DCIG 2013 Midrange Unified Storage Array Buyer’s Guide Now Available

DCIG is pleased to announce the availability of its inaugural DCIG 2013 Midrange Unified Storage Array Buyer’s Guide that weights, scores and ranks over 100 features on 30 different storage arrays from eight (8) different storage providers. This Buyer’s Guide provides the critical information that small and midsize enterprises particularly need in regards to storage arrays that will need to serve a variety of purposes within their organization. These purposes may include storing large amounts of unstructured data such as files and emails, hosting virtualized and high performance applications and even serving as a target for archival and backup data stores.

Unified-Storage-Buyers-Guide-Logo-2013-300x300.jpgMany small and midsize enterprises (SMEs) deal with their own version of Big Data. Maybe best described as “Big Data Lite,” their data stores are unlikely to cross the “magic” 1 PB number that has come to be associated with Big Data. Rather they are more likely to have a couple of hundred of TBs of data under management.

A November 2012 IDG Enterprise study provides some insight into what is going on in SMEs. This IDG Enterprise study defined “Big Data” as “large volumes of a wide variety of data collected from various sources across the enterprise.” It is when “Big Data” is defined in this context that it quickly gets interesting in SMEs.

The study found that the average organization already manages 194.4TB of data and expects its data to grow by over 50% to 296.7TB in the next 12 to 18 months. Even a couple hundred terabytes at a 50% growth rate qualifies as high velocity in these size shops.

It is as more SMEs find themselves in this Big Data Lite category that they recognize it is time to move from direct attached storage located in hot, dusty closets into the “midrange array” class of storage solutions. These midrange arrays bridge the gap between the mid-teens of terabytes up to the low petabytes in a standalone appliance that can be accessed and shared by a number of devices.

The midrange array category is quite large and is usually broken down into several additional categories. The most basic breakdown is by how the storage is accessed: Storage Area Network (SAN), Network Attached Storage (NAS), or both. Solutions that can support both SAN and NAS are referred to as “Unified Storage.

This Buyer’s Guide represents DCIG’s first foray into midrange unified storage arrays as DCIG believes this is the new sweet spot for storage arrays that most clearly align with SMEs and their “Big Data Lite” needs.

This DCIG 2013 Midrange Unified Storage Array Buyer’s Guide should help organizations quickly ascertain what midrange unified storage arrays are on the market, what features they possess and then help expedite their decision making and buying process. 

DCIG sees midrange unified storage arrays as being well-suited for SMEs as they:

  • Support both NAS and SAN protocols thereby reducing duplication of resources, simplifying the IT infrastructure, and easing the transition of legacy systems from DAS to NAS or SAN
  • Leverage standard NAS and SAN protocols so most devices will be “plug and play” when connecting to the midrange unified storage array
  • Reduce cost by eliminating redundant processing power and wasted storage capacity
  • Ease storage management by centralizing storage into a single namespace and user interface
  • Facility centralized security using existing authentication schemes such as Active Directory and/or Kerberos/LDAP
  • Scale up storage capacity though the addition of new disks and/or nodes

The DCIG 2013 Midrange Unified Storage Array Buyer’s Guide Top Ten products include (in alphabetical order):  the EMC VNX 5500, 5700 and 7500 models, the HDS Unified Storage 110, 130 and 150 models and the NetApp FAS 3220, 3240, 3250 and 3270 models.

Of note is that the NetApp FAS3200 series models took the top four spots in this Buyer’s Guide. This is the first time a storage provider has ever done so in any DCIG Buyer’s Guide. Factors that particularly contributed to the NetApp FAS3200 models scoring so well were its full integration with VMware vSphere, the same management software across its entire line of midrange unified storage models and its read and write flash-based caching.

In doing its research for this Buyer’s Guide, DCIG uncovered some interesting statistics about midrange unified storage arrays in general:

  • 100% support both user and group quotas
  • 97% support some form of thin provisioning
  • 84% support sub-volume tiering
  • 78% support automated storage reclamation
  • 65% have a starting list price of under $50,000
  • 30% support block-level deduplication
  • 23% support file-level deduplication

As with prior DCIG Buyer’s Guides, it accomplishes the following objectives for end users:

  • Lists each midrange unified storage array model by vendor
  • Lists out features of each midrange unified storage array showing key features supported or not supported by each product
  • Scores the features most relevant to end users
  • Provides “at a glance” reference for companies evaluating specific midrange unified storage arrays or midrange unified storage array features
  • Provides a midrange unified storage array ranking showing how vendor products compare against similar products on the market
  • Offers recommendations as to which midrange unified storage array rankings and products best align with their specific data storage objectives
  • Provides 30 midrange unified storage array e data sheets from 8 different vendors so organizations may compare systems for one or many technology providers. 
  • Facilitates and accelerates the process of organizations obtaining bids on competitive products

The DCIG 2013 Midrange Unified Storage Array Buyer’s Guide is immediately available in both a condensed and a full version. These may be downloaded for no charge with registration by following the appropriate link listed below.

  • DCIG 2013 Midrange Unified Storage Arra – Condensed
  • DCIG 2013 Midrange Unified Storage Array – Full
Jerome M. Wendt

About Jerome M. Wendt

President & Lead Analyst of DCIG, Inc. Jerome Wendt is the President and Lead Analyst of DCIG Inc., an independent storage analyst and consulting firm. Mr. Wendt founded the company in September 2006.

Leave a Reply