Are you ever left wondering how to verify a vendor’s ROI claims?

I saw this today on the register website –

NetApp guns for EMC and HP
Undercuts rivals
By Chris Williams
Published Tuesday 9th May 2006 10:30 GMT

NetApp has extended its enterprise storage range with a brace of flagship systems.

Scalable to 500TB, the FAS6030 and FAS6070 are principally aimed at reducing the cost of ownership of high-end fibre channel storage gear. NetApp says its rivals’ kit is up to 260 per cent more expensive to own.

They also make the standard claims about flexibility and ease of data management.

CEO Dan Warmenhoven puffed: “Our new offerings position NetApp as a clear leader. We are growing three times faster than the industry average in enterprise application data centres.” ®

How would your company verify such claims? Do NetApp’s cost calculations include all of the training and software revisions to your secondary and tertiary backup and montioring sofware that will be required? I wonder if they include the training costs for your staff?

It is probably a lot more cost effective to upgrade your head or purchase a unit with transferable software licenses. Zerowait has plenty of systems available with NFS, CIFS, Cluster and ISCSI available for transfer at reasonable prices.

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1 Response to

  1. Dave Hitz says:

    People who are interested in verifying these TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) claims might be interested in looking at the detailed report from Mercer, which is the management consulting company that did the study for us. (See

    They identified three categories of cost:

    (1) Product Acquisition & Ongoing Vendor Costs (hardware, software, implementation, training, service, support)

    (2) Internal Operational Costs (labor, facilities, environmental)

    (3) Quantifiable Business Cost of Downtime

    So it looks like they were trying to be pretty thorough when it comes to capturing all the costs you have.

    In their summary of why NetApp is lower, they point to several factors. For the same size DB, people tend to use less storage with NetApp, because of features like snapshots and cloning. NetApp tends to take fewer people to manage. And snapshots let you recover from errors faster.

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