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SAN services savvy

Compaq's Nov. 2000 announcement of three new storage service offerings to complement its StorageWorks and SANworks products.

By Alan Earls

When Compaq Computer Corporation announced in mid-November its three new storage service offerings, it was not the most earth-shattering news. Indeed, Analyst Arun Taneja, of the Enterprise Storage Group (ESG), Milford, Mass., marvels that it took as long as it did for Compaq to get around to it. "It is a necessity if you want to be a broad-based supplier of storage," Taneja said.

Still, services offered by hardware giants always seem to bear extra scrutiny. Do they, after all, come with the right kind of industry knowledge? Will they be objective enough and honest about hardware problems that may crop up? How about interoperability know-how?

Compaq is offering services designed to complement the company's SANworks and StorageWorks products, which are supposed to allow customers to more quickly achieve a higher return on investment (ROI).

Compaq has developed three specific storage service solutions. They are:

  • Compaq Proactive Remote Services for StorageWorks
  • SANworks Storage Resource Manager Installation and Startup Service
  • StorageWorks Enterprise Backup Solution Installation and Startup Service

According to the company, each service is designed to enable the organization to achieve the greatest benefit from its investment in storage technology as quickly as possible.

"Customers are hard-pressed to deal with a lot of these issues and need help," noted Taneja. "However, ESG also notes that if customers have decided to buy a Compaq-only solution, they will need these services to get up and running. But, those who have decided on a more heterogeneous storage/server solution are probably better off looking for a third party integrator."

The bottom line? Having hardware vendor-provided services available broadens your options and may put you in a better position to negotiate with third parties. And for some customers, it may be just the right choice. But it shouldn't be an automatic buy. Check the details, learn what you can about the experience of the implementers and do your own comparison shopping.

About the author: Alan Earls is a freelance writer in Franklin, Mass.

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