Products included in our survey
The following products were included in Storage magazine's Quality Awards tape library survey.
About the survey
For some, support is the make-or-break issue of their overall product experience. Citing his service struggles, HEWV's Sleeman facetiously says his ADIC library has "a nice case" and "tape loading is easy." But on a more serious note, he adds, "I'm not going back to these guys--it has been disappointing."
For the most part, our survey respondents didn't echo Sleeman's dissatisfaction. Although his StorageTek SL is still relatively new, Health Net's Holt is impressed. "[From] what we've seen so far, StorageTek service and everything is meeting our needs just fine." And Hobart's Sitler has managed to find some peace of mind because of the effective service he receives for his IBM tape library. "I'm pretty happy with it," he says. "I feel like I can go away for a week on vacation and not come back and be snowed under with problems."
Make the same choice again?
We also asked respondents to tell us if they'd purchase the same product again. It's important to note that this isn't a question about buying intentions, but rather a key measure of hindsight. On the enterprise side, 88.1% of StorageTek SL-Series users said they'd buy that product again--this was also the highest percentage among all library vendors in the survey (see "Would you buy from this vendor again?" previous page). In the midrange arena, nearly 86% of Spectra Logic's 10K/20K/T50 respondents said they'd buy those products again. In previous surveys, the responses to this question often didn't match the rankings of the survey; for tape libraries there was a very close correlation between buy-again numbers and category winners.
Part of a backup solution
Tape libraries are one-third of the B/R solution, with B/R software and tape devices being the other twothirds. By combining the findings of this survey with those from our B/R software survey (see "Quality Awards: Backup software," Storage, September 2005, IT organizations can assess what combinations of components are likely to yield the most satisfactory system for their environments.
This was first published in January 2006