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How do you buy storage?

Just a quick post for today but something I have been thinking about for a few days. How does customers buy storage? Do they like vendors who offer lots of options or do they like those who are laser focused on a single solution? As I have pondered this I have broken storage vendors down into three categories: boutique, focused and too big to fail.

1. Boutique is the vendors out there who are selling point solutions. They seem to solve a certain problem but are also wanting to do more. These companies are usually the small start ups that are acquired when the larger vendors see some potential bubble up. It usually is when they loose a couple deals to some no name company is when they sit up and take notice. A couple alums in this group would Data Domain, XiV, 3par and Fusion IO.

2. The focused group is those small companies who have a good product and have decided to dedicate themselves to making it to the next level. They are agile and can develop new features to meet demand very rapidly. Sometimes they struggle with quality due to the nature of always trying to meet demands. The other mark of a focused company is how they are seen by their peers. If they are known as the “cloud provider” or “nas solution” , that outs them into this company. When I think of these companies, I envision Panass, Qlogic, Teremark, Amazon, and maybe Oracle, Redhat and somewhat Netapp.

3. Then the companies too big to fail. These are the big names that everyone will recognize even if the aren’t storage geeks. They have large product portfolios and span hardware, software and services. The larger ones can wait to put out technology as they have a loyal base of customers who trust them to put solid products in the market. They are also the ones who typically have the lion share of they market. A few examples are EMC, IBM, Dell and HP.

I might be completely off base here but that’s how I see it. Depending on your company, you may purchase your storage from one or all three. It really comes down to the product solving issues and the relationship you have with those who are selling it.

  1. February 2, 2013 at 7:19 pm

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    • February 5, 2013 at 10:44 am

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