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Choosing the ideal SAN virtualization solution

By CIOReview | Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Organizations ranging from small and medium-sized (SMEs) to larger conglomerates are increasingly looking for upgrading themselves to a more robust SAN virtualization solution. Organizations require a SAN solution that can span multiple disks and storage. With plentiful vendors offering state of the art software virtualization and SAN solutions, selecting the perfect fit according to the organizational needs has become more of a business challenge than just implementation challenge.

While solutions like HP EVA making use of HP VersaStor technology within the array for automatically spreading I/O load across the entire array, and LSI offering LSI E4600 that can support up to 224 drives and 17 TB with 72 GB drives and a pleasant interface, all these solutions have their own advantages and disadvantages depending on various working scenarios. Below are mentioned the best and the most unbiased to identify the best solution according to specific organizational needs:

Creating a Request for Proposal (RFP)

RFPs are used by many professional agencies to gain new business and clients. Sending out an RFP is a standard operating procedure consisting of the following parts: Determining a rough scope of the job to be accomplished, assessing available timeline and budget, and reach out to vendors with the solution. RFPs are typically followed by harnessing more useful details up front from the vendors. It should also contain a list of all products, reports, and plans that will be delivered to the client and propose a delivery schedule.

Selecting Top 3 Solutions that Fit Organizational Needs

Choose the right solution for your organization by determining which capabilities are needed to meet the unique organizational requirements and enables organizations, employees and members to function at their best. Sorting through the unique and different options out there and narrowing it down to something that best serves your needs can be a daunting task. There are plenty of cost-effective options to choose from. Identify the organization’s top goal, set the objectives, and then research the platform that best fits those organizational needs. An organization should also consider many companies offering additional, integrated features that can replace existing systems and yield greater cost-savings in the long run.

Implementing "Try Before You Buy" Approach

Buyers can now find all the information online, including comparisons with direct competitors’ solutions. Organizations do not want to make any major investment and regret later on that decision. The idea of “try and buy” is not new in the software market. Software developers have been offering 30 days trial period, after which customers would have to go back and buy the full version, download that and do all the configuration once again. The faster you can get trials up and running, the quicker you can accelerate the buyer journey and boost customer satisfaction.

Hardware Is Only a Part of the Solution

It is important to make sure about the viability of the company, the service, and support offerings. It is important to break something while testing, and see if someone shows up to fix it. It is also important to make sure all the software works as advertised, the solution is user friendly, provides scripting capabilities for automation, has good management and reporting software, and the ongoing total cost of ownership fits within the organization’s expectations and budget. Apart from the purchase price, organizations must also check for professional services prices as well as ongoing maintenance, operational, management, software costs which can at times be more expensive than the hardware itself.