DCIG, LLC and Foskett Services Announce The Insider's Guide to Evaluating Small Enterprise Storage Arrays with Aberdeen Ranked #1 Overall

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In the latest in an on-going series of Insider Buyer’s Guides, DCIG, LLC and Foskett Services, LLC collaborated on the Expanded Edition of the DCIG 2011 Small Enterprise Storage Array Buyer's Guide to assess available options and compile a comprehensive guide of small enterprise storage arrays that are affordable, easy to deploy and reliable and perform well.

With Rise of Server Virtualization, Users Gain Invaluable Comprehensive Resource Guide to Help Evaluate Best Options for their Storage Array Needs

The advent of server virtualization and virtual server operating systems has forced end users in small enterprises to fully evaluate what solutions available offer the most features at the best price for their environments. Typically, for end users looking for high-end enterprise class disk arrays, there is an abundance of resource options and evaluation guides. Up until now, there were few, if any, resources available to eliminate painstaking and involved research to help end users come up with a short list of small enterprise storage array options to best meet their needs.

In the latest in an on-going series of Insider Buyer’s Guides, DCIG, LLC and Foskett Services, LLC collaborated to assess available options and compile a comprehensive guide of small enterprise storage arrays that are affordable, easy to deploy and reliable and perform well. The Expanded Edition of the DCIG 2011 Small Enterprise Storage Array Buyer’s Guide is designed to take the heavy lifting out of determining what solutions are available and provide a resource to assess the value of each array and feature just as an end user might.

While the Buyer’s Guide ranks products in terms of completeness of their feature set, appropriateness of each solution is based on end user need, environments and application usage. In some circumstances it is very likely that a lower-rated product may be a better solution for many applications and use cases that do not require a broad set of features and options.

DCIG, LLC, and Foskett Services looked at over 50 features on 37 different offerings and solutions from nineteen different companies across five categories: Storage controller, storage capacity, storage network connectivity, availability and support. Solutions were ranked “Recommended,” and/or “Best-in-Class,” “Excellent,” “Good,” and “Basic” across functionality and capability with the intent to provide an “at-a-glance” comparison from which users can select the most appropriate solution for their existing needs with the Aberdeen AberSAN and Aberdeen AberNAS storage arrays achieving the #1 overall ranking respectively in the two categories covered in this Buyer’s Guide.

“The small enterprise storage array market has been largely ignored in favor of large enterprise storage arrays,” said Jerome Wendt, co-author and founder, DCIG, LLC. “Small enterprise solutions are not widely known and even if an end user did research on their own, there have been few ways available to make an objective buying decision. This Buyer’s Guide can assist end users in making the all-important buying decision while removing the mystery that shrouds how some small enterprise storage arrays are configured.”

“Those who know us, look upon Aberdeen as the best kept secret in the storage marketplace. With our first place finish in the Expanded Edition of the DCIG 2011 Small Enterprise Storage Array Buyer's Guide, Aberdeen’s secret just might get out. We’ve historically enjoyed steady, sustained growth, not to mention over 40% growth in 2010 over 2009, but now things should get even more interesting.” Aberdeen's President and CEO Moshe Ovadya

The criteria for a storage array's inclusion in this Buyer's Guide were as follows:

  •     It had to allow networked storage connectivity (FC, iSCSI, and/or NAS) to multiple servers
  •     It had to support at least eight (8) internal hard disk drives (HDDs)
  •     There had to be sufficient public available information to make a meaningful decision
  •     The model had to be shipping by March 1, 2011
  •     It had to be approximately priced between $5,000 and $30,000

Some of the key findings that came out of the research that went into preparing this Expanded Edition of the DCIG 2011 Small Enterprise Storage Array Buyer's Guide include:

  •     86% of the arrays support both 1 Gb Ethernet and the iSCSI protocol
  •     52% of the arrays support FC (4 Gb or higher)
  •     Only 38% of the arrays support 10 Gb Ethernet
  •     Only 24% of the arrays support NAS
  •     All arrays that support NAS also support iSCSI
  •     67% offer support for a single storage controller
  •     47% offer support for dual storage controllers
  •     19% offer support for either single or dual storage controller configurations

The Expanded Edition of the DCIG 2011 Small Enterprise Storage Array Buyer’s Guide Top Five solutions in the $5,000 to $15,000 model category include (in alphabetical order): Aberdeen LLC AberNAS 260/360 Series, D-Link Corp DSN-5110-10, Dell PowerVault MD3200i/MD3220i, EMC VNXe3100, and PROMISE Technology, Inc. VessRAID 1000i Series.

The Expanded Edition of the DCIG 2011 Small Enterprise Storage Array Buyer’s Guide Top Ten solutions in the $15,000 to $30,000 model category include (in alphabetical order): Aberdeen LLC AberSAN Z20/Z30/Z50, Dot Hill Systems Corp. AssuredSAN 2700 series, EMC VNXe3300, HP StorageWorks P2000 G3 10GbE iSCSI/FC, StoneFly, Inc. Voyager TSC16 and Winchester Systems Inc. VX-2300/3400 and SX-2300/3400 series.

“What our research indicated is there is an embarrassment of riches in the small enterprise storage array solution space,” said Stephen Foskett, founder and principal at Foskett Services. “Small enterprise solutions are far more than stripped down versions of larger enterprise arrays. This Buyer’s Guide helps end users spend less time on research and more time on narrowing the best options to handle their evolving requirements.”

Disclosure and Methodology
The raw data featured in this Buyer's Guide primarily came from two sources: an online survey completed by manufacturers, and publicly available information on the Web. DCIG and Foskett Services attempted to validate all of the information contained in this Buyer's Guide with all manufacturers contacted after the research was done, in order to verify our findings. Once the raw data was compiled, DCIG and Foskett Services assessed the value of each array as an end user might. Relative merits of various approaches each array offered for data protection, high availability, performance and other key attributes were considered and judged accordingly. This Guide is not intended to be a substitute for bringing individual storage arrays in-house and testing them with specific applications.

Availability
The Expanded Edition of the DCIG 2011 Small Enterprise Storage Array Buyer’s Guide is available immediately for a free download with registration from our licensed partner Aberdeen via DCIG’s website or from Aberdeen’s website http://www.aberdeeninc.com.

Resources:

DCIG Blog: http://www.dcig.com

Foskett Services Blog: http://foskettservices.com

Aberdeen: http://www.aberdeeninc.com

About DCIG
DCIG, LLC, is an analyst firm with headquarters in Texas, focusing on archive, backup, retrieval and storage systems. DCIG’s analysts provide licensed, sponsored and unsponsored analysis. DCIG’s sponsored analysis is available in the form of blogs, case studies, executive white papers, special reports and full-length white papers. Its unsponsored analysis is available in the form of contributed articles and blog entries. Its Buyer’s Guides are available for both purchase and licensing. DCIG’s goal is to provide evaluations on sponsoring and non-sponsoring companies and their technology and products to consumers, public relations firms, business analysts and other companies. DCIG distributes industry, company and product analysis by way of viral marketing and community building using the burgeoning BLOG infrastructures created worldwide.

About Foskett Services
Foskett Services is a provider of information technology and business strategy solutions. After spending over a decade providing consulting and analysis services to enterprise IT organizations and infrastructure vendors, Stephen Foskett launched his own services organization to face this wave of change head-on. This group applies core best practices for managing IT systems to the emerging post-PC world.

Media contact:

Jim Nash                        
DCIG, LLC                        
952.442.8608                    
jim(dot)nash(at)dcig(dot)com

Stephen Foskett
Foskett Services
508.451.9532
stephen(at)foskettservices(dot)com

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