Jon Toigo, wrote an excellent piece for Byte and switch . I really suggest that you read it. He speaks about how storage decisions are reached in a world of incomplete data. Whether it is intentional or not, it is almost impossible to get repeatable figures on Data Storage devices. So the only information that a rational decision maker can use in making a storage purchasing decision is through vendor’s marketing, and friendly user experience. For obvious reasons, storage vendors provide reference accounts from companies with marquee names, and positive experiences.
Doing research on the web allows decision makers to learn more about the user experiences other customers have had, but it is hard to find reliable information on negative experiences with a storage vendors software or hardware. What a storage researcher gets is a heavy dose of a storage vendor’s marketing information, and some positive experiences from a few selected customers.
As an independent vendor of NetApp equipment we can provide our customers information about which products work best together and how to extend the duty cycle and life cycle of their NetApp products. We don’t sell new NetApp equipment, so we are not held back from speaking our minds about the performance of the newest models as compared to the superseded model. We make no money at all if our customers buy new NetApp equipment.
Providing unaffiliated NetApp service and support allows us to provide best of breed solutions to our customers, and to give an unbiased opinion when it comes to their NetApp buying decisions. Many customers send us their quotes for review from NetApp and their resellers. We suggest configuration changes and tell them about the market prices that we are seeing at other accounts. For instance, just the other day a customer called us up and asked about the discounts he said he was receiving from NetApp. NetApp told them they were 75% off list price. I pointed the customer to some websites that list NetApp’s prices and told him to do some research on the price quote he received.
Carefully review the performance figures that are being touted when you are looking at your equipment. Ask for verification of the performance figures, ask for license transferability, read their software contracts carefully. Don’t be afraid to negotiate with NetApp, give us a call if you want some tips..