Dell has been rumbling about "changing the economics" of data center storage for months, but little has slipped out, until now, in terms of a method for such madness. Many scratched their heads in May when Dell unfurled the Project Hybrid banner, declared it would reduce the cost and complexity of servers and storage; and then …
NetApps competitive advantage has always come from it's embedded OS, not from the hardware and it could even be argued, not directly from the functionality. I don't see Dells range claiming to have addressed this - it seems to be simply trying to push its existing range into that mid-range space.
It's the support stupid!
Dell seem to be missing something - NetApp are pricey but their kit is supremely reliable and has incredible support.
I had a disk go in a NetApp filer (it still had a hot spare) at 2:30am, by 8:30am there was a new disk on my desk. Soon after it was all fixed.
Now imagine if the same thing had happened to Dell kit on a supposed 4 hour support contract. Four hours spent trying to tell a call centre operative that I had tried "reseating the component, sir". Parts and engineer finally dispatched - but to different locations. Parts and engineer finally at right place but part wrong. And on it would go ad nauseum.
The Motto: You get what you pay for.
Oh D' ya Think ???
The nice thing about Netapp is the fact that its a fully scaleable solution . Ergo you don't have to retire the equipment once your company grows to a certain size. Unlike HP solutions and probably Dell's where once you reach a certain size or need you must scrap your equipment and choose an EVA or a larger solution from scratch. With Netapp you just add more heads and drive racks. a software licence here and there and youre good to go
Ok Its about 40% more expensive for a smaller solution to start with but its the features and capabilities of the Solution that mesmerise IT Directors , If you could watch someone totally trash an Exchange server and then have it restored up and running by someone who had never ever operated Netapp equipment in a matter of a few seconds then you would be impressed. A system that recognises a drive breakdown BEFORE it occurs and orders its own replacement to be delivered immediately to you with details of the drive that is about to fail so you can hot swap and rebuild even before the defect occurs, Snapshots ,incremental backups, mirroring, archiving, single file retrieval, they're all included capabilites.
The On Tap software is a joy to use and very intuitive and can integrate well with all major software vendors products. I'd hazard a guess that Dell solutions will be based around Microsoft and little else. and we all know what that means both on price and ease of use.
Put succinctly I recently sold a Netapp solution and despite the solution being 40% more than an equivalent HP solution Netapp won hands down with the customer based on functionality and the foresight of that customer to realise the potential massive savings.
These days IT managers should be looking at not just the Total cost of ownership , but also the long term business strategy with vision on where and what the company needs to be doing 5 -10 or 15 years in the future. Netapp can supply the solution to do that, Can Dell?
Dell are not in the market to provide long term strategy for business, they are purely a box shifter ..very good at what they do in that area, but not really good on the service side of things as many companies can attest to. Netapps service is second to none.
Dell should align with NetApp
just like they did with EMC.
Then they can watch the profits flow in.
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