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- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.