Midrange storage arrays just might be the storage hardware category offering consumers the greatest breadth of choice. This year's Diogenes Labs-Storage magazine Quality Award for midrange arrays asked Storage readers to relate their experiences using 15 different midrange product lines, ranging from Apple Computer Inc. to Xiotech Corp. Our readers provided a total of 474 evaluations of these systems, with nine products garnering enough responses to be included as award finalists (see "Products included in the survey," p. 43). Readers rated these systems in five different categories—sales-force competence, product features, initial product quality, product reliability and technical support—using a 1.0-8.0 scale, where 8.0 is the most favorable score.
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Products included in the survey
The following vendors and products were included in the 2006 Diogenes Labs-Storage magazine Quality Award survey for midrange arrays:
• Apple Computer Inc. Xserve RAID**Didn't receive a sufficient number of responses to be included in the final survey results.
• BlueArc Corp. Titan 2000 Series*
• Compellent Technologies Storage Center*
• Dell Inc. CX Series
• EMC Corp. Clariion CX series
• EqualLogic Inc. PS Series
• Hewlett-Packard (HP) Co. StorageWorks Enterprise Virtual Array (EVA) series
• Hitachi Data Systems Corp. Thunder 9500 V Series
• IBM Corp. FAStT, DS4000 or DS6000
• LeftHand Networks Inc. SAN/iQ*
• Network Appliance Inc. FAS200 or FAS900 Series
• Pillar Data Systems Axiom 500*
• Sun Microsystems Inc./StorageTek D-series, FlexLine
• FLA200 or FLA300
• Sun StorEdge 6920
• Xiotech Corp. Magnitude 3D*
About our survey
The Diogenes Labs-Storage magazine Quality Awards are designed to identify and recognize products that have proven their quality and reliability in actual use. The results are derived from a survey of qualified Storage readers who assessed products in five main categories: sales-force competence, product features, initial product quality, product reliability and technical support. Our methodology incorporates statistically valid polling that eliminates market share as a factor. Our objective is to identify the most reliable product on the market regardless of vendor name, reputation or size. Products are rated on a 1.0-8.0 scale, where 8.0 is the most favorable score.
For this year's midrange arrays survey, 354 respondents provided 474 valid system evaluations. This year's response rate is about 10% higher than last year's, but carries the same +/- 5% margin of error with a 95% confidence factor.
Rich Castagna is Editor-in-Chief of Storage. Phil Goodwin is president of Diogenes Analytical Laboratories Inc.