Feature

Top tape libraries revealed

Initial quality
The initial quality portion of our survey assesses how easy a product is to install, configure and place into service. Initial quality was the highest rated section in the survey. Even as the lowest rated product among enterprise products, Sony Electronics Inc. scored well above its other section scores with a favorable 5.8 6. Six out of the 10 midrange products had scores that exceeded 6.0, which was more than in any other section (see "Initial quality ranking," at right).

One particularly compelling statement in the

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initial quality section is "This product offers good value for the money." Even though StorageTek is rarely the low price leader, its SL-Series products were rated highest among enterprise products (6.59); StorageTek's midrange L-Series also led the other midrange products for this statement with a 6.44. Users also believe ADIC offers a good value, giving its enterprise-class i2000/10K products a 6.45 rating.

Because B/R is a labor-intensive task, we wanted to see which product minimizes the ongoing effort, so we asked users to respond to the statement "This product requires very little daily intervention." Respondents rated the StorageTek SL-Series highest among enterprise products and best overall with a 6.69. Spectra Logic's 10K/20K/T50 products topped all midrange libraries with a 6.57 rating for this statement.

Initial quality, as well as ongoing quality, has been a sore spot for ADIC Scalar 24/100 user Michael Sleeman, director of technology at Hanbury Evans Wright Vlattas (HEWV) & Co. in Norfolk, VA.

"I tried to make sure everything was going to work ahead of time--I didn't want any problems," says Sleeman. In preparation, he confirmed with ADIC that its system was compatible with his backup application and interface card, but Sleeman's problems began almost immediately. "They sent me three different drives; after the third one, they sent me a whole new libra ry," he says. Worse yet, the three vendors blamed each other's products for the compatibility difficulties. "It's always somebody else's problem," laments Sleeman.

This was first published in January 2006

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