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Most firms don’t test, but rely on supplier to spec storage, finds survey

Most customers simply trust storage suppliers and resellers to recommend the right product for their workloads, while a small minority test their needs and involve application owners

When it comes to buying storage, most customers trust the supplier or reseller to suggest the right product for the job. Meanwhile, application owners are rarely involved in purchasing decisions for storage infrastructure.

Those are some of the findings of a survey carried out by ESG for storage performance testing specialist Virtual Instruments. The survey questioned 412 IT professionals with responsibility for storage in organisations across Europe, largely from organisations of more than 1,000 employees.

When asked how they try to ensure storage systems will meet performance and availability requirements, the largest proportion (33%) said they trust their reseller/integrator to propose the right solution, while nearly a quarter (23%) said they trust the supplier to come up with the product for the job.

But a healthy minority (29%) said they profile and model application workloads themselves before making purchase decisions, while 11% said they profile application workloads and work with suppliers before deciding.

Meanwhile, the survey found most (57%) application owners care about or have involvement in the storage infrastructure but don’t have any involvement in buying it, while 23% have no care at all about it.

A mere 16% of application owners take an interest in storage and are involved in the purchasing process.

The survey also asked how customers keep tabs on storage performance and availability.

Most (54%) use supplier-agnostic monitoring tools, while 40% use storage suppliers’ proprietary tools. A small minority (5%) don’t use any monitoring tools, and simply call the supplier if they have problems.

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Most need real-time monitoring. A third (66%) said they need real-time visibility because they can’t afford even a few minutes’ downtime, while 32% said non-real-time tools that provide a snapshot of system health every few minutes are sufficient.

Finally, the survey found that most organisations do set service-level agreements (SLAs) for storage performance and/or availability.

Most (41%) establish performance and availability SLAs for on-premise storage systems, while 36% only set them for availability. Meanwhile, 17% set performance-based SLAs, while 2% do not set SLAs for storage at all.

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