Network-attached storage (NAS) products topped by Hitachi Data Systems

Outpolling its competition, Hitachi Data Systems not only won the enterprise network-attached storage (NAS) category for the Diogenes labs-Storage magazine Quality Award for NAS -- it also won the top spot for its enterprise SAN array in a previous quality awards. (See "HDS sweeps quality awards").

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The first company that comes to most network-storage users' minds is Network Appliance (NetApp) Inc. NetApp was the clear winner in the midrange network-attached storage category and placed a close second to HDS in the enterprise category.

Survey results suggest that NetApp has the most compelling total NAS product line from top to bottom. This is especially true for standalone network-attached storage because the survey included gateways and NAS blades. In fact, the HDS system in the survey was a NAS blade for Lightning and TagmaStore systems.

The survey asked how well the product met the respondent's needs, evaluating expectations vs. reality, which is often related to sales competence. We asked respondents for their assessment regarding the product's manageability, software functionality, scalability and interoperability. HDS had the highest product feature score among enterprise products (6.75), while NetApp led the midrange with a 6.77.

Click here to see a graph representing the results in the Enterprise NAS category.

In the midrange, NetApp's product features were very highly rated by users, receiving scores higher than 7.0 for three statements in this category. They were "This product's snapshot features meet my needs" (7.11), "This product's mirroring features meet my needs" (7.03) and "This product's remote replication meets my needs" (7.03). No other product had as many 7.0-plus scores in the features category. HDS' highest score for any statement was for "This product's capacity scales to meet my needs." This score was significantly higher than NetApp's 6.45 for the same statement regarding its enterprise products. The only score significantly outside the norm on the low end was EMC Celerra NS Series' score of 4.73 for the statement "This product is interoperable with other vendor's products."

Click here to see a graph representing the results in the Midrange NAS category.

This article originally appeared on SearchStorage.com and "Storage" magazine.

This was first published in November 2006

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