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Vol. 4 No. 6 August 2005

Wanted: Better support

This month's Cover Story takes a hard look at what your experience with high-end arrays is really like (see Quality awards: Enterprise arrays). It's the first of several stories we'll be doing that surveys actual users of significant storage products in some detail--information we haven't seen publicly available anywhere else. The section on vendor service and support caught my eye. The survey validates what we've been hearing from you for some time: Service and support, even for flagship products, is declining. To give you a taste, here are some things I've heard from users: At one shop, a technician arrived to fix a new feature of a large array that had a serious malfunction. The storage manager in charge asked the tech what training he had on the new feature and was told "None, but they gave me a PDF of the manual." Another vendor has divided its staff so that each tech supports one major software application. Service calls often turn into a multi-day or week process where a series of specialists conclude it's not their fault...

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Features in this issue

  • Bridging the gap

    Many disaster recovery and remote backup programs rely on an efficient, cost-effective WAN. Fiber-optic network technology is often required for long-distance data transmission, but you need to know what transport is best and the related implementation issues.

  • Monolithic going modular

    Monolithic systems go modular

  • DR testing infrequent at best

    Have you tested your DR plan?

  • Storage for manufacturing

    Manufacturing environments typically have different storage requirements than corporate apps, and have to deal with globally dispersed design teams as well as growing regulatory concerns. Here's how several prominent manufacturers have met the challenge.

  • New tools to classify data

    by  Brad O'Neill

    Putting data on storage systems appropriate to its value requires the ability to classify data. An emerging category of applications, Information Classification and Management apps, can index enterprise information and execute precise actions based on its content.

Columns in this issue