Among our survey respondents, EMC is still the major supplier of disk subsystems, with 46% saying they've already purchased--or plan to purchase--an EMC array (see "Who you bought your disk systems from," at right). Consistent with past surveys, Hewlett-Packard (HP) Co. ran second, with 33% saying they added HP storage to their shops. IBM Corp. (with 29%) surged past Dell Inc., coming from five percentage points behind in last spring's survey to six points ahead in our most recent survey. That was the most dramatic change among disk vendors, and may suggest that IBM's alliance with NetApp to fill holes in its low-end and midrange product lines may be bearing some fruit.
Once again, features and functionality were cited by 32% of respondents as key factors in making a disk subsystem purchase--criteria that have been consistently cited as most important across all product categories in this and past surveys. Having a foot in the door also gives a vendor an edge, with 21% saying that having other technology installed by a vendor will likely influence new purchasing decisions. Company size is also a factor, with larger companies more focused on support issues and small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) being more price sensitive.