS systems for our survey, we attempted to be as inclusive as possible; the list of 21 products was the longest yet for any Quality Awards survey. The main criterion for inclusion was that the device support CIFS and NFS file systems simultaneously. We included NAS-only systems, as well as SAN-NAS gateways. To differentiate midrange systems from enterprise systems, we placed all Windows-based systems in the midrange category, as well as those scaling to less than 50TB. Systems that can scale to more than 50TB were categorized as enterprise NAS. However, we did consider vendors' product positioning, as this also affects how users regard and evaluate products.

As with our previous awards, we asked respondents to rate their product experiences in five categories: sales competence, product features, initial quality, product reliability and technical support. We also asked if the system was purchased directly from the vendor or from a value-added reseller. Because all of the finalists in both categories are the manufacturers of their respective systems, original equipment manufacturer issues weren't considered.

Within each of the five categories, respondents were asked to respond to a number of positive statements on a scale of 1.0 to 8.0 (see "About the survey"), where 1.0 indicated strong disagreement and 8.0 indicated strong agreement. A rating of 6.0 was the approximate median for both the enterprise and midrange groups in this survey. The preponderance of ratings fell between 5.5 and 6.5. Rating elements above 6.5 can be regarded as exceptional strengths, while those below 5.5 can be regarded as weaknesses.

This was first published in May 2006

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