Feature

Quality Awards V: EMC and IBM top NAS field

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Specs, speeds and feeds

Once past first impressions, the bottom line for any storage system is whether it does what you need it to do. In the product features category, we ask users to consider the functionality of their systems and whether the features meet their needs.

EMC's win in the enterprise group was by the slimmest of margins: 6.86 vs. NetApp's 6.85 -- essentially a dead heat. Both vendors notched 7.00-plus statement scores: EMC (7.05) for "This product's capacity scales to meet my needs" and NetApp (7.03) for "This product's snapshot features meet my needs" (a traditional NetApp strength). "The technology is very feature-rich and impressive," commented one NetApp user.

In the feature battle of these behemoths, it might be easy to overlook Dell, but the company fared quite well in this category with a noteworthy overall average of 6.41.

Among midrange NAS products, IBM was once again a formidable force with statement scores ranging from a "low" of 7.14 up to 7.36. It all added up to a stunning 7.25 features category average and a relatively easy win over EMC (6.84) and NetApp (6.59) with scores that would have ranked first in previous Quality Awards iterations. EMC's score received a boost from a 7.11 for the "This product's capacity scales to meet my

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needs."

QUALITY AWARDS V MIDRANGE NAS STANDINGS

Enlarge QUALITY AWARDS V MIDRANGE NAS STANDINGS diagram.

Old reliable

Whether it's measured by four-nines, five-nines or some other yardstick, there's one thing a storage shop expects its NAS system to do: run and run. The product reliability rating section collects responses on just how satisfied users are with the reliability of their NAS boxes -- and they seem to be quite satisfied indeed.

EMC led a trio of solid enterprise NAS scores with a 6.86 for the product reliability category, highlighted by its two 7.00 statement scores for "The product meets my service-level requirement" and "This product requires very few unplanned patches." One survey respondent whose company has "several dozen" EMC boxes installed noted he was "extremely pleased and always [has] been regarding the reliability and scalability of EMC systems."

This was first published in January 2011

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