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Features and functions
A midrange storage system from just a few years ago would hardly be recognizable by today's standards. Responding to user demands, vendors have tricked out midrange arrays with the kinds of features and capabilities that you could only once get with enterprise-class storage systems. Improved features -- and more of them -- equate to contented users as evidenced by record high scores in the product features rating category.
Compellent's 7.26 average score easily outdistanced NetApp, which notched a very solid 6.75 giving it a small margin over third-place finisher HP (6.68) which it turned nudged out IBM (6.61) by the same margin. Compellent's Storage Center scored the highest on all seven category statements in the product features category, ranging from a 7.07 ("This product's snapshot features meet my needs") to a 7.36 ("This product's remote replication features meet my needs"). By delivering these "bread-and-butter" features along with its signature Fluid Data automated tiering, Compellent may be raising the bar a bit for all midrange systems vendors.
That's not to suggest that any of the product lines are slackers when it comes to features. The overall average for the category was a 6.64, the highest we've seen and substantially higher than the previous mark of 6.33. The average scores for key midrange array requirements were high for all eight products, such as a 6.79 for "This product's capacity scales to meet my
Storage you can count on
The true test of a storage system is how well it performs after the showroom shine wears off. Each of the eight vendors' product lines passed the test on this survey easily, with an across-the-board 6.74 average in the product reliability category; this is not only the highest average ever for that category, but the highest average of any category to date.
Compellent again netted the highest ratings for each of the five category statements, ranging from 7.14 to 7.36 and rolling up to a 7.27 average, its highest category score on the survey. But it wasn't alone in "seven heaven." Second-seeded Hitachi earned three 7.00-plus scores for the statements related to meeting service-level requirements, having very little downtime and needing very few unplanned patches, on the way to an impressive 6.97 category average. Third-place HP joined Compellent and Hitachi in the plus-7.00 club with a 7.03 for the "unplanned patches" statement and finished with an average rating of 6.72, which put it just .01 ahead of EMC's score of 6.71.
This was first published in September 2010