Feeds

Aw, SNAP. It's too late, you've already PAID for your storage array

Do yourself a favour: Trust but VERIFY

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Blocks and Files When a vendor says it has feature X, how do you know it's true?

Storage arrays are mighty complex boxes and vendors' marketing of them can sometimes take a bypass around reality. How can you detect if this is happening?

One way is to look for independent reviews of the product by a trusted reviewer. For example, product reviewers paid by a media outlet should be more independent than ones paid by the product's vendor. It is, to be frank, inconceivable that a vendor would pay for a product review and publish the thing if it was negative, if, for example:

  • the reviewer pointed out that, although the vendor said a product had feature X, the reviewer had been unable to find it, or
  • the reviewer said deploying feature Y caused a significant loss of performance.

A review of a product's claimed specifications using supplier-provided information is not enough on its own to justify a purchase. All such reviews or product comparisons should be discounted unless there are independent reviews of the product.

How do you select independent reviewers of good standing?

  • As a rule of thumb they must not be paid by the vendor
  • They should be expert in their field and have full and unfettered access to the product hardware and software
  • They should have published reviews of product in the past which mention negative features
  • They should have an independent stance
  • They should openly and fully reveal any sponsorship or other vendor-related inducements they might receive

A reviewer's bona fides, the trust that you can place in them, are absolutely vital. In my experience, product reviewers like Howard Marks of Deep Storage Net, John Toigo, the Register's Trevor Pott, Hans de Leenheer in Belgium, Chris Evans in the UK, and Steve Duplessie's ESG can be trusted absolutely to take hardware and software apart and test out vendor claims with a strongly independent stance.

That's my personal experience. There are probably others which I don't know of. There are certainly others whom I do know of and whom I wouldn't place in the same category as the people above. I have, by the way, no financial arrangements of any sort with any of these people, none whatsoever.

Any vendor who will not submit their product to review by a third party of your choosing must have damn good reasons for not doing so. If you come across a storage product with no independent reviews, using the criteria above, then I would suggest you walk away.

If a supplier can provide customer case studies instead, then ask for the customer contact details and talk directly to them, not through the vendor. Case studies age and vendor personnel change. If you can't talk directly to a customer with its own direct experience of the product, then the case study is, at best, marketing, and not a believable purchase support document.

What do you do if there is no independent review, according to the criteria I've set out above, and no facility to talk on your own to other customers mentioned in vendor case studies, and, yet, the product seems ideally suited to your needs?

Trust, as the late President Reagan said, but verify.

Get a try-and-buy deal and test out every feature; see if it's present and see how it affects product operation. If you don't have the facilities to do this then pay a trustworthy person to do it for you. If you can't afford that and the potential vendor won't submit their product for testing, I would suggest you walk away. You can get into far worse trouble through buying a poor product than by not buying a product at all. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
The cloud that goes puff: Seagate Central home NAS woes
4TB of home storage is great, until you wake up to a dead device
Azure TITSUP caused by INFINITE LOOP
Fat fingered geo-block kept Aussies in the dark
You think the CLOUD's insecure? It's BETTER than UK.GOV's DATA CENTRES
We don't even know where some of them ARE – Maude
Intel offers ingenious piece of 10TB 3D NAND chippery
The race for next generation flash capacity now on
Want to STUFF Facebook with blatant ADVERTISING? Fine! But you must PAY
Pony up or push off, Zuck tells social marketeers
Oi, Europe! Tell US feds to GTFO of our servers, say Microsoft and pals
By writing a really angry letter about how it's harming our cloud business, ta
BOFH: WHERE did this 'fax-enabled' printer UPGRADE come from?
Don't worry about that cable, it's part of the config
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Managing SSL certificates with ease
The lack of operational efficiencies and compliance pitfalls associated with poor SSL certificate management, and how the right SSL certificate management tool can help.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.