Upstart tops NAS vendors


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NetApp's FAS900/3000, which came in second to BlueArc among enterprise NAS systems (see the "Product features" graph in the "Rankings of enterprise NAS"), received its highest score for the statement "This product's

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snapshot features meet my needs" (6.79). NetApp was exactly a point lower (6.14) than BlueArc on the scalability statement.

Among midrange systems, NetApp's 6.90 for product features was its second-highest section score (see the "Product features" graph in the "Rankings of midrange NAS," p. 26). It received ratings of 7.0 or higher on four statements. These were "This product's snapshot features meet my needs" (7.16), "This product's management features meet my needs" (7.09), "Overall, this product's features meet my needs" (7.03) and "This product's remote replication features meet my needs" (7.00). EMC's NS Series finished second in the midrange product features category, receiving its highest score (6.44) for "This product's mirroring capabilities meet my needs." It also got a solid 6.37 for "Overall, this product's features meet my needs."

Initial product quality
In the enterprise and midrange groups, two of the highest survey scores were registered for initial product quality (see the "Initial product quality" graphs in the "Rankings of enterprise NAS" and "Rankings of midrange NAS"). BlueArc received its highest section score (6.90), while NetApp posted the highest score (7.08) in any section for any vendor. In this category, we asked respondents to assess their experience with the product's ease of setup, defects, professional services and value. Out of the six statements posed in this category, NetApp's FAS200 scored a 7.0 or higher on five of them. The highest rating (7.28) was for "This product is easy to use."

"The product itself gets up and running pretty fast, and you can learn to administer it fast," says Fazil Saiyed, systems and storage engineer at Anixter Inc., Glenview, IL, referring to the company's NetApp FAS3050C that's being used in a mixed configuration supporting CIFS, iSCSI and Fibre Channel. "The process is nearly identical whether we use iSCSI or Fibre Channel," adds Saiyed. "It's just basically making the association from the SnapDrive software to the Network Appliance."

Ease of use must be something of a theme for NetApp FAS200 users, as respondents gave the statement "This product is easy to get up and running" a 7.19. Ironically, "This product offers good value for the money" was the only statement where NetApp's FAS200 scored below a 7.0. Even so, its 6.90 score was the highest of any enterprise or midrange product for this statement. The other three statements for which NetApp received a score of 7.0 or higher were "This product requires very little vendor intervention" (7.06), "I am satisfied with the level of professional services required for this product" (7.06) and "This product was installed without any defects" (7.0).

BlueArc's "value statement" score (6.80) was the best among enterprise products, with Sun's 6.69 a respectable third. BlueArc's best score in this section (7.05) was for "This product is easy to use." It also scored a 7.0 for "This product was installed without any defects."

This was first published in June 2007

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