Given tight budgets, short staffs and ever-increasing data volumes, we decided on the following criteria as being...
the most critical when judging Storage Products of the Year entries. You'll find the entry form for the competition asks questions relating to these areas:
- Innovation: Does the product introduce new capabilities or provide such significant improvements to standard capabilities to the degree that it stands out within its product category? Does it break new ground, redefine the category or define a new "subcategory" within the overall field (e.g., the effect that cloud advancements have had on disaster recovery)?
- Performance: Does the product perform to the degree that it could improve a significant portion of the overall storage operation (e.g., a backup product that can significantly reduce the length of a backup window)? Does the product perform at a level that makes it unlikely that it would become a bottleneck in a storage environment?
- Ease of integration into environment: How easily does the product integrate with other products -- both from the same vendor and others? Can the product operate effectively in heterogeneous environments? Has the product been certified by a significant number of major IT vendors?
- Ease of use and manageability: Is the product easy to install? Are the product's interfaces intuitive? Are the product's functions clear, easy to learn and to run? Is the product likely to require the help of professional services on an ongoing basis? Does the product provide useful reports, audits, etc.? Will the product scale smoothly to accommodate growth in an environment?
- Functionality: Does the product deliver as promised? Is the product's feature set complete and more than adequate to handle its job? Does the product provide greater or more useful functionality than others in its category? Are there any serious functional omissions?
- Value: Is the product cost-effective? Can the ROI be easily justified? If the product is expensive or represents an additional cost for most storage environments, is the added functionality worth the price? Will the product provide a stable TCO?