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Vendor Landscape Plus: Consolidated Storage Platforms

Select a consolidated storage vendor in an increasingly consolidated market.

  • Server consolidation, utility computing, server virtualization, internal cloud: they all absolutely require a solid foundation of shared networked storage. However, networked storage is expensive and the vendor space is crowded.
  • The majority of organizations have moved beyond consolidation benefits of server virtualization, and many are pursuing desktop virtualization, shifting focus to demand for greater input/output operations per second (IOPS) capabilities.
  • Most organizations have heard about the many benefits of solid state drives (SSDs) that organizations have achieved in their environments, making it all the more important to understand how and when to leverage this technology to meet changing business requirements.
  • This solution set will clearly describe the strengths and weaknesses of a full range of vendors in midrange storage, and will apply a range of scenarios to provide deeper insight into what solutions are best.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Start with the strategic drivers. For example, infrastructure consolidation and virtualization may have different requirements than providing capacity for a few high traffic OLTP databases.
  • Align the cost of the storage with the value of what is being stored. The fastest drive types (solid state drives), high redundancy (RAID and replication), and higher cost network switching (FC) may not be necessary for the value of much of what is being stored.
  • Balance necessary redundancy with improved utilization. Redundancy increases the cost per terabyte of data stored, but may be necessary to meet service levels (performance, availability, and recovery objectives). Utilization features enable doing more with less, decreasing the cost per terabyte of data stored through more efficient  provisioning.

Impact and Result

  • Understand what kind of consolidated storage is appropriate for core needs and what kind of features boost storage value.
  • Prepare an RFP and score RFP responses effectively.
  • Create a shortlist of consolidated storage vendors and select which is the best fit for your organization and budget.
  • Develop implementation plans that address common consolidated storage pitfalls.

Vendor Landscape Plus: Consolidated Storage Platforms Research & Tools

1. Narrow down your list of storage vendors

Invest in the right features and avoid overspending.

2. Evaluate storage vendors and the capabilities of their offerings

Select the most appropriate offering for business needs for the lowest cost.

3. Ensure the vendor reveals all of the details behind its strengths and weaknesses

Get the lowest price for the feature set of your selected product.

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Authors

John Sloan

Chris O'Connor

Reema Imtiaz

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