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See how your storage vendor stacks up

If you're in the market for new storage equipment, you'll want to get the inside scoop on potential vendors. How do your prospective vendors fare on customer support? From fixing problems fast to keeping drivers up-to-date and offering the most extensive interoperability options, you'll want to know how prospective products and vendors fare. Two great sources are other storage managers and industry analysts. Find out what they think.

If you're in the market for new storage equipment, it's great to get the inside scoop on potential vendors. At the recent Storage Decisions 2003 conference in Chicago, real-world storage managers gave their input on the products, pricing, ease-of-use and customer support of the disk, backup and switch vendors they currently use -- as well as those they formerly used.

SD2003: Rate the disk vendors panel
There was one word on the minds of the panel of storage managers from Lands End, JP Morgan Chase, and Level 3 Communications: Interoperability. Find out how these panelists deal with interoperability issues, which products and vendors they're using, and what they expect from their disk vendors in the future.

SD2003: Rate the backup vendors panel
When the director of storage and planning at the Chicago Board of Options Exchange runs into a problem with his backups, he needs immediate attention. But as he revealed in this panel on backup vendors that's just not a reality. Read about other problems these high profile storage managers face and what advice they have to offer.

SD2003: Rate the switch vendors
What are the three key criteria for selecting a switch? Panelists who participated in the "Rate the switch vendor" session at Storage Decisions 2003 agreed on three conditions for selecting a switch, plus they were very vocal about their switch vendors -- both good and bad. Find out how the vendors fare according to these experts.

The analysts answer
Aside from other storage and IT managers, analysts are also a great source of information on vendors, products and future trends. Analysts spend their days talking with vendors, analyzing products and speaking with storage professionals who have their hands on the storage equipment every day. Are you considering adding new vendors to your shop? Read our "Analyze that" series on all the major vendors from EMC to HP and IBM. In this series, we asked the industry's best analysts to comment on the various vendors, their current product offerings, the best ways to buy from them and what lies ahead in their future.

Analyze that: IBM
EMC might have surpassed IBM in the storage market, but are they still IBM's biggest threat? Here's what John Webster, founder of the Data Mobility Group, had to say about IBM's future.

Analyze that: Microsoft
In the past, if you needed sophisticated volume management or backup tools, you had to look to vendors aside from Microsoft. But does that change with the introduction of Windows Storage Server 2003? Arun Taneja founder and consulting analyst of the Tenaja Group takes a look at Microsoft and how they fit into the storage market.

Analyze that: Hitachi Data Systems
According to Enterprise Storage Group senior analyst Tony Prigmore, HDS has a solid strategy in place that will enable them to stay competitive in the markets they serve. Find out what he says we should look to HDS for in the future.

Analyze that: Network Appliance
Network Appliance has taken the approach of introducing products across the broad spectrum. The Evaluator Group partner and expert Randy Kerns explains why he thinks this is a great strategy for them. Plus, with products that span the broad spectrum, which will still be around in a few years? Randy Kerns shares his thoughts.

Analyze that: Cisco Systems
Storage consultant and expert Marc Farley takes a look at Cisco Systems. Where are they headed and what is their strategy? Find out here.

Analyze that: Hewlett-Packard
Yankee Group senior analyst Jamie Gruener offers his analysis on where HP is headed, how the Hp-Compaq merger has affected them and what challenges lie ahead for them.

Analyze that: Computer Associates
According to Enterprise Storage Group's Peter Gerr, CA is in a good position to handle the next wave of innovation like information lifecycle management and intelligent storage software products. Read more on the future of CA and what they have to offer.

Analyze that: McData
Where does McData stand after announcing the acquisitions of Nishan and Sanera? How do these additions strengthen McData and its product offerings? Senior analyst Nancy Marrone-Hurley of the Enterprise Storage Group takes an in-depth look at the new company and shares her thoughts.

Analyze that: EMC
According to storage analyst and Founder of the Enterprise Storage Group, Steve Duplessie, EMC has the most complete 'solutions' offering, but times have changed for the storage giant. How will they react? Hear what Duplessie has to say.

Analyze that: Quantum
Dianne McAdam, Senior Analyst and Partner at Data Mobility Group takes an inside look at Quantum. Dianne tells us how one of their new products may be the key to tape management and how storage managers should approach buying from them.

Analyze That: Fibre channel switch market
With all the recent mergers and acquisitions in the Fibre Channel switch market, how will the market pan out? Who will ultimately win out in this space? DragonSlayer Consulting President Marc Staimer shares his insight into the market and new technologies that will shape the market.

For more information on the issues other storage managers are dealing with, see also:
SD2003: SNIA - Providing answers to storage questions
The Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) works to bridge the gap between users and vendors in the storage industry. At Storage Decisions 2003, chairperson Shelia Childs spoke about common problems storage managers are dealing with today.

SD2003: Results from Storage magazine's 2004 purchasing intentions survey
What tops the buying list of your peers for the coming year? We conducted an in-depth survey and shared the results at Storage Decisions 2003. The results might surprise you.

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