Cloud // Cloud Storage
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5/3/2012
06:20 PM
Art Wittmann
Art Wittmann
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Dell/Compellent Wins Our Storage Evaluation

IT pros want reliability, performance, and low cost--and they say they’re getting it best from Dell’s recent storage acquisition, Compellent.

In our latest IT Pro Ranking, we asked users of midrange storage arrays to tell us which products they like best and why. We received enough survey responses on six vendors to ensure statistical validity, and Dell/Compellent was the clear favorite.

The other five in our ranking are IBM, NetApp, EMC, Dell/EqualLogic, and Hewlett-Packard. (We offered a list of 15 vendors but received enough responses for only six to be considered in our final report.)

Dell/Compellent and IBM tied for No. 1 in our ranking's standardized evaluation criteria (more on those later), while Dell/Compellent and NetApp tied for the top spot in our storage array features evaluation.

EMC ranks highly on virtualization integration and performance, but not so well on port density and data deduplication. Dell/Compellent scores high on reliability and performance, but not so well on breadth of product line and service innovation.

Dell's EqualLogic line fares well on acquisition costs but lags in innovation. IBM scores big on product reliability, but it takes its knocks on operation and acquisition costs. NetApp does fine on reliability, but it's right down there with IBM on operation and acquisition costs. HP comes in as an also-ran: It does well in reliability and performance, where it should, just not as well as the leaders.

With data protection, high availability, and virtualization high on survey respondents' priority list, you'd expect that EMC would have finished higher in our ranking of product-specific features. But users rate it near the bottom of the pack for data protection. NetApp and Dell/Compellent rank the highest for data protection.

One of the most important product features in determining vendor rankings is deduplication. That's not because respondents rank that feature as very important--it ranks in the middle--but because most vendors don't rank well on built-in dedupe. HP, EMC, and Dell/EqualLogic score below 3.6 on our 5-point scale for dedupe.

Hands-On Evaluations

A quick reminder of how the InformationWeek IT Pro Rankings work. Only IT pros who have used or done hands-on evaluations of the products in our survey are allowed to grade them, so on the whole these assessments tend to trail the feature sets of the latest offerings. So if a vendor greatly improved or added a feature, or substantially dropped a price, that's something Gartner analysts could easily fix in their assessments, but we can't.

Users are asked to evaluate the products on both a standardized scale (which includes product performance, reliability, purchase cost, operation cost, and breadth of product line) and a product-specific scale (data protection, high availability architecture, virtualization support, and 10 others). But they're also asked to rank the evaluation criteria themselves. By using this methodology, even if we include a dumb evaluation criterion, users will just rank it as inconsequential.

Our goal is to keep "experts" and vendors out of the mix and let your peers speak, in a statistically defensible way, about the products they use. Vendors in the rankings don't know that the survey is happening and have no ability to opt in or out of it.

We've been doing these surveys for more than a year now. One outcome we hadn't thought of is that by letting participants rank both the criteria and products against those criteria, we end up with vendors ranked very close together. In most cases, product users are usually happy with their product choices, so when an IBM product ranks high for reliability and low for acquisition cost, that finding tends to be reflected in the evaluation criteria. In this survey, users rank reliability as their No. 1 criterion and acquisition cost in the middle. Thus, only three percentage points separate the field on one scale, and five points on the other.

The bottom line in our latest IT Pro Ranking is that you're generally getting what you expected from your storage vendors, so very small variations in our data indicate where vendors are either delighting or disappointing customers.

Check out what your peers think of their midrange storage arrays at InformationWeek Reports.

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Storage_SE
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Storage_SE,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/5/2012 | 7:44:46 PM
re: Dell/Compellent Wins Our Storage Evaluation
HP 3PAR? Where is it in this evaluation? It beats the snot out of Compellent (and EMC) in every category.
moarsauce123
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moarsauce123,
User Rank: Ninja
6/5/2012 | 6:09:26 PM
re: Dell/Compellent Wins Our Storage Evaluation
How does EqualLogic lag in innovation compared to Compellent? Their SSD implementation is far more impressive.
Sam Iam
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Sam Iam,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/8/2012 | 12:29:56 AM
re: Dell/Compellent Wins Our Storage Evaluation
Yes, no storage evaluation would have included Fujitsu. This guy is thinking of Hiatchi.
Sam Iam
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Sam Iam,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/8/2012 | 12:28:57 AM
re: Dell/Compellent Wins Our Storage Evaluation
Fujitsu? I think you mean Hiatchi. Fujitsu is an extremely small storage provider. They fall into the "others" category in storage surveys and market share stats. The big three in storage have been EMC, IBM and Hitachi Data Systems for the last generation.
MyW0r1d
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MyW0r1d,
User Rank: Strategist
5/6/2012 | 6:04:20 PM
re: Dell/Compellent Wins Our Storage Evaluation
When did reporting on the results of a peer survey or objective scale (performance, cost, ...) become personal opinion (attribution of he where the opinion is expressed and consolidated of the respondents)? Tough crowd Art, but we now know Fujitsu enjoys some energetic, loyalty before all defenders just as Apple. The full report implies effort and time expended to read, your executive summary here is sufficient ;-)
llacas
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llacas,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/5/2012 | 1:01:23 AM
re: Dell/Compellent Wins Our Storage Evaluation
And you're the idiot if you think everyone is a Fortune 500 company! We're a small college and can't afford Fujitsu or EMC! Stop being a tool and try to be more open.
ArtWittmann
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ArtWittmann,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/5/2012 | 12:45:51 AM
re: Dell/Compellent Wins Our Storage Evaluation
Details on company size of the respondents can be found in full report.
ArtWittmann
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ArtWittmann,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/5/2012 | 12:45:06 AM
re: Dell/Compellent Wins Our Storage Evaluation
Fujitsu was on the list of companies to choose from. It was on of the companies that didn't get enough responses to be included in the final evaluation. See the full report for details.
Mr. Rick
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Mr. Rick,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/5/2012 | 12:01:01 AM
re: Dell/Compellent Wins Our Storage Evaluation
What kind of evaluation is this, he left out Fujitsu, the only company that can compete with EMC with quality. And yes, it is faster. Fujitsu and EMC are the Mercedes and BMW of storage and here is this idiot touting the Hyundai of storage.
Sam Iam
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Sam Iam,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/4/2012 | 9:59:25 PM
re: Dell/Compellent Wins Our Storage Evaluation
These must be small mid-market customers if Compellent won an evaluation.
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