Vendor Landscape: Small to Mid-Range Storage Arrays

Find a storage solution that will support your organization’s needs, now and in the future.


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What matters more, the vendor score or the product score? As you weigh the importance, we will generate the vendor shortlist to match your needs.

View Vendor Shortlist

What is a shortlist?

A shortlist is a personalized list of vendors based on the criteria you define. Your shortlist offers more information about vendor's strengths, weaknesses, price-points, etc, and ranks them according to your needs.

Access this Vendor Shortlist by logging in with your Info-Tech Research Group membership or unlocking this content.


What is a Value Score?

The Value Score indexes each vendor’s product offering and business strength relative to their price point. It does not indicate vendor ranking.

Vendors that score high offer more bang for the buck (e.g. features, usability, stability, etc.) than the average vendor, while the inverse is true for those that score lower.

Price-conscious enterprises may wish to give the Value Score more consideration than those who are more focused on specific vendor/product attributes.

Your Challenge

  • Storage is a major investment and the backbone of any organization’s infrastructure, yet a significant number of organizations regret their storage purchase.
  • Capacity needs continue to grow at an unprecedented rate, even among smaller organizations. Planning your storage purchase becomes all the more critical in order to avoid a costly forklift upgrade before the life of your contract is up.
  • New demands created by virtualization, VDI, and analytics mean new requirements that must be met in order to support the business. Vendors are introducing new features to compensate, such as flash caches and tiers.
  • Manageability is more important than ever. Budgets are holding steady but demand is increasing. Organizations have to do more with less, and increasingly demand “set it and forget it” storage to minimize operational effort.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Start-ups like Nimble, Tintri, and Tegile are starting to offer products that can compete for market share with the usual suspects like EMC, NetApp, and Dell, especially in smaller organizations. Their flexibility and agility enables them to innovate faster than larger vendors, who are being forced to catch up and innovate in their own right.
  • The lines between markets are blurring, and vendors are bringing features that used to be considered enterprise-level down to SMBs.
  • It is critical to negotiate with the future in mind. Make sure you have a clear sense of how your data needs will grow and change, and make sure that your vendor can tell you how it will respond to scenarios based on those possibilities.

Impact and Result

  • Align vendors’ strengths and limitations to your current and projected storage needs.
  • Understand available functionality for current mid-range SANs.
  • Select the vendor that is the best fit solution for your organization.
  • Avoid future costs by building an effective RFP and correctly sizing your storage needs for the present and the future.

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Get to Action

  1. Find out what’s new in storage in terms of features and vendors

    Approach the storage purchase from an informed perspective.

  2. Build a list of requirements and compare against vendors’ storage solutions

    Generate a shortlist for the RFP process.

  3. Create a storage array RFP

    Find the vendor with the most competitive price that will meet the organization’s needs.

  4. Have a game plan for negotiating with vendors

    Ensure that the organization is getting the best value for its storage dollar.

  5. Review the organization’s storage contract for gaps and potential savings

    Avoid any significant omissions and ensure that offered discounts are reasonable.

Guided implementation icon Guided Implementation

This guided implementation is a three call advisory process.

  • Call #1: Shortlist Assistance and Requirements.

    Discuss the market space and how vendors are evaluated. Decide on which deployment option suits you best and narrow down the options based on customized requirements.

  • Call #2: RFP and Budget Review.

    Review vendors’ RFPs and ensure the solution will meet your needs. Discuss average pricing of solutions and what can fit into your budget.

  • Call #3: Negotiation and Contract Review.

    Review contracts and discuss best practices in negotiation tactics to get the best price for your solution.


  • Missing comment
    Ryan Toomer | 04-03-2014

    After going over this document I have to say I'm very surprised NETAPP got a complete feature mark for VASA / SRM, to be blunt whoever tested and validated this for Info-Tech should be fired.
    NETAPP's VASA provider doesn't work correctly when in a mixed env with Thin and Thick provisioned lun's it freaks out and reports erroneous information to the storage provider service because it lacks the logic to understand between thick and thin provisioning which in turn completely stops anyone from being able to vMotion to the array in question until it has been disabled.
    I brought this to NETAPP's attention months ago and still not resolved.
    DFM looks like 3 poorly planned applications slapped together terribly information is completely inconsistent across the different interfaces presented.
    Netapp is one of the most expensive incomplete idea's I've ever had the displeasure of working with, save yourself the trouble and buy EMC.

    • 51dfd75ebe2870cdad1e1d1984e3f169 comment
      Info-Tech Research Group | 04-08-2014

      According to NetApp, their solution does support VASA/SRM. Note that our Vendor Landscape methodology does not evaluate the capabilities or robustness of the particular implementation of a feature, nor does it capture if a feature works in some situations or use cases and not others; it only records if, per the vendor, the feature exists. In our communications with NetApp, they indicated that the solution does support this feature and so we have marked it as such in the VL. This includes briefings with the vendor as well as a comprehensive fact-check process. We appreciate the feedback though and will take it into consideration when discussing NetApp’s solutions with clients for whom this feature is a key capability, and may raise it in our next discussion with NetApp regarding their arrays.


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