As an IT solution provider, what are you looking for in high-performance NAS technology and vendors?
Evaluating these technologies is what I do for a living, and I currently monitor about 34 NAS vendors. Out of those, I would consider three to be high-performance NAS vendors. Each one of them has their own specific areas of specialization where they do very well -- one handles IOPS very well, one handles small files very well, and one supports large files very well.
As a solution provider, when I enter into an agreement to sell products for vendors, I look at their roadmaps, I go to every executive briefing that they have to determine what future product development looks like, I prefer to sit on their consumer board of input (if they have one) so that they can get a clear understanding of what my customers are asking for. It's about the relationship. I care about the technology, where they're going, and how they plan to do it. Moreover, I look to the relationship that I can have with that vendor -- then pass that same relationship on to my customers.
If I don't get a clear picture from a vendor, I don't take up a relationship with them. I want to understand how the technology is changing and what they're proposing for their product into the future. For example, why are they changing chips, what are the effects on the platform, do they have the design team for that platform and so on. If I don't know that, there's no way that I guide a client to a true five- to 10-year solution.