Home > XIV > 2012 DCIG Midrange Storage Buyer’s Guide Update

2012 DCIG Midrange Storage Buyer’s Guide Update

Every year DCIG scores and ranks over 50 midrange arrays to help storage buyers make an educated decision on future purchases.  Like most of these reports, it takes months to put together and by the time the report is released, the information is stale and out of date.  I noticed in this year’s report they XiV gen3 system was listed as the number 6 system behind some of the other vendors that were ranked with a higher score.  I decided to dig in and see what was the difference between the number 6 and the number 1 array.

The fist thing I noticed is the ranking on the XiV was based on some old/incorrect data.  Here is a snapshot of the report with red circles on things that are not correct:

A couple of things we should point is the support for SSD drives. IBM XiV started support for the multi-level cell drives to enhance its read cache up to 6TB on a full populated system.  This increases performance by 3X in most cases.  Other options listed like mirroring and snapshot licenses included have been part of the system since the Gen2 days.

The XiV system also supports VASA, that crazy acronym inside of another acronym.  The VMWare API for Storage Awareness allows for automation of storage operations and monitor storage alerts.  Most storage vendors have come to the same conclusion that IBM has that you have support VASA if you are going to be part of the future.

As you prepare to sit down and start to decide which here are a few things to consider when looking at the XiV system:

1. Management is close to zero. This system is not only easy to deploy but it self tunes itself. The problems with other traditional systems like hot spots or provisioning is made easier with XiV technology.

2. All features are included. No need to worry if you bought the right licenses as all of them are included in the price.

3. XiV is true grid based storage. You really have to compare apples to apples and look under the covers at other storage systems.  They may claim some type of grid architecture but in reality they are still using active / active pairs instead of 15 modules all working together on a infiband backbone.

While this is no dig on the DCIG team, it is a little misleading potential customers. I spoke with the analyst that puts these together and he admitted that it was done back in the September time frame and may not represent the true feature and functionality that IBM offers today. I also learned they are working on a more interactive report that can be updated more regularly.

The differences in what they published and what is offered today would more than surpass some of the other storage arrays listed ahead of the XiV.  I also would like to see them consider the XiV more of a enterprise array and not so much of the midrange but that’s another blog article entirely.

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  1. April 2, 2012 at 10:37 am

    Hi Richard

    Joshua Konkle from DCIG here.

    We understand your points about the “point-in-time” apples-to-apples comparisons. Two major points

    1. the analysis is a reflection of the market at that time, innovation after that point may be viewed as too new or as a tradeoff to other functionality that the leading vendors in the report are already developing/releasing in the same window

    2. Based on your feedback, and others, today DCIG announced the first of its kind Research as a Service (raas). DCIG calls this innovative analysis product “interactive Buyer’s Guide.”

    You can find more here – http://www.dcig.com/ibg and end users can sign up for free access to the IBG by going here http://www.dcig.com/freemium.

    Thanks for bringing this to your readers attention.

    Best regards

    Vice President, DCIG

    • April 16, 2012 at 3:06 pm

      Thanks Joshua, I am sure the new interactive Buyer’s Guide will help keep people up to speed!


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